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New York City (Source: Unsplash)

Strategies and Tools for Entrepreneurs in Search of Resources

Idea posted: September 2017
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Based on a meta-analysis of academic publications, researchers identify two strategies and four tools that entrepreneurs can deploy to gain access to vital external resources.

Idea #668
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Interior, Wolf Kibel, 1930-35 (Courtesy: Iziko South African National Gallery, Cape Town)

Business Templates that Succeed in 'Bottom of the Pyramid' Environments

Idea posted: June 2017
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Operations

A new company first succeeds by creating a template for doing business — a working system of organizational routines and practices. It then scales its business by replicating that template. In bottom of the pyramid environments, however, the development and replication of templates can be hindered by the extreme conditions in which organizations must operate.

Idea #659
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The Closed Bank, Edoardo Matania, 1870s (Courtesy: Dorotheum www.dorotheum.com)

Crowdfunding Still Attracts Local Investors to Local Ventures

Idea posted: April 2016
  • Finance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Entrepreneurs seeking funding through crowdfunding Internet platforms must still overcome the ‘home bias’ of investors — that is, their preference for funding projects located close to their homes.  

Idea #593
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Coffee Break ad from Life Magazine, featuring Gracie Allen and George Burns, 1953 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Why Slack Time Is Important for Innovation: It’s Not What You Think

Idea posted: October 2015
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

New research shows that innovation efforts benefit from giving employees free time (aka ‘slack time’), but not for the reason you might believe. While Google’s free time initiative might have led to creative new ideas, the real benefit of slack time is to allow innovators to get the administrative and other execution-oriented tasks done.

Idea #558
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The Golden Goose, cover illustration by Mary Lott Seaman, published in 1928 by the MacMillan Company

Will Corporations Leaving Basic Scientific Research Kill the Golden Goose?

Idea posted: April 2015
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

Who will invent the new Nylon? Unlike the DuPonts of the past, large corporations are focusing more on applied research, which can lead more quickly to products, than basic, longer-term scientific research that benefits society as a whole.

Idea #509
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Gedränge vor dem Geschäft Thomas Prewein, by Josef Engelhart, 1941 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

The Surprising Benefit of Long Queues for Customers and Business

Idea posted: October 2014
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

The accepted wisdom is that long lines are bad for business. In fact, they can be very good for business, as long as they are not too long. Research shows that long lines help customers learn what’s worth waiting for, and help businesses attract uninformed customers.

Idea #446
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The Intrigue, James Ensor, 1890 (Courtesy: The Royal Museum of Fine Arts Antwerp)

How Crowdfunding Affects Product and Pricing Decisions

Idea posted: June 2014
  • Finance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing

Seeking investors through crowdfunding sites such as Kickstarter requires entrepreneurs to rethink their pricing and product line strategies, taking into account the mix of investor/buyers who will attach different levels of value to the new product or service.

Idea #402
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John Barrymore as Svengali and Marian Marsh as Trilby, a poster for ‘Svengali’, 1931, produced and distributed by Warner Brothers

Choosing a Venture Capitalist: The Ethical Dimension

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

New and young businesses often depend on equity finance from venture capitalists. This does not, however, mean that they’re indiscriminate in their choice of venture capitalist fund. Recent research suggests that, in certain circumstances at least, entrepreneurs will spurn offers from equity investors who have a poor reputation for ethical behaviour.

Idea #332
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The Boyhood of Raleigh 1870, Sir John Everett Millais, The Tate Gallery , London

Storytelling for Entrepreneurial Endeavour

Idea posted: February 2014
  • Finance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Behaviour

Good stories can increase legitimacy and persuade investors and valued employees to commit to your organization. At the same time, an inauthentic story could be worse than none at all. In this Idea, six strategies that executives can employ to create, refine and deliver their stories are outlined. Read on to learn more.

Idea #324
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Sir James Dyson puts on Dyson product launch, Sydney, 2013 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Eureka! How to Get that Great Idea to Market

Idea posted: December 2013
  • Strategy
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Institutions: Henley Business School

‘Making a market’, or creating a need for something no-one has experienced before, is difficult enough for the most well-known sellers, but for entrepreneurs it is doubly so. To overcome the hurdle of succeeding with a new product, they need to work not only on the innovation itself but also on educating potential customers. This research sets out an approach to market-making for entrepreneurs in certain complex markets.

Idea #286
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Blue Ballet, by South African artist Glen Josselsohn, 2011 (Source: Wikimedia Commons)

Innovation and External ‘Clusters’ in Emerging Markets

Idea posted: November 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Marketing
  • Operations

Regional clusters, combining companies and research institutes and government agencies, have long been considered important for the development of new businesses and new ideas, particularly in highly competitive and turbulent environments such as emerging economies. But they need to be complemented by external networks. A recent study underlines the link between successful innovation and partnerships outside ‘home territories’.

Idea #263
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Angels, Entrepreneurs and the Dark Side of Trust

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Learning & Behaviour

Trust is often seen as the key to successful partnerships with angel investors, many of whom provide ‘hand-holding’ services as well as capital for entrepreneurs. But recently published research suggests it can threaten the long-term prospects of a business. Entrepreneurs are, it seems, sometimes so keen to preserve high levels of trust in their relationships with ‘angels’ that they avoid experimentation — and fail to take the kinds of decisions that secure re-investment.

