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Three Indisputable Traits Of A True Leader

Three questions great leaders ask their teams.

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How To Pick Your Yoda

Why the smartest leaders have coaches. How to pick yours.

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Two Lists Successful Leaders Make Every Day

These two simple practices will take the sting out of your toughest day.

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Measuring Your Firm’s Capabilities: 5 Questions To Ask

If you answer no to any of these five questions, then it may be time to hire or outsource talent to fill capability gaps before doing anything with the optics of innovation.

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Why Is “Digital” A Noun?

It's important to think about your own true core competencies and then match them to unmet needs and emerging trends.

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How To Identify The Most Dangerous Person In Your Company

Disrupters are absolutely necessary, but not if it means damaging a company's core values.

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Outsource Your Crazy™

Why Successful Companies Are Exporting Their Scariest Ideas (and people)

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The Three Strategy Questions Leaders Need To Ask Right Now

Here are a few questions to put front and center during your next strategy session.

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Want Change? Fire Yourself

Firing yourself in an organization that you want to stay a part of is one of the healthiest things you can do for yourself and for your company.

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How Leaders At Large Companies Can Think Like A (Genius) Entrepreneur

How to harness the power of abundant thinking and believing in “pathological optimism.”

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How To Think Like A (Genius) Entrepreneur

The power of abundant thinking and the importance of believing in “pathological optimism

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6 Questions To Consider When Drafting A ‘To-Don’t’ List

It’s time to put a “to-don’t” list on an equal footing with your “to-do” list, creating the time and mind space necessary for cultivating innovation.

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Innovative Thinking vs. Innovation: Key Differences Uncovered

Innovative thinking, an empowering competency for generating results, needs to be accompanied by innovation.

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RIP Sold, Not Bought

If we replace "sold, not bought" with "bought, not sought," we can cultivate demand and deliver better on the experience.

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How High-Performing Leaders Refuel

Here’s what to do when you and your team are out of gas.

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How To Persuade Like Bill Clinton

A speaking lesson for leaders at large and small companies

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The Three Most Powerful Words For Startups

If you understand these three powerful words, you can help any size company succeed.

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Why Speaking ‘Startup’ Matters: The Three Words That Matter Most To Entrepreneurs

There is a growing and costly language gap between big businesses and startups, and the stakes have never been higher.

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Middle Class Retirement: Navigating A Path To “Jubilescence”

An individual's jubilescence is unique, both in terms of priorities and needs. One size does not fit all, writes Schepis.

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Why You Should Avoid Entrepreneurship

This article was written for visionaries and masochists alike.

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Why Corporate Innovators Need To Learn To Get Small

Getting small is a critical, yet missing, skillset (and mindset) for the life insurance industry.

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How Large And Small Businesses Can Overcome The Innovation Paradox Together

“We need to act more like entrepreneurs, but those guys are nuts.” —a real quote from a Fortune 100 CEO

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The Real Reason Your Big Ideas Go Nowhere

Big ideas matter. Overcoming short-term bias and becoming skillful at disrupting ourselves are the only things that will keep us from being blindsided.

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Does Your Innovation ‘Engine’ Need A Tune-up?

Tune it, rebuild it or scrap it? Your innovation engine may be sputtering if you are spending too much (or not enough) time building and rebuilding.

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Sample Innovation Curriculum: Six Programs To Develop Your Leaders And Move Your Culture (And How We Can Help)

Maddock Douglas offers six development programs or workshops to help you increase the innovation capacity of your leadership teams and, in doing so, begin the shift to a culture of innovation.

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Does The DOL Threat Require A Plan C?

If attempts to fight and alter the proposed DOL fiduciary rule fail, what can we as an industry do?

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How Powerful People Embrace Change

G. Michael Maddock speaks on a topic he is truly passionate about: CHANGE.

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Starkey Innovations Expo Focuses On Technology, Marketing And Purpose

Mike Maddock recently shared the stage at the Starkey Hearing Innovation Expo with stars who have helped make the TV show Shark Tank such a success.

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Suffering From The ‘Shark Tank’ Effect? Here Are 3 Ways Out

By applying these three principles, your innovation team has a framework of “rules” (yes, rules!) to guide decisions.

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What’s Next For The Life Insurance Industry?

If you are thinking that “what’s next” for the life insurance industry has something to do with the experience around buying and owning life insurance products, think again.

