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Compensation Bloat? University of Michigan faculty question administrator pay in open letter

Compensation Bloat?  University of Michigan faculty question administrator pay in open letter | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

An open letter to University of Michigan's Board of Regents from about a dozen of the school's faculty criticizes the school's administrative pay and bonus system. "The University is in desperate and urgent need of fiscal reform." 


____________________
   
The authors argue that U-M is not transparent about its pay supplements...some administrators received...in excess of $50,000.

     

____________________


The authors argue that U-M is not transparent about its pay supplements, and that they are an unwise use of money from the general fund. Data obtained by the professors show that some administrators received salary supplements in excess of $50,000.

  

...Anthony Mora, a history professor who helped author the letter, said that while it's reasonable executive officers have higher compensation that most staff, U-M's compensation rates for those officers are between 27 and 41 percent higher than the rates' of administrators at peer institutions such as Berkeley, Texas and Virginia, according to a review done by the faculty.
 

"We want to have an open and candid discussion about the university's resources," Mora said. "I don't see this as an effort to be adversarial with the administration. I think people in the administration are genuine when they say they care about the university. But I do think there's an opportunity here for the faculty and the administration to work together."

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Several faculty have taken up the gauntlet to question escalating costs - starting with higher education administrative bonuses.  Executive bonuses may no longer be taken for granted with such moves as these, perhaps prompted by the poorly planned, cost cutting administrative shared services initiative (labeled AST, Administrative Services Transformation)  which, incidentally, did NOT include the faculty voice in its cost cutting planning.


It also involved the use of several consulting firms with expenses totalling over 11 million for consulting services.  As as consultant myself, I know consultant have reasons to charge a high rate, but leaving the faculty voice out of a change initiative mystifies me.


I look forward to hearing where this letter leads in dealing with, perhaps, some unquestioned compensation practices, and perhaps stepping higher education back to a bigger picture of where the value generation resides and how it needs to be valued today.   ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 25, 3:59 PM

The escalating costs of higher education may no longer be taken for granted with such moves as these from the core of  the university system, the faculty.

The article also referenced the initially poorly implemented, cost cutting administrative shared services initiative (labeled AST, Administrative Services Transformation)  that did not include the faculty voice in its cost cutting planning and involved the use of several consulting firms with expenses totalling over 11 million for consulting services.  As as consultant myself, I know consultant have reasons to charge a high rate, but leaving the faculty voice out of a change initiative mystifies me.


I look forward to hearing where this letter leads in dealing with, perhaps, some unquestioned compensation practices.   ~  Deb


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Innovative Company Award Winner, Guo Pei Interview Exclusive by Fashion Studio Magazine

Innovative Company Award Winner, Guo Pei Interview Exclusive by Fashion Studio Magazine | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

In trying circumstances, Guo Pei, now one of China's top fashion designers, became famous for her extravagantly made gowns that are close to perfection.


In 1997, she established Beijing Rose Studio, which made her the pioneer of Chinese Haute Couture.

In an exclusive interview for Fashion Studio Magazine, Guo Pei discusses the Chinese fashion market and her successful journey as a couture designer. She also talks about her unique approach to fashion design and reveals some of her ambitious plans for the future.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Fast Company selected Guo Pei as one of their 2014 Innovative Company award winners.  She's in the top 25 on the list for reviving the art of Chinese embroidery and craftsmanship. ~  D

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Michigan Today » RESULTS: The state of Entrepreneurship 2014

Michigan Today » RESULTS:  The state of Entrepreneurship 2014 | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Michigan venture capital vs. national venture capital

Growing entrepreneurship is a major goal of the state, and the Michigan Economic Development Corporation (MEDC) is seeing results.

Relative to the national landscape, from 2008-12, the Michigan venture capital community has demonstrated strong growth, while the national venture capital landscape has contracted over the same time period.

The MEDC offers millions in grants and loans to in-state ventures, often working through venture capital and private equity partners.



Paula Sorrell, managing director of entrepreneurship and innovation for the MEDC, sees a wide range of startups in the state, including medical devices, biotech, IT, and advanced materials.



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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is great news for Michigan and SE Michigan in particular.  There is a way to help deal with the brain drain of talent leaving Michigan and entrepreneurs are an essential part of it.   
      
See photos from the recent ACE 2014 Entrepreneurs Collaborative here. 

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Universities Embracing ‘Incubators’ Role with Tech Start-ups

Universities Embracing ‘Incubators’ Role with Tech Start-ups | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

 "Hundreds of US colleges and universities have created incubators, aiming to provide a different kind of educational experience, and a chance for a successful company."


 

Excerpts:
 

Just before graduating from the University of Michigan, Calvin Schemanski began his start-up.

 

With two classmates, he got free office space on campus and $7,500 in funding from the university’s student startup accelerator, TechArb.

 

___________________________
     
 “there is a good support network” of professors and mentors to help students and new graduates get their startups going."

