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All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success

All You Have to Do Is Ask: How to Master the Most Important Skill for Success
Wayne Baker

A set of tools for mastering the one skill standing between us and success: the ability to ask for the things we need to succeed.

Imagine you’re on a deadline for a big project, and feeling overwhelmed. Or you're looking for a job, but can't seem to get your foot in the door. Or you're dying for tickets to a sold out concert, and all your leads have gone cold.

What do these problems have in common? They can all be solved simply by reaching out to a colleague, friend, or wider network and making an ask.

Studies show that asking for help makes us better and less frustrated at our jobs. It helps us find new opportunities and new talent. It unlocks new ideas and solutions, and enhances team performance. And it helps us get the things we need outside the workplace as well. And yet, we rarely give ourselves permission to ask. Luckily, the research shows that asking—and getting—what we need is much easier than we tend to think. 

Here, Wayne Baker shares a set of strategies—used at companies like Google, GM, and IDEO—that individuals, teams, and leaders can use to make asking for help a personal and organizational habit, including:

• A quiz to identify your asking-giving style
• SMART criteria for who, when, and how to ask
• “Plug-and-play ” routines that make requests a standard component of meetings
• Mini-games that incentivize asking within teams
• The Reciprocity Ring, a guided activity that allows people to tap into the giving power of a network

Picking up where the bestselling book Give and Take left off, All You Have to Do Is Ask shows us how to ignite the cycle of giving and receiving by asking for the things we need.

Wayne Baker

Creating and Capturing Value through Crowdsourcing

Creating and Capturing Value through Crowdsourcing
Allan Afuah

Examples of the value that can be created and captured through crowdsourcing go back to at least 1714 when the UK used crowdsourcing to solve the Longitude Problem, obtaining a solution that would enable the UK to become the dominant maritime force of its time. Today, Wikipedia uses crowds to provide entries for the world's largest and free encyclopedia. Partly fueled by the value that can be created and captured through crowdsourcing, interest in researching the phenomenon has been remarkable. 

Despite this - or perhaps because of it - research into crowdsourcing has been conducted in different research silos, within the fields of management (from strategy to finance to operations to information systems), biology, communications, computer science, economics, political science, among others. In these silos, crowdsourcing takes names such as broadcast search, innovation tournaments, crowdfunding, community innovation, distributed innovation, collective intelligence, open source, crowdpower, and even open innovation. This book aims to assemble chapters from many of these silos, since the ultimate potential of crowdsourcing research is likely to be attained only by bridging them. Chapters provide a systematic overview of the research on crowdsourcing from different fields based on a more encompassing definition of the concept, its difference for innovation, and its value for both private and public sector.

Allan Afuah

The Innovation Code Self-Assessment: The Creative Power of Constructive Conflict

The Innovation Code Self-Assessment: The Creative Power of Constructive Conflict
Jeff DeGraff and Staney DeGraff

The Innovation Code
The Creative Power of Constructive Conflict

Harmony is sublime in music but deadly to innovation. The only way to create new, hybrid solutions is to clash. Innovation happens when we bring people with contrasting perspectives and complementary areas of expertise together in one room. We innovate best with people who challenge us, not people who agree with us. 

It sounds like a recipe for chaos and confusion. But in The Innovation Code, Jeff DeGraff, dubbed the “Dean of Innovation,” and Staney DeGraff introduce a simple framework to explain the ways different kinds of thinkers and leaders can create constructive conflict in any organization. This positive tension produces ingenious solutions that go far beyond “the best of both worlds.” 

Drawing on their work with nearly half of the Fortune 500 companies, the DeGraffs help you harness the creative energy that arises from opposing viewpoints. They identify four contrasting styles of innovator—the Artist, the Engineer, the Athlete, and the Sage—and include exercises and assessments for building, managing, and embracing the dynamic discord of a team that contains all four. You can also figure out where you fit on the continuum of innovator archetypes. 

Using vivid examples, The Innovation Code offers four steps to normalize conflict and channel it to develop something completely new. By following these simple steps, you will get breakthrough innovations that are both good for you and your customers. This is a rigorous but highly accessible guide for achieving breakthrough solutions by utilizing the full—and seemingly contradictory—spectrum of innovative thinking.

