5 Ways Work Can Help You Beat the January Blues

During this stressful time of the year, bosses can take these 5 steps to improve an employee's mental health.

The January blues have set in, and it’s peak month for divorce lawyers and job searching. A new job isn’t necessarily the answer, though. Work, complain though we do, is not all bad. Work can be very good for us – it can provide much-needed direction and a sense of purpose in otherwise difficult times. […]

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Leveraging Mobile Tech to Empower Women

In emerging economies, financial independence can give women greater control over their lives.

For a growing number of women worldwide, particularly those in underserved communities, the road to economic empowerment starts with a mobile device. Women who have traditionally faced barriers to entrepreneurial success are discovering how they can use powerful handheld devices and an internet connection to gain access to the business skills, technology, markets, networks or […]

How Businesses Can Win At Leapfrog

The Fourth Industrial Revolution is creating new leapfrogging opportunities. But not all are created equal.

Rapidly emerging technologies — such as the Internet of Things, artificial intelligence, wearables, robotics and additive manufacturing — are spurring the development of new production techniques and business models that will profoundly disrupt most manufacturing and global supply chains. For example, some low-cost manufacturing export economies may be at risk, as technology may soon make […]

Pandemics: They’re Everyone’s Business

Every industry has a stake in contributing to strong and resilient health systems.

The cover of the May 16, 2017, issue of TIME magazine featured a picture of one the scariest threats to the world. It was neither a picture of a mushroom cloud of an atomic bomb nor the face of an infamously ruthless dictator. Rather, it was a picture of something rather invisible to the unaided […]

Creating a Culture of Data

Real success in using artificial intelligence only comes after establishing a data-centered culture.

Using and exploiting artificial intelligence is a goal for many enterprises around the world. Of course, before you can begin working with the cognitive technology, a number of steps must be taken. For starters, AI requires machine learning, and machine learning requires analytics. And to work with analytics effectively, you need simple, elegant data or […]

The Brewing Environmental Problem of Retail Returns

With the growth of e-commerce, we must get smarter about reverse logistics.

Today’s consumers have been trained to expect enjoyable, efficient and personalized shopping experiences – all at a bargain price. But this no longer just applies to the front-end purchasing experience. Now consumers expect to be delighted even when returning goods to retailers. Because of standards set by  customer-centric companies, more and more retailers are offering flexible […]

The Final Delivery

How the World Food Program provides life-saving food assistance and a pathway to self-sufficiency.

When Jeremias Ngwenya opened his eyes one morning last March in Mozambique, he remembers exactly how he felt. He rested upon a soft, white mattress with a faded blue flower print, just underneath a teal-colored mosquito net. Small rays of sun burst through the uneven spaces in the walls of tethered reeds surrounding him. “When […]

What to Do When You’re Feeling Distracted at Work

We all struggle with focus. But these 8 steps can help you get back on track.

Sometimes there’s so much going on in your life and the broader world that you can’t focus. How can you get back to feeling productive? Feeling distracted and unproductive is something most people struggle with, says Susan David, founder of the Harvard/McLean Institute of Coaching. Especially because most of us are constantly bombarded by news […]

Logistics Emissions Move Into the Spotlight

The path to a more sustainable future runs through logistics.

Transportation is the second biggest global emitter of greenhouse gases (GHG), yet the logistics sector is often left out of the climate conversation. The 23rd Conference of Parties (COP23), a major annual forum for climate policy dialogue, recently moved transportation into the spotlight, paving the way for more proactive emissions reduction measures. Suzanne Greene, manager […]

What History Teaches us about China’s ‘New Silk Road’

China's One Belt One Road initiative takes a page out of history – maritime history.

Few images are more enduring in the historical imagination than the train of two-humped Bactrian camels plodding across desert sands from west to east, or vice-versa, across the vast open spaces of Eurasia. Now that China is edging toward a modern incarnation of the “silk road” it is worth remembering how this emblem of the ancient world […]

5 Ways to Make Global E-Commerce Easier for Everyone

Small businesses face many hurdles to going global, but e-commerce brings us closer to an inclusive global economy.

‘Tis the season to shop online. Rather than braving the high street, why not open your browser? E-commerce sales worldwide hit an estimated $25.3 trillion in 2015 and have grown since. The internet makes buyers and sellers more visible and accessible to each other locally and globally. The international bit is really interesting. The opportunity […]

A Tale of Two Cities: Transportation Transformation From Today to 2050

What can a simple intersection teach us about the future of transportation?

With approximately 70 percent of the world’s population expected to live in cities by 2050, transportation needs will change dramatically in the next 30 years. Here’s what an intersection looks like today – and a glimpse of seven pieces of transportation technology that may drastically change how it appears in the future. Autonomous Vehicle Parking Lots […]

5 Interview Questions for Hiring Better People

To identify job candidates who have substance and not just smarts, here are better questions to ask.

While the number of questions that can be asked on a job interview are infinite, almost all of them fall into one of two categories: questions about competency or questions about character. Competency questions are aimed at establishing a person’s skills, abilities and qualifications. Character questions are intended to illuminate their intrinsic values and personality. […]

Advice for Breaking Down Sustainability Silos in 2018

The barriers between corporate functional silos are already crumbling.

As I reflect on 2017, one of the positive changes I noticed was the breaking down of silos. As the walls between sustainability, corporate social responsibility and other corporate functions start to crumble, leaders are better able to extend their influence and catalyze the integration of sustainable business practices across their company. As Charlene Lake, chief sustainability […]

Our Top 5 Manufacturing Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best manufacturing content from Longitudes.