    

___________________________


The project, a restaurant recommendation app called MyFab5 using a “favorites” formula, is now preparing a national launch.

 

The project is among dozens at Michigan and thousands across the United States getting help from “incubators” at US colleges and universities, often with a dream of launching the new Facebook or Google.

 

“There’s a real spark of entrepreneurship on campus,” said Schemanski, who graduated in 2012 with a business degree.

 

...The 23-year-old, who had begun his own pedicab service as a freshman, acknowledged that “it’s definitely a sacrifice” to work nights and weekends on these projects while other students attend parties and football games."

 

But he said “there is a good support network” of professors and mentors to help students and new graduates get their startups going."

 

Click headline to read more--


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Via Chuck Sherwood, Senior Associate, TeleDimensions, Inc, U-M Human Resource Development
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Universities have been seen as staid, behind the times ivory towers.  With declining state funding at publics & escalating costs everwhere, there is an entrepreneurial spirit entering the academic halls, and this is witness to it. ~  D

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Carrie Davis Childerston's curator insight, December 4, 2013 9:03 AM

From Pedi Cabs to Restaurent Apps.. this U of M grad is one to watch.

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The "Un-CEO" Of W.L. Gore, How To Deal With Chaos, Terry Kelly

The "Un-CEO" Of W.L. Gore, How To Deal With Chaos, Terry Kelly | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Embrace "rainmakers," says the leader of the company behind Gore-tex. Her mantra for seeing 10,000 associates in dozens of countries through turbulent times: maturity.


We have what we call rainmakers and implementers,” Kelly explains.


________________________

So we try to protect the rainmakers. That means we have to be comfortable with more chaos.”

________________________


“Rainmakers come up with wild ideas, implementers make them real. The two drive each other crazy. If you’re not careful, control will gravitate to the implementers. So we try to protect the rainmakers. That means we have to be comfortable with more chaos.”


“Our organization is used to dealing with chaos, we have a high tolerance for it. We like to respond to crises. When the ship is under attack, the level of ownership is high, culturally. But you don’t want to run an organization that is constantly under attack.”

~ Deb
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Not everything is innovative and cutting edge at W.L. Gore (Gore-Tex).  As a large private company, they have their share of issues among the ranks.  


Glassdoor, which does tend to draw plenty of naysayers and disgruntled reviews, also provides a negative universe window in, which includes Gore's peer (associates) review process tied to compensation, usually (in my book) a bad idea - to tie compensation to anything involving review.  ~  D

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World for What It Is, or What It Could Be? Elon Musk, Tesla Motors

World for What It Is, or What It Could Be? Elon Musk, Tesla Motors | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

We need people who can execute ...including mastering acceleration.


Elon Musk

Recently featured in a Wall Street Journal article, Musk is compared to Steve Jobs, another visionary, and is then discussed as follows:


Elon Musks's ambitions soar even higher...


His electric-car company Tesla Motors aims to remake the way we drive, while the ultimate goal of his rocket company SpaceX, he said, is to travel to Mars and help build a self-sustaining base there.


______________________

We need people who can execute. Too often people jump ship before they see an idea through...

______________________


Skepticism?  ...each time Mr. Musk delivers a better, less-expensive electric car or launches another rocket successfully, he proves his doubters wrong.


...he co-founded a multibillion-dollar company called PayPal.


...Musk...taught himself to code and program software by the age of 12.


After ...leaving a PhD program at Stanford, Musk dedicated himself to the three important problems that would most affect the future of humanity.  "One was the internet, one was clean energy, and one was space."


All three are revolutionary spaces, and to work in all three most certainly requires an individual willing to completely reinvent himself and his expertise to change course as needed.


We need people who can execute. Too often people jump ship before they see an idea through and don't even begin to master the competency of acceleration before they are onto the next thing.


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The Tesla story has elements of sensing the future that can be instructive for anyone in a change space including innovation.  ~  D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, July 10, 2013 11:09 AM

Originally posted on my Change Leadership Watch stream, it also is highly instructive to the innovation theme, especially with the lessons of staying-the-course with the new idea and execution.  ~ Deb

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What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation

What Nassim Taleb Misses About Technology and Innovation | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"What Nassim Taleb misses about technology and innovation is that its purpose is not to entertain the delicate tastes of the chattering classes, but to improve the lives of us all.  ...What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones."


Excerpts: The Usefulness Of Useless Things


What Mr. Taleb fails to understand is that technologists are supremely aware that most of their efforts will come to nothing


_________________________



What, I wonder, would Mr. Taleb make of Edison’s 9,999th try?  

_________________________



...They are, in fact, searching out black swans (to use Mr. Taleb’s own parlance), in full knowledge that they will spend most of their time rushing up blind alleys.  


What, I wonder, would Mr. Taleb make of Edison’s 9,999th try?

The truth is that useless things often end up very useful indeed.  Modern information technology did not originate with engineers, but has its roots in an obscure academic crisis, whose major figures, such as Cantor, Frege, Russell, Wittgenstein, Gödel and others never dreamed that their work would have important practical consequences.


