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The Fed’s Lone Dissenter For the second time this year, Minneapolis Federal Reserve Bank President Neel Kashkari voted against raising interest rates, sounding a more optimistic tone about the economy than Fed Chair Janet Yellen. Kashkari, the lone dissenter on the Federal Open Market Committee, asked recently: Why are we trying to cool down the economy, when there may still be some slack in the job market, READ MORE>>

Transformation Lessons from Transportation Last year, I sat down with former Steelcase CEO Jim Hackett shortly after he traded his Ford director seat to lead a new operational division in Smart Mobility. Our conversation takes on greater significance today, given how Ford’s recent management shakeup requires Jim to reprise his role as CEO and usher in transformation at Ford. From our short video with Jim on design, READ MORE>>

How an Icon Stays Agile To the surprise of some, Ford has pulled ahead in the driverless car race, thanks to AI investments and acquisitions of ride-sharing and lidar startups, says Wired: “That may sound all kinds of wrong to anyone who has seen Uber, Waymo, and Tesla flaunt their tech, and regards Detroit’s old guard as ill-prepared for the robotic future. But it’s the state READ MORE>>

How to Learn from Startup Success With “strategic philanthropy,” says a report about Google’s new spin on the startup accelerator. Under the program, Google finds mature startup talent in emerging markets and helps them solve business challenges with six months of free funding and mentorships. This offers Google crucial product feedback from different markets while positioning company experts at the epicenter of new startup ecosystems. “Transporting READ MORE>>

What You Don’t Know About CEO Tenure New data from Spencer Stuart reveals an encouraging and overlooked sign in the media coverage of CEO turnover. Tenure for S&P 500 CEOs continues to rise partly because of better board and management alignment around performance: “Contrary to common perception that the market has become less patient with public company CEOs, for S&P 500 chief executives, the average total READ MORE>>

Ideas That Made Us Think Evolving Customer Sentiment Can Unlock Your Supply Chain’s Potential Consumers’ demands to know what’s in their products is putting unprecedented pressure on companies. Supply chains are increasingly fragmented, and “suppliers are often reluctant to share their formulations, buyers balk at higher costs, and in some cases cost-effective safer substitutes simply aren’t available.” According to Bloomberg, companies, including Levi Strauss & Co., READ MORE>>

“Alexa, What’s Next?” More voice-enabled objects and conversational bots in unexpected places, thanks to an increasing number of partnerships between Amazon and other companies, reports Backchannel: It turns out having microphones in your environment is a lot more convenient than pulling out your phone. Do advances in the cloud and voice recognition portend a shift away from mobile devices or does it broaden our thinking about READ MORE>>

The Revolution in Digital Payments Cisco Chairman John Chambers, speaking at G100 last month, ranked India Prime Minister Narendra Modi as a model leader of digitization. Days after, Modi surprised everyone by removing India’s most valued and popular currencies, even though India still uses cash for 95-98% of all transactions. Designed to root out corruption and terrorism financing, demonetization has proven controversial during implementation but it READ MORE>>

The “Startup Yoda” of Silicon Valley That characterization comes from The New Yorker‘s fascinating portrait of Sam Altman, President of Y Combinator, whose alumni companies fetch a total valuation of more than $80 billion. The comprehensive profile contains a delightful succession story that highlights what makes YC unique – a discerning eye for talent and relentless focus on strategic growth. An excerpt: [Sam] recently tweeted that YC’s empire reached READ MORE>>

Can Digital Technology Bolster US Competitiveness? The US should take a cue from Israel, India, and France – countries that approach digitization as a national priority, urges Cisco Chairman John Chambers. He argues these countries are better positioned to capitalize on the digital revolution and predicts the emergence of a new startup hub in Europe: The economic benefits (are) probably $19 trillion and what surprised me is actually we READ MORE>>