Thought Leadership

BPI Network Views & Commentary

Embedding Sustainability into Your Company’s DNA

Today’s entrepreneurs and CEOs are facing challenges of unprecedented magnitude and number, regardless of whether they run a start-up or an ongoing business. These leaders understand that the end-goal is to ensure that, over the long haul, the business itself is sustainable. Sustainability must be viewed and managed in a holistic way, addressing all three pillars - environmental, social, and economic. Some leaders know what they want and what they need to do to improve their sustainability credentials, while there are many others just beginning to consider how best to address these daunting challenges. Either case is perfectly fine, if the leaders recognize that sustainability is a journey and that every company has ample opportunity to progress from where they currently are. Read »

The Power of 10X Thinking

Imagine leading your organization up to ten times better than you do today or increasing your team’s success tenfold. 10X thinking is the golden thread that links all great leaders and is at the core of how to win in the age of disruption. My challenge had been set. I wanted to answer the question: “What must you 10X in order to succeed in a fast changing world?” Read »

LEADERS CAN’T GO IT ALONE: 6 Steps to Building a Coalition

While there is perpetual discussion about what leadership is all about, in the final analysis, leadership is about getting things done. If you cannot move your agenda, you are not a leader. Moreover, an agenda mover knows that he or she cannot do it alone. How you go about conducting a campaign to gain support will determine whether you are a leader who can move agendas forward or simply a dreamer. To be leader who is an agenda mover, you need political skills to build a coalition as well as the managerial skills required to sustain forward movement. Read »

On Living Well: Evolving Population Health to the Next Level

People work for more than money.  They work for a sense of accomplishment and pride in their contributions to a common goal. Some even define themselves by what they do. But money matters. Tremendously. It fuels lifestyle — or lack thereof.  It’s also an underlying stressor that affects everything from workplace performance to home-life stability and personal health. That’s where employers enter the scene in developing benefits that address employees’ needs and stressors — physical, financial, career, social, safety and community — to optimize workplace performance.  Read »

A Recent Study Shows Intellectual Property Supports 30 Percent of Jobs in the US Economy

Patents, trademarks, and copyrights are the primary mechanism for establishing ownership rights to the creations, inventions, and brands that generate tangible economic benefits to their owner. Intellectual property protection helps commerce in the US economy by providing incentives to invent and create by protecting innovators from unauthorized copying. IP also supports entrepreneurial liquidity through mergers, acquisitions, and IPOs and enables a more efficient market for trading in technology and know-how. Read »

The Hole in Your Corporate Head

In the last 20 years, the interest in developing creativity as a component part of a business strategy has grown to become a priority for success. The investment in innovation processes adopted widely in the 1990’s recognised that there needs to be something in the barrel to innovate and just sitting round with a spreadsheet and a 'me too' idea wasn't going to work. Skyscraper organisations such as Apple, Google, Microsoft, Facebook and Amazon claim to be constantly embroiled in a whirlwind of creativity, their employees prodded to use their intuition and novel ideas to fund the demand for new products. Read »

It’s The Culture, Stupid

Only after you have grounded the organization in a culture based upon empowering values can you move on to the “hard stuff." Most CEO’s want to get to the hard stuff right away. They don’t want to bother with the “soft stuff” of values and culture. But what is the point of launching a new product if the organization values hanging on to the old ones? What is the point of implementing lean if most people could care less about waste and efficiency? Read »

Tips for Constructing a Data-Driven Culture

Research Program Manager of APQC, Holly Lyke-Ho-Gland, conducted a survey that covers data and analytics to understand the common challenges and priorities of process and performance management practitioners in 2016. It is discovered while most organizations have embarked on their analysis journey, many still continue to struggle with embedding analytics into their analysis.  Read »

The CMO’s of Tomorrow Will Be Category Designers

In Play Bigger, the authors assemble their findings to introduce the new discipline of category design. By applying category design, companies can create new demand where none existed, conditioning customers’ brains so they change their expectations and buying habits. Read »

SAP’s Maggie Fox: “Digital Transformation Really Comes Down to People”

As the Senior Vice President of SAP Experience, Maggie Fox and her team are responsible for global content production as well as SAP’s digital experience and award-winning brand journalism program. In the third year of a highly successful company-wide digital transformation of their online customer experience, Fox is proud of their achievements, but notes they will continue to transform as customer needs evolve. Read »

How to Lead in High Turbulence

IMD Professor, Tawfik Jelassi, experienced more than just acquiring the position as the Minister of Higher Education, Scientific Research, and Information & Communication Technologies of Tunisia. Read how Tawfik summersizes his personal journey with five lessons he learned through leading in a high turbulence environment.  Read »

Do You Have the Right Implementation Team?

