How to open innovation at your firm

The Brief
These articles come from the RelSci 5, our weekly newsletter for and about organizational leaders. Its curated articles and insights revolve around a different theme each week to help you do your job better. Choose the email you want: Business, Finance or Nonprofit. 

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open innovation

1. 8 elements of open innovation

What do Alcoa, the Discovery Group and NASA’s Ames Research Center have in common? They’re all large, established organizations that have somehow managed to innovate despite their unwieldiness. Here’s how

2. The growth behind Zenefits

The fast-growing human resource software company has just raised $500 million in its latest funding round, coming in at a $4.5 billion dollar valuation–nine times what it was in its last round. At two years old and 1,000 employees, with more added monthly, can Zenefits sustain this kind of growth?
Our other burning questions:

3. You’re thinking about strategy wrong

If the krux of your business strategy is providing great services or products to people who are interested in paying for them, it’s time to question, well, everything

4. Max Levchin’s new gig

PayPal co-founder Max Levchin announced a $275 million funding round this week for his company Affirm, which is looking to disrupt the way millennials receive credit and pay off debt through small loans at point of sale. Question is, will credit-wary young consumers make the leap to micro-loans?

Our other burning questions:

  • Is Affirm’s latest funding round–in which its investors also chipped in money for the company to lend rather than just purchasing equity– the start of a new trend in venture capital?
  • Who at PayPal might Levchin leverage for advice and connections as he moves forward with Affirm?

5. Not-so-risky business

Why do CEOs who’ve been at it a while lose their stomach for bold moves? Blame complacency and anxiety about late-stage career failure. Problem is, it’s killing innovation at your firm

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