...What Mr. Taleb seems to miss is that these are ...people dedicated to following their dreams and willing to put their own skin in the game to do so.


What’s more, most of technology’s black swans are positive ones. 

As [Greg Satell] recently wrote in the Harvard Business Review, “Innovation is a particularly sticky problem because it so often remains undefined.”  You can’t simply focus on the technologies that are sure bets, but must take into account the entire matrix (pictured in the article, four quadrants.)

 

... the logical consequence of his argument) is that we should remain in the upper right quadrant, where both the problem and the domain are well defined and he would presumably assign the lowest value on basic research and disruptive innovation, which have no clear applicability.


Yet it is there that we break truly new ground.


Deb's related posts:


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is a follow-up on the "Anti-Fragile" post below.  The author discusses failure is an important part of the process leading to success, as author Greg Satell explains via the nature of innovation.  


This seems to be a worthy new perspective and critique of Taleb's work, also listed in our Innovation and Institutions curation stream.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, April 28, 2013 11:25 AM

I've shared news about Taleb's perspective on Change Leadership Watch. It's now paired with this innovation perspective about the place of failure! a compelling view.  ~ D

Bill LeGray's comment, April 29, 2013 11:26 AM
Good thoughts verey deeply buried within the Social Media mileau. BUT not so deep I will not try to follow the Change Leadership Watch, and other excellent Forums provided by Scoop It. In fact, while quite broad, the entire Innovatioon and Institutions stream may be worth a look now and then. Deb; "Thanks for leading the way for creativity, process changes, and obtaining "better" innovations and institutions with more properly responsive institutional outcomes."
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, April 30, 2013 3:37 PM
Thanks for the comment Bill. Best to you.
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Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Is No Fool

Yahoo's Marissa Mayer Is No Fool | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Like any good leader, she knows who creates real value, and how, in her company." She's seen and is acting on the performance results.

___________________

...she was predisposed to consider physical (co)presence as essential to digital innovation success...

___________________


Blog author Michael Schrage says,


"Mayer's Google background (and impact) suggested that she was predisposed to consider physical (co)presence as essential to digital innovation success as computational/design brilliance.


…the Googleplex for its employees wasn't health food benevolence, it was to keep people on campus working together."

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is an opposing view to the last ScoopIt post.    Seven (7) months is still a short term view in light of this HBR blogger's view that Ms. Mayer is on the right track.


Previous culture can also be a blind spot.  One culture's success does not always paste onto another's key needs.

Change colleague Liz Guthridge, who specializes in change communication, suggests that leaders Avoid “taser” asks to get others to act, referencing Mayer's style of communicating the change.  I tend to agree with Liz.  Yet, there are bigger issues than communication mistakes.    


Time will tell.  ~ Deb

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J.C. Penny update: Too Much Change, Too Fast? Or Customer Connection failure?

J.C. Penny update:  Too Much Change, Too Fast? Or Customer Connection failure? | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

It is less about how fast CEOs are willing to move than how quickly their most reliable customers are prepared to change.

   

Ron Johnson's bold overhaul of the sagging American retailing icon J.C. Penny went too far too fast.


_______________
    
Failure simply means leadership went too fast or didn't go fast enough. That's rationalization, not insight.


_______________

   

 When "reckless" moves succeed, they're retrospectively rebranded as "bold." When "timidity" triumphs, it's celebrated as "patient" and "safe."

  

Failure simply means leadership went too fast or didn't go fast enough. That's rationalization, not insight.

  

How fast are your customers willing to change?

 

Your own rate of change is determined less by the quality or price/performance of your offerings than the measurable readiness of your customers and clients.

  

_______________

   

Electrolux's  70% rule helps identify and clarify their customers' readiness for change.


_______________


   

Their internal readiness matters more than yours. Their inertia matters more than your momentum.

  

Electrolux, has implemented a new "70% rule" for testing its new product innovations to make sure it's not getting too far ahead or falling too quickly behind either its customers or competitors.

 

Electrolux CEO Keith McLoughlin has declared that new product prototypes have to enjoy at least a 70% customer preference rate in blind competition with best-selling rival products. "

 

Speed to market" isn't what's driving the change.

 

The goal is assuring that the firm's ability to innovate is effectively aligned with the customers' willingness to value them. The 70% rule helps identify and clarify their customers' readiness for change.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

It's alluring, thinking it is about getting the amount of change just right.  Wrong focus.  It is about where and who the customers area, and how adaptable and ready they are for change.


On the individual level, it's also about preferences for change.  The assessment tool, iWam (the Inventory for Work Attitude and Motivation) has a "clock" feature that shows individual preferences for change.  

As goes the individual, probably so goes the customer culture, witness the articles overview of the tech market and the appliances market.  ~ D

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Leading in a VUCA change world - Are you ready for the volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous?

