By Keith Grint
Henrik Ibsen’s An Enemy of the People was written in 1882, after his previous play Ghosts had received poor reviews for its attack upon the hypocrisy of public morality.
Ibsen wanted to respond by illustrating the way that telling the truth was both necessary, and often unpopular, and that direct democracy had its limitations.
Few people like to hear bad news, especially from their leaders in bad times, when we all seek solace and comfort. …
By Natalia Levina
Over the last decade open source communities have become not just the bedrock of today’s digital industry, but also essential to some of the most advanced technology on the planet.
Or even outside the planet. The International Space Station (ISS) switched from Windows to Linux Foundation’s Debian operating system for its laptops in 2013 and NASA’s Robonaut, built to do some of the astronauts’ jobs on ISS, is run on Linux.
Tech giants like Google, Apple and Facebook have built well-established partnerships with the thousands of open source communities, while Microsoft, having been the focus of open source zealots’ ire for so many years, acquired the open source platform Github for $7.5 …
By Christina Wawarta and Sotirios Paroutis
Strategy has traditionally been the purview of the CEO and senior executives in an organisation. After weeks of discussion, meetings, conference calls, surveys, research and ‘away days’ the CEO will announce that the company has a new strategy and present a 30-page document for staff to digest.
Once read, or shoved in a draw, employees then return to their work safe in the knowledge that the company has a strategy.
Open strategy seeks to reimagine this process from the ground up. …
By Pietro Micheli
Although it is slowly lifting, the economic lockdown across much of the world is putting organisations under severe pressure.
While this downturn is creating lots of difficulties, business leaders have the opportunity to not just re-examine what they have done in the past, but challenge their assumptions about a number of key aspects including what the organisation does, what kind of customers it serves, and what kind of technology it uses.
The COVID-19 crisis is certainly having a deep impact, but changes brought by the fourth industrial revolution were already deeply affecting companies operating in industries as diverse as automotive, financial services, pharmaceutical and hospitality. …
By Nicola Burgess
For more than a decade I have been studying the application of quality improvement methods within healthcare contexts. I have observed many a flirtation with lean, six sigma, lean-sigma and countless other variations. Lured by the promise of improving quality while simultaneously driving down the cost of care delivery, quality improvement methods such as lean are a seductive proposition for any self-respecting CEO.
But do these methods live up to their hype? The answer is both yes and no. They can, but more often they don’t. …
By Eivor Oborn
When you visit Kenya it is hard to avoid the distinctive dark green and white of the M-Pesa logo on shopfronts in Nairobi’s famous Kenyatta Avenue, as well as painted across the front of stores in Kibera, the largest slum in Africa.
M-Pesa is a mobile phone-based money transfer, financing and microfinancing service, launched in Kenya in 2007. M stands for mobile, pesa is Swahili for money. By 2012 there were 17 million accounts in Kenya. Today, it is considered to be the most successful mobile phone-based financial service in the developing world.
What made M-Pesa the focus for our research was that the innovation trajectory it followed was very different from the one that had been intended. The original programme was developed by a unit of a UK telecommunications firm Vodafone for a corporate social responsibility (CSR) project. The product was going to be niche — a low-cost, small-scale app to help ordinary Kenyans take out microloans to set up new businesses. Small and medium-sized businesses (SMBs) like this are the lifeblood of Kenya’s economy, making up an astonishing 98 per cent of all the businesses in the country. …
By Ram Gopal, Niam Yaraghi, Darrell West and Ram Ramesh
A little girl innocently counts petals on a flower. When she reaches nine her face freezes and a countdown interrupts as the camera slowly zooms into her eye. When it reaches zero there is a nuclear explosion and the archetypal mushroom cloud erupts.
This might not have been the first attack advert but the ‘Daisy ad’, as it became known, played a major role in the Democrats successfully characterising Republican rival Barry Goldwater as a dangerous man who could spark a nuclear war and so helped Lyndon B Jonson win the 1964 US Presidential race. …
By Michael Bradshaw
In recent weeks the full impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the energy industry has started to emerge. In a new report, the International Agency predict that 2020 could see global energy demand fall by six per cent, the largest fall in percentage terms in 70 years and seven times larger than the impact of the 2008 financial crisis.
As demand has plummeted, so have prices, the latter exacerbated by a shortage of storage space and the prospect that production may soon have to stop. In early April, OPEC+ agreed deeper cuts than those which provoked Russia to walk away and initiate a price war just weeks earlier. President Trump also sought to orchestrate a wider deal through the G20 to prop up prices and protect the US oil industry. …
By John Colley
Warren Buffet once said “only when the tide goes out will we see who has been swimming naked”.
The global pandemic has precipitated a plummet in demand and investment akin to the dot.com bubble bursting at the turn of the century. The tide is well-and-truly out now and we can now see that those companies who have been telling investors for years they are a tech business are in fact nothing of the sort.
Ride-hailing apps Uber, Grab, Ola and Didi Chuxing; office-sharing business WeWork and even Airbnb are in dire trouble with the real tech companies like Facebook, Google and Amazon now circling them as the rich take advantage of the weakened. An example being Amazon using its cash mountain to take a reported 16 per cent stake in distressed UK takeaway delivery business Deliveroo. …
By Ayfer Ali
Life in lockdown may not last forever but Bill Gates is probably right in saying we will not return to normal until a vaccine has been rolled out worldwide. This could be many months, if not years away.
In the meantime, we provide supportive treatment to the most severely affected patients and look into our arsenal of existing drugs to treat COVID-19. Many such drugs are currently being used and tested in more than 300 clinical trials, with hydroxychloroquine most recently in the news.
Repurposing existing drugs presents our only hope in the short term but is not without its challenges. Using drugs to treat new diseases for which they are not approved is perfectly legal and more common than you might expect. Before a drug is marketed, it is approved for a specific condition after being rigorously tested and found effective for it. …