Commentary

Where Your Board Belongs: A Primer on Strategic Thinking

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Your strategic planning process is ineffective. It’s doing more harm than good. Board members sense that their time and talent is being wasted in the process. Even if they haven’t voiced it yet,
directors are wondering if they are really adding value. There is a way to resurrect the board’s enthusiasm by engaging them in the very work they hoped they’d be doing. To make things right, we need to acknowledge the difference between strategic planning and strategic thinking.

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The Problem of Thinking Too Little

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Thinkspot’s emphasis on thinking is more than a marketing twist on our brand. We focus on it so much because we believe the fundamental failure in creating competitive advantage in both organizations and communities results from the myopic focus on strategy and planning without real thinking. It can be relearned.

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An Ecosystem Perspective

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Cleaning out my briefcase, I found March 2012’s Harvard Business Review jammed into an inner sleeve. The underlined sentences and notes served me well in reminding me why I’d carried Rosabeth Moss Kanter’s article in my briefcase for nearly 18 months. Her four-point plan for linking innovation, enterprises and jobs start a series of literature […]

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Kauffman: Tale of Two Entrepreneurs

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In making the case that not all small businesses are the same (in their contribution to economic progress), authors Bill Aulet and Fiona Murray make the important distinction between ‘innovation-driven enterprises (IDEs)” and “small and medium enterprises (SMEs).” Familiarity with this distinction undoubtedly leads to better public policy.

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Report Watch: Brooking’s Global Fluency

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The Brookings Institution recently released a paper touting “The 10 Traits of Globally Fluent Metro Areas.” The authors define global fluency as “the level of global understanding, competence, practice, and reach that a metro area exhibits in an increasingly interconnected world economy.”

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Commentary: Enterprise Zone Experiment in California

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Debate over the effectiveness of tax incentives will now be informed by a very real-world experiment. California moved last week to end one of the most prolific inducements for jobs, the enterprise zone, when its legislature passed a bill, championed by Governor Jerry Brown, to end the program.

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Commentary: Defining Thinkspot

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One of the Golden Rules of Marketing is that it is easier to define a brand by emphasizing what you are, rather than differentiating yourself by what you are not. Well, rules were made to be broken. As I tried to catch up on my Twitter feeds from a week on the road, I stumbled on the Ocala Star Banner’s tweet highlighting this headline: “Economic consultant: Quality of sites, not quality of life, attracts companies.”

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Commentary: Entrepreneurship, Creativity, and Regional Economic Growth

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Richard Florida pioneered the “creative class” before it was cool. In this chapter, Florida clarifies the difference between small business and entrepreneurship. He also makes the fundamental proposition that creativity is at the top of value ladder in its contributions to quality of life; also serving as the explanation why industries form clusters in regions: data–>information–>knowledge–>creativity.

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