The Fleet - Book Three - Breakthrough

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If there is a yes person on your team, one of you is unnecessary. Southwest heard about it and ran with it. No matter how bad things were at any point in time, my job was to never let on that I was discouraged. We made some bad decisions, but I took it on the chin, and people stuck with us and we fixed them.

I often include a smiley face. It came from my wife—she used them first. I decided somewhere along the line to add it to a note I wrote, and then I got carried away and put them on everything. Now, it is my trademark. It is important for people to display their personality. I like to spread smiles.

Fleet Maull Strategic Planning - Fleet Maull

Another way to do that is to be sure the greeting on your phone presents you like you are talking to a person not a machine. The most important decisions leaders make are people decisions—if you surround yourself with stars, you can be a star.

If you surround yourself with turkeys, you get sliced up for Thanksgiving. There is a tremendous advantage of being a no-secrets leader and a steep downside to keeping secrets.

Make your employees and customers your partners so they can help you achieve your goals. Surround yourself with great people, communicate clearly, empower and trust and get out of the way. Joe Scarlett, retired Chairman of Tractor Supply Company and Founder of the Scarlett Leadership Institute at Belmont University, is a seasoned and well-respected business leader with extensive operational and leadership coaching experience.

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The 50 Greatest Breakthroughs Since the Wheel

While at Tractor Supply, Joe was part of a classic leveraged buy out in and took the company public in Joe now focuses on building first class executive educational programs with primary focus on business leadership, ethics and an emphasis on effective communication and measurable behavioral change. The Leadership Institute program at Belmont University is developed to help turn good business leaders into great ones and based on opportunities expressed by 35 prominent CEOs. Visit www.

You can also contact Joe at joe joescarlett. Facebook Twitter. Search for:.

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Zac Manchester , the Harvard researcher leading the project, views even that one signal as a triumph. Manchester says that they could also be useful as part of missions to explore other planets. Later on in the century, Breakthrough Starshot has even bigger aspirations to send similar spacecraft deeper into the cosmos. Their plan to reach another star is based on the StarChip, a miniature spacecraft like the Sprite that is attached to a metre-wide light sail.

The sail would be powered by pulses of laser light from an array of high-powered lasers on the ground which would eventually accelerated them to speeds up to one fifth the speed of light. Such a system could reach Alpha Centauri, the closest star system to us, in a little more than 20 years.

Constraints Are Gifts

Once there, the StarChips would take images and other basic measurements of the binary star and its planet, Proxima b. Nightmares recur. While the leadership issue can be addressed without much ado, it is crafting the innovation system and processes that can be quite a challenge for companies. Creating Dedicated Groups Several companies find merit in distinct, dedicated innovation groups, removed from day-to-day routine and hierarchies.

Multiple approaches exist. Tata Group, through iterations, has settled for a hybrid of sorts; basically frameworks for separating disruptive and incremental innovations.


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Gopi has cobbled an elite tech group in Bengaluru with one-third of researchers drawn from Tata Sons and the remaining from various group companies. While the crack team is huddled in Bengaluru, Gopi also engages with CEOs identifying disruptive or breakthrough programmes within individual companies. Tata Steel, for instance, has developed graphene — a new material that conducts heat and electricity with great effi ciency, is nearly transparent and is times stronger than steel by weight.

But of course, innovation can from anywhere and from anyone. Over collaborative projects embedded in the system indicate growing synergies among Tata companies. The system is indeed working. Collaborations, especially those of the industry-academia variant, are something that Indian companies are struggling with. Co-innovation is vital. Unnikrishnan concedes that industry understands technology, not science. TCS boasts a best practice in innovation collaboration with its Co-innovation Network COIN that spans the globe and embrace partners from entrepreneurs-in- residence, student communities, academic and research institutions to venture capitalists and startups.

The company has perfected a multistage model for academia engagement. Level one involves faculty visits and people exchanges, attending academic conferences and presenting papers. Fellowships and scholarships drive the process. Level two allows the company to gingerly test the innovation waters with a partner through a small MoU.

It may involve a small sum of money and a couple of researchers. Level three is serious stuff when wavelengths begin to match; it involves multi-million dollar funding. A couple of months ago, TCS even got into an esoteric area. It signed up with Royal College of Arts to setup a design innovation lab in London.

Setting sail

The idea is to examine the confl uence of design, technology and business, for joint patents. Patents or intellectual property IP issues are the other impediment to industry-academia partnerships.

The trust factor crops up time and again. While background IP, which is the property of the originator, is easy to deal with, it is the creation of foreground or new IP that leads to issues. Krishnan says the urge to be selfi sh has to be cast aside by the partners. While partnering foreign institutions is relatively easy, Indian institutions continue to be diffi cult to deal with.

Unnikrishnan recalls how it took him six months to merely sign a MoU with an Indian university.