Sunday, October 18, 2009

CAGE, Biomimicry and a big lull....

For anyone who reads this blog, I have to apologize for the lack of content and ideas recently. Not only has my day job been extremely busy lately (blog hits over there are up 500% Y-over-Year), but this semester has left me in a funk. It has no rhythm to it, and the pending 50-page papers for GSM II, Management Practicum and Entrepreneurship haven't left much time for writing about new ideas (let alone tidbits from class).

One of the important concepts that we discuss quite a bit with Ram Baliga are analogies, and the importance of making connections outside your current view of a problem. He stresses that many problems have already been solved, just at a different time, or in a different industry, or by looking at the problem outside the context of the existing situation.

So in that vain of thinking, I highlight a couple of analogies:
  • In GSM II (and in International Business), we used a framework called C.A.G.E (Cultural, Administrative, Geographic and Economic) to analyze expansion and M&A activities. I loosely used that framework to analyze a problem happening in corporate IT organizations as technologies like VMware's virtualization are creating organizational problems (although saving companies money). It's not an exact fit for the framework, since we're not really dealing with global expansion, but it seems to have some alignment for groups that speak different languages and have different priorities. Apologies to Dr.Lord and Dr.Baliga for stretching the framework a little more than is probably acceptable in their eyes.
  • In Leading Change & Entrepreneurship, we often talk about ways to come up with new ideas or sources of new ways to solve problems. This recent article in Fast Company by Dan & Chip Heath highlights the concept of biomimicry to help solve some of your company's most head-scratching problems. Dr.Fogel had given us some papers to read on biomimicry, but not having much in the way of free time, I was highly appreciative of Heath's use of brevity to show examples of a powerful concept.
Analogies can be powerful tools in not only trying to explain new ideas, but also for looking outside your current frame of view for new solutions. Often times an analogy can be the best way to connect you with a customer, especially when you come from different backgrounds and you're trying to find a common language.
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