Doing Away With Stupid Rules

The Wall Street Journal at 1701 Page Mill Road...

The Wall Street Journal at 1701 Page Mill Road in Palo Alto, California. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Right now, somewhere in your company, one of your employees is rolling his eyes. Make no mistake, it’s because of a policy or rule that leadership created.

The eye-roll—and its cousin, the defeated shrug—are the silent protests of people in every area of your company.

If you want to know the true source and depth of their frustration, there’s only one surefire way: Invite them to a brainstorming meeting.

Once you have gathered your teams together, provide blank sticky notes and ask everyone to pair up. Then present this question: If you could kill or change all the stupid rules that get in the way of doing your work or better servicing our clients, what would they be?

If they stare back at you in stunned silence, you might want to add: “You have 10 minutes! Go!” After 10 minutes, people will likely ask for more time—not because they’re stumped, but because there are that many stupid rules. Don’t interrupt their catharsis. After all, how often do you see your employees so engaged? Do remind them, however, that government regulations are “red rules”—illegal to change—but everything else is a “green rule” and thus, fair game.

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The Power of Identity

In a world of global flows of wealth, power, and images,the search for identity-collective or individual, ascribed or constructed-becomes the fundamental source of social meaning, says Nandan Nilekani

It succinctly reflects the power of identity in today’s world and this is no way more evident than in India where thousands are denied basic rights and benefits due to the lack of an identity. The UID (unique identification number, now known as Aadhaar) project2 is a critical component of the inclusive growth that we all seek. If India is going to achieve economic prosperity as well as social equality, we not only have to grow but we have to grow along a path where people are not left behind in the process of change. Identity would be an important aspect in achieving this. A national identification number or National Identity Card number is used by the governments of many countries as a means of providing their citizens, permanent residents, and temporary residents with services in the areas of work, taxation, government benefits, health care, and other government related functions. The ways in which such a system is implemented varies between countries, but in most cases, an individual is issued a number at birth or when they reach a legal age (typically the age of 18).

In Chile, for instance, the National Identification Number is called RUN (Rol Único Nacional). It is used as a national identification number, tax payer number, social insurance number, passport number, driver ‘s licence number, for employment, etc. It is also commonly used as a customer number in banks, retailers, insurance companies, airlines, etc.

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Web-services, SOA, BPM & Cloud Computing – XI

Business Process Reengineering Cycle

Image via Wikipedia

The term Business Process Management (BPM) has been buzzing around for quite a while.

What exactly is BPM?

Is it solely about technology?

Or is it more than that?

Yes, BPM is in vogue because the technology to model processes, simulate them, improve them, and maybe even improvise is available in a huge way.

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Economist Debates: Education and innovation: Statements

Innovation that leads to increased productivity is seen as the most important way to generate economic wealth. No surprise, then, that so many people want to promote it as the Western world seeks to recover from recession. President Barack Obama has a strategy for innovation. In Britain there is a government department dedicated to championing it. Others think that innovation works best when government does least. Private companies establish skunk works in the hope of becoming more innovative. Others ask their employees to allocate time to thinking big thoughts. One popular strategy to promote innovation is to invest in maths and science.Maths and science certainly underpin many innovations—indeed, they are the basis for much of modern society, from the gadgets people use to the ways in which people interact with one another and the way in which they think. So close is the relationship that politicians seeking to persuade voters that they are promoting economic growth use “science” and “innovation” almost interchangeably. But, laudable as it is in its own right, does promoting maths and science represent the best way to stimulate future innovation?Yes, says Chris Budd, an applied mathematician at Bath University in Britain, and the defender of the motion. He points to the mathematical foundations of the commercial world: the internet, computers, mobile phones, modern medicine and even transport systems. These employ branches of mathematics that were considered obscure until recently but have found applications in areas such as building search engines, he argues. It is difficult to predict which new scientific advance will generate new economic activity but science nevertheless boosts productivity. And as governments have sought to promote business, they have encouraged universities to establish spin-off companies and to build partnerships with other fledgling organisations seeking to develop new products and new processes, which has helped to generate wealth.That may all be true, but it is not sufficient, says Chris Trimble, who co-wrote “The Other Side of Innovation: Solving the Execution Challenge” with Vijay Govindarajan, both of whom conduct research into innovation at Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth College in America. Of course maths and science can stimulate future innovation, but promoting these disciplines is not necessarily the best way of bringing about change. He cites targeted incentives, public and private spending and—most importantly, in his view—better management as more powerful alternatives. It is management education not technical education that is lacking, he argues. There is a surfeit of bright ideas but not enough wherewithal to implement them.Yet the ability to create wealth not only depends on using tools that were scientifically designed; it also requires people to think both creatively and in cold, calculating ways. To misquote Thomas Edison, innovation is 1% inspiration and 99% perspiration. Time then, mentally, to roll up your sleeves.

Economist Debates: Education and innovation: Statements

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Market-Driving Ideas Are Risky

The Impossible Mountains

Image by Stuck in Customs via Flickr

Market-driving ideas involve high risk. For every successful radical innovation in value proposition and value network, probably hundreds fail. An entrepreneur chasing a market-driving dream has limited downside financial risk as he generally invests enormous effort but limited capital. However, if the idea succeeds, then he has unlimited upside potential to make a vast personal fortune.

Quote of the day:
You don’t stop laughing because you grow old. You grow old because you stop laughing. – Michael Pritchard

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Zoho CEO predicts the end of offline software « Marketing & Innovation

Sridhar Vembu’s response came loud and clear in a visionary statement which was most striking: “The cloud computing software industry will have the best of the offline industry but it will take 10 years” he said. He went on describing the Oriental spirit of the firm and how his vision was in the long term rather than “flipping it” (i.e. reselling quickly in Silicon Valley parlance). But “Zoho is more into the long term” Vembu added. “Zoho is not looking for investment”, “it has no big ambition to take over the world, you don’t have to be a Google or a Microsoft to succeed”. This was a very refreshing and wise view. And he went on: “I don’t believe in a Microsoft monopoly in the cloud. There will be many actors” he said. He also stated that “3 million users is enough for [them] to live!” and that “during last year’s recession, [they] grew 100%”

Zoho CEO predicts the end of offline software « Marketing & Innovation

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SaaS Strategy: What The Top Brass Wants To Know « Momentaglobal’s Blog

Do you have a SaaS strategy? Most IT organizations don’t. In our InformationWeek Analytics survey of 131 SaaS customers, 59% say it’s a point solution, not a long-term strategy. Yet SaaS and the broader concept of cloud computing are the hottest topics in IT since the Internet itself, so it’s not surprising there’s much interest among your company’s leadership. Your CEO and CFO are reading about the trend; they hear it talked about at conferences. And your business unit leaders have been pitched by SaaS vendors, and they may have bought some. So any blanket “not for us” won’t cut it. Our survey finds that 47% of companies use some SaaS, and that number is certain to rise rapidly.We talked with CIOs about how they discuss SaaS with the most senior leaders of their companies. Based on that, we offer five guidelines.

SaaS Strategy: What The Top Brass Wants To Know « Momentaglobal’s Blog

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