Leading in a VUCA change world - Are you ready for the volatile, uncertain, complex & ambiguous? | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"How’s your leadership working on in your VUCA world (Volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous)? "


Liz Guthridge has written a great post on leading in a VUCA world; VCUA stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous, a term coined by the US Army War College in the weeks before September 11, 2001.  


Liz & I discussed the need for collaboration and community across disciplines to succeed in a VUCA world in connection with our recent panel + Open Space presentation we did for a global change conference on Success Secrets of Trusted Change Advisors.


__________________________


VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen

__________________________


Here are some excerpts of her take on the insightful presentation by one of our keynote presenters:


"Leading in a VUCA world" is a popular phrase with Bob Johansen, a distinguished fellow and former president of Institute for the Future.


According to Dr. Johansen, who shared his 2020 forecast at the Association of Change Management Professionals global conference this week, our VUCA world is not going away. In fact it’s just going to spin faster during the next decade.


In his talk “External Future Forces That Will Disrupt the Practice of Change Management,” Dr. Johansen noted that VUCA is not necessarily doom and gloom. While VUCA can provide threats, it also can offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.”


As for his two big 2022 predictions for organizational change agents, they are:


1. “The digital natives (now 16 years or younger) will create new practices to make change through gaming.” (The other key phrase besides gaming in this sentence is “make.” Dr. Johansen predicts that a culture of makers will drive the next generation of change. And as a result, leaders need to show the “maker instinct” trait.)


2. “Reciprocity-based innovation will focus on the economic, social and psychological value of reciprocity.” (Two important traits for leaders are smart-mob organizing and commons creating. Think Creative Commons.)


Dr. Johansen challenged the 825 of us in attendance to figure out how to help people and organizations adapt to these changes and others.


To do this, we should watch our terms and our questions.  Read Liz's full post here.

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Tom Hood's curator insight, April 6, 2013 5:16 PM

We just covered this in our townhall this past Monday. Arelene Thomas (AICPA/CGMA) talked about VUCA related to CPAs in Biz/Industry.


VUCA can provide threats [and] offer opportunities, especially if you translate VUCA as “vision, understanding, clarity and agility.” ~ Dr. Bob Johansen

Ivon Prefontaine's curator insight, April 6, 2013 5:26 PM

We need to consider VUCA

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Youth and Optimism: Emotional Intelligence foundation skills for the Future of Change Resiliency

Youth and Optimism: Emotional Intelligence foundation skills for the Future of Change Resiliency | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Introducing students as young as 13 to the principles of EI can have an significant impact on behaviour and academic performance.  The benefits only increase as the students mature towards school leaving age."


This HR article captures the systemic nature of our education system and the need for long term thinking, especially with the decline of creativity in the U.S.


Excerpts:


Dr Martin Seligman of the University of Pennsylvania found that scores on a test of optimism in 500 UPENN freshmen were a better predictor of actual grades during their first year than SAT scores or high school grades.


...There is no doubt that by measuring and developing key emotional elements such as self-awareness, empathy, adaptability, relationship skills and optimism (none of which you will find on the curriculum of most schools today!) [improves] our predictions around which students will succeed and which may need more support.


...we can actually improve academic results and, even more importantly, prepare our young people better for higher education or the workplace.

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Leading the Continuous Innovation INFOGRAPHIC: Culture, Fringe Experiments, Customer Immersion

Leading the Continuous Innovation INFOGRAPHIC: Culture, Fringe Experiments, Customer Immersion | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

How can change leaders support high performance, innovative teams? The infographic below cites 10 innovation strategies.  This is close.  There will be more of these process charts and innovation graphics.  


This one features:


Step 2:  Working at the organization's edges, the fringe & close to customers (I've heard Dr. Jeff DeGraff talk about fringe teams this year.)


Step 3:  Culture that  supports experimentation, failure.  This is ubiquitous in mention, scarce in after-the-fact reporting.  Better known examples, 3M (Post-Its) and Google (Google Lab: Buzz, Wave, etc.)


Step 6: Customer immersion, pain points


Step 10:  Metrics, measures

 

Sources include:  Christensen & Raynor, The Innovator's Solution: Creating & Sustaining Successful Growth, 2003  


Note the continuous improvement language, adjusted slightly, a 'la W. Edwards Deming:  Ready, Aim, Fire, Adjust.  Like Plan, Do, Check, Act.


Via Jonha Revesencio
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Smart profits, smart values and sustainability from a bank boss who dares to be different

Smart profits, smart values and sustainability from a bank boss who dares to be different | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Anders Bouvin is the boss of the most successful bank you've probably never heard of. And he, like the bank he runs, will challenge your preconceptions.   

    

For starters, this African-born, Swedish chief executive of Handelsbanken's growing UK operation doesn't receive an annual bonus, ...[and] has been with the Swedish bank for 28 years.

    

Most surprisingly, the 55-year-old supports west London's Queens Park Rangers Football Club with a passion intriguing for a Swede who spent the first 10 years of his life growing up in Zimbabwe.