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Lessons From Inside A Shark Tank

Driving innovation—what ginormous and teeny enterprises alike do to defy the odds and successfully launch new products, services and business models.

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How To Outwit Your Smartest Competitors

Want to change an industry? Make a list of all the legacy assumptions and ask your team to brainstorm ideas while eliminating one assumption at a time.

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Why The ‘F’ In Fiduciary Matters

The government and the financial services industry may not be as misaligned as we think, writes Maria Ferrante-Schepis.

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The Art Of Being Strategically Selfish

The most successful people have learned that taking care of themselves first and foremost gives them the oxygen they need to think, to dream, to connect and to inspire.

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Does Google Give A Hoot About Millennials?

We can be inspired by Google to build our own innovation muscles. Maria Ferrante-Schepis chooses to be inspired.

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Three More Dos And Don’ts For Insurance Innovation (Part 2)

The best approach to funding innovation is to allocate an amount toward a set of ideas and empower a small group to make decisions.

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Surviving A Bad Work Marriage

If you’ve been in business for more than a few years, you have undoubtedly experienced a dysfunctional work marriage. Described here are four classic situations—along with what you can do about them.

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Meet ionGuest, John K. Coyle, Olympic Medalist, Business Leader And Student Loan Borrower

The road to success is paved with challenges, pressures and agonizing defeats. ionGuest John Coyle shares his credit card and student debt journey.

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The 20 Most Creative People In Insurance

“Please join me in congratulating Maria Ferrante-Schepis for being selected as one of the 20 most creative people in insurance by National Underwriter. She is among an impressive list of

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Three Dos And Don’ts For Insurance Innovation (Part 1)

The competency of innovation is about placing bets in a variety of places, with varying degrees of risk in each.

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The Entrepreneur’s Midlife Crisis

Have you considered the idea that you might be having a middle-aged crisis? Here are seven signs you may be having one.

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Entrepreneurs Vs. Market Leaders: Three Strategies Entrepreneurs Use To Win

Question: How many entrepreneurs does it take to change a light bulb? Answer: Does it have to be a light bulb?

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The Best Way To Innovate: Big Company Edition

The best way to innovate: Three proven strategies that will work for big companies.

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Could Insurance Go “Uber?”

As seen on LifeHealthPro The “Stuff On Demand” Economy And What It Might Mean For The Insurance Industry When people think of Uber, they usually think about cars taking

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Sustaining Success: Why Big Companies Need To Slow Down

We’ve all heard some version of Aesop’s fable of the hare and the tortoise. It was written to pass on this simple message: Pragmatic plodding wins the race. Unfortunately, this lesson seems to be lost in most large companies trying to innovate today. The “need for speed” seems to be trumping common sense.

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10% Innovators, 90% Renovators. Which Are You?

Innovation doesn't follow current rules. Innovation makes new rules.

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Three Common Words That Make Entrepreneurs Crazy

If you spend enough time around entrepreneurs, you’ll notice they are more offended by some common words than most business people.

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Innovation Leadership Kryptonite — How To Know When To Fire Anti-Innovative Leaders

Building An Innovation Team? Who To Fire: The Five Personas Of Anti-Innovative Leaders

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Will My Job Be Completely Different Very, Very Soon?

Is your company going to become a forgotten bit of history? Is your industry heading for a Napster Moment? Is your expert status at risk? “Control your own destiny or someone else will.” —Jack Welch

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How To Develop The Innovation Leadership Capacity Of Your High-Potential (HiPo) Leaders

Three Essential Steps To Ensure Your Future Leaders Deliver Innovation 1. Integrate training on innovation mindsets, processes and skillsets into your leadership development curriculum Questions to consider: Is innovation important to your company’s

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How Do I Hire Innovation Talent? What Are The Telltale Experiences, Skills And Signs Of Innovation Leaders?

So you know you need to build a more innovative team — maybe you have just let someone go who just was incapable of change and thinking “outside the box,” or maybe you are lucky enough to have been granted additional headcount. Here are five guidelines to ensure success in hiring your next innovation leader.

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The Reverse Elevator Speech: A Test Of Authenticity

One of the first things that people in professional sales are taught is that they must perfect their elevator speech, or the short narrative that exactly conveys their value proposition. The reverse elevator speech is key to improving perceptions of our industry and designing customer experiences.

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What Are The Characteristics, Skills, Mindsets And Tools Of High-Potential (HiPo) Innovation Leaders?

