There are supposedly only six degrees of separation from Kevin Bacon. Whether this is so is open to debate, but there’s little debate that scripture describes only three degrees of separation. And they’re not from Kevin Bacon.

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When Southwest Airlines sought to improve turnaround time, it did not look inside the industry. It went outside – to NASCAR. Now Southwest faces new challenges. Will the current CEO look to outsiders to sustain its innovative culture?

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Standing still is not an option.

That’s one of several warnings in “An Avalanche is Coming: Higher Education and the Revolution Ahead,” a report detailing the challenges facing the traditional university. Moving to stable ground makes the most sense, but how is that done?

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Coming Avalanche?

March 31st, 2014

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Peruvian authorities ignored the warnings. Eight years later, the worst avalanche in history buried over 25,000 people. Now we’re hearing new warnings of an impending avalanche – this one burying many colleges and universities. But who’s paying attention?

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Today’s distance learning could be a big improvement over the first model launched over a century ago. That one has left us with a disturbing disconnect between the world of the academy and the business world.

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New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio says he won’t march in the annual St. Patrick’s Day parade because of its policy of prohibiting gay groups from marching openly. “St. Patrick’s is all about inclusion.” De Blasio doesn’t know much about history.

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Inside Out

March 10th, 2014

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When you know something inside out, you really know it. A great many organizations claim to really know something about innovation. Truth is, most have only inside knowledge. Innovation arises from circles of exchange, knowing things inside out.

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With its backfield of “Mr. Inside & Mr. Outside,” Army football in the 1940s proved to be innovative. That’s instructive, as many companies talk about innovation yet few include a Mr. Outside. With only half a backfield, it’s unlikely they’ll be innovative.

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Adrift

February 24th, 2014

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On this date in 1582 – February 24 – Pope Gregory XIII announced the Gregorian calendar. You learn this by googling “This Day in History.” And if you google it on a regular basis, you’ll discover a society cut adrift from its traditional moorings.

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Going Backward in Time

February 17th, 2014

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Audrey Assad is a songwriter with a sober intensity to her stage presence. So writes David Brooks. But what Brooks finds most fascinating is how Assad, raised in a New World faith tradition, is going backward in time toward the Old World. She’s not alone.

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