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  • Creativity & Innovation: Top Picks

    The creativity success manifesto

    Jurgen Wolff

    Whether you want to write a best-seller or launch a new business venture, success in any kind of creative endeavour depends on some common factors. Understand these and your chances of hitting the jackpot will be multiplied.

    Innovative companies don't fear failure

    Brian Amble

    The world's most innovative companies welcome and harness failure to help them devise more successful ideas, a new report from the Economist Intelligence Unit has found.

    The leader's link to creativity and productivity

    Dan Bobinski

    Far, far too many managers stifle the creativity and commitment of their people simply by the way they behave. But if they started doing more listening and less bossing, employee creativity and involvement might re-emerge.

    Proof that innovation pays dividends

    Brian Amble

    It's often said that innovative firms perform better than their more pedestrian competitors. But where's the proof? And if they do perform better, by how much?

    A beautiful idea is never perfect

    Max McKeown

    However great an idea, it will never be perfect. There will always be room for improvement, either in the detail of the idea or its implementation. And that's good news for anyone who wants to contribute and for any business that wants to grow.

    More on Creativity & Innovation

    Old habits die hard, new habits die easy

    Max McKeown

    Habits are efficient. Organizations can't function without them - otherwise they would be constantly struggling to find an appropriate response to every situation no matter how many times they had experienced it. But how do you change an old habit or create a new one?

    Business blind spots

    James M. Kerr

    Many breakthrough ideas get ignored because business leaders are unable to grasp concepts that don't fit their expectations of what will work within their firm or industry. So how can we avoid these business blind spots?

    Boxing clever

    Janet Howd

    It's been argued that the invention of containerization led directly to the modern global economy. But it isn't just the packaging of goods that matters. How ideas are packaged is equally important.

    Is unrelenting innovation possible?

    Gerard Tellis

    Why do some great firms fail while others succeed? Why have Sony, RIM, Kodak, General Motors and HP stumbled while Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Samsung have prospered? The answer lies in the great paradox of innovation.

    Channels of communication

    Janet Howd

    Finding ways to make the world more interesting is catching. And organisations that let employees exercise their imagination and speak-out will find many opportunities growing in their own back yards.

    China's long march to innovation success

    Bill Fischer

    China's journey from a seriously poor, insular, economy to the "shop floor of the world" took a little more than two decades. Today, it appears poised to evolve into becoming a leading global innovator. But can China actually make this next great leap forward?

    Great innovations deserve great names

    Max McKeown

    The name given to an innovation matters. A great innovation may survive without a great name but the name helps - particularly if it is also a product, a service, something you will be trying to sell, something that needs a brand.

    Patently absurd

    Janet Howd

    The deliberate infringement of patents is clearly a legitimate cause for law suits. But we also need to remember that without copying, there is no progress. In nature, the most robust product is the one that survives.

    Innovation: getting more from less

    Simon Mosey

    Getting more from less has been one of the big drivers of invention and innovation throughout history. But what is innovation? What does it entail in practice - and how can organisations build an innovation culture?

    Innovation and the readiness to do something new

    Edward de Bono

    Real innovation implies a readiness to explore and implement new ideas. But many organisations have a deep-seated fear of failure and do not like to try new things, even when much lip-service is paid to innovation.

    Cultural intelligence and creativity

    David Livermore

    Research on individuals who are culturally intelligent reveals that not only are they better at working effectively across various cultural contexts, they are also more creative and innovative.

    The idea hunter

    Bill Fischer

    Most individuals and organizations don't spend much time thinking about how they actually go about generating new ideas. But why are some people and places so much better at generating ideas than others?

    A retrospective of the 21st Century

    Bill Fischer

    Looking back at the first decade of the 21st century, it's hard to avoid thinking that we should be ashamed of how little we have accomplished. But even if we haven't seen much revolutionary change, some vital trends have nevertheless emerged that will shape all of our lives.

    Teamwork and creativity

    Edward de Bono

    Many people believe that creativity should be as free and unstructured as possible. But I would argue that creativity can better be delivered through teams whose function and tasks are clearly and distinctly defined.

    The value of collaboration

    Bill Fischer

    Co-creation is the business idea of the moment. Why? Because the more ideas you can work with, the better. So more minds are always better than fewer, and the more different minds you can enlist, the higher the probability of finding a really different idea.

    Management thinking is not all about problems

    Edward de Bono

    Far too many executives believe that management thinking is all about continuity and problem-solving. But what if something is not a problem?

