This Week in Business and Brands: Resolutions, Revenues, Reps, and More

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Happy New Year! We hope you had a wonderful and restful holiday season. To help hit the ground running in 2018, we’ve assembled the latest and greatest news and wisdom from our first week back below.

Innovation Impulse: Netting from the New

In case you still had any doubts about the merits of constant innovation, MITSloan has put the numbers to work in a new study of the cha-ching that follows change. With an in-depth analysis of 154 companies over 5 years, the results are clear: the more the enterprise engages and supports employees’ new ideas, the more profits roll in. That means getting 300 to 500 winning ideas per 1,000 active users of the idea-generating and -voting system and supporting those ideas through to realization. Compare that with the companies who only got 100 new ideas (or less): half of them had no growth in profits whatsoever. So how can you get the gears turning? First, create company-wide challenges for innovation, bringing out a little competition to generate creativity and novel suggestions. Then, be sure to include everyone and break down silos, as one company saw 60% of ideas coming from their operations department. Finally, be a champion, recognizing team contributions by bringing them to life.

Talking Tactics, Tête-à-Tête: Tips from the Titans

If you’re needing some strategic inspiration for the coming year, look no further than this Business Insider reporter’s Best of 2017 Lessons from Leaders of all fields, like:


  • Ray Dalio, founder of Bridgewater Associates: “Put your honest thoughts on the table for others to see so that way you can stress test them. Learn the art of thoughtful disagreement so you can take in as well as put out. Have idea-meritocratic ways of getting past those disagreements if they remain.”
  • Tim Ferriss, author of The Four-Hour Workweek: “Ask yourself, ‘What would this look like if it were easy?’ One of the proxy measurements of success can be effort. I think that many people who are accustomed to being able to outwork other people insert a lot of unnecessary complexity that then causes all sorts of issues later.”
  • Philip Krim, CEO of mattress startup Casper: “It’s better to over-communicate than under-communicate. By letting employees know how the leadership team plans on growing, people feel bought into the strategy around your organizational design and development.”


Brand Bulking: Orangetheory Flexes AI’s Muscles

Crossfit, Sports, Fitness, Training, Exercise, Athlete

In the race to the top among fitness chains like Equinox and SoulCycle, which corporate workout plan is best for serious growth? Better ask Orangetheory, whose $1 billion revenue target for mid-2018 will be reached with the assistance of one critical supplement: artificial intelligence. Working with The Tombras Group over the last three years, the brand has harnessed technology with technique to build hyperlocal campaigns, knowing that getting athletes in the door is the key to conversion. Utilizing AI to generate leads, the country-wide distribution effort has far surpassed previous word-of-mouth and digital marketing strategies as the chain grows to 850 locations and beyond. It’s the same sound science that’s infused into the proprietary “group personal training” that copycats fail to carry out. That initial catalyst is all it takes for more fans and loyalty, as “two-thirds of new members come through existing members who love the experience, love the results and refer their friends and family.” Talk about serious gains…

Resolution Revolution: Need Assistance?

Everybody could use a little help sticking to their resolutions – and 2018 could be the year that helping hand might be best found in the form of digital assistants like Siri and Alexa. While they may have first snuck into your home under the guise of a gift, get ready for the gals to join you when you walk out the door, connecting through wireless earbuds or through the smart dashboard in your car. And once you arrive at work, Amazon hopes “Alexa for Business” will be in the Echo on every desk, doing much more than just controlling the office jukebox. There will also be some new (non-existent) faces on the scene, as both Apple and Facebook have already announced their own smart speaker and smart screen to join the race to help make your life even more futuristic. And with Google’s recent move to support multiple actions from a single voice prompt, it looks like you’ll be accomplishing all your 2018 goals in no time…

Facing the Future: Talking Trends @ CES 2018

That’s all for this week! We’ll leave you with the latest look at tech’s talk-of-the-town, as the Consumer Electronics Show gets underway in Las Vegas…