For the last 20 years, R&D Director at IMD, Marco Mancesti, has worked closely on the performance level of several hundred key employees working on strategic initiatives. He has observed that when things go wrong, in most cases it is related to one or several of the following dimensions, which he refer to as the PIKES model. Read »

What's Slowing Down your Organization's Agility?

Organizational agility allows companies to keep pace with the opportunities and threats created by growing customer demands and disruptive changes such as big data and the internet of things. But in order to succeed in this endeavor, organizations must not only track changes in their business environments but also nimbly change direction and implement new initiatives in order to avoid risks or achieve competitive advantages.  Read »

IoT Social Media: Insights Beyond the Buzz

With technology innovation and transformation at the top of the minds of executives across industries, the Internet of Things (IoT) is quickly rising to the forefront of conversations across social platforms. But with all the buzz, how can these executives get beyond the noise and identify the insights that will drive real business value? Read »

Struggling to Find the Right Measures?

Over the past few years, an increasing number of companies have embarked on transformational changes, but research by APQC shows that only about 30 percent of those organizations are happy with their change program’s success. It is typically not the redesign plans that are the source of the frustrations; rather it is the implementation that is directly affected by organizational performance and change management practices. Read »

The Trouble with Being SMART

2016 is here. Worldwide, managers are setting SMART (Specific, Measureable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely) goals, expecting these to make this ‘the year’ to revitalize or transform their businesses. Instead, most of these professionals should retire SMART – or at least rescind its standard operating procedure status. Read »

More Than Copiers; Xerox Leads Innovation With Cutting Edge BPO

Xerox has been a global icon of innovation for 75 years. Its army of scientists and engineers have invented everything from xerography to the Ethernet and even the computer mouse. But the company’s recent reinvention of itself – from the famed copier/printer maker, to the world leader in business process services and document management – must, itself, surely rank among the world’s most remarkable examples of successful innovation delivery. Read »

Exploring What's Possible With an Innovation Insurgent

To imagine a future is easy, to imagine one that matters is another story. The world is changing fast. I see it everyday in the articles and stories that get shared on my self-curated Twitter feed, as well as the conversations I have with people trying to change the world. For example, articles on how a future without cows is near, another on how our future food intake will include bugs, and another on how a self-driving car was pulled over. These are just articles related to the future of food and transportation, dig deeper and you'll get a picture into how various industries are changing and how others are being created in front of us. Read »

The Vision of Transformation Requires Action, Not Just Words

Around the world, CIOs preach the benefits of transformation as choirs of business executives back them up. This change will yield faster app development. It will improve customer service. It will tap into the swelling river of data. It will build a competitive advantage. And, most of all, it will widen the profit margin. Read »

How to Make a Business Case for Learning and Development

Although more businesses than ever now appreciate the benefits of learning and development, there are still those digging their heels in and ignoring the evidence that a robust learning and development programme offers a great deal of benefits to companies of all kinds. Read »

A Communication Framework for Change Agents

While organizations thrive on change, people often don’t. People don’t embrace change at the same pace (and some never will). How you communicate new ideas plays a huge role in how well they're received and how quickly they're adopted. Read »

New Digital Disruptors that Gratify and Excite Consumers Eclipse Tech Brand Incumbents in Innovation Rankings

The 2015 consumer study by research consultancy Brand Keys to rank the top 20 tech innovation brands reveals that seven newcomers – including collaborative messaging platform Slack, audio platform SoundCloud, and Tesla Motors, the inventive manufacturer of premium electric vehicles – are now seen as among the most admired brands for delivering on a new set of consumer expectations and experiences. Read »

The New Era of Global Supply Chain Ecosystems- Complex But Strategic

Supply Chains are the arteries of today’s globalised economy – they enable the international trade flows that empower global commerce. Today’s Supply Chains are evolving to reflect the increased complexity of world trade – a highly competitive, super connected, fast changing and increasingly volatile global environment, which is progressively more difficult to predict. Read »

Multi-Dimensional Thinking And Collaborative Mindset Key To Business Leadership In An Unpredictable And Interdependent World