   

….Anders Bouvin…was thrilled to be offered a job…in a company "whose values coincided completely with my own".

    

Those values - long-term-ism, and a philosophy of de-centralization encapsulated in the slogan "the branch is the bank" - seem almost too good to be true in a current banking era of fines, debt crises and outsourced customer service.

  

Big banks, according to the popular narrative, were the primary causers of the global debt crisis thanks to their reckless investment in high-risk mortgage-backed bonds.

    

Handelsbanken says its branches, such as this one in Aberdeen, come first


But Handelsbanken remained above the fray, emerging with a balance sheet strong enough to make European banking regulators purr with delight.


…next to no marketing keeps overheads down and return on equity up.

     

At Handelsbanken returning a share of the profits to long-term staff is also key. If the bank exceeds the average profitability rate of its peers, then surplus profits are put into a fund and distributed to all the staff.

    

Handelsbanken
*  Founded in 1871
*  Has no sales or market-share targets
*  Staff get flat salaries without bonuses
*  Claims to have achieved higher profitability than the average of its rivals for 41 years in a row


...Handelsbanken, headquarter[ed] in London, is expanding to meet increased demand while some of its larger rivals get smaller.


"Many banks are having to absorb huge losses and have had to shrink to repair their balance sheets... and there are clear indications that SMEs [small and medium-sized businesses] are bearing the brunt of this. It's very sad."


All in all, Anders Bouvin appears the least likely candidate for executive burnout you'll ever meet.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This is yet another positive example of how smart, people-centered values, with decision-making driven down the chain and low hierarchy, can drive profitability and sustainability, even in one of the most traditional industries. More information on comparisons with other business models to follow. ~ Deb


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 26, 3:02 PM

This is yet another positive example of how smart, people-centered values, with decision-making driven down the chain and low hierarchy, can drive profitability and sustainability, even in one of the most traditional industries. ~ Deb

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Leaders Who Make a Difference: The World's Top 50 Most Innovative Companies 2014

Leaders Who Make a Difference:  The World's Top 50 Most Innovative Companies 2014 | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

There's another kind of faith in business: the belief that a product or service can radically remake an industry, change consumer habits, challenge economic assumptions. Proof for such innovative leaps is thin....Yet breakthrough progress often requires wide-eyed hope.

From the list of 50, a sampling:

1) GOOGLE
FOR BECOMING A $350 BILLION GIANT THAT LETS LOOSE ALMOST TOO MANY INNOVATIONS AND MILESTONES TO COUNT.


2) BLOOMBERG PHILANTHROPIES
For doing good, methodically, using data to answer questions other foundations aren't asking


3) XIAOMI
FOR REINVENTING THE SMARTPHONE BUSINESS MODEL IN THE WORLD'S LARGEST MOBILE MARKET.


7) NIKE
For setting a sustainable example.


9) DONORSCHOOSE.ORG
FOR SETTING ITS SIGHTS ON EDUCATION REFORM,…avoiding unions and politicos by crowdsourcing direct assistance to teachers. 


11) DODGE
For being a part of the conversation, no matter what.


15) MICHAEL KORS
FOR WINNING TWO FASHION RACES AT ONCE

    

24) ROSE STUDIO
For reviving the art of Chinese embroidery and  craftsmanship 

    

43) BRIGHTFARMS
FOR PULLING GAS-BELCHING 18-WHEELERS OFF THE ROAD.

    

44) IROBOT
For building the bots that live among us

    
More about the 50 companies, and the full list are here.


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Photo via Fast Company- featuring DonorsChoose.org
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The top innovative companies have leaders who know how to sense and respond, as well as adapt.  ~  D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 10, 9:18 AM

Fast company has a mix of what defines innovative companies that mixes old and new, connected to adaptability and flexibility.  

See the companion article on the 12 rising innovation qualities spotted in this 2014 list of companies as well as a comment comparing innovative company ranking methods to Forbes.
 ~  Deb

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Zappos is going Holacratic: No Job Titles, No Managers, No Hierarchy

Zappos is going Holacratic: No Job Titles, No Managers, No Hierarchy | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

“Zappos’ focus on core values and culture has done a remarkably good job of getting around the limits of a conventional corporate structure.” .....“Leaders that already understand the limits of conventional structures are the ones that are attracted to Holacracy.”


__________________
    
“Leaders that already understand the limits of conventional structures are the ones that are attracted to Holacracy.”

       
__________________


CEOs who sign on to Holacracy agree to cede some level of power*. The advantage is that they get to view their company through an entirely different lens. But it’s an adjustment for both leaders and employees. Zappos, which has 1,500 employees, will be the largest company to date to implement Holacracy.


DN:  My contention is hierarchical & autocratic power has natural limits anyway. 


