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The Need For Organizational Change

Organizational transition, transformation, turn around. There are many euphemisms to describe the act of changing an organization. What do they mean? It is popular for people to describe themselves as “change agents” but they are usually referring to some very clever ideas they’ve implemented in existing organizations to increase value incrementally. This is evolution, to . . . → Read More: The Need For Organizational Change

Going from Start-Up to Corporate

My company has changed a great deal over the years. We have gone from an energetic start up with a fantastic idea to a large organizationally stratified high tech corporation. When I first started with the company in 1996, people didn’t care about titles and if someone had a great idea they were given the . . . → Read More: Going from Start-Up to Corporate

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

Leading: Turning Conflict Into Conversation

People hate to fight. Its human nature to avoid conflict and we all want to be liked. Unfortunately, people often mistake confrontation for aggression. The reality is that conflict can be positive and constructive. Confrontation does not have to, and shouldn’t, be personal nor does it have to be mean. Direct conversations are productive and . . . → Read More: Leading: Turning Conflict Into Conversation

The Business Is Never About You!

I was chatting with a member of my management team in the hallway the other day and something she said really stuck in my head. We were talking about the organizational performance turn around that we were in the midst of and she said, “You’ve really added simplicity and definition to what we need to . . . → Read More: The Business Is Never About You!

The Consultant’s Mindset

Working for a large company makes it very easy to get comfortable. You wake up and go to the same office, work with the same people, and do relatively similar things consistently. It’s easy to get lulled into the pattern. In Silicon Valley, that pattern became a lifestyle. The internet bubble has passed and those . . . → Read More: The Consultant’s Mindset

What Can the Restaurant Business Teach Me?!?

I’m attending a conference in a couple of weeks where Danny Meyer, author of the best selling book “Setting the Table”, will be speaking about his business philosophy. The conference organizers strongly recommend that we read his book. My initial reaction was an internal groan when I thought about how much trouble I have struggling . . . → Read More: What Can the Restaurant Business Teach Me?!?

Working on the business, not in it

I just finished working with other leaders on the coming fiscal year initiatives. As I worked through the identification of our future efforts it occurred to me that some of my peers were caught by surprise by this planning exercise. Some were prepared with specific needs of their organizations because of well defined goals and . . . → Read More: Working on the business, not in it

Data and Processes Don’t Make Your Decisions For You

Business decisions are, by their nature, subjective. Oh, we analyze data to understand exceptions and develop processes to ensure consistency; but, these are only aids to understand and limit risk. It’s interesting to observe so much effort around data analysis and process development, in an attempt to cover all bases. In the end, we have . . . → Read More: Data and Processes Don’t Make Your Decisions For You