Ocado Is Transforming Online Grocery Shopping with AI, But A Skills Challenge Lies Ahead – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM OCADO 

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Microprocessor (CPU) with human brain
 

Artificial Intelligence (AI) offers the prospect of a frictionless existence, making us more efficient, helping us prevent mistakes, spotting the onset of potential problems before they become problems, and enabling us to spend more time on the things that really matter to us.

It is still “early days” for AI. Consumers have yet to get a real taste for it, but when they do, it will become a powerful new drug. They will demand that all their products display this new level of smartness, develop a hunger for applications and services to get ever smarter, and expect them to “play smartly” with one another. This “smartness” will become an important source of differentiation. This has been our experience at Ocado, a leading online-only grocery retailer, as we’ve embedded AI across our technology estate.

AI at Ocado
At

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To Innovate Like a Startup, Make Decisions Like VCs Do

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paul garbett for hbr

A lean startup approach, we are told, can empower big companies to innovate rapidly and effectively in the face of continual disruption, potentially even transforming enterprises into centers of continual new growth. Responding to this promise, many companies have started putting these ideas to use: A recent study of 170 organizations with $1 billion or more in revenue found that over 82% are currently using a lean startup approach in some aspect of their business.

Yet for all of the resources that have gone into applying a lean approach, these organizations do not have much to show yet. Faster times to market, greater flexibility on the way there, and greater focus on the customer — common results of a successful lean implementation — are all positives. However, they hardly represent the transformation that has been promised with this new approach.

What is missing from this equation for

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Elon Musk’s Unusual Compensation Plan Isn’t Really About Compensation at All

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Earlier this year, Tesla shareholders approved what is likely the largest compensation package ever awarded to a CEO — for a CEO who clearly doesn’t need the money. Elon Musk is already incredibly rich, and also doesn’t seem particularly motivated by further wealth. The psychologist Daniel Pink describes the primary sources of human motivation for people who have covered their most basic needs, such as food and shelter, as being autonomy, mastery, and purpose — and Musk seems like a prototypical example of that. He enjoys the autonomy to pursue moon shot projects, constantly strives for mastery in what he does, and has a strong sense of purpose. And yet this contradiction of motivations has mostly been absent from discussion of Musk’s pay.

In fact, much of the discussion to date misses the point. The design of the compensation plan and its announcement were not about compensation at all. They

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The Reinvention of NASA

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Project Apollo Archive/NASA Johnson Space Center/Flickr

NASA today is a very different beast from the NASA of the 1960s. Though many would call that decade NASA’s golden age, we’d argue that NASA’s innovation and influence is even greater today.

Since the Apollo program, NASA has faced funding cuts, competition from other nations for space leadership, and a radical restructuring of its operating environment due to the emergence of commercial space – all of which have forced the organization to change its ways of thinking and operating.

Over the past few decades, not only has NASA delivered crucial technologies for society, such as water filtration systems, satellite-based search-and-rescue, and UV coating on eyeglasses, it has also evolved its dominant logic and business model. NASA has moved from being a hierarchical, closed system that develops its technologies internally, to an open network organization that embraces open innovation, agility, and collaboration.

This reinvention

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To Understand the Future of Tesla, Look to the History of GM

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HBR Staff

The entrepreneur who founded and grew the largest startup in the world to $10 billion in revenue and got fired is someone you have probably never heard of. The guy who replaced him invented the idea of the modern corporation. If you want to understand the future of Tesla, and Elon Musk’s role in it — something many are keen to do, given the spate of negative headlines about the company — you should start with a bit of automotive history from the 20th century.

Alfred P. Sloan and the Modern Corporation

By the middle of the 20th century, Alfred P. Sloan had become the most famous businessman in the world. Known as the inventor of the modern corporation, Sloan was president of General Motors from 1923 to 1956 when the U.S. automotive industry grew to become one of the drivers of the U.S. economy.