From a recent Forbes article:


…E-commerce retailers like Zappos to tech companies like Valve (famous for having no bosses) to manufacturers like W.L. Gore (famous for democratically electing its CEO), flat organizations are prospering.“There is a growing body of evidence that shows organizations with flat structures outperform those with more traditional hierarchies in most situations,” wrote Tim Kastelle in the Harvard Business Review.


Flat structures work best when a company’s main point of differentiation is innovation, said Kastelle. They also work well when teams need to be more nimble to respond to a rapidly changing environment, and when the organization has a shared purpose, he added.


…Digital and mobile technologies make it easier for employees to work in a distributed manner, wrote Kastelle.


ANOTHER Forbes article provides a counterpoint,  by a former Wall Street Journal writer, is entitled:   Gurus Gone Wild: Does Zappos' Reorganization Make Any Sense?   He quotes another blogger, William Tincup, who lists 6 problems with Holacracy.


Here are four of them in a nutshell:


  • Holacracy seems to be a scheme that’s built for growth, upmarket, happy times


  • People that will thrive in this system will be: (1) people that have a problem with authority, (2) people that can consume ambiguity, and (3) independent thinkers and doers. ...They will argue that it’s an efficient system, a lean system, and it will be at the expense of diversity. 

    

  • Holacracy [is a] value system. Kind of seems cultish, right? 
    
  • How will it scale?    Holacracy is a paper napkin idea that might best fit less than 1% of the companies in America.


Related posts & tools by Deb:


      

            

         

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Zappos is known for its zany corporate culture based on 10 core values, innovative/ alternative work environment, and for legendary customer service.  Now Zappos may become known for breaking the hierarchy barriers to how innovative companies are structured and function.  We'll soon find out if it will scale in the bigger organization that is Zappos.


Flatter, social circle organization seems fully in line with the 10 core values of Zappos.  Overall, their great success can has been attributed to many things, incuding a clear, compelling vision of who and what they are and are not, including "It’s Not about Shoes." 

  • "Zappos is a customer service company that just happens to sell shoes.” -Tony Hsieh


In the same way, Coca-Cola is about entertainment, not sugar-water. Zappos now has legendary customer service stories included in books - such as the one about delivering flowers to a customer whose mom passed away.  Another one is about a Zappos rep talking to a customer for over 8 hours (a record that now has been broken.)


As an example, General Motors has adopted a teams approach in some of its plants, yet moves slowly as large multi-national.  Enter the new team oriented, from the ranks GM CEO Mary Barra.  The times, they are a changing!

Zappos has none of the history of hierarchy and the silo creating 1920's scientific management connected older manufacturing practices, to hold it back.


Welcome to a new view of leadership, 2014 style.  Now, we'll see if it will scale.    ~  D

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Kudos's curator insight, January 11, 4:36 PM

An interesting experiment. The fine line between madness and genious. Can people handle it. Time will tell. 

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From Twitter to a new kind of company with no managers, a "Holocracy"

From Twitter to a new kind of company with no managers, a "Holocracy" | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

“Management perspective looks at reports as resources – like how can you get the maximum value out of this person,” Stirman says. “But when I think resources, I think like natural gas or coal mines. Thinking about a person’s life that way just seemed really dehumanizing.”


______________________

He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof.

______________________


Frustrated with poor results, he decided to go off script. He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof.
 

______________________

 

“We don’t have a hierarchy of people, we have a hierarchy of circles.”

______________________

    

“When you sit across a table from someone, ask them ‘What’s going on in your life?’ That will always remove more hurdles than asking them ‘What’s blocking you at work?’” he said.

Stirman hit another wall trying to shield his team from external drama and politics. “Classic management advice, and all my mentors told me that insulating your team from things so they won’t worry will make them more productive and happier,” he says. “But they just got angry, and confused, and disconnected. I was constantly censoring all this information and they were way happier when they knew everything.”

...“The structure is totally built around the work the company needs to achieve its purpose,” Stirman explains. “We don’t have a hierarchy of people, we have a hierarchy of circles.”


...But Medium isn’t just taking a revolutionary approach to digital publishing – it’s changing the way companies operate too. As one of the fiercest and most faithful adopters of Holacracy – a radical new theory of corporate structure – Medium is experimenting with a completely management-free environment that’s laser focused on getting things done. 


Read more: http://ow.ly/nKJBL

 


Related posts by Deb:

    
   

 

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I have to wonder why this antiquated old-school management advice is still circulating to the likes of of this younger, IT saavy crowd.  Old habits die hard.  

This detailed article cites the positive side of letting go to embrace something very new.  The leader-writer, Jason Stirman, not a manager,  discovered a diverse motivations tool that seems to work for his group, and is in for the long haul on the manager-less experiment with Holacracy.   ~  Deb



 

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Marie Jeffery's curator insight, August 10, 2013 3:02 PM

Thanks for drawing our attention to this excellent post, Deb Nystrom!

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Elon Musk: The mind behind Tesla, SpaceX, SolarCity ...

