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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

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

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

Living In a “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” Culture

Anyone working in a large company recognizes that cultural frictions occur between organizations. Symptoms of organizational friction can be regular escalations and rumors that create “fear, uncertainty, and doubt”. These symptoms all have common causes: conflicting measurements, different values, or unclear deliverables. Unless values, measurements, and deliverables are aligned, conflict will become increasingly acrimonious. These . . . → Read More: Living In a “Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt” Culture