In Part 2 of our five-part white paper series, Routes to the Future, we argued that the way we make the world around us – how we design, produce, deliver and reclaim the objects of everyday life – will follow new routes. We are trekking down many of these routes today but have just scratched the surface […]

Our Top 5 Sustainability Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best sustainability content from Longitudes.

There are no longer separate paths for business and sustainability success – those two lanes are now one and the same. But even as the corporate community reaches a consensus on the importance of sustainable practices, many questions remain about how best to balance environmental, efficiency and commercial concerns. These questions take on an even greater […]

Meetings Would Go Faster If People Took the Time to Listen

Consider this four-step approach to become a better listener.

Several months ago, a CEO I’ll call Elana, who is deaf, approached me for coaching. As we talked through her leadership skills and organizational political landscape, I quickly realized she was a fantastic listener. As a deaf person, Elana is more intentional about how she listens. In our meetings, Elana and I talk at a […]

The Economics and Supply Chain of Your Christmas Tree

A holiday season primer on everything that goes into your Christmas tree.

Few symbols are as representative of the holiday season as a Christmas tree. Real or fake, traditional or upside down, Christmas trees represent the physical center of each family’s celebration and the focal point of displays in stores and in public squares. But Christmas is also big business – more than $1 Trillion was spent in […]

Podcast: Making Sense of Online Retail

Martin Newman on how to navigate choppy retail waters.

If you’re in the retail business, you’ve probably heard of Martin Newman. He’s founder and chairman of Practicology, a multi-channel and e-commerce consultancy group in the United Kingdom, Australia and Hong Kong. Whether it’s an issue with technology or design or a question about deploying data against the backdrop of choppy retail waters, Martin’s 30 years […]

Our Top 5 Retail Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best retail content from Longitudes.

The companies that best adapt to the consumer-led revolution will win the future – period. That principle applies to retailers, logistics providers and any business looking to provide solutions to customers at the click of a button. As the retail landscape undergoes rapid transformation – and the line between physical and digital stores continues to blur – it’s […]

Our Top 5 Podcasts of 2017

A year-end look at the best podcasts from Longitudes.

We fully embraced the podcasting craze in 2017, launching Longitudes Radio in October. The mission? To bring more conversations about where the world is heading straight to you. In our inaugural season, we explored how UPS is building the Network of the Future, talked about the qualities of an effective public speaker and predicted what blockchain […]

Our Top 5 Leadership Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best leadership content from Longitudes.

Of all the trends shaping the world of tomorrow, leadership is arguably the most popular topic on Longitudes. With macro forces disrupting all industries and companies of all sizes, leadership has never been in more demand. During the past 12 months, we’ve focused on a number of questions leaders confront every day: How do you build […]

Our Top 5 Technology Articles of 2017

A year-end look at the best technology content from Longitudes.

Thank you for another great year at Longitudes. In 2017, we explored the trends of tomorrow – but in a number of exciting, new ways. We launched Longitudes Radio, a podcast channel devoted to big ideas and big thinkers shaping international commerce. We released another chapter in our Routes to the Future series, with the […]

Podcast: You Want to Return That Bad Gift … What’s Next?

Returning that ugly Christmas sweater isn’t as easy as you think.

Today’s online shopper wants what they want when they want it. But they also want to return whatever they want whenever they want. The problem? Too many companies focus on that first reality while ignoring the latter challenge, Toby Moore, co-founder and CEO of Optoro, argues. In this episode, the leader of the reverse logistics […]

Making the Case for Technology Investments

Short-term calculations often imperil long-term growth.

Retail executives are no strangers to the annual “technology freeze,” a temporary hold placed on new investments, security tools or IT projects in preparation for the peak shopping – and returning – season. And while some industry experts say it’s a smart way to avoid rocking the boat during the industry’s busiest time, others argue that it […]

Reimagining Business: How to Cater to the Customer of the Future

Customers want to be empowered. To do that, companies must move from producers to enablers.

Meet Dawn. She’s never been to the doctor’s office, but she visits her doctor every week. She’s constantly shopping, but she’s never waited in line. Her apartment recognizes her face. She doesn’t go into the office, she logs onto a platform. She doesn’t have a resume, she has ratings. She doesn’t have a boss, she […]

Podcast: How Can Business Help Curb Congestion?

Moving Urban Logistics Forward, Part III

There are essentially two avenues to take when confronting logistics and transportation issues surrounding the cities of the future. The first one is conventional: Build a better mousetrap. Leg by leg along the supply chain – from manufacturer to consumer – you scour every resource and process with careful analysis to develop the most productive […]

Productivity Tips For People Who Hate Productivity Tips

After all, who really couldn't use more time?

Despite their efforts to stay informed on the best productivity methods, many people find staying focused to be an uphill battle. If you feel defeated and unable to focus, two things will help you feel more in control. The first is to accept where you are and have compassion for yourself. When you admit to […]

Expand Free Trade by Enhancing Digital Trust

Blockchain and artificial intelligence can lead us to a new era of more equitable trade.

Free trade has been an enduring goal of the international community for more than a century. Despite broad technological progress, modern transaction systems remain heavily burdened by antiquated practices. This creates friction that slows global commerce and hinders service delivery of all kinds. Banks, for example, still issue letters of credit to importers, a practice […]

Leaders: Do You Fear the Future?

Seizing the day is not a recipe for business success. Leaders must confront their fears of the future and turn them into something positive.

If you don’t have some fear about the future, you’re not paying attention. But fear is not a bad thing. It’s what you do with your fear that can turn bad. In a world of disruptive opportunity, leaders will need to learn how to practice voluntary fear exposure. They will need safe zones to practice […]