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February 5, 2007

News & Opinion: Harvard Business Review's Big Ideas for 2007

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 5:45 PM – Filed under: Marketing & Sales


Harvard Business Review publishes a list of breakthrough ideas each year. Bob Sutton doesn't think breakthrough is the right word for them, but I think there are a few definitely worth paying attention to this year.

Duncan Watts' piece on Accidental Influentials is going to create interesting discussions with the word of mouth marketing community. Watts says "Our work shows that the principal requirement for what we call "global cascades"—the widespread propagation of influence through networks—is the presence not of a few influential but, rather, of a critical mass of easily influenced people, each of whom adopts, say, a look or a brand after being exposed to a single adopting neighbor."

Geoffrey West from the Santa Fe Institute says size matters when it comes to innovation. Read the piece. There is too much there to try and summarize. He talks about power-laws, metabolic rates of cities, and theoretically unbounded creative growth for large organizations.

And I am not sure I agree with Philip Longman's conclusions of a continued rise in patriarchal families and conservative thought. He basically says conservatives are the ones having larger families and they in turn are going to produce more children who will grow up to care about these issues.

There are a total of 20 ideas. You might find some others that work for you.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.