Developing HiPo talent is a never-ending job. It's about finding and teaching frameworks that can create dialog, trust and creative space where others can safely “play” with them. For the HiPos of tomorrow, Innovation Leadership Development is the essential key.

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Best’s Review: Communication Breakdown

Best's Review: Maddock Douglas' Maria Ferrante-Schepis and LIMRA's Scott Kallenbach discuss the communication breakdown in the insurance industry

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Why Are Innovation Skills Essential For High-Potential Leaders Of The Future?

Finding and developing the high-potential leaders of the future for most companies is a high priority. According to the 2014 UNC Leadership Study, 85 percent of global senior leaders agree: “There is an urgent need to accelerate the development of their leaders.”

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Office Design Lessons From Innovationland

Six Ideas For Spurring Creativity: Our company has been recognized as having one of the “Coolest Offices” in Chicago on a number of occasions—most recently by Crain’s Chicago Business.

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Could Uber Put FedEx Out Of Business?

Because customer needs, wants and desires are constantly evolving, if you are the leader of a company bent on innovation, the most important question you must ask your team is, “What business could we be in tomorrow?”

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A Leadership Wish: Eddie Murphy Please Host SNL

This article is about what happens when you decide to reengage with your natural gifts that shined brightly when you were young.

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Why Just About Every Single Head of Innovation — Including Me — Should Be Fired

As seen on Forbes Hint: No matter how aggressive we are being, we aren’t being aggressive enough. I wasn’t being hyperbolic with that headline. Most innovation officers are brought in to

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How Innovation Helped Save A Company

It is always nice when a business principle reserved only for the bravest leaders proves itself to be true under the worst possible conditions — a lesson in surviving the perfect storm.

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What Would Uber Do?

Uber is one of my favorite disruptions or “Napster Moments.” This is when someone who has no business being in a business comes in and reinvents the business and puts someone out of business.

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Secret #11: Be Constructive, Not Disruptive.

This is the eleventh in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup"

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The Echo Of Disruption

The life and health insurance industry can learn from the sound of disruption, hopefully before too much regret sets in.

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Five Wishes Every CEO Wants For The New Year

How The Best Make These Wishes Come True

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Resolution For 2015: Drop More F-Bombs

The best innovators in the world have a different kind of relationship with failure.

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Secret #10: Mind Your Wings, Not Your Runway.

This is the tenth in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup"

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Secret #9: Be Attractive. Don’t Be Unattractive.

This is the ninth in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup"

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Secret #8: Resist The Curse Of Comfort

This is the eighth in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup"

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Secret #7: Sell A Lot (of a little)

This is the seventh in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup"

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When The Shift Hits The Fan

There comes a time in every business when it becomes apparent that your product, service or business model is no longer relevant.

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Secret #6: Kinetic Startups Have More Potential

(This is the sixth in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup")

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Secret #5: Mad Scientists Need Not Apply

This is the fifth in the 12-part series, "12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup"

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Frustrated By Fear: 82 Industry Leader Opinions

There is something about selling on fear that we may inherently think is wrong, even if we intuitively believe it works.

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What To Do When Your Boss Says It’s Time To Innovate

As seen on Forbes Confessions time: I do a fair amount of public speaking and recently read this comment in my evaluations: “Would have been just as powerful without

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Secret #4. Don’t Dream Big. Design Big.

This is the fourth in the 12-part series, “12 Secrets To Attracting Investors To Your Startup”

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Why You Need An Innovation Portfolio

As seen on Forbes A Billion-Dollar Lesson From An Unlikely Suspect As the financial markets crashed, CNBC’s Erin Burnett and the late Mark Haines pressed me during Squawk Box to name

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Fear In Life Insurance: Right, Wrong Or Innovation Opportunity?

An innovation opportunity lies with whoever explores this and, more important, tries something new.

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Mortality: Unleashing Its Hidden Sex Appeal

As seen on LifeHealthPro Ha! I made you look! Seriously. It’s time for the mortality librarian to take off her glasses, let down her hair, and enjoy some positive attention

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The Secret Weapon Of The Most Inventive Minds

A Critical Lesson From The Most Successful Entrepreneurs

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Innovation Nation?

Is Your Government Good Or Bad For Innovation?

