Management

Don't Be A Rule Fool

Wait your turn. No pushing in line. Yield to pedestrians. Treat others the way you would like to be treated. Certain timeless rules are better obeyed than broken. But in today’s topsy-turvy business world, many of the rules that informed and guided previous generations of business leaders no longer apply. If you’re not breaking rules on a regular basis, your ...

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Don't Demolish Your Own Innovation

Innovative ideas – the kind that can transform your company – are inadvertently being demolished. When first presented, many ideas meet wrecking-ball comments such as: “How’s that going to work?” “Good luck getting that done!” “We don’t have time for something like that.” And the classic, “Doesn’t work… Trust me… We tried that years ago.” We’ve all heard (or perhaps ...

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How is Innovation Like Pornography?

I made what in hindsight is a fairly funny mistake recently. Working with a new client who wanted to become more innovative, we pressed ahead into a project only to realize that their definition of innovation was to have customers interact with their products in a technology showcase. When I think of “innovation” I think of teams using a number ...

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Accountability: Innovation in a Changing Business Environment

As companies and organizations pursue innovation to transform themselves from what they currently are or offer, to what they want to become or provide the marketplace, accountability is the rudder that steers pursuits and prevents a wandering, directionless ship. Wikipedia defines “Accountability” as part responsibility and answerability, liability and enforcement, blameworthiness and consequences. “Accountability is defined as ‘A is accountable ...

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Making a Case for Innovation in the Absence of Proof

How do you prove something that hasn’t happened yet? That’s the challenge facing innovative ideas inside many companies. Innovation, by definition, is a leap into the unknown. But for organizations that increasingly look to past history/results and data to determine future steps, quantifying the likely success and/or risk with an innovative idea can be tricky. Or, as Roger Martin and ...

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Keeping Employees Informed – A Step-by-Step Guide

In my last blog, I talked about the importance of communicating your strategic planning framework to employees at all levels of the organization. And not just once, but over and over again so that people never lose sight of the goals. I also noted that most employees prefer to hear this information directly from their boss or manager. But face-to-face ...

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True Test of a First Rate Innovator

Tom Peters used to remind executives that it mattered little what they proclaimed to be their top priorities. Instead, the “In Search of Excellence” co-author advised looking at your calendar to reveal your main concerns, because that is where you are spending your time. I thought of Peters’ admonition when reading IBM’s recently-released study of 2500 chief information officers. The ...

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Org Chart Kool Aid

Since Organizational theory is a hot topic these days, I thought I’d poke a bit of fun at that old corporate tradition that is the Organization Chart. Over the years I’ve seen every type of org chart in existence. Some have come and gone only to come again. Every year or two the latest revolutionary thinking in corporate organizational theory ...

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Good Acting can be Bad for the Business

When Shakespeare said that all the world’s a stage, he probably didn’t have employee performance evaluations in mind. But for anyone who has ever endured a less-than-candid performance appraisal, his words definitely ring true. Giving and receiving feedback is a complex process made infinitely more complicated by our human emotions and reactions. In particular, our fears, uncertainties and doubts about ...

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