9 articles

How Asking ‘What If?’ Will Lead Us to Tomorrow’s Innovations

Today's leaders should encourage their teams to journey into the unknown.

We often talk about how technology – and more specifically, how the Internet – has changed business, but we don’t often discuss how the Internet has changed leadership. The style of leadership we need today is very different from what worked 50, 20 – or even 10 – years ago. Just as the Internet enabled […]

The Route to the Future

Want to know what the world will look like in 10 years? If you like science fiction, you might love what’s in store.

This is Part 1 of a five-part white paper series called Routes to the Future, in which we explore the innovations, challenges and opportunities in a new era of possibilities. Since the beginning of recorded history, humans have been imagining future innovations with an intensity born out of our survival instinct. It’s in our DNA […]

When the Next Threat to Your Business Might Not Exist Yet

How do you measure innovative thought in this disruptive era? It’s about more than execution. You must always be mindful of what could be.

In these ever-changing times, innovation may be what’s changing most of all. Businesses once took their innovation cues from their customers’ needs and their competitors’ actions. Though important, those tactics are just one part of unlocking the innovative spirit in today’s marketplace. Competition is coming from all corners of the globe – and it’s not […]

Why Everyone Thinks Edison Invented the Light Bulb

Great ideas are the currency in today’s competitive business landscape. But even great ideas aren’t enough to distinguish great leaders.

Despite what we learned in school, Thomas Edison didn’t invent the light bulb. What’s more, Alexander Graham Bell didn’t invent the telephone and Galileo didn’t invent the telescope. That’s not to say these successful inventors don’t deserve their accolades. In fact, each was a master of re-invention and persuasion. They took an existing concept, made […]

Six Words That Can Hurt Your Company

Why saying "that's how we've always done it" can stifle growth.

I’m a big believer in the idea that every organization needs a strong culture. In my mind, having a strong culture is a requisite for success – since you can reach your goals quicker and easier if everyone is rowing in sync. My company, UPS, owes its success in great part to the strong culture […]

Why the Best Bosses Are Flexible

The best managers provide the right mix of motivation, accommodation and flexibility.

I became a boss at UPS when I was only 21. I was a student at the University of Houston, working as a part-time supervisor for UPS at one of its many package-sorting hubs in that city. I still remember my manager instilling in me the importance of consistency. Be firm but fair, he said. […]

“We’re only in the second inning.”

Mobile commerce is big. But we've just scratched the surface.

To say that mobile has become big isn’t news anymore. With smartphones now packing as much processing power as the supercomputers of yore, mobile devices have become our phone, our watch, our camera, our TV — and increasingly, our wallets. But what’s truly remarkable is this: We’ve only scratched the surface in what smartphones can […]

Disruption in Academia

Finding opportunity in changing landscapes.

Businesses that have stood the test of time – businesses such as IBM, GE and UPS – have done so largely because of their ability to adapt to change. In today’s world, however, change and disruption are happening at a pace never seen. Game-changing innovations like cloud computing, fracking and crowdsourcing are disrupting traditional forms […]

The Rise of the “Flex Shopper”

Shoppers want it all. And they want it fast.

Disruption is the buzzword in business these days. Everywhere we look – from computing and mobile communication, to energy, transportation, and manufacturing – we see technology breaking business models in ways that require alert analysis, often-dramatic innovation, and aggressive risk management. Retail e-commerce rose 13% in 2013, to $211 billion, a heady growth rate that […]