HBR Breakthrough Ideas for 2005

Don't Believe Everything You Read

I've been reading through the Harvard Business Review "Breakthough Ideas for 2005" of which there are twenty of them, to find out if they have anything really new. Interestingly, the last one, "Don't Believe Everything You Read" is the best. Of course, some of the others were good, but nothing really new. In any case, you can find the list on their site, $6.00. I would give you the link, but those people have a problem with others linking to them. LOL Don't forget, there will be an entire book written about each one.

The following ideas from HBR are things we try to accomplish with social media and so of course, I am biased.

4. Demand-Side Innovation, Jeffrey F. Rayport - Each new generation of products and services has half the shelf life of the previous one. To secure a lasting competitive advantage, try shifting your innovation efforts to the demand side. Ultimately, it's how companies orchestrate customer interactions, not just what firms bring to market, that determines whether they live or die. Sounds to me much like open innovation and what we try to do.

5. You Heard It Here First Eric Bonabeau, Although visual technology has about a 20-year jump on audio, the ears are coming into their own. Industries stand to benefit from a host of breakthroughs in sound. Music that influences which wines we buy? Billboards that talk to one person at a time? Believe the buzz.>

6. Seek Validity, Not Reliability, Roger L. Martin - Six Sigma, customer relationship management, and most other corporate systems crank out consistent results, often through analysis of objective data. The outcomes are reliable, but they don't necessarily mean much. Companies that aim for validity instead-by embracing fuzzy data, variability, and inconsistency open the door to innovation and growth.

7. "When",s the New "What" Kirthi Kalyanam'and Monte Zweben, Marketers spend so much time fretting over which people to target with what message that they largely ignore the question of when. Identifying when needs or desires change and determining when customers want help are the best ways to get through. "Dialogue" marketing helps companies spot the hot irons-and strike.

Blog-Trolling in the Bitstream Mohanbir Sawhney - Blogs have the grassroots credibility to influence what people think, do, and buy. Because the blogosphere doesn't rely on marketers as other media branches do, companies that want to tap... Um... I believe we have been doing this for the last eight months with social software applications.

Inversion of PrivacyEuropeans worry about corporate data surveillance. Americans worry more about govemment prying. And the young have fewer qualms than their elders about sharing consum,er information. Companies wrestling with privacy issues take note: A single policy may never suit all.

Tihamer von Ghyczy and Janis Antonovics, It's easy to understand how corporate Darwinism works: Eat before you're eaten. A closer look at biology, though, shows parasitism to be a far more subtle and cunning strategic model. Businesses would do well to take a lesson from the fig wasp.

Don't Believe Everything You Read (Except for This) Jeffrey Pfeffer, Publishers churn out around 3,500 business titles a year, and--wonder of wonders--not all of them offer good advice. Managers who can't afford to waste time on dreck need help navigating the ideas marketplace. Some rules of thumb: Be skeptical of anything touted as "new;' keep an eye out for half-truths, and if someone calls himself a guru, run the other way.

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