Today, if you

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Technical Experts Need to Get Better at Telling Stories

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andrew nguyen/hbr staff/the new york public library

“If only we could tell our stories better,” is a refrain I hear often from people I work with in the science and technology community. And I understand why. In my experience, startup and technical business leaders don’t tell their innovation stories well. This is a huge missed opportunity. When you’re doing good work, you want people to know about it. So whether you’re drafting website copy, a marketing brochure, an online article, or a press release, consider hiring professional storytellers to make the world-changing things you do mean something to regular people.

From my vantage point at MaRS, the Toronto-based start-up innovation hub, I have the opportunity to meet, interview, and write about some of the remarkable people and discoveries emerging from Canadian institutes and startups. And while I’m continually impressed with our network of technical experts, I’m less impressed with

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What 40 Years of Research Reveals About the Difference Between Disruptive and Radical Innovation

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Bloomberg/Getty Images

“If you went to bed last night as an industrial company, you’re going to wake up this morning as a software and analytics company.” Jeff Immelt, former CEO of General Electric

The second wave of digitization is set to disrupt all spheres of economic life. As venture capital investor Marc Andreesen pointed out, “software is eating the world.” Yet, despite the unprecedented scope and momentum of digitization, many decision makers remain unsure how to cope, and turn to scholars for guidance on how to approach disruption.

The first thing they should know is that not all technological change is “disruptive.” It’s important to distinguish between different types of innovation, and the responses they require by firms. In a recent publication in the Journal of Product Innovation Management, we undertook a systematic review of 40 years (1975 to 2016) of innovation research. Using a natural language

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You Don’t Have to Choose Between Fast, Cheap or Good. Instead, Change the Paradigm. – SPONSOR CONTENT FROM PWC

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How many times have you heard an executive assign familiar aphorisms to business challenges–and you just know it’s a means to justify bad behavior? They might say “business isn’t personal” as an excuse for sub-par treatment of others. Executives demand that employees “do more with less,” but then don’t allow people to focus on less. But the worst of them is one so many leaders seem to cling to: “Make a choice between fast, cheap or good.”

Old-school rhetoric like this produces the wrong answers and leads to more problems. Worse, for digital companies, it’s a practice that will keep the business and its people from truly transforming and competing.

The focus of an organization’s leaders can no longer center around compromising two out of three values. Instead, companies should focus on optimizing all of them. You can achieve all three when you’re working in the right ways

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Hospital Budget Systems Are Holding Back Innovation

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Gillian Blease/Getty Images

Nearly 800 digital health startups were funded in 2017, an all-time high. Each of the new companies offers the hope of transforming the performance of the U.S. health care system. The audience for such innovation wants to be receptive: A recent American Hospital Association (AHA) survey found that 75% of senior hospital executives endorsed the importance of digital innovation.

Yet, despite their stated enthusiasm, hospitals have been notoriously slow to adopt digital innovations. Explanations include their IT departments already have their hands full installing, maintaining, and upgrading electronic health record (EHR) systems. But much of the blame can be attributed to hospitals’ misaligned budgeting and incentive systems.

We have identified how hospitals’ budgeting systems have erected three distinct barriers to the adoption of technology. These barriers, however, can be overcome by changing how hospitals acquire new technology and by providing incentives to units to use digital

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AI Will Change Radiology, but It Won’t Replace Radiologists

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Corbis/VCG/Getty Images

Recent advances in artificial intelligence have led to speculation that AI might one day replace human radiologists. Researchers have developed deep learning neural networks that can identify pathologies in radiological images such as bone fractures and potentially cancerous lesions, in some cases more reliably than an average radiologist. For the most part, though, the best systems are currently on par with human performance and are used only in research settings.