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Maddock Douglas Client LearnVest Featured On Forbes Cover

Maddock Douglas client LearnVest was featured on the front cover of Forbes. The financial services disrupter continues to forge new roads for the…

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The Death Of A Sailboat: “Down To Earth-ing” Retirement

It’s official. Not everyone assumes that age 65 will mean fishing, gorgeous sunsets, a thick, perfectly tousled head of platinum hair and a spouse who has aged equally well.

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Are We Responsible Revolutionaries?

On this July Fourth, we celebrate and find inspiration in the revolutionary legacy of 1776. Like most patterns of revolution, after periods of oppression by out-of-touch power structures, a constructive curiosity about what “can be” eventually overcomes a group of people.

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The Only Way Great Change Happens

Here’s how to know things are about to change—dramatically. I was in an advisory board meeting yesterday with eight of the smartest, most successful people I know. We were going over

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How The Best Leaders Set Context

The Way You Start A Conversation May Determine The Outcome You Get

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How Being Really Bad Is Really Great For Business

The Often Missed Secret Of The Best Brands Harvard Business School Professor Frances X. Frei has something to say about being bad at…

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Three Steps To Enabling The Hidden Power Of ‘Mutual’ In Any Business

Contributors: Maria Ferrante-Schepis, Lauren Schwartz Article also published on insights.wired.com Innovators Can Learn A Lot From…

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Kill The Policy: 10 Cans Of Inspiration For Insurance Innovation

As seen on LifeHealthPro.com Opinion   If you step outside on a quiet night, clear your mind, and cup your ear with your hand, you may be able to hear the faint

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Babies And Bathwater: Innovating Around The Nature Of Insurance

As seen on LifeHealthPro.com Innovation Insights If people understood the nature of insurance, how would that impact behavior? When I stop and think about where the life insurance industry is spending energy,

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Why Victims Can’t Be Successful Innovators

Consider this tale: Two salespeople for a leading athletic shoe company are sent over to a developing-world soon-to-be-superpower country in the early 1980s. After a week of working to find

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Making Tough Decisions Under Pressure

How the best leaders make the toughest decisions—when it matters most “Making good decisions is a critical skill at every level.” —Peter Drucker “It turns out, making a tough decision is a

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Does The Need For Certainty Kill Innovation?

As the saying goes, there are only two things that are certain: death and taxes. For the last decade, we weren’t quite so…

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Is Your Customer Experience Strategy Crippled By Your Language?

As seen on LifeHealthPro.com If a tree falls in the woods and there is nobody there to hear it, did it really make a sound? If you expend your best

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Why Does My Boss Hate Me?

Three things your boss would rather fire you for—than tell you about Leaders talk by the water cooler, too. When they do, they usually discuss the future they want for their company,

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Question No. 1 For Leaders Of Innovation

“Why should I follow you?” When you introduce your vision to have your company be even more innovative, you may think your employees will ask about cost, potential audience, probable success

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Five Ways To Successfully Innovate

See if this sounds familiar to you: The CEO says, “We must become more innovative.” She hires or assigns a Chief Innovation Officer. An innovation task force is formed. The task force comes up

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The Olympic Games: Customer Experience Secrets

You may think that the only customers of the Olympic games are the families around the world staring intently at their TVs while cheering on their favorite athlete or country. But

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How Olympic Innovation Can Help You Rethink Your Business

How the Olympics are shining a light on an innovation that will change industries. So what is the greatest…

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Innovation Isn’t Porn, It’s A Relationship

Powerful relationships take commitment and the right kind of effort. When innovation is compared to anything, it illustrates the fundamental difficulty we have in the representation of abstract concepts. InformationWeek columnist Coverlet

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Hedging Your Innovation Risks Through Proper Budget Asset Allocation

In the world of finance, asset allocation is a commonly used technique to determine where to put an individual’s money to get optimum returns.

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What The Insurance Industry And Others Can Learn From Ghostbusters

Disclaimer: do not read this unless you can accept ideas as mental yoga, and not as suggestions, recommendations or opinions.

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What Business Are Insurance Companies REALLY In?

Marketing Myopia occurs when company leaders define their mission too narrowly, resulting in business nearsightedness or shortsightedness.

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Living On Fumes: Who Is Favoring The Privilege Of Debt Over Equity?

Depending on who you ask, you will get different answers about which consumers’ behavior drove the credit crisis.

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Life Insurance And Gen Y—Why Bother?

The Life Insurance Industry has been in distress for years over the aging field force problem—and their resulting inability to reach younger consumers.

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