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jerryking : out-of-the-box   8

Renowned microbiologist Frank Plummer helped fight AIDS and SARS - The Globe and Mail
His list of honours and awards take up more than a full page of his CV, in single-spaced, 11-point font. Among them: the prestigious Canada Gairdner Wightman Award in 2016, the Killam Prize in 2014 and his appointment as an officer of the Order of Canada in 2006.

When asked to describe him, his fellow scientists frequently used the word “brilliant” and referred to his “out-of-the-box” thinking.

Dr. Ronald, for example, said the two first met when Dr. Plummer was completing his medical studies at the University of Manitoba. “He was brilliant and he quickly mastered complex molecular biology that was beyond me,” Dr. Ronald wrote in an e-mail.

Larry Gelmon, his friend and colleague based in Nairobi, said he possessed a creative mind, finding new ways of conducting research and raising questions no one else had asked.
AIDS  biologists  Kenya  molecular_biology  obituaries  out-of-the-box  PhDs  questions  SARS 
16 days ago by jerryking
Business leaders are blinded by industry boundaries
April 22, 2019 | Financial Times | Rita McGrath.

Why is it so hard for executives to anticipate the major shifts that can determine the destiny of their organisations? Andy Grove called these moments “strategic inflection points”. For some, he wrote, “That change can mean an opportunity to rise to new heights. But it may just as likely signal the beginning of the end.”

Industry leaders would do well to focus on productive opportunities, even when they lie outside a fairly well-bounded industry. Want to survive a strategic inflection point? Stop focusing on traditional metrics and find new customer needs that your organisation can uniquely address.

Why do business leaders so often miss these shifts? Successful companies such as BlackBerry maker Research In Motion and Nokia did not heed the early signs of a move to app-based smartphones. Video rental chain Blockbuster failed to acquire Netflix when it had the chance, in 2000.

Senior people rise to the top by mastering management of the KPIs in that sector. This, in turn, shapes how they look at the world. The problem is a strategic inflection point can occur and render the reference points they have developed obsolete. Take traditional retail. Its key metrics have to do with limited real estate, such as sales per square metre. Introduce the internet and those measures are useless. And yet traditional systems, rewards and measures are all built around them.....British economist Edith Penrose grasped this crucial link, she asked, “What is an industry?” In her studies, executives did not confine themselves to single industries, they expanded into any market where their business might find profitable growth.

Consider the energy sector: Historically, most power generators and utilities were heavily regulated...The sector’s suppliers likewise expected steady demand and a quiet life....that business has been rocked by slow-moving shifts many players talked about, but did not act upon. The rise of distributed energy generation, the maturing of renewable technology, increased conservation and new rules have eroded the traditional model. Many failed to heed the warnings. In 2015, General Electric spent about $10bn to acquire Alstom’s power business. Finance chief Jeff Bornstein crowed at the time that it could be GE’s best acquisition ever. Blinded by traditional metrics, GE doubled down on fossil-fuel-fired turbines just as renewables were becoming cost competitive.

Consider razor blades: Procter & Gamble’s Gillette brand of razors had long enjoyed a competitive advantage. For decades, the company had invested in developing premium products, charged premium prices, invested heavily in marketing and used its clout to get those razors into every traditional retail outlet. A new breed of online rivals such as Dollar Shave Club and Harry’s have upended that model, reselling outsourced razors that were “good enough” and cheaper, online via a subscription model that attracted younger, economically pressured customers...... Rather than fork out for elaborate marketing, the upstarts enlisted YouTube and Facebook influencers to get the word out.
Andy_Grove  BlackBerry  blindsided  Blockbuster  brands  cost-consciousness  customer_insights  Dollar_Shave_Club  executive_management  GE  Gillette  good_enough  Harry's  industries  industry_boundaries  inflection_points  Intel  irrelevance  KPIs  metrics  millennials  movingonup  myopic  obsolescence  out-of-the-box  P&G  power_generation  retailers  reward_systems  sales_per_square_foot  shifting_tastes  slowly_moving  warning_signs 
april 2019 by jerryking
Operational Expertise Makes the Difference
Fall 2004 | The Journal of Private Equity | Peter L. Tourtellot

