The Business of Innovation – Redefining Innovation

Innovation is the introduction of new things or methods and is the life blood of business today. Innovative companies realize remarkable marketplace rewards. The challenge before leaders is how to inspire their workforce to use the full measure of their creative power to advance the organization in new and better ways.

The Business of Innovation is a five part series created by CNBC in association with IBM. Within each episode, Maria Bartiromo and a distinguished panel of guests discuss what it takes to be an innovation leader.

Manage Yourself Smart: Ten Guidelines for Making Smart Choices in the World of Social Media

Just like in the ‘real world,’ there are things you should and shouldn’t do in the virtual world – especially if you want to be respected and taken seriously. I call this ‘managing yourself smart,’ and here are some guidelines to help navigate social media.

Operate with integrity. Just as you would in your office, when you’re online make sure to hold yourself accountable. Own your mistakes and always tell the truth – no exceptions. Sure, it can be easier to ‘hide’ and ignore unpleasant situations online, but behaving in this manner will reflect negatively on you.

Inspire and motivate. Whether through blog posts, comments, posted videos, or other methods, it’s easy – and prudent – to use social media to give others an extra positive push. Think about the needs of others – don’t just promote yourself, your accomplishments, or your organization. Listen to, and do your best to inspire, others with whom you’re interacting.


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About the Author

Barry Libert is the author of Social Nation: How to Harness the Power of Social Media to Attract Customers, Motivate Employees, and Grow Your Business. He is Chairman and CEO of Mzinga®, the leading provider of social software, services, and analytics that improve business performance. Barry has published five books on the value of social and information networks. He is a regularly featured keynote speaker at industry associations and for leading companies on the power of social media. He has been published in Newsweek, Smart Money, Barron’s, The Wall Street Journal, and The New York Times, and he has appeared on CNN, CNBC, and NPR. Barry currently serves on the Board of Directors at Innocentive and The SEI Center for Advanced Studies in Management at The Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania. To learn more about Barry, click here.

StrategyDriven Portfolio Management Best Practice Article

Portfolio Management Best Practice 2 – The Project Registry (Continued)

As an organization grows, so does its number of divisions, departments, and work groups. The subsequent dispersion of management responsibility and encapsulation of attention on distinct business functions can cause leaders to lose sight of all the initiatives being authorized across the organization. This unavoidable phenomenon increases the risk of project duplication and diversion of funds from relatively high value projects to less impactful ones. To avoid this risk requires informing management decisions with comparable, value-based data related to the entire body of organizational initiatives. When properly configured and governed, a centralized project registry services as an effective tool to provide managers with the information needed to eliminate redundant work and ensure appropriate resource allocation.


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StrategyDriven Podcast Episode 38b – Overcoming Resistance to Change, part 2 of 2

StrategyDriven Podcasts focus on the tools and techniques executives and managers can use to improve their organization’s alignment and accountability to ultimately achieve superior results. These podcasts elaborate on the best practice and warning flag articles on the StrategyDriven website.

Episode 38b – Overcoming Resistance to Change, part 2 of 2 explores the three different types of resistance frequently encountered when implementing a business change, how to recognize each type, and the actions change leaders can take to overcome each of these objections. During our discussion, Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance: Why 70% of All Changes Still Fail – and What You Can Do About It, shares with us his insights and illustrative examples regarding:

  • how change leaders can recognize the second and third types of resistance to change
  • actions leaders should take to overcome these types of resistance
  • how the three types of resistance ‘play off of each other‘ and how to use this interrelationship to more easily overcome the organization’s overall resistance to change

Additional Information

In addition to the outstanding insights Rick shares in Beyond the Wall of Resistance and this edition of the StrategyDriven Podcast are the resources accessible from his websites, www.RickMaurer.com and www.ChangeManagementNews.com.   Rick’s book, Beyond the Wall of Resistance, can be purchased by clicking here.

