Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi

136 Flips | 13 Magazines | 61 Following | 3 Followers | @saravermeuljtna | Keep up with Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi on Flipboard, a place to see the stories, photos, and updates that matter to you. Flipboard creates a personalized magazine full of everything, from world news to life’s great moments. Download Flipboard for free and search for “Sara Vermeulen-Anastasi”

What’s the Purpose of Companies in the Age of AI?

Recent advances in artificial intelligence (AI) and computer technology are causing us to think again about some really basic questions: what is a firm? What can firms do better than markets? And what are the distinctive qualities of firms in a world of smart contracts and AI?<p>While there has been a …

Artificial Intelligence

How Ikea quietly tweaks its design around the world

The Swedish furniture company just opened its first store in India–and just like Ikea does in most countries, it has carefully adjusted the inventory, design, and even food to fit local tastes.<p>This week, Ikea opened its first store in India–a feat the company has been planning for many years. But …

IKEA

Does the universal symbol for disability need to be rethought?

Two designers suggest turning the symbol into a reconfigurable library of icons.<p>Ninety-three percent of people with disabilities don’t use a wheelchair, even though the universal symbol that identifies this group is a person in a wheelchair. Liam Riddler, a creative at London’s McCann office, …

Why AI Will Shift Decision Making from the C-Suite to the Front Line

Hardly a day goes by without the announcement of an incredible new frontier in Artificial Intelligence (AI). From fintech to edtech, what was once fantastically improbable is now a commercial reality. There is no question that big data and AI will bring about important advances in the realm of …

6 Steps to Make Your Strategic Plan Really Strategic

Why is it that when a group of managers gets together for a strategic planning session they often emerge with a document that’s devoid of “strategy”, and often not even a plan?<p>I have one such document in front of me as I write this. It starts with a “vision” statement, moves on to “strategic …

The Myth of the Intrapreneur

The Post-It note. Facebook’s “like” button. The Sony PlayStation. These products are all held up as legendary examples of the power of intrapreneurship — entrepreneurial creativity and innovation within large, established organizations. Since the term was coined in the 1980s, intrapreneurship has …

Innovation

New Technologies Won’t Reduce Scarcity, but Here’s Something That Might

In a book titled <i>Why Can’t We All Just Get Along?,</i> MIT scientists Henry Lieberman and Christopher Fry discuss why we have wars, mass poverty, and other social ills. They argue that we cannot cooperate with each other to solve our major problems because our institutions and businesses are saturated …

Emerging Technology

Stress Test Your Company’s Competitive Edge with These 4 Questions

As uncertainty is increasing and competition is becoming more fierce, executives need to have a broader understanding of competition itself in order to sustain an edge. Executives should be thinking about four different types of competition to maintain relevance in a changing environment, which …

The Most Successful Brands Focus on Users — Not Buyers

What makes a brand successful in the digital age? A joint study by SAP, Siegel+Gale, and Shift Thinking suggests that digital brands don’t just do things differently; they also think differently. Where traditional brands focus on positioning their brands in the <i>minds</i> of their customers, digital …

Customer Experience

Why Companies Are Using M&A to Transform Themselves, Not Just to Grow

A brick-and-mortar retailer buys an e-commerce platform. An internet technology company picks up a mobile phone manufacturer. A chain of pharmacies announces its intent to acquire a health insurer.<p>Today’s corporate tie-ups increasingly aim to transform the acquirer’s business rather than reinforce …

Innovation

Innovation isn’t rocket science

According to IDEO, the leaders of organizations who successfully build innovative cultures exhibit the same five behaviors.

The Environmental Cost Of Your Internet Searches, Visualized

The artist Joana Moll visualized how much CO2 every single Google search emits.<p>It’s not just phones that are killing our planet, but the web itself–the largest CO2 producer on the planet after the United States, China, and India. Google is a main part of the internet, of course, and the artist …

Carbon Dioxide

Imagine a city lit by glowing trees instead of streetlights

Could genetically engineered trees that have been crossed with bioluminescent algae be the emissions-free lighting source of the future?<p>If you happened to be in San Diego last week and stood on the beach at night, you might have seen the ocean glowing an electric shade of blue as bioluminescent …

Ban These 5 Words From Your Corporate Values Statement

Practically every organization today has a set of core values that ideally function as the “operating instructions” of the company. The goal of articulating the essential and enduring principles of your organization is to inform, inspire, and instruct the day-to-day behaviors of everyone who works …

Google Just Remade Its Brand Again

Two years ago, Google gave us a new logo. Now, it’s turned that logo into an interface.<p>Today, Google announced a major new initiative called Material Theming (read our exclusive on it here). It’s a sequel to its Material Design system that allows companies to easily apply their own colors, …