Idea #258
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The Hare and the Tortoise, Jean Grandville (1803-1847) from the 1855 edition of La Fontaine's Fables (Source: Wikipedia Commons)

Crowdfunding: How a Slow Process Helps in the Long Run

Idea posted: November 2013
  • Finance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship

The open process of crowdfunding has some unexpected marketing and funding implications. For example, getting money for your venture faster undermines the marketing potential of crowdfunding. And, for donors at least, a sudden influx of money can lead subsequent donors to look for opportunities elsewhere.

Idea #255
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Don’t Just Follow the Crowdfunding Crowd

Idea posted: October 2013
  • Finance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Institutions: London Business School

Crowdfunding has been much talked about as an innovative way of funding entrepreneurial businesses, allowing them to source financial backing from a growing plethora of online platforms. But in reality crowdfunding may not be suitable for a particular business idea or sector – and some crowdfunding platforms may not be viable at all. As the research’s author, Gary Dushnitsky, puts it, “It’s great that crowdfunding is the solution, but to what question and, specifically, in what industry?”

Idea #236
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Flexibility Vs Commitment in the Entrepreneurial Process

Idea posted: August 2013
  • Strategy
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Operations
Institutions: EMLYON Business School

Academic literature has provided valuable insights into ways to manage the uncertainties inherent in new ventures — but failed to produce a consensus. Some scholars advocate an approach in which critical decisions are delayed and early commitments avoided, others one that ‘marries’ (to a greater or lesser extent) commitment and flexibility. ‘Re-conceptualisation’ of the main models can help reconcile the different schools of thought — and provide clearer guidance for entrepreneurs.

Idea #191
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Innovation and the Power of Positive Thinking

Idea posted: July 2013
  • Strategy
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Institutions: HEC Paris

A company’s ability to develop new products is not solely a function of its resources. Managerial cognition and organizational context play a big part. Negative perceptions of changes in the operating environment and defensive strategies are likely to lead to less innovative products and stifle creativity and entrepreneurship. We need to take an integrated, multi-dimensional approach to understanding innovation and new-product development decisions.

Idea #171
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Think difference

How Social Intrapreneurs Get Heard

Idea posted: May 2013
  • Strategy
  • CSR & Governance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Institutions: INSEAD

Corporate social entrepreneurship initiatives, usually the work of intrapreneurs (entrepreneurial executives within the corporation) keen to solve social problems, have important macro- and micro-economic implications. They create value for people who are not current stakeholders - and they create opportunities to innovate and diversify. There are, however, barriers to their development. A model that counters the conventional logic of the organization and puts financial sustainability before growth could be the solution.

Idea #151
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The Conjurer, Hieronymus Bosch, c.1475, Musée Municipal, St. Germain-en-Laye (Source: Wikimedia)

Custom-made: Customer Funding for Business Growth

Idea posted: March 2013
  • Strategy
  • Finance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
Institutions: London Business School

Venture capital (VC) is the default route to gaining funding for a growing business. But there are other ways to unlock money, indeed, some of the largest and most successful companies never raise any venture capital. Change your approach to growth by focusing on your customers, not investors, as your means to the end.

Idea #110
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Culture Club: Coaching by Values for Corporate Success

Idea posted: March 2013
  • CSR & Governance
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
Institutions: ESADE

How can leaders create the right corporate culture to confront the myriad levels of complexity in today’s turbulent business environment?

The emerging concept of ‘coaching by values’ (CBV) provides a flexible framework to help them reengineer their organization’s corporate culture and create positive outcomes for all stakeholders.

Idea #106
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Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg (Source: Wikimedia)

Three Competencies Every Entrepreneur Should Develop

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour
Institutions: IESE Business School

Is there such a thing as a ‘natural-born entrepreneur’? According to this Idea there is not. Specific techniques and habits must be practiced and developed by all would-be entrepreneurs. And as well as business competencies, entrepreneurs need interpersonal and self-leadership skills too; however, these are often overlooked. Read on for advice on how to build and put these skills into practice.

Idea #011
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Man with light bulb

How Evidence-Based Management Reduces Entrepreneurial Risk

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Leadership & Change
  • Learning & Behaviour

Despite the fact that many talented individuals put hard work and diligence into new start-ups, why do high failure rates still exist? This Idea proposes that evidence-based management could help with this, reducing risks, costs, and wasted time and effort. However, the mindset-shift required to implement this approach is significant; as such, not many leaders adopt it, even though the risk of failure could be demonstrably reduced and vast sums of money saved.

Idea #036
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Steve Jobs, Steve Wozniak and the Apple 1 PC

Creating Innovative Business Models

Idea posted: January 2013
  • Innovation & Entrepreneurship
  • Operations

Choices organizations make about their business model often go unchallenged for a very long time. This is an underutilized source of future value. As an alternative or complement to product and process innovation - business model innovation can be where the greatest benefits lie. With that in mind, and before launching a new business model, managers should ask themselves the six key questions outlined in this Idea.

Idea #048
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