That said, deep learning is rapidly advancing, and it’s a much better technology than previous approaches to medical image analysis. This probably does portend a future in which AI plays an important role in radiology. Radiological practice would certainly benefit from systems that can read and interpret multiple images quickly, because the number of images has increased much faster over the last decade than the number of radiologists. Hundreds of images can be taken for one patient’s disease

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Apple’s Pact with 13 Health Care Systems Might Actually Disrupt the Industry

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laura schneider for hbr

An announcement on January 24 didn’t get the large amount of attention it deserved: Apple and 13 prominent health systems, including prestigious centers like Johns Hopkins and the University of Pennsylvania, disclosed an agreement that would allow Apple to download onto its various devices the electronic health data of those systems’ patients — with patients’ permission, of course.

It could herald truly disruptive change in the U.S. health care system. The reason: It could liberate health care data for game-changing new uses, including empowering patients as never before.

Since electronic health records (EHRs) became widespread over the last decade, there has been growing frustration over the inability to make electronic data liquid — to have it follow the patient throughout the health system and to be available for more sophisticated analysis in support of improved patient care and research. Most efforts to liberate and exchange health data have

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How Augmented Reality Will Make Surgery Safer

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Some of the biggest medical advances of the last few decades have been in diagnostic imaging—ultrasonogaphy, mammography, computerized tomography (CT), magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) and so on. The same forces that have propelled technology developments elsewhere—tiny cameras, smaller and faster processors, and real-time data streaming—have revolutionized how doctors use imaging in performing procedures. Almost every surgery involves some sort of a scan prior to incision. Even in emergencies, surgeons have ultrasound or CT to help guide the procedure. Imaging can now be performed in real time at the point-of-care during procedures, both big and small.

Yet, while imaging has radically evolved, how images are displayed is basically the same as it was in 1950. Visual data are always shown on a 2D flat screen, on displays that force health care providers to look away from the patient, and even away from their own hands while operating. Further,

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Finding New Ideas When You Don’t Have a Broad Network

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juan díaz-faes for hbr

People who study creativity and innovation talk a lot about the value of “recombination” — bringing existing ideas, practices, processes, or technologies together in new ways or applying them in fresh contexts or markets. It’s a model that has led to many popular consumer products, such as leak-proof water bottles that borrow nozzles from shampoo dispensers, and home cholesterol testers that incorporate the inject/eject mechanism from CD players.

Over the last three decades, research has shown that the people most likely to innovate via recombination talk with groups of people that don’t talk to each other. In the language of social networks, these people span diverse clusters, which gives them a “vision advantage,” as the sociologist Ronald Burt is fond of putting it. Their position as “network brokers” allows them to see things that others can’t.

So, if you want to innovate, you should become

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How Geisinger Is Using Gene Screening to Prevent Disease

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Standard screening tests such as colonoscopy, mammography, and cholesterol measurement are fine for individuals at average risk for cancer and heart disease but are inadequate for people whose genetic profiles put them at much higher risk. Current clinical guidelines, based primarily on families large enough to show a positive family history for that condition, fail to identify about half of the high-risk individuals in the population. For those individuals, we need a different approach that accurately forecasts their risk and anticipates their health needs. To this end, Geisinger has launched a DNA sequencing project with the potential to identify virtually everyone in our patient population who is at increased risk for early onset, inherited cancer and cardiac events. Already we have identified more than 500 patients who are at increased risk for disease and have uncovered previously undetected cases of cancer and heart disease, allowing our doctors to

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Bridges and LIDAR

In 1999, when WAP was the future of mobile, the industry group behind SIM cards worked out a way to use the programmable space on a SIM to build a complete WAP browser. This meant that instead of having to wait for consumers to buy new phones with WAP built-in, mobile operators could push a WAP browser onto every phone already in use over the air and get people to start using these services straight away. 