Material Design

How the Best Restaurants in the World Balance Innovation and Consistency

The restaurant industry is notorious for being competitive, risky, and low-margin. This is no less true for the world’s most acclaimed high-end restaurants. Despite being able to charge hundreds of dollars for a meal and being fully booked months in advance, top restaurants often still have a hard …

How Likely Is Your Industry to Be Disrupted? This 2×2 Matrix Will Tell You

The topic of industry disruption — “a process whereby a smaller company with fewer resources is able to successfully challenge established incumbent businesses” — is rife with misconceptions. One of the biggest is that it is a mysterious, random, and unpredictable event. Another is that it happens …

Innovation

How to Ask Great Questions

Much of an executive’s workday is spent asking others for information—requesting status updates from a team leader, for example, or questioning a counterpart in a tense negotiation. Yet unlike professionals such as litigators, journalists, and doctors, who are taught how to ask questions as an …

Harvard Business School

When Solving Problems, Think About What You Could Do, Not What You Should Do

On a Saturday night in Modena, a picturesque city in one of the most well-known culinary regions of Italy, a couple and their two young sons dined at the three-Michelin star restaurant Osteria Francescana. The father ordered for the family “Tradition in Evolution,” a tasting menu with 10 of the …

Think Sustainability's a Buzzword? These Changes Prove Otherwise

The sustainability movement has gone from a niche interest to the marketplace mainstream. Smart companies will embrace the change<p>Sustainability can be hard to define, but there are a few concepts that characterize it pretty well. Sustainability is the ability to keep going over the long haul, and …

Follow the 6 Dots on This Road Map to Become a Successful Mentor

Set audacious goals, and don't start the mentor relationship until you commit to these six steps.<p>I recently Googled the word "mentoring," and immediately noticed three things. One, it remains a trendy topic. Two, most everyone who writes about mentoring provides a definition of what mentoring is. …

6 Ways to Take Control of Your Career Development If Your Company Doesn’t Care About It

We are now in the era of do-it-yourself career development. Companies less frequently offer formal training — a trend that has been around for years. This may be because employees change jobs so frequently (job tenure now averages about four years) that firms don’t see the value in investing in …

Career Development

28 Phrases the Most Likable Employees Use at Work

Research suggests that certain phrases will increase morale and employee engagement.<p>You think words matter? According to a CareerBuilder survey, 50 percent of employees believe turnover would go down if managers simply recognized their efforts more frequently.<p>That brings up some obvious questions. …

The Future of Human Work Is Imagination, Creativity, and Strategy

It seems beyond debate: Technology is going to replace jobs, or, more precisely, the <i>people</i> holding those jobs. Few industries, if any, will be untouched.<p>Knowledge workers will not escape. Recently, the CEO of Deutsche Bank predicted that half of its 97,000 employees could be replaced by robots. One …

Emerging Technology

The Best Mentors Ask These 8 Questions

An essential part of being a good mentor is asking the right questions. Here’s a cheat sheet to get you started.<p>It’s hard to deny that good mentors are important. The best workplaces have formal programs to develop mentoring relationships. LinkedIn has even launched a feature to help you find one. …

Socially Responsible Business Can Only Succeed If It Becomes a Movement

What does it take to cause something big about a community to change — something that no one individually has much power over, even something as big as a prevailing mindset? We know what it takes: a social movement. And social movements aren’t only the domain of community organizers and college …

McKinsey’s Head on Why Corporate Sustainability Efforts Are Falling Short

<b>Dominic Barton,</b> the global managing partner of McKinsey&Company, discusses the firm’s sustainability efforts. He talks about the wake-up call he got about sustainability and how he tries to convince CEOs hesitant to make it part of their business model that doing so will improve company …

Sustainability Reporting: From Routine to Strategic

<b>By Nana Guar</b><p>When was the last time you read a truly interesting sustainability report? For many people working in corporate responsibility, the …

Innovation

Why Systems Thinking Is the Next Step in Sustainability

Business will undergo a cultural shift as profound as the industrial revolution.<p>Sustainability has evolved significantly since it first began to appear in the 1960s. It began with regulatory compliance; public concern about pollution led to the National Environmental Protection Act of 1969, …

Plan a Better Meeting with Design Thinking

“Sometimes, when I sit in meetings, especially ones in which people don’t seem engaged, I calculate the cost in staff time. I’ve estimated that one standard weekly meeting in my bureau — 50 people sitting in a cookie-cutter conference room, looking both bored and anxious — costs around $177,000 …

Design