Recently, I was asked whether I thought entrepreneurship could be taught. I wondered if that was a loaded question since I teach entrepreneurship at Boston University. My (only slightly) bruised feelings aside, the embedded assumption was that entrepreneurship is some kind of magical process that can only be done by people born with certain characteristics. After…

It’s been more than 20 years since Dr. Loraine Hale, president of a children’s shelter in Harlem, pleaded guilty to diverting more than a million dollars of donated funds for personal use. The scandal was the apparent spark that led Pat Dugan to launch Charity Navigator, believing there was no good way for the average donor to determine…

The first spreadsheet I ever used was Lotus123. I’m not exactly sure of the year, but it was sometime in the mid-eighties. Back then, the promise of this cutting-edge invention was that because of its relative efficiency compared to pencil and paper, spreadsheets would lead to a tremendous amount of time savings. Somehow, though, it didn’t…

When my son Michael was in high school, he worked after school at a local ice cream shop. They had all the traditional flavors, of course: vanilla, chocolate, strawberry, etc. But… they also experimented with some that were new and unusual. One flavor that stood out to me was jalapeno! I always wondered: Who in their right…

You’ve no doubt heard a lot about AI (Artificial Intelligence) over the past several months.From what I’ve read, these tools will either be the greatest invention ever, transforming the world of work and significantly increasing productivity, or… they will lead to tremendous job losses and the end of humanity as we know it.Although serious people…

“The essence of strategy is choosing what not to do.” — Michael Porter Strategy involves choices, and choices involve trade-offs. Trade-offs enable you to deliberately choose ways to differentiate your organization from others in your field.At a high level, deciding what to do — and what not to do — is only the starting point. Many other trade-off…

“Strategy is a deliberate search for a plan of action that will develop a business’s competitive advantage and compound it.” — Bruce Henderson, founder of Boston Consulting Group I was at a networking event yesterday, when someone asked me what I do. I told him: I help organizations develop their strategy. He said, “terrific,” but I…

It’s been nearly 80 years since American, British, and Canadian troops stormed the beaches of Normandy, France in June of 1944. The successful invasion relied on what came to be known as a “beachhead strategy” — focusing all resources in one local area, in order to gain a foothold before expanding further.Five decades later, Geoffrey Moore emphasized this…

“’Nonprofit’ is just a tax designation. Like their for-profit counterparts, they are still businesses.” That was the comment by one of the panelists at last week’s “Nonprofit Board Summit,” held by the HBS Alumni Club. It struck me as relevant since this point is often downplayed (if not overlooked entirely) by some in nonprofit leadership. Of…

A few weeks ago, I attended the bat mitzvah of a close family member. Bat and bar mitzvahs celebrate the coming of age into adulthood for Jewish kids and occur when they turn 13, or soon thereafter. It got me thinking (during a brief moment when I wasn’t immersed in the service, of course!) about how…

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