3 Ways Small Business Can Play (and Win) Big

Why the little things make all the difference for upstart companies.

If we do business today the way we did yesterday, then we won’t be in business tomorrow. That axiom always reminds me to keep an open mind to new ideas, trends and strategies. It’s part of the reason why, in 2014, after enjoying a successful career in banking, I left it all behind to buy […]

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Bridging the Skills Gap

Apprenticeships could help solve employment challenges around the world.

Editor’s note: Today is Manufacturing Day in the United States, and dozens of manufacturing companies around the country are opening their doors to teach students more about the evolving industry. There’s no doubt manufacturing has a bright future, and that bright future needs an equally bright workforce. In this article, UPS’s Frank Sportolari explains a tried-and-true […]

How Machine Learning Can Teach Us To Build More Effective Teams

Here are three team-building lessons that can help any manager.

Former Marine Corps Lt. Drew Humphreys knows a thing or two about leadership. Before joining the business world, as a platoon commander in Afghanistan, he was in charge of 37 Marines who fought the Taliban and maintained a vital supply route through Helmand Province. He had to reconsider everything he knew about leadership when he […]

Lighting the Way to Industry 4.0

Companies embracing new technologies and business models need beacons to show the path.

With all the talk of rapid advancements in digital technology, it’s important to remember that while this issue of Longitudes may have been delivered digitally, it’s consumed from a physical device. Our lives are built around physical items that start with the sourcing of physical materials manufactured, assembled, stored and shipped to a home or […]

A Makerspace for Everyone

Imagine a place where inventors and hobbyists alike can collaborate, accelerate innovation and build community with magical results.

Growing up tinkering in his father’s workshop, Robin Hooker always had a space to reimagine the world – to modulate, mashup, remix and repair things. As an adult, he realized not everyone has access to a space where they can safely experiment. Hooker argues for democratizing access to public, shared workshops, commonly called “makerspaces,” which provide room […]

The Power to Make a Better Future (for Billions)

You have unprecedented access to the tools and technologies needed to make better decisions about everything you design and make.

As a member of the next generation, are you worried about the future? Are you worried about robots and increasing levels of automation impacting your life and livelihood? Given the headlines these days, this is understandable. I, however, am more optimistic than ever about the future – one with 10 billion people on Earth, most living […]

Navigating the New Industrial Landscape

Here are five tips to survive the most unforgiving terrain in business today: after the sale.

In today’s increasingly competitive industrial distribution industry, thinking beyond the point of sale is essential for cementing customer loyalty and as a means for differentiation. Simply selling products is no longer enough – industrial buyers now expect a higher level of service with that product – and they are willing to shop around for superior […]

Mobile Technologies for Factory Management

How a generational shift is fueling the factory of the future.

Editor’s note: The manufacturing industry as we know it has changed. Gone are the days of rigid supply chains – today’s manufacturers are smart, nimble and customer-focused. This week on Longitudes, we’re taking a look at how technology and people are changing the way we make the world. Factory automation continues to be a driving force […]

The Ebola Crisis Is Another Call to Action

We in the private sector need to do better, do more and act more quickly to prevent another deadly catastrophe.

The Ebola outbreak that emerged recently in the Democratic Republic of the Congo came just one week after a previous Ebola outbreak ended. Although new cases seem to be plateauing, thanks to an early distribution of vaccines and experimental treatments, experts warn that this is no time to cease fighting this deadly, highly contagious disease. […]

Delivering on the Promise of Digital Transformation

How smart, targeted investments in the digital space are forever altering the physical world of tomorrow.

Mobile phones and tablets. Social media and cloud computing. Big data and blockchain. Augmented and virtual reality. The internet and the Internet of Things. These technologies aren’t brand new. But as they have developed and proliferated, their potential to help businesses become more innovative, agile and customer-centered is clear. Companies around the globe are scrambling […]

Why Are There So Few Entrepreneurs?