This looked like genius - if you worked for the SIM industry group. The problem was that any phone that hadn't shipped with a WAP browser also, ipso facto, had no kind of dedicated data network access (GPRS at the time) and so would be accessing these services over dial-up at something under 9.6 Kbits/second (and paying per minute for call time), and also almost certainly only had a one or two Continue reading "Bridges and LIDAR"

Bridges and LIDAR

In 1999, when WAP was the future of mobile, the industry group behind SIM cards worked out a way to use the programmable space on a SIM to build a complete WAP browser. This meant that instead of having to wait for consumers to buy new phones with WAP built-in, mobile operators could push a WAP browser onto every phone already in use over the air and get people to start using these services straight away. 

This looked like genius - if you worked for the SIM industry group. The problem was that any phone that hadn't shipped with a WAP browser also, ipso facto, had no kind of dedicated data network access (GPRS at the time) and so would be accessing these services over dial-up at something under 9.6 Kbits/second (and paying per minute for call time), and also almost certainly only had a one or two Continue reading "Bridges and LIDAR"

Making Better Use of Health Care Data

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Sven Krobot/EyeEm/Getty Images

At Sanford Health, a $4.5 billion rural integrated health care system, we deliver care to over 2.5 million people in 300 communities across 250,000 square miles. In the process, we collect and store vast quantities of patient data – everything from admission, diagnostic, treatment and discharge data to online interactions between patients and providers, as well as data on providers themselves. All this data clearly represents a rich resource with the potential to improve care, but until recently was underutilized. The question was, how best to leverage it.

While we have a mature data infrastructure including a centralized data and analytics team, a standalone virtual data warehouse linking all data silos, and strict enterprise-wide data governance, we reasoned that the best way forward would be to collaborate with other institutions that had additional and complementary data capabilities and expertise.

What Retail Can Teach Health Care About Digital Strategy

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Fanatic Studio/Getty Images

Retailers know they have to find the right blend of digital convenience and in-person service. Consider Walmart’s latest advertising campaign in which customers gleefully place orders online and through its app, selecting to receive smart-looking blue boxes on their doorsteps or seamlessly pick up their orders at the closest store.

Imagining the same ad for a healthcare provider in 2018, even an innovative provider, is a stretch.

Like banks, airlines, and retailers, health care providers will need to offer an easy, digital front-end experience to their customers. This isn’t just about building fancy new websites, but undertaking true care redesign: becoming adept at delivering high-quality, cost-effective virtual care through telehealth and digital tools. To this end, they will need to move from pilot programs to large-scale efforts routinely offered across

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How AI Is Taking the Scut Work Out of Health Care

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CSA Images/Pattern Collection/Getty Images

When we think of breakthroughs in healthcare, we often conjure images of heroic interventions — the first organ transplantation, robotic surgery, and so on. But in fact many of the greatest leaps in human health have come from far more prosaic interventions — the safe disposal of human excrement through sewage and sanitation, for example, or handwashing during births and caesarians. 

We have a similar opportunity in medicine now with the application of artificial intelligence and machine learning. Glamorous projects to do everything from curing cancer to helping paralyzed patients walk through AI have generated enormous expectations. But the greatest opportunity for AI in the near term may come not from headline-grabbing moonshots but from putting computers and algorithms to work on the most mundane drudgery possible. Excessive paperwork and red-tape is the sewage of modern medicine. An estimated 14% of wasted health care

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Putting Humans at the Center of Health Care Innovation

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The healthcare industry has long relied on traditional, linear models of innovation – basic and applied research followed by development and commercialization. While this “lab-bench to bedside” approach has improved healthcare globally, it can take years, even decades, for an innovation to get to market, often with limited input from patients themselves. The results can be technically sound, but sub-optimal from the patient’s standpoint (as any woman who has endured a painful mammogram understands).

An alternative emerging at healthcare institutions worldwide is human-centered design and co-creation, a set of approaches that can accelerate and humanize healthcare innovation. This model isn’t just about getting greater patient feedback during the innovation process. Patients are co-designers, co-developers, and increasingly more responsible for their own and collective health outcomes.

We have closely studied three of these models: The Helix Centre at Imperial College London, the Center for Innovation at the Mayo

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