Alfons Tefa | Poponk

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How to Negotiate with Powerful Suppliers

In many industries the balance of power has dramatically shifted from buyers to suppliers. A classic example comes from the railway industry. In 1900 North America had 35 suppliers of cast rail wheels; railway builders could pick and choose among them. A century later no one looking to build a …

Tesla And Energy Storage: The Race To Power The Future

What if there were a way to modernize the nation’s energy grid while also helping bolster renewable energy production? According to Tesla’s innovative mastermind, Elon Musk, the development of massive batteries, which store energy produced from renewable resources, could become a reality within the …

Cisco’s CEO on Staying Ahead of Technology Shifts

Jeff Singer<p>Our success at Cisco has been defined by how we anticipate, capture, and lead through market transitions. Over the years, I’ve watched iconic companies disappear—Compaq, Sun Microsystems, Wang, Digital Equipment—as they failed to anticipate where the market was heading. Today we’re …

Innovation

Measuring the Return on Character

When we hear about unethical executives whose careers and companies have gone down in flames, it’s sadly unsurprising. Hubris and greed have a way of catching up with people, who then lose the power and wealth they’ve so fervently pursued. But is the opposite also true? Do highly principled leaders …

Leadership

Leadership Lessons from Great Family Businesses

It’s no secret that family businesses can struggle with governance, leadership transitions, and even survival. Consider a few high-profile examples: Banco Espírito Santo was rescued by the Portuguese government last year following the resignation of its CEO, the great-grandson of the bank’s …

Leadership

Positive Teams Are More Productive

All managers would like their teams to be more productive. Yet most companies are using the same old methods: strategic plans, goal-setting, streamlining operations, reducing inefficiency. Others are offering employee perks, such as on-site food, daycare, or gyms. Others are offering bigger bonuses …

Employee Engagement

Act Like an Entrepreneur Inside Your Organization

We often find ourselves engaged with members of large organizations on questions of how to be more innovative and entrepreneurial<b>.</b> In virtually every case we hear something like this:<p>“I have an idea for a new product (or process, system, program, etc.). I’m not dead certain it can be pulled off, …

Smart Is The New Green

As an electrical engineer, I feel I spent the first half of my career working on green and renewable energy solutions. However, now my career’s focus is on smart solutions. I feel that a lot of my time spent working on green solutions was more for corporate social responsibility and image, and …

Teaching Hospitals Are the Best Place to Test Health Innovation

Digital technologies such as electronic medical records, mobile devices, and analytics offer the potential to transform health care. Whether it’s a patient using her smartphone to better manage her diabetes, a provider monitoring a patient for arrhythmia remotely, or an electronic health-record …

Conflict Strategies for Nice People

Do you value friendly relations with your colleagues? Are you proud of being a nice person who would never pick a fight? Unfortunately, you might be just as responsible for group dysfunction as your more combative team members. That’s because it’s a problem when you shy away from open, healthy …

So You Want to Build an Internet of Things Business

Earlier this month, Google made headlines by acquiring Nest Labs, the connected home startup, for $3.2 billion in cash. Although Nest has received significant fanfare for its smart products, some have argued that the price is a very generous premium for a small company that only a year ago was …

How the Internet of Things Changes Business Models

As the Internet of Things (IoT) spreads, the implications for business model innovation are huge. Filling out well-known frameworks and streamlining established business models won’t be enough. To take advantage of new, cloud-based opportunities, today’s companies will need to fundamentally rethink …