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Showing posts from August, 2015

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The Five Characteristics of Successful Innovators

There is not much agreement about what makes an idea innovative, and what makes an innovative idea valuable. For example, discussions on whether the internet is a better invention than the wheel are more likely to reveal personal preferences than logical argumentation. Likewise, experts disagree on the type and level of innovation that is most beneficial for organizations. Somestudiessuggest that radical innovation (which does sound sexy) confers sustainable competitive advantages, butothersshow that “mild” innovation – think iPhone 5 rather than the original iPhone – is generally more effective, not least because it reduces market uncertainty. There is also inconclusive evidence on whether we should pay attention to consumers’ views, with somestudiesshowing that a customer focus is detrimental for innovation because it equates to playing catch-up, butothersarguing for it. Even Henry Ford’s famous quote on the subject – “if I had asked people what they wanted, they would have said fast…

South Asia’s Strategic Context: Priorities For The Next U.S. President

Insights from U.S. Ambassador Teresita C. Schaffer.By Mercy A. Kuo and Angelica O. Tang The Rebalanceauthors Mercy Kuo and Angie Tang regularly engage subject-matter experts, policy practitioners and strategic thinkers across the globe for their diverse insights into the U.S. rebalance to Asia. This conversation withAmbassador Teresita C. Schaffer– Non-resident Senior Fellows at the Brookings Institution,Senior Adviser at McLarty Associates, U.S. Ambassador to Sri Lanka (1992-1995), and co-author with her husband Howard Schaffer, U.S. Ambassador to Bangladesh (1984-1987), of forthcoming book Negotiating for India’s Global Role: Regional Primacy and Strategic Autonomy  – is the fourteenth in “The Rebalance Insight Series.” Ambassador Schaffer, as one of the U.S. State Department’s foremost experts on South Asia, your diplomatic service has spanned 30 years with posts in India, Pakistan, Bangladesh, and Sri Lanka. You have described India’s foreign policy of one of “strategic autonomy.” P…