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When Businesses are too clever for their own good

Resourcefulness is a universally valued quality. We hire people who can “get things done” and reward them based upon their results. An Indian friend shared with me a wonderful Hindi word, jugaad (the “d” sounds like a soft “r”), which takes our western view of innovation to a new level. A couple of the more . . . → Read More: When Businesses are too clever for their own good

Burnout: Things are Just Going Wrong

Burnout is rough. You know that feeling when you’re sitting on the couch in the evening and dread going to work in the morning. Or the Saturday that you tell yourself that the weekend is almost over and you’re that much closer to having to go to work. You’re burned out and need to find . . . → Read More: Burnout: Things are Just Going Wrong

How Can I.T. Become a True Business Partner?

There’s a good reason that the Scott Adams cartoon, Dilbert, has a character called “Mordac The Preventer of Information Systems”. I’ve heard many disparaging comments about I.T. departments in general and in the last 3 weeks I’ve been at my wits end trying to get a project approved in our I.T. department.

From Scott . . . → Read More: How Can I.T. Become a True Business Partner?

The Plural of Anecdote is Not Data

The most common corporate buzzwords that I’ve been hearing over the last year are “transformation and “disrupt”. Companies are focusing on how to create a competitive advantage in this tough economic downturn. Markets have been shrinking during this 22 month recession and any advantage must come from focusing on business infrastructure in the reduction of . . . → Read More: The Plural of Anecdote is Not Data

Death By PowerPoint

We’ve all sat through long presentations that left us wondering how to get that fraction of our lives back. You know, those “FYI” presentations that are often more self aggrandizing than informative. During this economic downturn, I have seen an increased number of internal company business communications that have made me wonder who the target . . . → Read More: Death By PowerPoint

The Pecha Kucha Experiment

When I first heard about the modified Pecha Kucha exercise that I was invited to participated in (see Pecha Kucha on Summer Vacation) I wondered “what kind of nonsense is this?”. I first had to look on Wikipedia to figure out what it was. I’m not one for gimmicks, and this seemed like a gimmick. . . . → Read More: The Pecha Kucha Experiment

Hiring During a Talent Glut

The economic downturn drags on and the job market has gotten tough. There is a lot of speculation that the economy is at or near a bottom of this slump but how long will we stay there until recovery begins? Companies continue to let very talented people go as they hunker down against slower sales. . . . → Read More: Hiring During a Talent Glut

Managing in an Environment of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)

It’s the spring of 2009 and the economy is in the dumper. The average American family’s wealth has dropped by 18% and California’s unemployment rate has topped 10%. Just about everyone in Silicon Valley knows someone who has been laid off from, what were once, promising economic high flying companies and employees are feeling insecure . . . → Read More: Managing in an Environment of Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt (FUD)

Leaders Ask Rather Than Direct

I was in a series of leadership offsites this week and had some interesting observations about communication. All the leaders around me were the best that I have ever worked with. They understand business and how to lead. Each leader has their own style and strengths which create their own organizational culture. Some would ask . . . → Read More: Leaders Ask Rather Than Direct

The Most Dangerous Business Assumption

One of the biggest traps that we fall into in technical companies is we assume we know what customers want or need. Silicon Valley companies grew up building engineering products for engineers. This means that we started by making products for ourselves and assumed that customers needed the same stuff too. Fortunately, we were right . . . → Read More: The Most Dangerous Business Assumption