The Lead: Innovation Hub at the Vienna Airport, Swiss Protests for Equal Pay, Target’s Long Lines Due to Tech Trouble

Innovation Hub at the Vienna Airport

Plug and Play, the global startup accelerator that helped Google, PayPal, and Dropbox, is partnering with Airport City Vienna to create a hub for innovative business ideas at startups and established companies. The hub will prioritize “Smart Cities” and “Travel and Hospitality” and will have several co-working areas.

Our View: Creativity is a critical business and leadership skill, and thought leaders are communicating its importance more and more. Creativity, as a skill set needed to thrive in business, moved from number 10 in 2015 to number three in 2020 at the 2016 World Economic Forum. Creating incubators specifically for innovation is an excellent way to build a culture that promotes idea generation and creative problem-solving. Further Reading

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Swiss Protests for Equal Pay

Swiss women working in the private sector earned one-fifth less than men in 2016, and Switzerland ranked 20th in the 2018 World Economic Forum’s Global Gender Gap Report. A historic women’s strike in 1991 in Switzerland was recently replicated, and thousands of women across Switzerland went on strike to protest gender inequality.

Our View: Great leaders go beyond righting their wrongs, and in addition to fixing their own mistakes, they are advocates for others to change, improve, and make corrections. They are champions for others and foster a culture of continual improvement. The way things were in the past or the status quo are never used as justifications for future possibilities for these forward-thinking leaders. Further Reading

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Target’s Long Lines Due to Tech Trouble

Long lines weaved through Target stores worldwide last week due to a technology glitch that prevented Target’s cashiers from scanning merchandise and processing transactions. As some of the self-checkout registers were also impacted by the glitch, some locations decided to close their Targets in order to resolve the problem and avoid frustrating shoppers.

Our View: When leaders thoughtfully pause prior to an important decision or in response to conflict or adversity, they gain perspective and can react better. “In our fast-paced, achieve-more-now culture, the loss of pause potential is epidemic,” explains Kevin Cashman, executive coach and author of The Pause Principle. “If leaders today do not step back, to stop momentum, to gain perspective, to transcend the immediacies of life, and to accelerate their leadership, we will continue to crash economically, personally and collectively.” Further Reading

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Technology Transformations for Cars

Technology is transforming the auto industry in ways that go beyond transportation and impacting only the driver. Virtual reality headsets for backseat passengers will make rides more entertaining and lessen motion sickness. With virtual reality, the vehicle will becomes part of the content experience as its movements appear to match up perfectly with the on-screen action.

Our View: Thought leaders in many fields are innovating their industries by finding novel uses for already existing products. Sometimes a brand new invention is just a new combination of two old ideas. Leaders need to be inventive and empower others to be as well. Encourage idea generation with strategic perspective while simultaneously keeping an eye out for opportunities and risks. Further Reading

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Necessary Dose of Nature

According to research led by the University of Exeter, published in Scientific Reports and funded by NIHR, spending at least two hours a week in nature may be the necessary minimal dose for promoting health and wellbeing. Professor Terry Hartig of Uppsala University in Sweden said, “There are many reasons why spending time in nature may be good for health and wellbeing, including getting perspective on life circumstances, reducing stress, and enjoying quality time with friends and family. The current findings offer valuable support to health practitioners in making recommendations about spending time in nature to promote basic health and wellbeing, similar to guidelines for weekly physical.”

Our View: Find ways to incorporate nature into the workplace. For example, optimize the natural light in your work space to increase morale and decrease costs. A plant redesign by Ford Motor Company that incorporated 46 skylights saved the company on lighting costs, reduced eye strain for people working on the assembly line, and improved the overall mood of their employees. Further Reading

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