    Innovation lessons from Apple

    Bill Fischer

    Almost everyone's choice for the most innovative firm of recent years is Apple. But as history shows, it's far from easy to deliver consistent innovation. So what is the secret of Apple's innovation success?

    Why intelligence does not equal better thinking

    Edward de Bono

    Most of us assume that intelligent people are better at thinking. But this is not necessarily true. Just because somebody is good at analysis doesn't mean that they will be good at design thinking or operational thinking.

    Looking beyond problem-solving

    Edward de Bono

    Problem-solving is valuable in itself. But identifying a problem and working to put it right isn't the key to unlocking real creativity. That's all about exploring possibilities, questioning established ideas and looking for value.

    Can China's maintain its competitive advantage?

    Bill Fischer

    Until now, China's competitive advantage has been based on cheap labour, not innovation. But if it is to remain anything more than a low-wage producer, China has to find innovative ways of sustaining growth.

    Leadership and the need for creative thinking

    Edward de Bono

    It's no accident that business is more interested in thinking than other sectors of society. It is because business has a reality test. There is a bottom line. There are results. And better or more creative thinking will result in more profits or market share.

    From blind spots to strategic intelligence

    Bettina Büchel

    Nothing breeds success like success, the old proverb goes. But this is not always the case when it comes to business growth. Many organizations become victims of their own success. They achieve rapid growth by introducing new products but quickly find that they cannot sustain this for more than a couple of years.

    Shanghai: forging the future?

    Bill Fischer

    The gala opening of the Shanghai Expo has focused the world's attention on this vibrant city that - or so we are told - is "forging the future". But while one can't doubt Shanghai's size and vibrancy, it's potential impact on the future is much more of a moot point.

    How can you tell when you need new ideas?

    Edward de Bono

    Improvements often require creativity. So there is a real need to spend some time thinking creatively to try to find a better solution, even when there is a routine solution to a problem or a routine way of doing something.

    More Good Stuff

    How new ideas can challenge complacency

    Edward de Bono

    If you want to challenge complacency in an organisation, you need to make a strong case with strong ideas. Simply claiming that 'things could be better' is too vague.

    Business improvement ideas: working in groups

    Edward de Bono

    Original thinkers ought to have the courage to pursue ideas on their own - even when those around them are negative. But there are some situations where groups can be helpful in coming up with ideas to improve the way a business operates.

    Open spaces, open minds

    Max McKeown

    I'm often appalled at the physical spaces and meeting formats in which people are meant to open their minds, solve problems and inspire progress. Desks are for filling in forms and filing papers – not for creating, thinking, making, learning, or collaborating.

    Creative thinking beyond the main track

    Edward de Bono

    More information does not in itself produce new ideas. Neither does more analysis or more logic. That's why there is a real need to develop the skill of creative thinking.

    Creativity is easier when it's structured

    Edward de Bono

    There is a mistaken belief that there should be no restrictions or barriers around creativity. But in reality, creativity is easier if there is some structure. The introduction of focus actually enhances the process.

    Reinventing the wheel

    Max McKeown

    It's easy to think that something is so simple that you couldn't improve it or so low-tech your intellect would be wasted even thinking about it. But you'd be wrong. Because anything that is invented can - and often should - be reinvented.

    Focusing on problem-solving can lead to complacency

    Edward de Bono

    When things are going smoothly and there are no problems, people are fooled into believing there is no need to think. So they are lulled into a state of complacency – and continuity does not produce new ideas.

    Business ideas, design and judgment

    Edward de Bono

    For most aspects of life, judgment is crucial and extremely useful. But judgment on its own isn't enough. Rather than accepting or rejecting an idea, you need look at business ideas in order to 'see where you can move to'.

    Innovation through creativity

    Edward de Bono

    There are many myths about creativity. A major one is that creativity is a mysterious talent that some people have and others can only envy. But anyone can learn and practise the thinking skill of creativity.

    How lateral thinking can help us find better ideas

    Edward de Bono

    The whole purpose of lateral thinking is to allow us to cut across patterns and to find new ideas. As with all creativity, the ideas must be valuable and logical in hindsight.

    Business improvement ideas: don't just settle for excellent

    Edward de Bono

    The usual way to bring about chnage is to prove that something is wrong or inadequate and needs altering. But if something is already adequate, a new idea is unlikely to be adopted, however much better it is.

    Management innovation: the next big breakthrough?

    Robert Heller

    Almost every car on the planet will eventually be electrified. But new types of car will require new styles of manager, too. So are there any Americans out there who can rise to the challenge?

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