Failure is all the rage these days. Recently, from Harvard Business Review alone, we have David Simms talking about the power of positive failure (and Scott Anthony's response), and the excellent series on lessons from the military often touches on the topic.

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You are probably familiar with Parkinson’s law, either by name or just by experience. Parkinson’s Law states: “Work expands so as to fill the time available for its completion”. We have all seen this dreaded fact play out on a project at some point. And without proper planning and tracking the available time tends to expand as well, along with the work.

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I recently interviewed Peter Sims about his upcoming book, Little Bets: How Breakthrough Ideas Emerge from Small Discoveries, as it tackles a topic that is near and dear to us at Aricent: trying a lot of ideas quickly in order to rapidly find the most promising one. Sometimes this can be seen as a scattershot approach, but if done smartly it is usually more reliable than an approach that puts a lot of effort behind a small number of risky bets.

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Aricent's innovation division, frog design, recently held an event focused on the topic of mobile money. This has recently become a hot area, driven by several factors, including:

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Aricent's Executive VP of Carrier Services and Solutions, Patrick Joggerst, gives his thoughts on how 4G gives carriers opportunities to deliver differentiated user experiences. Speaking at Mobile World Congress in Barcelona in February, Patrick also discusses how the all-IP environment of 4G will lead to a massive escalation of machine-to-machine (M2M) data traffic. Looking at the opportunities and challenges posed by smartphones, mobile social networking, and managing CapEx/OpEx, Patrick covers a lot of ground in this interview.

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We recently hosted a group of mid-career executives who are in the Global Executive MBA program at the IESE Business School in Barcelona. We have done this collaboration for several years now, and it's enlightening to see how the students are facing an ever-changing set of innovation challenges. Given the diversity of countries and industries (everything from energy to telecom, government to nonprofit) and company sizes (multinationals to startups) there are some striking commonalities that emerge. See if these feel familiar, and consider if they are trending up or down for your business:

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