Wednesday, September 30, 2009

"Disruptive" Innovation

Read about the Theory of Disruptive Innovation below.


"Disruptive innovations either create new markets or reshape existing markets by delivering relatively simple, convenient, low-cost innovations to a set of customers who are ignored by industry leaders. Historically, companies that dominate an industry have had little interest in pursuing these types of innovations because profit margins are often lower and the innovations don't address the needs of those companies' best customers. However, companies that have recognized the value in pursuing disruptive growth -- such as Intel, Procter and Gamble, Cisco, Johnson & Johnson, Dow Corning and IBM -- have all profited from this type of innovation at various points in their histories."
(from the Innosight Ventures website)

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Get ready.

Vacation is over, and it's time to really get these projects going.

Students, are you ready to get your hands dirty?

Friday, September 25, 2009

Mentoring Young Social Entrepreneurs

The co-founder of Unreasonable Institute discusses his organization's approach to mentoring young social entrepreneurs.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Sustainable Tourism in Wadi Rum

In the village of Al Dieseh in Jordan, nine young Bedouin women are unleashing their creative skills and earning an income. They are members of the Al Dieseh Cooperative, which is producing ceramics to sell to locals and tourists who come to see the famous desert landscape of Jordan's Wadi Rum protected area.

The project, also known as Siyaha, is working with the Jordanian government, local communities, NGOs, and tourism-related groups such as the cooperative, to develop a dynamic and competitive tourism industry.

Could this type of model be applied to Saudi Arabia? Even though international tourism is not common in the Kingdom, could domestic tourism benefit from this type of venture?

Monday, September 21, 2009

How Talented Women Thrive

"Centered Leadership" - a new approach to leadership being explored by McKinsey.

The hypothesis? That today's leaders can become even more effective through the model of centered leadership- which is exactly what it sounds like... bringing together the physical, intellectual, emotional, and spiritual strength that drives personal achievement and inspiring others to follow.

Below is a summary of the 12-page article. *The ideas below are taken directly from the McKinsey Quarterly article.

After interviewing more than 85 women leaders from around the world (and a few men), their research team came up with a leadership model made up of 5 dimensions:
  1. MEANING- finding your strengths and putting them to work in the service of inspiring purpose
  2. MANAGING ENERGY- knowing where your energy comes from, where it goes, and what you can do to manage it
  3. POSITIVE FRAMING- adopting a more constructive way to view your world, expand your horizons, and gain the resilience to move ahead even when bad things happen
  4. CONNECTING - identifying who can help you grow, building stronger relationships, and increasing your sense of belonging
  5. ENGAGING- finding your voice, becoming self-reliant and confident by accepting opportunities and the inherent risks they bring, and collaborating with others.
The McKinsey research team calls this "centered leadership" and, although it also works for men, has focused most on the ways women can actively build the skills to become more self-confident and effective leaders.

The concept emphasizes the role of positive emotions, and focuses on some of the characteristics that tend to distinguish women from men in the workplace, including:
  • Women tend "opt-out" of work more than men do
  • Women tend to take on a "double-burden" (motherhood and management), that drains energy in a particularly challenging way
  • Women tend to experience emotional ups & downs more often and intensely than most men do.
Fun fact: Apparently, after concentrating on women participants, the team was approached by many men who wanted "what the women were having."

I like this study already.

***all information above was taken from the article in the McKinsey Quarterly.

DOWNLOAD the entire article HERE.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

What is Entrepreneurship?

Babson professor, Dr. Zacharakis, discusses what entrepreneurship is to him. He also addresses the relationship between entrepreneurship and economic (and social) development.

Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Nurturing Innovation

I came across a great article on innovation in the McKinsey Quarterly, and have included an excerpt below:

In the early 1990s, a seasoned executive shared a metaphor that has stayed with me ever since: he said that innovation is like a coral reef. Marine biologists don’t fully understand what causes reefs to form, he said, but we do know that human actions can nurture or harm the process. The same is true for innovation—a natural, chaotic, unpredictable process that is hard, perhaps even impossible, for well-meaning outsiders to foster. If we try to control or micromanage innovation, we risk squeezing out the very life forces that give rise to successful new ideas. Instead, we must focus on finding ways to nurture and accelerate the natural processes of innovation once they’ve begun organically...

... Most... default to linear thinking with formal structures to define and control innovation. What we need instead is to turn the forces of innovation loose—to create the right conditions for that reef ecosystem to grow on its own and take hold...

... innovators like these are often disconnected, operating in silos, without the financial resources and strategic support they need to bring their ideas to fruition. They do not swim in a teeming, healthy reef ecosystem...


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

World of Good - Ebay goes Fair Trade

Shop for fair-trade, handmade, and ethically-sources products.

Shouldn't business always be ethically-sourced?

Thursday, September 3, 2009

Women for Women International

Ramadan Kareem and Mubarak to all my friends- I have an interesting organization for you to look into during this time of reflection.

Women in wartime have always been in critical need of support, as women are often the lynch pin of a stable community. In wartime, when the social fabric of society is destroyed, women typically find themselves more vulnerable than ever.

Women for Women International is changing that.

According to their website:

Women for Women International "provides women survivors of war, civil strife and other conflicts with the tools and resources to move from crisis and poverty to stability and self-sufficiency, thereby promoting viable civil societies."

They help women recover from the emotional (and sometimes physical) scars of war, and provide them with financial aid, job training, and leadership education.

Women for Women International has been recognized for their work by:

They have also received the 2006 Conrad Hilton Humanitarian Prize.

And keeping with the Ramadan spirit, you can even SPONSOR a woman- LEARN MORE HERE.