Stay current with the latest trends, insights and knowledge

RSS Feed
Sometimes Diversity Trumps Ability
01/14/2014

by Rod Collins

In a world reshaped by the new tools of mass collaboration, businesses with overbearing bosses amplifying their individual prowess through the power to command and control the work of others are no match for organizations that have the wherewithal to harness the diverse perspectives of self-organizing teams. When we look around at who’s succeeding in these early days of the digital revolution, the most effective business leaders are innovative catalysts, not traditional bosses.  If companies want to succeed in the post-digital world, they will need to abandon the long-accepted notion that a single intelligent and talented individual can lead organizations to greatness. That’s because, when you have the technology to aggregate and leverage collective intelligence, there are many times when diversity trumps ability.

Read the full post

Four Ways Payers Can Optimize Exchange Plans And Operations Portfolios in 2014
01/07/2014

By Bryant Hutson

On January 1, millions of Americans received new health coverage when the health plans sold on the exchanges mandated by the Affordable Care Act became effective.  As health insurers prepared for this historic date, regulatory compliance has served as a major theme in formulating corporate strategy and building operations for health plans over the past few years.

Because payer organizations were preoccupied with digesting multiple rounds of regulatory releases and interpretations to prepare for 2014, they were understandably focused on meeting minimum compliance thresholds as they designed, priced, and filed new exchange plans.  At the same time, they stretched their resources to prepare back office operations for new capabilities and processes.  Unfortunately for many payers, ever-changing requirements meant 2013 was a year when workarounds became commonplace as process discipline took a back seat to regulatory compliance.

Read the full post

Organizational Excellence Is About Being Perfect Together
12/17/2013

by Rod Collins

The effective large organization is one of the most important human accomplishments. There are few greater satisfactions than being part of an effort that makes a contribution and a difference that none of us could do alone. If we want of be part of something extraordinary, we usually need to partner and work with other people.

Read the full post

IPOs Let Companies Raise Capital: Myth or Reality?
12/10/2013

by Robert F. Moss

Over at Slate, Matthew Ygelsias calls out four interesting points from Twitter's recent S1 filing, and all of them are good ones. His fourth point, though, did make me pause: "IPO's aren't about raising capital."

In a sense, he's absolutely right. Almost all tech IPOs--and Twitter is certainly no exception--are not undertaken because the companies need to raise capital to fund the business. Indeed, they are exit vehicles for the original investors--generally venture capitalists--to get their money out of the business (along with, in most cases, a handsome profit.)

Read the full post

What Business Leaders Can Learn From Online Gamers
11/26/2013

by Rod Collins

In the summer of 2011, Firas Khatib, a biochemist at the University of Washington felt something needed to be done to accelerate the progress of solving a molecular puzzle in AIDS research that had stumped the world’s best scientists for more than a decade. A few years earlier, the University had developed an online community, called Foldit, which used video gaming technology to solve difficult biochemical problems. Khatib thought the molecular challenge was a good fit for the Foldit game community and invited the gamers to have a crack at solving the puzzle. Remarkably, what had evaded the world’s best individual scientific experts for ten years was solved by the gamers in only ten days. In our post-digital world, we are discovering that sometimes the best way to work is to play a game.

Read the full post

Wiki Management is Published!
11/19/2013

By Rod Collins

This week’s blog is a departure from the usual format. For those of you who have been following these weekly blog posts and are interested in exploring the principles and practices of innovative management, I am delighted to announce that my new book, Wiki Management: A Revolutionary New Model for a Rapidly Changing and Collaborative World, has been released and is now available at local bookstores as well as on amazon.com and barnesandnoble.com.

Read the full post

A Management Lesson From Healthcare.gov
11/05/2013

by Rod Collins

As the bureaucrats struggle to fix the failed HealthCare.gov website, fend off the protestations of an engaged press, appease the concerns of a confused populace, and all the other things you need to do when you’re in full damage control mode, there’s an important lesson to be learned for all leaders, whether they are in the public or the private sector: A nineteenth century management model doesn’t work in a twenty-first century world.

Read the full post

Uh, Oh. Here Comes the Cavalry
10/29/2013

by Robert Moss

Given the developments of the past few weeks, everyone from the press to Obamacare's critics to the Obama Administration themselves have quickly come to the same conclusion: the issues with healthcare.gov are not just a few glitches that can be resolved in a few weeks but rather large-scale, fundamental system design problems that are going to take an awful lot of work to fix.

Thus, the recent announcement from Kathleen Sebelius that they are sending in the calvary: a "technology surge" that includes a management expert to provide executive-level guidance for the massive project and "additional experts and specialists" that include "veterans of top Silicon Valley companies" to diagnose the issues and help fix them.

Read the full post

The Key to Innovation: Serendipity
10/22/2013

by Rod Collins

When was the last time you saw the label “New and Improved!” on a product in the grocery store? If you were born before 1980, you may realize it’s been a long time since you’ve seen the label that was a staple of product marketing just a few decades ago. Thirty years ago, change was incremental and driven by corporate planning departments searching for competitive advantage in markets of look-alike products. Business change was so subtle in the later decades of the twentieth century that consumers had to be told when things were new.

