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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

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

Does PowerPoint inhibit decision making?

I chuckled when I read “Speaking Truth to PowerPoint” in the Wall Street Journal this morning. Business has grown to rely heavily on PowerPoint as a primary communications medium. Unfortunately, details are lost because the nature of presentation slides is summarization. I depth business planning requires a format that is conducive to thoughtful detail. I . . . → Read More: Does PowerPoint inhibit decision making?

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)

The Misunderstood Role of Product Manager

Product Management is often an under appreciated skill in large companies. Organizational structures are built around product delivery and support. Early in a company’s life the definition of products allow for economic survival. As a company grows more cross-functional organizations try to have greater impact on product definition so that they can perform their functions . . . → Read More: The Misunderstood Role of Product Manager

When Times Are Tough, People Try to Show Their Value

It’s November of 2008 and we are facing the most concerning economic downturn in recent memory. Sure, the mid ’90’s had some challenges but nothing like the economic slowdown that we’re seeing today. People react in funny ways to market challenges. They either take the ostrich approach and try to perform “business as usual” or . . . → Read More: When Times Are Tough, People Try to Show Their Value

Changing an Organization’s Goals

After goals are crisply defined for an organizational transformation there are some crucial elements of a group that have to be evaluated. A leader has to look at the existing team and assess the gaps between the articulated goals and what is being delivered today. This analysis should include potential system and process requirements as . . . → Read More: Changing an Organization’s Goals