Staying ahead of the game and achieving success is difficult when there are so many simultaneous disruptive forces rendering it impossible to extrapolate recent experience into the future. With organizations subject to ever increasing scrutiny from multiple internal and external stakeholders in a transparent world, the biggest challenges straddling borders and boundaries, leaders must be open to continuous learning and adopting new skills from a whole range of disciplines. The book is a guide to a more sustainable and inclusive future in which solutions to the wicked nature of the world’s problems are to be found via collaborative approaches between business, government and civil society.   Read »

How One African 'Misruptive' Innovation Company is Storming a Key US Market

A South African start-up is rapidly defining a new kind of business disruption in the US tech sector.  Call it “mis-ruptive” innovation: breaking into a major new market by accident – and then storming that market by sticking to the same, humble business model devised for the original market. Now, this Johannesburg-based application delivery controller (ADC) start-up has 10,000 customers in 50 countries, including Intel and euroVPS. But what makes Snapt successfully misruptive is that – despite stumbling upon the lucrative new market of large enterprises – they have kept their misdirected, freakishly generous pricing and business model. Read »

New Disruption Study: How Entrepreneurship is Driving Corporate Reinvention

With the inevitable rise of entrepreneurship and startups driving customer innovation, incumbent companies have begun adopting some of their techniques to either catch up or really stimulate transformation within the enterprise. A recent report by BPI Network called “Start-Up Innovation: Inspiring Business Transformation,” examines the impact of digital disruption on global enterprises and markets. Read »

Praying for the Engagement of Disengaged Millennial Talent!

In an age where Millennials are changing jobs almost as often as they change underwear, leaders are struggling to find ways to actively engage and bond with Millennial talent. And with the most recent Gallup Research showing that 70% of employees are actively disengaged, these new engagement tactics are more important than ever. In this commentary, Dõv Baron discusses how employers can give their workforce purpose and find engagement that sticks! He wraps up the article with three vitally important points for all leaders to consider in their company's engagement strategy.    Read »

Is VUCA the End of Strategy and Leadership?

In the current era of volatility, unpredictability, complexity and ambiguity, managers need to adapt the way to navigate. We’ve all been in meetings during which two parties were arguing about whether they should spend their time discussing strategy or focus on organizing immediate action. This kind of debate is likely to become more and more frequent. So change is not new, and the influence of external forces is an often-examined topic in academic literature. For example, Michael Porter’s five forces analysis, by looking at suppliers, buyers, new entrants and substitute products is still extremely relevant in determining the competitive intensity and thus the attractiveness of an industry. So what is different now? Read »

How Mindful Innovation is Accelerating the Rate of Health & Performance in the Enterprise

BPI Leader and Game Changer Les C. Meyer discusses his work on Mindful Innovation in the Workplace and how it is driving change and accelerating the rate of health and performance improvement innovation leadership in America and around the globe. His vision is to refine organization health strategies, reveal population health improvement interventions and weigh productive advantage business models to improve the economic wellbeing and quality of life of consumers worldwide.  Read »

Forget ROI: Aetna CEO's Perspective on Wellness & Functionality

A broader value proposition to achieve better health and functionality has emerged in the corporate wellness space. Instead of discussing ROI in the context of healthcare costs, CEOs are putting their people — and their functional well-being — at the core of a mission to expand the rigorous, more relevant value-on-investment (VOI) analysis to include organization health business impact.  Les. C. Meyer, BPI Leader and Game Changer, interviews Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna, in a thought provoking discussion on Mindfulness at Work, a breakthrough program piloted by Aetna, and it's outcomes.  Read »

Why the Book "No More Business As Usual" Matters

The last decade has witnessed revolutionary changes to business across the globe. Today’s business leaders have to wrestle with diverse, intricate and multifaceted challenges: globalization, technological advances, digitization, climate change, organizational sustainability, a global credit crunch—the list is endlessly growing. There are substantial and vast changes yet to come that will disturb and alter every aspect of business and transform everything the way we know it today. Organizations must constantly change if they are to flourish and thrive in an increasingly precarious business environment.  Read »

Rocket Fuel

If we had our way, we would eliminate the titles of CEO, president, COO, or general manager. There are two distinct types of leaders in all small businesses: the “Visionary” and the “Integrator.” One sees the future, and the other makes it happen. These two roles could not be more different from each other. That is why it is magic when they work well together. Famous examples include the combination of Walt and Roy Disney at Disney, Henry Ford and James Couzens at Ford, and Ray Kroc and Fred Turner at McDonald’s. While you may think of these as large companies, they were small once. We point them out since they illustrate how vital the V/I (Visionary/Integrator) combination was in their early growth.   Read »

