Leader’s Guide to B2B Organic Growth: An executive short-course in leading growth; Dan Adams, The Aim Institute, Cuyahoga Falls, OH; theaiminstitute.com, 2018, 68pp.
“Companies love to talk about the voice-of-the-customer, but most simply listen to themselves while creating ‘conference room’ products,” wrote Dan Adams in our May-June 2018 issue (“Best Brainstorming Practices”, (pp.5-8). Adams, founder and president of The AIM Institute (Advanced Innovation & Marketing for B2B), was describing the brainstorming practices AIM uses to stimulate divergent thinking among new-product developers.
In Leader’s Guide, his new e-book, Adams moves from practitioner skill areas to strategic perspectives intended, as Adams told CIMS IMR, “to move the minds of today’s business leaders away from their intense focus on short-term results to a slightly more balanced view that includes building their future capabilities.”
To this end, Leader’s Guide provides 30 lessons showing executives “how all successful B2B companies will eventually grow.” The lessons are presented in three sections:
A. New growth mindset—with lessons from “recognize your growth challenge” to “understand your B2B advantages. ”
B. Deeper customer insight—from “concentrate on winning markets” to “pursue fast innovation. ”
C. Amplifying your growth—from “launch your product explosively” to “lead for growth…every day. ”
Each lesson concludes with an aspect of the B2B reader’s business deserving further examination, followed by downloadable relevant research material.
Adams also delivers the 30 lessons in his e-book in 30 two-minute videos available to readers without charge. “Designed to take your B2B leadership team to a new level of growth-focused thinking,” he writes, they cover such topics as becoming a business builder, catching the innovation wave, avoiding the nine-step commodity death spiral, and why one should change a business goal of maximizing shareholder wealth.
“A winning operating model for digital strategy”; Jacques Bughin, Tanguy Catlin and Laura LaBerge, McKinsey Global Institute, Jan. 2019.
The latest McKinsey Global Survey on corporate digital strategy ﬁnds companies “making little progress in their efforts to digitalize the business model.” However, the survey also found four areas in which companies with the best economic performance differed markedly from the others. These areas, discussed by the McKinsey authors:
- The best performers increased their agility of creating, executing and adjusting their digital-strategy practices, thereby enabling their ﬁrst-mover opportunities.
- They embrace digital platforms to access broader ecosystems and focus product development on new digital products and business models.
- They use M&A to build new digital capabilities and digital capabilities and digital businesses.
- They invest ahead of their peers in acquiring the right digital talent and being “much nimbler” in using that talent.
BRIDGING THE DIGITAL GENDER DIVIDE; Francesca Borgonovi et al; OECD Secretariat, 2018.
This brochure presents the principal messages of a report from the OECD Directorate for Science, Technology and Innovation. STI staff produced the report as part of the “2017 G20 Roadmap for Digitalisation: Policies for a Digital Future,” which emphasized support for the equitable participation of women in the digital economy.
The report and brochure highlight three elements of “breaking the vicious circle through co-ordinated actions,” labeled Include, Upskill and Innovate.
Citing “the many worrying signs of a widening digital gender divide,” the Include section asserts that “Hurdles to access, affordability, lack of education as well as inherent biases and socio-cultural norms curtail women and girls’ ability to beneﬁt from the opportunities offered by the digital transformation.” It calls for connecting women in developing parts of the world, empowering them with digital technologies and tools, and improving their participation in (digital) labor markets through “a better redistribution of unpaid childcare and housework.”
Upskill points out how compulsory education, removing obstacles to adult education and raising awareness of educational opportunities can help eliminate the digital gender divide.
Innovate discusses increasing diversity among the world’s inventors and inventive activity, and the need for actions that address the “structural root causes” of the gender divide.
The brochure concludes by identifying six core areas with “potential for positive policy action,” and a possible action agenda.
IMMIGRANT ENTREPRENEURS AND INNOVATION IN THE U.S. HIGH-TECH SECTOR”; J. David Brown et al; National Bureau of Economic Research Working Paper 25565 http://www.nber.org/papers/w25565, Feb. 2019. © 2019 by J. David Brown, John S. Earle, Mee Jung Kim, and Kyung Min Lee. All rights reserved.”
David Brown of the U.S. Bureau of Census and three George Mason University co-authors sought to learn how much immigrants contribute to innovation in the U.S. high-tech sector by using “a much larger and richer data set than those heretofore available.” Their data, focused on ﬁrms founded and operated by immigrants, implied “a robust immigrant advantage in innovation.”
Speciﬁcally, they found “an immigrant advantage” for most of the innovation measures they analyzed, ranging “from detailed product and process innovation, to several forms of R&D, to intellectual property rights associated with innovation, including patents.”
“NEVERTHELESS SHE PERSISTED? GENDER PEER EFFECTS IN DOCTORAL STEM PROGRAMS”; Valerie K. Bostwick and Bruce A. Weinberg; National Bureau of Economic Development Working Paper 25028, http://www.nber.org/papers/w25028, Sept. 2018. © 2018 by Valerie K. Bostwick and Bruce A. Weinberg. All rights reserved.
Concerned by the under-representation of women in STEM ﬁelds, of which a female-unfriendly environment is one cause, these Ohio State University economists studied how peer gender composition in STEM PhD programs affects persistence and degree completion.
They found that women who enter PhD programs in which they have no female peers are 12 percentage points less likely to graduate than men in the same program. A one standard deviation increase in the percentages of female students (a 20.7pp increase) increases the probability of graduating on time by 4.6pp.
One conclusion: “More female peers create a female-friendly environment that encourages women to persist in doctoral programs, despite having no signiﬁcant effect on learning or ﬁnancial support.”
“Large teams develop and small teams disrupt science and technology”; Lingfei Wu, Dashun Wang and James A. Evans; Nature Vol. 566, 2019, pp. 378-382.
In this Feb. 13 Letter, authors Wu and Evans (U. of Chicago) and Wang (Northwestern U) report their analysis of more than 65 million papers, patents and software products from 1954 to 2014.Their ﬁnding: “across this period smaller teams have tended to disrupt science and technology with new ideas and opportunities, whereas larger teams have tended to develop existing ones.” Writing that both sizes are essential for science and technology to ﬂourish, they conclude that “science policies should aim to support a diversity of team sizes.”
Quantum Computing: Progress and Prospects. National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; The National Academies Press, Washington DC, 2018, 202 pp. (paper); https://doi. org/10.17226/25196.
This report by the Committee on Technical Assessment of the Feasibility and Implications of Quantum Computing examines the risks and beneﬁts of developing a practical quantum computer.
“There has been remarkable progress in the ﬁeld of quantum computing, and the committee doesn’t see a fundamental reason why a large, functional quantum computer could not be built in principle,” said committee chair Mark Horowitz, Yahoo! Founders Professor at Stanford University. “However, many technical challenges remain to be resolved before we reach this milestone.”
One challenge: “It is highly unlikely that a quantum computer that can compromise public-key cryptography—a basis for the security of most of today’s computers and networks—will be built within the next decade.”