December 23, 2013

Making Christmas Merrier

Posted by Paddy Rao (View Profile | View All Posts) at 6:22 AM

Retailers Go High-tech With Online Shopping [Source:]

Nobody is suggesting you not wait for a jolly old elf to leave you presents this holiday season. But if you're really hedging your bets, perhaps you should get to know some applications that help you shop online.

Long gone are the days when a handful of sites offered a limited supply of books and CDs. Today the selection of wares you can find online is dizzying - and so is the number of retail sites. I like to use the analogy of trudging through the rain to go to a store only to find that its shelves are bare and the sales associates are rude. You probably wish you'd found a different store before setting out on your time-consuming journey. It's no different with shopping online.

Digital consumers are a very aggressive bunch. They want their devices not only to guide them through the throes of shopping but also to view and act on suggestions based on their buying habits. Credit Big Data and the sophisticated analytics that go with it.

Continue reading "Making Christmas Merrier" »

September 27, 2013

Developing the Right "Nano Tools" for Your Company

Posted by Paddy Rao (View Profile | View All Posts) at 9:57 AM

Narayana Murthy on "Leadership" : Economic Times - The Power of Ideas [Source:]

Do you have what it takes to be an effective leader? More specifically, do you have what it takes to make a leader's checklist?

I ask because of new academic research on the importance of the actionable checklist in any organization. For instance, New York City's fire department, one of the largest in the world, has no less than 13 different checklists that its leaders must abide by in case of emergency - and the FDNY faces lots of emergencies. Their "Mayday" checklist includes things like ordering all unrelated two-way radio to stop and establishing a staging area for firefighters.

In the corporate world, Microsoft's sales managers use a pre-sales checklist that includes finding out who will be on the sales call, researching those people on an Internet search engine, and committing their sales pitch to memory. Another organizational checklist highlighted in a recent article I read included softer topics such as trying to see the world through clients' eyes and working with them to transcend conventional thinking.

Continue reading "Developing the Right "Nano Tools" for Your Company" »

March 25, 2013

Knowing When Knowledge Knows Best

Posted by Paddy Rao (View Profile | View All Posts) at 10:37 AM

When we moved into NJ from Boston, we  bought a house with a large, unfinished basement. To my wife, who enjoys painting, that space downstairs was a blank canvas. There were all sorts of things she wanted to do with the basement, including, of course, adding  an art studio. As she began to surf the web looking to implement her renovation ideas, she came across a company that allows you to create your own nameplate for the front of your house or mailbox. Her experience with that company is an ideal example of the three important foundations on which effective and innovative organizations operate: mass customization, and maintaining relevant knowledge.

Continue reading "Knowing When Knowledge Knows Best " »

August 17, 2012

The Insides of a Smarter Organization

Posted by Paddy Rao (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:39 AM


Efficient organizations are commonly mistaken for smarter organizations. But a smart organization is way beyond efficient - it can reinvent itself as and when required, without external initiatives or intervention.   Recently, I wrote here, about the first steps in the journey towards becoming a smarter organization  -  building a learning organization.  Learning organizations disseminate and leverage knowledge to generate new ideas and innovate with business processes.  A corporate culture that is both self-reinventing and sustaining are as important as best practices, efficient processes and quality-focus.

Continue reading "The Insides of a Smarter Organization" »

July 6, 2012

Creativity versus the learning organization

Posted by Paddy Rao (View Profile | View All Posts) at 5:42 AM

Think about how good your organization is at learning new things and challenging the status quo. Do you see the conflict that it can cause? Learning organizations lay a welcome emphasis on its people continually learning and sharing new knowledge. But does this make the organization smart? And, what is 'smart', anyway? In my view, a smart organization knows what it needs to know and share, and then uses this to drive efficiencies. It may sound rather obvious, but think again.

Continue reading "Creativity versus the learning organization " »