Harvard Business Review also had there list of 20 breakthrough ideas for 2006 (free). Here are three which spoke to me:
- The Synthesizing Leader – "The ability to decide what information to heed, what to ignore, and how to organize and communicate that which we judge to be important is becoming a core competence for those living in the developed world." Bingo. I can think of no greater challenge — or coveted skill — for leaders over the next decade. I intake an enormous amount of information and media every day. The tools to help me do this – to filter, to re-package and re-communicate, to organize for later retrieval – are all rudimentary.
- Personal Heuristics as Role Model – "New leaders galvanize companies with inspiring themes and ambitious plans, but they also influence corporate culture in simpler ways. All have their own personal “heuristics”—rules of thumb—that they develop, often unconsciously, to help them make quick decisions. While leaders may not intentionally impose their heuristics on the workplace, these rules are nonetheless noted and followed by most employees. Soon, the heuristics are absorbed into the organization, where they may linger long after the leader has moved on."
- Brain Science is Overrated – Of course, this rebuts recent statements of mine, but finding perspectives which differ than your own is the foundation of critical analysis. I still think neuroscience advancements is going to be The Thing in the next decade. "Neuroscience has been the next big thing in business for some time now—almost as long as nanotech and maglev trains. And there’s no question that neuroscientists know more and more about the automatic ways in which the brain does all kinds of things. For example, we know that when you have a strong emotional response, one part of your brain tends to light up more than others. Such a finding has potentially useful applications in areas like marketing, offering practitioners a clearer picture of the physiology of customers’ desires. But these very real advances have led to inflated expectations about what neuroscience can do. Several years ago, for example, as part of an article on the nature of innovation, a business magazine published a scanned image of the brain of businessman and inventor Ray Kurzweil while he was engaged in creative tasks. The implication: Such scans may soon help us to unravel the secrets of creative genius. It’s the sort of science fiction that I’ve found business leaders extraordinarily susceptible to."