Drops from the Fire Hose – December 4, 2012 – Harvard Business Review

Why Firms with Female Directors Make Fewer Financial Mistakes — The Daily Stat

Companies whose directors include one or more women are38% less likely to have to restate their financial-performance figures to correct errors than firms with all-male boards, says a team led by Lawrence J. Abbott of the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee. Gender diversity may make a board more open to viewpoints that oppose the CEO’s and may encourage a more deliberative and collaborative decision-making process, according to the research, published in the American Accounting Association journal Accounting Horizons.

The Key Mistake Undermining Your Pitch — Harvard Business Review

Innovators and intrapreneurs believe that their job is to build the best possible innovations within time and budget constraints. This is demonstrably false and counterproductively naive. Their job is to build the best possible innovations that their managements will enthusiastically, not reluctantly, support. The answer(s) to “What would it take to change your mind?” had better be known before the meeting’s first PowerPoint/Keynote slide appears.

Case Study: Time to Play Hardball? — Harvard Business Review

(Editor’s Note: This fictionalized case study will appear in a forthcoming issue of Harvard Business Review, along with commentary from experts and readers. If you’d like your comment to be considered for publication, please be sure to include your full name, company or university affiliation, and email address.)

Use Social Media to Build Emotional Capital — Harvard Business Review

For social media to be widely adopted inside organizations and ultimately produce business benefits, executives first need to change their mindset about using these technologies. They have to realize that internal social media success isn’t really about the software but about the emotional connection it creates.

Patagonia’s Provocative Black Friday Campaign — Harvard Business Review

This outdoor clothing and gear company partnered with eBay on a new initiative. They kicked it off with a full-page ad in The New York Times showing their best-selling jacket with a banner that read:Don’t Buy This Jacket.

Yes, you read that correctly: they wanted people to buy less stuff. Although this seems counterintuitive to corporate leaders charged with top line growth, they demonstrated an Innovation Management best practice called “Systemic Authenticity.”

It’s Not Just Semantics: Managing Outcomes Vs. Outputs — Harvard Business Review

In the non-profit world, outputs are programs, training, and workshops; outcomes are knowledge transferred and behaviors changed. In the for-profit world, the distinctions are not always so clear. Let’s define outputs as the stuff we produce, be it physical or virtual, for a specific type of customer—say, car seats for babies. And let’s define outcomes as the difference our stuff makes—keeping your child safe in the car. Borrowing an example from the Innovation Network, a highway construction company’s outputs are project design and the number of highway miles built and repaired. Outcomes are the difference made by the outputs: better traffic flow, shorter travel times, and fewer accidents.

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