Read the full post

The Purpose of a Business is NOT to Create Shareholder Wealth
10/08/2013

by Rod Collins

Anyone who has ever taken a business course remembers being taught that the purpose of a business is to create shareholder wealth. This fundamental and often unquestioned assumption has guided management theory and practice for well over a century. According to this assumption, business success or failure is a function of one prime driver: profitability. This notion is continually reinforced by a mercantile priesthood of Wall Street analysts who worship at the altar of profitability. For the Wall Street analysts it’s very simple: the best performing companies make money; the poor performers don’t.

Read the full post

The Unsung Leaders of Self-Organization
09/24/2013

by Rod Collins

Despite the unprecedented challenges of trying to keep pace with a the world that is changing much faster than their organizations, most business leaders are not yet feeling the full consequences of accelerating change. That's because many of today’s knowledge and service workers are rescuing their organizations by finding ways to finesse their bosses and self-organize their work out of the sight of those who are supposedly in charge. The simple fact is that a significant amount of the most important work in many organizations today is self-organized. But because the business leaders are not part of the collaboration process, companies are not benefiting from the full potential of self-organization as a business practice to successfully navigate the white water of accelerating change.

Read the full post

Getting the Right Things Done When There's Too Much to Do
09/17/2013

by Rod Collins

The work of management can be summed up in three words: strategy and execution. Strategy is doing the right things and execution is doing things right. Although this work may sound relatively straightforward and simple, many, if not most, companies are challenged in fulfilling these two basic accountabilities. That’s because the “right things” are not always intuitively obvious and doing things right often involves the coordination of many people distributed throughout an organization. Given today’s accelerating pace of change, management’s job has become even more difficult, which may explain why the replacement rate for the Fortune 1000 has risen from 35 percent to 70 percent since the mid 1980’s.

Read the full post

The Secret Sauce of Innovation: Emergence
09/10/2013

by Rod Collins

Innovation is the new buzzword of twenty-first century business. As managers struggle to keep up with an ever increasing pace of change and watch established giants, such as the Encyclopedia Britannica, Blockbuster, Tower Records, and Circuit City fall victim to disruptive new business models, they are reluctantly acknowledging the clarion call of modern-day management gurus: Innovate or die!

Read the full post

Do Less, Think More
09/03/2013

By Carol Huggins

I recently came across a column in the August 17, 2013 issue of The Economist, suggesting that workers would be better off if they did less and thought more. The author observed that today's business environment has too many distractions and disruptions, and speculated that a major component of what's keeping us all busy (and distracted) is social media.

Before technological advancements moved from a steady cadence to an all-out gallop, most managers had secretaries to handle their daily minutiae, which gave them a lot of time to think. Nowadays, secretaries -- like rotary phones and vinyl records -- have become nostalgic relics. One of the consequences of a hyper-connected world is that managers do their own typing and answer their own phones.

Read the full post

Why We Don't Need Bosses Anymore
08/27/2013

By Rod Collins

Whether we like it or not, the world where most of us grew up is quickly fading away. We now live in a wiki world where the power of networks and the speed of mass collaboration are redefining every aspect of our social lives, especially the work we do and the ways we work. There is little doubt that the technological innovations of the digital revolution will radically transform every industry. The only question is whether or not existing organizations will have the wherewithal to change as fast as the world around them. And that may be more challenging than business leaders realize, especially if present trends continue.

Read the full post

Most Times Good Management Is "B-o-r-r-ring"!
08/13/2013

By Rod Collins

Our picture of business leaders is influenced to some extent by the stereotypes continually reinforced by the mainstream media, who are especially fond of celebrity leaders because they often make for great entertainment. Unfortunately, entertaining leaders are prone to creating a great deal of consternation and confusion - a point that was poignantly brought home during a week-long management training course I attended several years ago.

Read the full post

Innovating the Performance Review
08/06/2013

By Rod Collins

Like Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July, the ritual of the annual performance review is a longstanding tradition. But unlike these two holidays, few of us look forward to the annual corporate practice. In theory, performance reviews are supposed to acknowledge good performance and encourage underperformers to improve. However, a mountain of anecdotal evidence suggests that far too often performance reviews engender cynicism and mistrust, create bewilderment and discouragement, and unwittingly diminish the morale of high performing teams. Few would disagree that the performance review is a broken process.

Read the full post

Private Exchanges: A Good Time to Try the Waters?
07/30/2013

By Robert F. Moss

As we sit just a few months out from the launching of the first public health insurance exchanges (if all goes well, of course), the interest among employers and insurers in private exchanges has continued unabated. Plenty of vendors have stepped up to offer software and services to help insurers and brokers set up their own private exchanges, but as of yet it is a very immature, fragmented market.

We recently conducted a market scan of 44 of the leading American health insurers (including the national carriers and the larger regional players, namely the Blue Cross & Blue Shield organizations) to get a sense of the current state of defined-contribution private exchanges and compare it to other varieties of online insurance tools. The charts below show the percentage of insurers who are either live on or in the process of implementing the following types of platforms:

Read the full post

Pages

Subscribe to Blog