Big Ideas Need to Date, Mate, & Procreate
By Richard Crespin
Sex makes evolution work. Each succeeding generation experiments with the best (or worst) of a pair of genes taken from the prior generation through the magic of procreation. What works for evolution can also work for ideas. In The Rational Optimist, Matt Ridley contends that human progress really took off when ideas started “having sex.” For really big leaps forward in human culture to occur, “...ideas needed to meet and mate... [because] exchange is to cultural evolution as sex is to biological evolution.” When good ideas mate they create even better ideas.
Our own research on innovation shows that the best ideas rarely come from people steeped in one field, but rather between people from different fields. In fact, evolutionary biologists have shown that when communities of humans lose touch with other communities, their progress stagnates and even regresses.
Medieval guilds, value-added selling, and plain old needs-spotting
By Bill Hatton
I will admit a bias: I was dubious about the term shared value, especially when the increasingly popular term became an acronym CSV for Creating Shared Value. It’s not the larger concept or any of the individual concepts with CSV that I objected to. It’s the idea that this is a new concept that (initially) set my nose out of joint. Or rather, the fulsome, unabashed praise it has received as a new way of doing business. It actually comes from business concepts that go way back.
Shared Value, as you recall, is a term popularized by business- strategy gurus Michael Porter and Mark Kramer in a 2006 article in Harvard Business Review. CSV has been growing in popularity ever since, especially among C-level execs in multinational corporations. It’s a concept that companies can “do good” through their core businesses, i.
Some tools to boost your ability to partner effectively
By Richard Crespin
Fail fast. Fail forward. That’s the latest advice from Silicon Valley’s startups. But if you work in a large institution, “fail” is a four letter word. Even if your corporate culture respects smart failure, when you collaborate with partners from the public or civil sector, their cultures may not. We can, though, adapt these startup techniques to form more effective public- private-civil partnerships by doing three things: start with data, recruit strange bedfellows, and co-create.
Start with data. Problems that need public-private-civil collaboration are messy. They don’t have easy-to-understand causes and no one party can solve them on their own. But we crave simplicity, so attempts to solve these problems usually devolve into a witch-hunt or a search for silver bullets.
What for-profits can learn from the likes of NGOs.
By Melissa Fleming
Consumers are demanding corporate social responsibility from the companies whose products or services they purchase. According to the 2013 Cone Communications/EchoGlobal CSR Study, 91 percent of consumers are likely to switch brands to one associated with a good cause, and only 7 percent think it’s enough for companies to engage in issues through donations. Nonprofits have developed approaches and skills that for-profits could benefit from as well:
Compelling mission—internal benefits. Most people want to do work that really matters. Working for a nonprofit is rewarding, because the organization has meaning built into its mission.
Top talent vets potential employers. Be prepared.
By Mike Zammuto
When recruiting new talent, an HR department is not just selling a job description and a set of benefits; the department is selling the company itself, its identity and its corporate reputation. Top-shelf talents, especially executive-level talents, take this very seriously, as evidenced by the perpetual lists of “best companies to work for.” These would-be employees are all too willing to check out potential employers on the Web, and as such, an adverse online reputation can sink a company’s prospects of landing those most desirable employees. Anything from consumer complaints to corporate PR breakdowns can cause a corporation to lose its luster—and thus, lose its ability to bring in stellar new talents— which is why HR departments must take online reputation management seriously.
A new paradigm for fomenting public-private partnerships.
By Richard Crespin
Neanderthals, once regarded as the bigger, dumber, slower precursor of Homo sapiens, might actually have been stronger, smarter, and faster than us. But after Homo sapiens encroached, Neanderthal eventually died out. The running theory: while smaller in body and brain, Homo sapiens out-collaborated the hermetic Neanderthal.
On December 17th, 2010, Mohamed Bouazizi, a Tunisian street vendor, went to his municipal office and lit himself on fire. Social media lit up and within hours protests broke out across the region. People around the world knew about Bouazizi’s act almost as it was happening. Not only did people know about it, they reacted on a grand scale.
A compendium of ethics and CR programs at business schools around the country.
By The Editors
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