July 2018: What We’re Reading

By The Center Team on July 31, 2018

News and insights to keep you up to date and on track—a new model for budgeting, smart growth strategies, future-focused IT spending, and more

We’re here to help you make your business spending more strategic, intelligent, and connected. Stay up to date and on track with recent insights from business strategy experts and fintech thought leaders.

What Your Startup Can Learn from Astronauts, The Daily Show, and the Coach of the Boston Celtics
First Round Review | @FRCReview

Techniques for fueling creativity, inviting constructive feedback, and encouraging radical transparency, drawn from unlikely sources by renowned organizational psychologist and Wharton professor Adam Grant.

“We should be looking for examples of creative ideas that either failed, but were tested in a smart way, or risky experiments that were worth trying to see their results. You need to make it safe for people to keep running those kinds of experiments.”

Andrew Chen on Finding the “Fresh Powder” in Growth
Adam Risman and Andrew Chen for Inside Intercom | @AndrewChen

An in-depth conversation with one of today’s leading minds in growth, exploring everything from seeding virality and fine-tuning acquisition funnels to delighting users with inventive onboarding experiences and an engaging voice.

“A lot of folks spend their time picking the metrics first and then trying to increase them as much as possible. That’s a good place to start, but the problem is that you have to be so careful about picking your metrics.”

6 Expert Budgeting Tips for IT Leaders
Mary K. Pratt for CIO | @CIOonline

A company’s budget reflects its priorities, and the strategic allocation of IT spending can yield long-term payoffs in innovation and digital transformation.

“The IT budget says a lot about its owners: whether executives have a roadmap for the future and whether they’re willing to pay for it, whether company leaders value innovation or whether they still see technology as only a behind-the-scenes function.”

A New Study Should Be the Final Nail for Open-Plan Offices
Libby Sander for The Conversation | @LibbySander

Workplace design greatly influences how employees collaborate and communicate. But a new study offers compelling evidence that open spaces designed to encourage interactions can in fact have the opposite effect, and productivity often suffers as a result.

“In many open-plan offices, the drive for increased interaction and collaboration comes at the expense of the ability to focus and concentrate. When distraction makes it hard for employees to focus, cognitive and emotional resources are depleted. The result is increasing stress and errors, undermining performance.”

OIS: Next Generation Budgeting
Gary Cokins and Alan Dybvig for Strategic Finance | @SFMagazineIMA

A case for understanding the true business drivers on both the cost side and the revenue side, and collaborating effectively throughout the organization to build an operational income statement (OIS) and a more accurate operational budget.

“Since OIS is a model, it can be updated easily when assumptions change so that it’s always current. This is unlike the traditional budget, which is very difficult to update.”