In the last decade, companies in need of innovative change-agents learned to look outside their industries for new chief executives. These leaders were just what the companies needed: outsiders with a fresh perspective that
encourage strategic and organizational change. When a company is in distress. it needs to make drastic changes An industry outsider. with a wide range of operational experience is in the best position to get a handle on the root causes of trouble and identify applicable solutions from other industries that may never have occurred to the faltering company. Simply put. the need for industry experience in a turnaround situation is a myth. An industry outsider is the best source for the out-of-the-box thinking needed to reverse a company's decline.
turnarounds  execution  CEOs  private_equity  change_agents  industry_expertise  expertise  operations  outsiders  decline  out-of-the-box  fresh_eyes 
august 2012 by jerryking
Thinking ‘Outside the Box’ Wastes Time
November 28, 2007 |The Informed Reader - WSJ | Robin Moroney.

managers are at their most creative when focused on specific, provocative questions. This brings out the best in people who are used to being creative within limits, while also keeping the ideas within the realm of the possible.

Ideally, the questions should force managers to approach their product or business from an unconventional direction, and should be carefully selected before the sessions have even begun. Instead of asking generic questions like “How could we cut costs?” a supervisor could ask “What element of our business would we have to eliminate to cut costs 50%, and are there customers who do not need that element?”

As another hint, the authors recommend dividing any large brainstorming meeting into groups of four people, to encourage shy individuals to talk and blowhards to listen to them.
brainstorming  creativity  howto  specificity  questions  unconventional_thinking  constraints  out-of-the-box 
april 2012 by jerryking
Fortress Paper: Outside the box, crazy like a fox -
Aug. 26, 2010 | The Globe and Mail | Dave Ebner

North Vancouver, B.C. — From Thursday's Globe and Mail Published on
Wednesday, Aug. 25, 2010 7:15PM EDT Last updated on Thursday,
investing  value_investing/investors  forestry  deal-making  out-of-the-box 
august 2010 by jerryking
Marketing Myopia
July-August 2004 (Reprint from 1960) | Harvard Business Review | by Theodore Levitt.

Marketing Myopia suggests that businesses will do better in the end if they concentrate on meeting customers’ needs rather than on selling products......

Fundamental idea
The Myopic cultures, Levitt postulated, would pave the way for a business to fall, due to the short-sighted mindset and illusion that a firm is in a so-called 'growth industry'. This belief leads to complacency and a loss of sight of what customers want. It is said that these people focus more on the original product and refuse to adapt directly to the needs and wants of the consumer.

To continue growing, companies must ascertain and act on their customers’ needs and desires, not bank on the presumptive longevity of their products. In every case the reason growth is threatened, slowed or stopped is not because the market is saturated. It is because there has been a failure of management.

Some commentators have suggested that its publication marked the beginning of the modern marketing movement.[2] Its theme is that the vision of most organizations is too constricted by a narrow understanding of what business they are in. .....Organizations found that they had been missing opportunities which were plain to see once they adopted the wider view. ....There is no such a thing as a growth industry. There are only companies organized and operated to create and capitalize on growth opportunities.......There is a greater scope of opportunities as the industry changes. It trains managers to look beyond their current business activities and think "outside the box". . If a buggy whip manufacturer in 1910 defined its business as the "transportation starter business," they might have been able to make the creative leap necessary to move into the automobile business when technological change demanded it.....People who focus on marketing strategy, various predictive techniques, and the customer's lifetime value can rise above myopia to a certain extent.
HBR  marketing  management  filetype:pdf  media:document  Theodore_Levitt  myopic  out-of-the-box  short-sightedness 
february 2010 by jerryking
Practically Speaking - Creative People Say Inspiration Isn’t All Luck - NYTimes.com
Published: October 22, 2008 | New York Times | By MICKEY MEECE

Serendipity often plays a role in generating big ideas...inspiration,
but equally as important is having an open mind — especially in
tumultuous times like these. Big and small ideas are out there--if you
are looking for them.

2008 IdeaFestival was created by Kris Kimel whose own “Aha!” moment
occurred after attending the Sundance Film Festival and wondering about
hosting a diverse festival that celebrates ideas. In 2000, he helped
create the IdeaFestival, which brings together creative thinkers from
different disciplines to connect ideas in science, the arts, design,
business, film, technology and education. The goal is to promote
“out-of-the-box thinking and cross-fertilization as a means toward the
development of innovative ideas, products and creative endeavors.”
Aha!_moments  chance  conferences  contingency  creativity  creative_types  cross-pollination  entrepreneurship  ideas  idea_generation  ideacity  inspiration  luck  Mickey_Meece  open_mind  out-of-the-box  science_&_technology  serendipity  small_business  TED  thinking_big 
april 2009 by jerryking

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