It’s Time for Startup Founders and Investors to Think Bigger

Now begins the era of the alternate economy. It is entirely possible to create a virtual economy, featuring a virtual currency and even an element of direct-democracy, on a global scale and with minimal funding. Why not create a system that allows you to form mutually-beneficial relationships with new people? This concept can be the core of an alternate economy and we can call it the People Economy. While today’s Corporate Economy is structured around the relationships people have with companies, the People Economy emphasizes dynamic economic relationships between people with compatible wants and needs. Read »

Nike, Microsoft, and the NFL Tackle Innovation

What do Nike, SG Helmets, and Microsoft have in common? They are driving innovation in the products used by players and coaches in the National Football League (NFL). Although the game itself hasn’t changed dramatically over the years, today’s players in the NFL can play in greater comfort and safety, thanks in part to 2014 Edison Award winners Nike and SG Helmets.  Read »

How To Figure Out the Crucial First Step to Innovation

When it comes to innovation, one of the biggest hindrances a company can face is actually its own mindset. While it’s immensely challenging to develop and deliver innovative products and services in today’s world, it’s impossible to do so if a company actually believes it’s not capable of delivering a breakthrough. Learn about how Kraft’s VP of Product Innovation, Barry Calpino, grappled to create a plan to bring Kraft from worst to first—to move from launching 130 tactical, uninspired, half-efforts to confidently bankrolling 12 big initiatives that would generate unprecedented successes. Read »

The Necessity of Digital Business Transformation

Companies need to embrace a digital presence for business transformation. But how can this be done most effectively? Digital transformation is not about putting an online wrapper around the existing product suite; it’s about fundamentally rethinking the company, from customer acquisition and retention, to market expansion and product innovation. BPI Leader Adriaan Bouten discusses the vital importance of digital transformation and highlights key steps in ensuring its successful implementation.  Read »

Intrapreneurs: A great idea but inside a big company, can they possibly succeed?

Can intrapreneurship help fast track new offerings and explore innovation opportunities? And if so, how can we measure an intrapreneur's mindset? In other words, how can we turn that thinking into a science that is replicable and actionable? At what point do you judge success or failure, when either condition is just around the bend? Andrew Simon explores the reasons behind why intrapreneurship has failed at large companies and offers up some ideas to consider that could allow for effective intrapreneurship, even within a large organization. Read »

Cognician’s Path to Innovation Came from Personal Interaction

Thanks to an inspiring personal interaction, Cognician Inc., a web-based e-learning platform, was developed to guide users through a conversation desgined to spur innovative, higher-order thinking. Cognician is changing the e-learning landscape with interactive chat capabilities that create a more immersive experience. The founder’s innovation was the result of a real-world chat by practicing a modern incarnation of the Socratic method of conversation. But once you’ve made your first innovative leap forward, how do you keep the momentum going? Read »

When it comes to Innovation, Startups and Big Companies Share Some Common Approaches

How can larger, more established companies foster the innovative nature of Startups? To address the innovation challenge, AT&T has taken two giant steps toward building an innovation culture. The first is an internal program called the Pipeline in which 5,000 ideas per month have been submitted since the program was launched in 2009. The second program is the Foundry, where technologists and other subject matter experts work in open, dedicated spaces to explore new ideas. AT&T, and Israeli startup Waze offer a perfect study on how to capitalize on innovation and keep the entrepreneurial spirit alive. Read »

Enabling Breakthrough Innovation

What would happen if a company thought beyond its current market focus? Identifying White Space opportunities enables breakthrough innovations through insight combinations. Breakthrough innovation requires new ways of thinking about customers, markets and companies. Mobile giant Ericsson is a prime example of a company that thought beyond its current market focus to create opportunities for itself and its partners. Their approach has the goal of “using innovation to empower people, business and society within an envisaged ‘networked society’ that is sustainable and where everything and everyone that can benefit from a connection will have one.” Here is a closer look at the foundational insights for this breakthrough opportunity. Read »

Pivotal Practices for Leading Innovation

Listening like a master and seeing patterns: The two pivotal practices for leading innovation. Leading innovation requires a distinct set of learnable skills. These skills, often hidden from view, are instrumental to developing the culture, people, and structures needed to innovate. Amiel Handelsman describes how to elevate your game from the "B" level to the "A" level by providing internal stimuli and sourcing external ideas. This article describes what it means to listen like a master and see patterns-- how to practice these in a way that boosts innovation. Read »