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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

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

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)

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

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

Do You Have the Right People?

What happens if you don’t have the right people? The value of the organization isn’t met and the reputation of the function is poor. I’ve seen many organizations in large and medium sized companies that are viewed as “retirement jobs.” What happens is that either the deliverables and goals are not well defined or the . . . → Read More: Do You Have the Right People?

CYA…Cover Your Assumptions

Most business projects start out as an irritating tactical issue. A problem will come to someone’s attention that they believe needs solving. Unfortunately, the normal approach is to suggest a solution on the fly and initiate the resolution. It is rare that leaders take the time to understand the causes and the scope of a . . . → Read More: CYA…Cover Your Assumptions