Einstein famously said that if given an hour to solve a problem, he'd spend 55 minutes defining it and 5 minutes on the solution. That's "exactly opposite of what the vast majority of executives today would do," writes Jeffrey Phillips in the blog Innovate on Purpose. "Most of them would simply define a solution, implement it and have 15 minutes to spare for checking email."
The problem, he argues, is that we've become too efficient. Too much of our time is optimized and streamlined, carefully delineated for this meeting or that conference call, with no time for just... thinking. "We are simply too busy to innovate, and what's worse, we seem to enjoy the busyness over the contemplation necessary for innovation. Like a man who starves to death in a bountiful land because he is too busy to plant, many businesses will wither because they were too busy to innovate." At least you weren't too busy to read this.
UNSKILLED AND UNAWARE
Research has long confirmed that most people tend to over-estimate their abilities, and that the least competent people are the most likely to be over-confident. But in a large field study, professor Andreas Ortmann has shown that feedback actually does calibrate people's sense of their abilities. It just takes time. In his experiment, it took 8 weeks for his subjects (students) to learn their place in the intellectual hierarchy. Of course, the bottom 10% were still the least self-aware. But Ortmann cautions weary managers not to give up hope — or stop giving feedback. "The least competent people might just take much longer."
They say nothing in business is black and white, either/or, or yes or no, but you may find yourself thinking it's a binary world after all when you look at Fortune's slide show of the 50 biggest business rivalries: Coke versus Pepsi, Ford versus GM, Gates versus Jobs, Genoa versus Venice (the cities). And don't forget Oreo versus Hydrox. Once you start thinking in terms of twin titans, you see them everywhere: Time versus Newsweek. The Beatles versus the Rolling Stones. Rodan versus Godzilla. The list could go on and on. —Andy O'Connell
Users Want Mobile Apps, Not Mobile Websites (CIO Insight)
Seriously, Governments Should Be Playful (Forrester)
Smartphones Hurt Chewing Gum Sales (Bloomberg Businessweek)