Currently, America’s youth and recent graduates from every field are emboldened with lofty goals to make the world a better place and get rich doing so. Forty percent of the U.S. population is made up of millennials and Generation Z individuals, and with technological advancements creating new opportunities, these young workers are finding new and exciting ways contribute in everything from nutrition and wellness to sustainability and design innovation. New incentives reshape the definitions of career success, and e-learning improves education and its accessibility. Mountains of student debt and the concentration of career opportunities in expensive cities pose serious challenges, but these hurdles aren’t eliminating the dream to make a living and a difference.
Our View: Millennials and Generation Z can begin to realize their lofty aspirations by listening to exemplary leaders in older generations. Seek out mentorship by emailing someone whose career you admire today. Establish credibility by opening with a shared affiliation and show an understanding of the value you could offer them by sharing the sweet spot where your skills overlap with their needs. Further Reading
The U.S. leads the world in health spending, and its patients could be the largest part of the problem. Many experts estimate that what providers do accounts for 10 to 25 percent of life-expectancy improvements in a given country, but what patients do matters much more. Insights can be gleaned from other healthcare systems around the world, but their relevance for application in the U.S. must be taken in its proper context and include understanding the patient population.
Our View: Getting to know and understand your customers is critical for your business to thrive and is a part of everyone’s job regardless of their role. Part of getting to know your customers includes getting them to share information about themselves, and to gather this information, you must garner trust and transparency. Cross-functional collaboration helps you build an understanding of your customer quicker and creates opportunities to be more helpful, which in turn builds customer trust and loyalty. For example, when IT collaborates with sales and marketing, they not only make online interactions with customers smoother, they also are better able analyze customer data and execute actionable insights. Further Reading
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Agricultural drones have the potential to reduce the use of pesticides and ease farmers’ work, but laws, privacy concerns, and prices may impede immediate progress in the UK. While the professional services firm, PricewaterhouseCoopers, estimates that commercial drones will add £42 billion (48 billion euros; $53 billion) to the British GDP by 2030 with agriculture as one of the main beneficiaries, the drones are expensive and create a cost barrier for many farmers.
Our View: Measuring the return on investment for your company’s individual technology choices and overall technology investment can be tricky but necessary. Using the basic formula: ROI = net gain/cost, assign numerical values to costs and benefits. Be sure to include all resources and actions essential to your costs, such as time required (including training and support), recycling or disposing old technology, and the cost of alternatives (including doing nothing). Further Reading
The Elon Musk-led startup Neuralink is developing a brain-computer interface technology that may be able to solve some brain disorders and even achieve a type of symbiosis with artificial intelligence. The technology is based around “threads,” which can be implanted in human brains with much less potential impact to the surrounding brain tissue than today’s current technology. Even though it’s far from commercial use, the reason for publicly sharing the developments about what they’re working on is to be able to publish papers and work openly with the academic and research community.
Our View: When leading a startup or new project, there is great value in controlling the messaging before your new product or service is ready for commercialization. While there’s not a one size fits all formula to commercializing technology, there are best practices to emulate. Leading companies that commercialize more new products and processes quicker in more product and geographic markets view commercialization as a highly disciplined system. Competitive success centers on cross-collaboration and the prioritization of ongoing improvements to products and processes, regardless of whether or not they’re developed in-house. Further Reading
The iconic 1980s musical Cats is being adapted for the big screen, and the first trailer was recently released, showing a bizarre, mystical spectacle that captures the essence of the original theater version. Taylor Swift, Jennifer Hudson, and Idris Elba all star as anthropomorphic felines in the upcoming film.
Our View: As products move through their life cycle, product development and adaptation is a required continuous process that can be anything from modifying existing products to the creation of entirely new products. Look for ways to broaden the market for your existing products, repackage them in a novel way, or introduce them in a new market. Starbucks is an excellent example of a company that continually innovates its products and brand experience. Further Reading