Why Leaders Need to Think More Like Professional Gamblers

Leading Blog

O NE OF the unfortunate side effects of living in an age of accelerating technology is having to deal with increased uncertainty. While their job may have been setting or applying strict credit policies in the past, they may now start to wonder whether their traditional credit rating models are still effective. When faced with uncertainty, how should leaders react? Should they make a big bet, hedge their position, or just wait and see?

The Impact of the Blockchain Goes Beyond Financial Services

Harvard Business

The technology most likely to change the next decade of business is not the social web, big data, the cloud, robotics, or even artificial intelligence. It’s the blockchain, the technology behind digital currencies like Bitcoin. Blockchain technology is complex, but the idea is simple. On the blockchain, trust is established, not by powerful intermediaries like banks, governments and technology companies, but through mass collaboration and clever code.

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Using Digital Exhaust to Improve Sales

Harvard Business

At one B2B technology company, for example, account managers were supposed to focus their efforts on their highest-value, “top of the pyramid” accounts. The tool’s analysis of inside sales calls at one company found that although reps had long been coached on a broad set of practices, four specific behaviors correlated most closely with sales close rates. This type of software has consistently improved call response rates, close rates and average order value.

How Blockchain Could Help Emerging Markets Leap Ahead

Harvard Business

Much has been made of the potential for blockchain technologies to open up new vistas for business and society. But is there a way for this revolutionary technology to empower the rich and poor alike? How Blockchain Works Here are five basic principles underlying the technology. This in turn boosted development by allowing relatively poor farmers to reliably send and receive payments at affordable rates, fostering economic growth by lowering transaction costs.

Creating a New Approach to Engineering and Innovation at Hitachi Metals - SPONSOR CONTENT FROM HITACHI METALS, LTD.

Harvard Business

As the new general manager of the Global Research & Innovative Technology Center (GRIT) at Hitachi Metals, Kenichi Inoue is tasked with creating an updated framework for research and development in advanced materials, helping his organization make the shift to a new approach to engineering and innovation in a disrupted world.

Three Questions to Ask Your Advanced-Analytics Team

Harvard Business Review

The idea is that direct driving behavior over time will be more predictive than traditional proxies such as age, credit rating, or geography. For insurers, transforming these data into their most usable form may require the creation of new composite variables or scores from the existing data — something like a driving risk score that gives weight to telematics data, geography, and credit score. Information & technology

Four Steps to Fixing Your Bad Data

Harvard Business Review

As one might expect, officials are using the error and S&P's earlier failure to properly rate bundled mortgage products to argue that the downgrade is incorrect. From falsified mortgage applications and bundles of toxic mortgages, to incorrect credit ratings and balance sheets that couldn't be trusted, the financial crisis is as much about bad data as it is about unfettered greed. Information & technology Operations

The Real Solution Is Growth

Harvard Business Review

Recent headlines have focused on the debt ceiling , the recent credit rating downgrade , unemployment , and the other thorny fiscal challenges facing the United States. But consider this: increasing the country's average growth rate by one percentage point over the next 20 years would not only result in much higher incomes and more jobs for all Americans but would also obviate the need for drastic spending cuts today to reign in the government deficit.

Badges? We Don’t Need No LinkedIn Badges

Harvard Business Review

Money became a key element of these trust networks because it was cheaper to trust the money than the credit of a counterparty beyond your clan, village, or tribe. These hacks are things like badges, diplomas, dress codes, and, as it happens, credit ratings. It is happening now because the powerful combination of the mobile phone, the social graph, and new authentication technologies is reducing the cost of using social capital effectively at a transaction level.

AskObama Is a Meaningless Marketing Stunt

Harvard Business Review

The dismal truth is that pretty much all of yesterday's institutions — from banks, to "the corporation," to credit ratings, to schools — are just as broken as our political institutions are. The promise of social technologies is to fundamentally reimagine and reboot yesterday's crumbling institutions (and disempower the bumbling beancounters who run them). So, what are you asking President Obama? Why not more stimulus? Why did he choose to bail out the banks?