Here are five reasons would-be entrepreneurs never get started.

Despite founding one of the fastest growing bootstrapped technology companies, I didn’t always think of myself as an entrepreneur. It was a set of coincidences that led me to take the leap – and eventually succeed. By telling my story I want to not only empower ‘wantrepreneurs’ but also underline how many thousands of potential entrepreneurs get […]

What If Our Data Could Be Protected Online?

In the age of e-commerce, must we sacrifice privacy in the name of convenience?

In today’s interconnected world, keeping our personal data private can seem nearly impossible. We’re often forced to give away our personal information to get the services we desire, especially when it comes to e-commerce. “We make the trade of online privacy for convenience,” says data privacy enthusiast, Derek Banta. Instead, he wants us to look […]

What Really Defines Wisdom in the Workplace

Smart companies recognize the value of older workers by establishing formal avenues for cross-generational knowledge sharing.

In 2010, my colleagues and I at the Drucker Institute had the great fortune of receiving an afternoon of consulting from A.G. Lafley, who had just retired as the CEO of consumer products giant, Procter & Gamble. What I remember most about that day was the way that Lafley listened for less than half an […]

How Small Business Can Benefit from Village Banking

Here's a community-based solution with lessons for every small business – no matter where they operate.

Small businesses in the United States fail at an alarming rate. Half close their doors by year five, and 70 percent by year 10. The No. 1 reason? They run out of money. Compare that to small businesses in Ecuador and Guatemala, which are diligent about managing finances and have a nearly 100 percent loan […]

5 Ways Tech Supply Chains Can Survive Trade Policy Changes

Business as usual is no longer an option amid so much global uncertainty.

The technology industry has experienced breathtaking growth, outpacing overall economic progress during the past five years in the U.S. and globally, a trend expected to continue into the near future. These gains aren’t just because of higher performing electronic devices but also the dramatic reduction in the cost of manufacturing and distributing electronics through a […]

Bringing Healthcare to the Home

Why the best treatment isn't always at the hospital.

Nobody likes going to the hospital, whether it’s because of the logistical challenges of getting there, the astronomical costs of procedures or the alarming risks of complications like antibiotic-resistant bacteria. But what if we could get the lifesaving care provided by hospitals in our own homes? Healthcare futurist Niels van Namen shows how advances in […]

3 Ways Business Can Fight Sex Trafficking

From setting clear policies to hiring survivors, the private sector can play a major role in combating a global crisis.

Sex buying doesn’t just happen late at night on street corners in the shady part of town – it also happens online, in the middle of the workday, using company equipment and resources. With this problem comes an opportunity, says attorney Nikki Clifton, because it means the business community is in a unique position to educate […]

5 IoT Applications Retailers Are Using Today

From RFID to the smart store, retailers are taking advantage of the Internet of Things.

At its most basic, the Internet of Things (IoT) is a network of connected physical objects embedded with sensors. IoT allows these devices to communicate, analyze and share data about the physical world around us via networks and cloud-based software platforms. In the case of retail, the “things” can include RFID inventory tracking chips, traditional in-store […]

E-Commerce Made Easy

A conversation on Ware2Go and other solutions to the most vexing small business problems.

Click here to listen to a conversation between small business expert, Steve Strauss, and Leo Schafer, CEO of PR Diamond Products. There’s good news for small businesses: The playing field is leveling. The e-commerce boom – no doubt, the biggest game changer in recent years – has opened a world of opportunity for businesses of all sizes. […]

How to Get Serious About Diversity and Inclusion in the Workplace

Here's a three-part plan for achieving real equality where it matters most.

Imagine a workplace where people of all colors and races are able to climb every rung of the corporate ladder – and where the lessons we learn about diversity at work actually transform the things we do, think and say outside the office. How do we get there? In this candid talk, inclusion advocate Janet Stovall […]

The Business Case for Being Nice

Simple Roast: A coffee success story.