Entrepreneur Elon Musk is a man with many plans. The founder of PayPal, Tesla Motors and SpaceX sits down with TED curator Chris Anderson to share details about what's next.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

A TED talk that has made it to the list, "15 TED Talks That Will Change Your Life," belongs on this stream, and goes with a previous post here a few days ago.  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, July 22, 2013 1:24 PM

Shared from my Change Leadership Watch as a companion to another innovation post about Elon Musk on this stream.

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Leadership Lesson: The Difference Between Google and Apple

Leadership Lesson: The Difference Between Google and Apple | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Google and Apple - what makes for innovation and what are the lessons learned?

 

...Google could have made the decision to stay solely focused on search, but they had the foresight to move beyond the certainty of what is to pursue new opportunity by focusing on what if.


Apple on the other hand, while once the leading innovator in their space, has ceded that position to other more aggressive players like Samsung, HTC , and yes, Google.


Where Apple went wrong is they began to confuse version releases and feature improvements with innovation.  


Via Susan Bainbridge
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Confusing version releases with innovation Apple?  Mike Myatt takes on "offense and defense."  And so goes the comparisons of two very different cultures and the leaders at the top.  ~  D

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, May 17, 2013 4:29 PM

How innovation wasn't, via Mike Myatt, at Apple vs. Google.  Interesting take worth a look.  ~  D

Ante Lauc's curator insight, May 18, 2013 2:56 AM

I would like that a new firm create their synthesis.

Denize Piccolotto Carvalho's curator insight, May 20, 2013 11:15 AM

Interesting...

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Taking the Bet: Dan Gilbert’s Investment Gamble on Downtown Detroit

Taking the Bet:  Dan Gilbert’s Investment Gamble on Downtown Detroit | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it
Against tall odds, Dan Gilbert, the Quicken Loans chairman, is putting down money to revive a two-square-mile area that was once Detroit’s core.


...His plans, according to academics like Brent D. Ryan, author of “Design After Decline: How America Rebuilds Shrinking Cities,” amount to one of the most ambitious privately financed urban reclamation projects in American history.


Opportunity Detroit, as Mr. Gilbert has branded it, is both a rescue mission and a business venture....   When he started buying in 2011, the city was having what he has described as a “skyscraper sale.”

Related posts by Deb:

    

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I've covered some of Dan's Gilbert's 2011 intentions about downtown Detroit at FutureMidwest, 2011, a photo essay here.   Our cities could be the Amazon rain-forests are to the earth, regulating our air, our weather, our ocean health, as well as our own economic & community future shared with the region and state.  

What I shared on twitter as I listened to Dan Gilbert at FutureMidwest 2011:

  • 25 Things I Learned in 25 Years of Business by Dan Gilbert @quickenloans: #5 Building anything great is messy.  ~  D
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Why Apple, Academia, Tesla & VCs May Die, Disruption Guru Christensen Talks

Why Apple, Academia, Tesla & VCs May Die, Disruption Guru Christensen Talks | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Harvard business professor Clayton Christensen literally wrote the book on technology disruption...and he thinks Apple, Tesla Motors, venture capitalists and most of the nation’s colleges and universities should be afraid."

  

The author of The Innovator’s Dilemma said Wednesday that all of them could be killed by less advanced competitors in the same way that many once dominant technology companies have been in the past.

  

...He believes that and the commoditization of smartphones threaten Apple in the long run.

  

...“For 300 years, higher education was not disruptable because there was no technological core."

  

“But now online learning brings to higher education this technological core, and people who are very complacent are in deep trouble.'

__________________

    

...people who are very complacent are in deep trouble.

__________________


...“there is a different business model that is disrupting this in addition to online learning. It’s on-the-job education. ...you come in for a week and we’ll teach you about strategy and you go off and develop a strategy.  


...You learn it and you use it. These are very different business models and that’s what’s killing us.”

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Yes, this fits what I've been tracking since I left higher education in 2009, and his track record of sensing disruption is impressive.  


Who is responding in ways that make sense?  ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 11, 2013 11:50 AM

I've posted this to BOTH Change Leader Watch & here.  On the Innovations & Institutions stream, I'll be adding examples of organizations that are adapting to this disruption in academe and the other industries mentioned.  ~  Deb

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's comment, February 17, 2013 4:30 PM
Thanks for your comments Marie. Knowledge Management is quite an industry, with various opinions of the traction it holds in business. I am most curious as to where it is headed.
Patrick J Scanlon's curator insight, March 12, 2013 5:58 PM

If you don't like change.  You will like irrelevance even less #media #higherEd #VC

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No More Waiting Room? Change Health Care is Implementing, as Learned From Toyota

No More Waiting Room?  Change Health Care is Implementing, as Learned From Toyota | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"Eliminating waiting rooms?  Medical Assistants that act as project managers for physicians?  The Toyota method reaches healthcare for increasing efficiency and reducing cost."


New healthcare efficiencies were featured in a special report on PBS this week.  Cleveland Clinic is shown eliminating waiting rooms.  


