Different Minds Think Greatly

first_imgMy co-workers recently forwarded me an interesting article about cognitive diversity.The Techonomy article, written by John Hagel and John Seely Brown, asserts that “like-mindedness” can hurt corporations.In other words, we should re-think the phrase “Great Minds Think Alike” and perhaps turn to something along the lines of “Different Minds Think Greatly.”The title of the article, in part, states that “Too Much Like-Mindedness Hurts Companies.” They conclude:“Organizations that host a diverse and broad range of members have a resilience that results from cross pollination.”I agree with the authors, and I have relevant data to back them up. Over the past two years I’ve been developing a global innovation analytics platform as a way of measuring and accelerating global innovation. I’ve guided myself through this “Big Data” project using the six-step Data Analytics Life Cycle.We’ve aggregated thousands of employee ideas submitted into our Innovation Roadmap framework and run Social Network Analysis (SNA) algorithms against the data. We’re specifically looking for “clusters” of inventors that tend to have really great ideas. A “great” idea is an idea that is chosen as a “finalist” that is worthy of funding. The chart below highlights five such clusters, with the color “red” symbolizing a finalist.My attention was drawn to the larger cluster in the lower center of the graph. I asked our data scientists (led by Distinguished Engineer John Cardente) to drill down into this huge cluster, which contains a surprisingly large number of successful inventors. I asked them to color code each inventor using a different color shade representing what country they were from. The graphic below shows an inventor cluster representing five different countries: China, Israel, France, Australia, and the United States.In addition, certain individuals had extremely high “betweenness counts,” which indicates that they may be boundary spanners.These results certainly indicate that passionate inventors that seek to partner with diverse partners achieve a high level of success.The final piece of data that really backs up the article is the makeup of the winning team in 2012. Out of 2,200 employee ideas submitted in 2012, EMC selected the “Best-In-Show” idea from a team spanning Beijing, Shanghai, Egypt, and the United States.The Techonomy article infers that global multi-nationals actually have competitive advantage over smaller companies. Perhaps the best way to close my own blog post is to let the authors close it for me:“Organizations that host a diverse and broad range of members have a resilience that results from cross pollination. They have the ability to sense trends and react quickly and creatively to problems as they arise. As the lines between industries increasingly blur, this capability becomes more important, and is one of the advantages that large companies can have over small ones. In a world where we respond to increasing uncertainty by seeking out others like us, companies can play a significant role in building diversity and creating the mechanisms to enhance the potential for serendipity. Those who figure this out are likely to build a significant competitive advantage in resilience and creative thinking over firms that let us stay in our comfort zone.”last_img read more

Watch Out for Tech Support Phone Scams

first_imgIt has become an all-too-familiar scenario. You get an unrequested call at home or at work from someone telling you that your computer is infected with a virus and they’ll gladly help. They may claim to be from our partner Microsoft, or they may claim to be from Dell, but your gut tells you something is not right.I’m a big fan of trusting my gut, and so should you in this situation. Keep in mind, we do not make unsolicited calls asking to charge you to fix an issue you did not report or previously request help with unless you have signed up for our premium support services like Dell Tech Concierge, Dell Premium Support or Dell ProSupport services.But, cybercriminals are tricky. They do their homework and learn what they can about you or work hard to gain your trust. They may even tell you things about your computer that you think only a legitimate vendor would know. This is a key element to social engineering – a non-technical method cybercriminals use to trick people into loading malware on their systems or revealing credit card information.The best way to protect yourself is to simply hang up. But, some customers have told us that the phone scams are becoming more relentless – frequently calling them over and over. We regret that they often use our name to perpetuate such harassment and we want to stop it just as much as you.That’s why, should you decide to do more than simply hang up, we’ve created a new form you can use to report information from these callers that will help us investigate the issue. Some of those details include the phone number used to contact you, any information they know about your Dell system, and the name of any program they want you to download. Information you share through this form will go directly to our Security team, and although you may not hear from them, they will use the information to investigate and to attempt to track down the parties responsible.You can also report the phone scams to the following authorities:In the United States, use the Federal Trade Commission Complaint Assistant form.In Canada, the Canadian Anti-Fraud Centre can provide support.In the United Kingdom, you can report fraud as well as unsolicited calls.Protection of your data is a top priority for Dell. We recommend that you not engage such callers, and never give them your credit card information, access to your computer or any other personal information.Remember, if you’re unsure, trust your gut and simply hang up.[Update:  We now also have a phone number you can call (8am-5pm Central) to report these phone scams to us: 866-453-1742. If you have already filled out the form, there is no need to call. It is simply an alternate way to deliver the same information to us. This was announced here in an update on this topic from our Chief Security Officer in May 2016.][Update 2: The war against fraud continues, but many battles have been won. Read more about the progress in this new post from June 2017.]last_img read more

Iran, Taliban officials say US pushing war in Afghanistan

first_imgTEHRAN, Iran (AP) — Iranian state TV says Iranian and Taliban officials have met in Tehran and are accusing the U.S. of provoking the continuation of war in Afghanistan. Ali Shamkhani, secretary of Iran’s Supreme National Security Council, told visiting Taliban political chief Mullah Abdul Ghani Baradar on Wednesday that the U.S. seeks to continue the war in neighboring Afghanistan. Shamkhani says the U.S. tries to blame insecurity and instability in the country on individual Afghan groups. There was no immediate comment from the U.S., which signed a peace agreement with the Taliban last February and met its goal this month of reducing the number of troops in Afghanistan to about 2,500.last_img read more