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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

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

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

Stress, how do we deal with it?

Wow, its been a busy summer. So much so that I have not been able to practice what I preach and write my thoughts down. I have at least maintained my reading schedule to keep myself semi-sane (and for those of you who know me well, that’s even a stretch). I picked up an interesting . . . → Read More: Stress, how do we deal with it?

What Causes Passive Aggressive Behaviors at Work?

Leadership is a double edged sword. On the one hand, leaders who are too controlling make their people feel uncomfortable making decisions. On the other hand, leaders who don’t provide enough guidance create a culture that fosters inconsistency and lacks goals. Both extremes cause passive aggressive behaviors that break down corporate culture and damage trust. . . . → Read More: What Causes Passive Aggressive Behaviors at Work?

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