In 2013, Matt Peirson was gifted with a very small home coffee roaster by his parents and started roasting coffee as a hobby at home. Eventually, he decided to sell it by the bag at a local farmers market and the rest, as they say, is history. Today, he is the owner, roaster, barista and […]

TED@UPS 2018: A First Look

What if? That simple question could change the future of e-commerce, healthcare, disaster relief and corporate leadership as we know it.

UPSers recently took to the stage to ask the simple, yet bold question: What if? That’s because in a time of transformation, we must ask daring questions and share unexpected answers. This year, the TED@UPS speakers did just that by asking questions like: What if companies get serious about diversity in the workplace? What if the best […]

Most Of Us Are Wrong About How the World Has Changed

An accurate understanding of how global health and poverty are improving leaves no space for cynicism.

At Our World in Data, we aim to bring together the empirical data and research to show how living conditions around the world are changing. Is that necessary? The opinion research organization Ipsos MORI conducted a detailed survey of 26,489 people across 28 countries that gives us an answer. Most people think global poverty is rising when […]

A Tech-Fueled Approach to Collective Problem Solving

The optimal use of collective intelligence enables bottom-up decisions.

There are more people learning foreign languages on the Duolingo platform than there are people learning foreign languages in the whole U.S. public school system. Designed by Carnegie Mellon professor Luis von Ahn, DuoLingo has reduced the time it takes to achieve basic mastery of a foreign language to 34 hours, earning it 200 million active users […]

Why Climate Resilience and Supply Chains Go Hand in Hand

We must fully recognize and understand how climate risk affects the people in our value chains.

According to the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), 2017 was the third-warmest year on record, the U.S. experienced three of the top five costliest hurricanes in U.S. history that same year and the 20 warmest years on record have all occurred since 1995. Businesses already experience the negative impacts of climate change – from infrastructure […]

4 Tennis Lessons for Business

The best players – and the best employees – are never fully satisfied. They keep working to raise their game.

Tennis taught me so many lessons in life. One of the things it taught me is that every ball that comes to me, I have to make a decision. I have to accept responsibility for the consequences every time I hit a ball. – Billie Jean King I was inspired yet again when the best tennis players in […]

The Right Way for an Established Firm to Partner with a Startup

One of the great ironies of digital transformation is that disproportionate impact can so quickly emerge from seemingly tiny steps.

For innovation-hungry legacy firms, partnering with a startup can be appealing. Relatively small sums of time and money can quickly yield generous returns. These partnerships can go beyond good results and energize organizations that have become too comfortable or complacent with everyday routines. In return, the startups typically get valuable references or valued customers. “Startnership” […]

Podcast: Richard Branson Dreams of a New Day for Transportation

Where he’s going, he doesn’t need roads. Richard Branson talks space travel, the Hyperloop and trains traveling faster than the Concorde.

Richard Branson jokes that he rarely says no to much of anything, which has earned him the nickname Doctor Yes among his peers. Perhaps that explains the ocean-spanning hot air balloon rides and kitesurfing across the English Channel – or as he calls it, his “insatiable interest in life.” The founder of the Virgin Group […]

Reimagining the Future of Making

The world now has bigger problems to solve, which will require more human-machine collaboration and creativity.

Humanity inevitably needs, desires and demands more. At the same time, it must also confront the reality of less – fewer natural resources, less space and fewer skilled construction and manufacturing workers than the world needs. But while resources and skilled labor are in short supply, the global population is increasing (to nearly 10 billion people […]

3 Reasons You Need to Embrace Digital Manufacturing

Why logistics companies can lead the charge into the fourth modality of transportation and additive manufacturing.

The manufacturing and logistics model is a well-oiled machine. Traditionally, manufacturers make and store products while logistics companies deliver them using one of the three modalities of transportation: air, water and ground. However, leading logistics providers like UPS and cutting-edge tech companies like Fast Radius are tapping into a fourth modality, using the internet and […]