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Do the Best Organizations Have the Best People?

EVERY COMPANY devotes enormous effort to choosing and judging its members. Such efforts make sense. There are huge differences between the best and worst performers. And renowned companies do have great people. Consider IDEO, one of the largest and arguably most successful innovation firms in the world. IDEO’s products have won more than twice as many BusinessWeek Industrial Design Excellence Awards than the next best firm. IDEO’s people have designed thousands of products and experiences, everything from the first Apple mouse, to full-size mechanical whales for the Free Willy films, to finding ways for DePaul Health Center’s emergency room to make visits less bewildering. IDEO even designed ...

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