Virgina Mason is featured highligting the "flow director" status of medical assistants.  A crisis drove change at Virgina Mason, which brings up the idea of danger:  crises + opportunity.  How they fared:



____________________


For... routine or uncomplicated back pain, Mecklenburg offered a surprising conclusion...“most of our care process was no help at all.”


____________________



Excerpted:


A crisis drove an innovative breakthrough at Virginia Mason Medical Center. Robert Mecklenburg, MD, was chief of medicine at the hospital in 2004 when the insurance company Aetna threatened to exclude Mecklenburg’s healthcare organization from an elite network.


Aetna was in a powerful position as a purchaser of care for such major companies in the Greater Seattle area as Starbucks, Costco, and Alaska Airlines, among others.


  • At Virginia Mason, the patient was at the top of the pyramid that embodied...its vision to transform health care. But ...employers paid the bills. ...Mecklenburg realized that neither he nor his physician colleagues had ever really considered the companies paying the bills as customers.


Mecklenburg invited Starbucks and Aetna to join with Virginia Mason in forming a marketplace collaborative to identify and solve the quality and costs issues around the treatment of routine or uncomplicated back pain.


Mecklenburg found that money and time were being wasted on expensive visits with primary care physicians and specialists that added little relief to the patients’ conditions.

  

____________________

  

Mecklenburg found money and time were being wasted on expensive visits with ...physicians and specialists that added little relief to the patients’ conditions.

____________________


   

Mecklenburg offered a surprising conclusion...“The value stream showed that most of our care process was no help at all.”

  

A Virginia Mason marketplace collaborative delivered the following benefits.


  • Increased patient capacity. By reducing the number of patients who obtained procedures and tests unnecessarily
  
  • Improved treatment pathways for other health conditions including migraine headaches; breast nodules; shoulder, knee, and hip pain; acid reflux; and cardiac disease.
   
  • Evidence-based scheduling of expensive imaging tests. Using a Toyota principle called “mistake proofing” patients check boxes on a questionnaire to determine their need for MRIs and other imaging tests.


Read the full article here.


Photo credit:  frances1972 (Waiting Room) on Flickr.com


Excerpt is from Pursuing the Triple Aim: Seven Innovators Show the Way to Better Care, Better Health and Lower Costs by Maureen Bisognano and Charles Kenney. Copyright (c) 2012 by John Wiley & Sons Inc.

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Myths & Reality of Control & Corporations, Innovation, Agile & Change Leaders 2012- Forbes

Myths & Reality of Control & Corporations, Innovation, Agile & Change Leaders 2012- Forbes | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

The gem in this Forbes post focusing on reconciling disciplined execution with innovation is that it concludes with how much it IS about control when collaborative group methods, Agile included, are used.


Excerpts:

  


The solutions that the experts have offered to the problem of reconciling disciplined execution with innovation have all tended to be various ways of increasing or modifying control over an increasing number of ideas:

  



What’s annoying about Agile to control-minded management practitioners and theorists is that it recognizes that the problem lies in control itself.


...[It IS about] giving greater freedom to those people doing the work to exercise their talents and creativity, but doing so within short cycles so that those doing the work can themselves see whether they are making progress or not.


...Agile thrives on transparency.

   

...control thrives on non-transparency.


...introducing (real) Agile means exposing all of the non-transparent tricks that hierarchical managers play on their subordinates to maintain power. Is it any wonder that Agile isn’t naturally popular with the command-and-control gang?



Photo credit: Agile Boston event, by IT Event Photography Boston

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Cohabitation, academics & industry: Midwestern colleges launch Innovation campuses, public-private collaboration

Cohabitation, academics & industry: Midwestern colleges launch Innovation campuses, public-private collaboration | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"'Innovation campuses' are springing up everywhere" especially in the Midwest.

 

...the intentional cohabitation of academics and industry is key to all of them, something university leaders say made the ambitious and expensive projects palatable to legislators and voters even as the economy and higher ed appropriations shrunk.

 

Here's sampling of what is under contruction, via Inside Higher Ed:

 

...many [are] in the Midwest and almost all involving fancy new buildings and partnerships between public colleges and private corporations.

 

Public research universities have long had ties to state industries, and technology transfer is widespread in higher education.


The new innovation campuses include:

  • Kansas State University’s Olathe Innovation Campus, which was funded with a county sales tax and built on land donated by a municipality in the Kansas City suburbs.
  • across the state line sits Missouri Innovation Campus, which is being built by the University of Central Missouri and has the enthusiastic support of Democratic Governor Jay Nixon.
  • Nebraska Innovation Campus is under construction on the former state fairgrounds in Lincoln.
  • One state away is South Dakota State University’s Innovation Campus.
  • In Ohio, there’s Akron Innovation Campus.
  • Even the Aussies are getting in on the fun. The University of Wollongong is home to its own Innovation Campus.

 


Via Society for College and University Planning (SCUP)
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