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HBR Breakthrough Ideas for 2006

Check out Harvard Business Review's Breakthrough Ideas for 2006.  There are some interesting gems here.  Here are some excerpts.

1.  Howard Gardner on synthesizing information.  "The ability to decide what information to heed, what to ignore, and how to organize and communicate that which we judge to be important is becoming a core competence for those living in the developed world." 

2.  Nitin Nohria and Thomas A. Stewart  on 'Risk, Uncertainty, and Doubt." "The twentieth century emphasized managing risk: finding ways to eliminate unnecessary risk, control unavoidable risk, and calculate risk/reward ratios. ... Management this century should take on two bigger fish: uncertainty and doubt. What do they mean? Risk is calculable; it can be expressed in terms of odds. Uncertainty is incalculable. ... Then there is doubt—perhaps the ultimate management frontier. Risk and uncertainty presuppose that you know what you want. ... Doubt comes into play when there is no right outcome, when one must choose between two evils, or when good outcomes have bad side effects."

3.  Jeff Cares on Network Centric Competition. "Companies have sought to exploit network effects since W. Brian Arthur dubbed them the competitive linchpin for information-age business. Many have used technology to tie together critical masses of customers and the most or best suppliers and so have gained an edge. But now enough companies derive competitive advantage from their networks that they are coming up against one another. That means we must learn a whole new set of principles: not how companies compete against networks but rather how networks compete against networks. "

4.  Nancy M. Dixon on Peer-to-Peer Leadership Development.  "Just as communities of practice help employees develop greater technical competence through the exchange of ideas among peers, so CompanyCommand is designed to help individuals improve their leadership skills through the sharing of experiences and advice. The program offers a new model for leadership development within an organization, one that has some advantages over both informal social networks (which often are formed by chance and function based on participants’ geographic or organizational proximity) and structured company training programs. " 

5.  Gerd Gigerenze on Follow the Leader.  "New leaders galvanize companies with inspiring themes and ambitious plans, but they also influence corporate culture in simpler ways. All have their own personal “heuristics”—rules of thumb—that they develop, often unconsciously, to help them make quick decisions. While leaders may not intentionally impose their heuristics on the workplace, these rules are nonetheless noted and followed by most employees. Soon, the heuristics are absorbed into the organization, where they may linger long after the leader has moved on."

This is just a sampling of what you can find there.

(I found the link to this on someone's blog this morning. Whoever it was, thanks.)

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