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About the Author

Rick Maurer, author of Beyond the Wall of Resistance, is a renowned change management expert, speaker, and bestselling author. He is an advisor to business leaders from a variety of organizations throughout the world, including major Fortune 500 companies, as well as private and nonprofit institutions in industries such as aerospace, healthcare, government, professional associations, telecommunications, and finance. Rick’s opinion has been sought by The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Investor’s Business Daily, Fortune, USA Today, and The Economist. To read Rick’s complete biography, click here.

StrategyDriven Podcast Series

StrategyDriven Editorial Perspective – Hiring Uncertainties

The extension of Bush-era tax breaks, healthcare reform and an increase in the rate of hiring in November suggests that the economy is gaining momentum. Unfortunately, few expect a change in the 9.6 percent unemployment rate. Yet despite this constant, many economists are optimistic about the Nation’s hiring forecast.

Two pillars of the economy – jobs and consumer spending – appear to be on the upswing. Factories are producing, auto sales are rising and new businesses pop up daily. Also, applications for initial unemployment benefits hit a two year low in November and 151,000 new jobs were created.

Job creation does not necessarily correlate with lowering the unemployment rate. According to analysts, the economy would need to consistently add 200,000-300,000 jobs a month to make a noticeable dent in the unemployment rate. Despite the job creation shortfall, the economy is moving in the right direction. Economists predict that the United States economy will grow at a three percent pace in the October-December quarter, up from a two and a half percent growth rate in the July-September quarter.

Will the steady increase in the economy translate into a positive hiring forecast? The results are mixed. The increase in private sector jobs suggests that retail and factory jobs will continue to climb. The same cannot be said for small businesses, mainly due to uncertain tax future many businesses face.

The issue at the heart of this uncertainty involves limited access to capital at a time when banks are reluctant to lend. Taxes further hinder these businesses’ ability to produce. If a business owner has to pay higher taxes on net earnings, the business is much less available to do other things needed to contribute to the economy such as hire employees, buy equipment and expand. Many small business owners seek long term tax strategies rather than year-by-year decisions that make planning for the future of their business impossible.

Recent healthcare reform is also adding to economic uncertainty for small businesses. Many of the provisions of the sweeping health-care bill passed by the House of Representatives in March won’t kick in until 2014, however these provisions spell big changes for small businesses.

By no later than 2014, states will have to set up Small Business Health Options Programs, or “SHOP Exchanges,” where small businesses will be able to pool together to buy insurance. Businesses with more than 50 employees will be required to either offer healthcare coverage or pay a penalty of $750 a year per full-time worker. Part-time employees would be counted toward the 50-employee minimum on pro-rated basis based on hours worked, bringing more small businesses into the group required to provide coverage.

This clearly effects hiring as many small businesses have been able to exclude part time employees from healthcare benefits and from its total number of employees. However, the proposed reforms could help spur entrepreneurial activity by increasing the incentives for talented Americans to launch their own companies, and could increase the pool of workers willing to work at small firms. Further, successful reform would reduce the phenomenon of ‘job lock,’ in which workers are reluctant to leave a job with employer-sponsored health insurance out of fear that they will not be able to find affordable coverage.

As both the future of business tax as well as healthcare reform are uncertain, the countries hiring forecast is foggy. However, both private sector jobs and consumer spending have risen creating an optimistic attitude among economic analysts for our country’s economic future. New healthcare laws also suggest a possible increase in entrepreneurial activity, thus creating more jobs, hopefully creating a positive hiring trend.


About the Author

As CEO of MyCorporation Business Services, Inc. (www.MyCorporation.com), Deborah Sweeney is an advocate for protecting personal and business assets for all consumers. With experience in the field of corporate and intellectual property law, Deborah provides insightful commentary on the benefits, barriers and who should consider incorporation and trademark registration.

Deborah joined MyCorporation in 2003 after serving as outside general counsel for 5 years. She received her Juris Doctor and Masters in Business Administration degrees from Pepperdine University and is a member of the American Bar Association.

Deborah served as an adjunct professor at the University of West Los Angeles and San Fernando School of Law in the area of corporate and intellectual property law. Because of her extensive knowledge, Deborah has long served as a speaker and panelist on legal issues affecting new to the world and growing businesses.