Jeff DeGraff

Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education

Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education
John Branch, Sarah Hayes, Anne Horsted, Claus Nygaard

This latest volume in the Learning in Higher Education series, Innovative Teaching and Learning in Higher Education, brings together examples of teaching and learning innovations, within the domain of higher education. The anthology is diverse in nature and showcases concrete examples of innovative teaching and learning practices in higher education from around the world. The contributions come from all scientific disciplines and in all teaching and learning contexts.

The twenty-eight inspiring examples in this volume show considerable diversity in their approaches to teaching and learning practices; at the same time they improve both student engagement and student learning outcomes. All the authors argue that their innovative approach has helped students to learn differently, better, and more. For those involved in higher education, there is a lot to be gained from reading these narrative accounts of innovative teaching and learning.

John Branch

Globalisation of Higher Education: Political, Institutional, Cultural, & Personal Perspectives

Globalisation of Higher Education: Political, Institutional, Cultural, & Personal Perspectives
John Branch, Anne Horsted, Claus Nygaard

This book is a must read for anyone who seeks to understand the profound impact of higher education will have on the future of the global economy, on our emerging "global culture," and as the increasingly interdependent steward of our world's most valuable asset, global human capital.

 
John Branch

The Base of the Pyramid Promise: Building Businesses with Impact and Scale

The Base of the Pyramid Promise: Building Businesses with Impact and Scale
Ted London

As economic growth slows in the developed world, the base of the pyramid (BoP) represents perhaps the last great, untapped market. Of the world's 7 billion inhabitants, around 4 billion live in low-income markets in the developing world. These 4 billion people deserve—and, increasingly, are demanding—better lives. At the same time, the business community seeks new opportunities for growth, and the development community is striving to increase its impact. With these forces converging, the potential for mutual value creation is tremendous. This book provides a roadmap for realizing that potential.



Drawing on over 25 years of experience across some eighty countries, Ted London offers concrete guidelines for how to build better enterprises while simultaneously alleviating poverty. He outlines three key components that must be integrated to achieve results: the lived experiences of enterprises to date—both successes and failures; the development of an ecosystem that is conducive to market creation; and the voices of the poor, so that entrants can truly understand what poverty alleviation is about. London provides aspiring market leaders and their stakeholders with the tools and techniques needed to succeed in the unique, opportunity-rich BoP.

Ted London

Changing Your Company From the Inside Out: A Field Guide for Social Entrepreneurs

Changing Your Company From the Inside Out: A Field Guide for Social Entrepreneurs
Gerald F. Davis and Christopher J. White

You’re ambitious. You’re not afraid to take risks. You want to bring about positive social change. And while your peers have left a trail of failed start-ups in their wake, you want to initiate change from within an established company, where you can have a more far-reaching, even global impact.

Welcome to the club—you’re a social intrapreneur.

But even with your enviable skill set, your unwavering social conscience, and your determination to change the world, your path to success is filled with challenges. So how do you get started and maintain your momentum?

Changing Your Company from the Inside Out provides the tools to empower you to jump-start initiatives that matter to you—and that should matter to your company. Drawing on lessons from social movements as well as on the work of successful intrapreneurs, Gerald Davis and Christopher White provide you with a guide for creating positive social change from within your own organization.

Jerry Davis

Business Model Innovation: Concepts, Analysis, and Cases

Business Model Innovation: Concepts, Analysis, and Cases
Allan Afuah

Rooted in strategic management research, Business Model Innovation explores the concepts, tools, and techniques that enable organizations to gain and/or maintain a competitive advantage in the face of technological innovation, globalization, and an increasingly knowledge-intensive economy.

The book investigates how organizations can use innovations in business models to take advantage of entrepreneurial opportunities from crowdsourcing and open innovation, Long Tails, social media, disruptive technologies, less-is-more innovations, network effects, and scarcity of complementary capabilities.  The book also looks at the ways firms can use innovations in business models to exploit or defend against threats. With twelve supplementary cases to help readers apply the concepts and techniques, this book is a must-have for anyone looking to understand the fundamentals of business model innovation.

Allan Afuah

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