Year: 2012

Giving Thanks

I caught myself reflecting gratefully last week as I overlooked San Francisco from our hotel.  The view ranged from the Bay Bridge all the way

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Be More Weird

I was in Austin last week working with an international group on strategy.  One of the key discussion topics was the need for change and

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Diagnosing Conflict

Conflict in the workplace has three primary sources.  The first two are most common:  Disagreement over objectives and differences over alternatives.  For example, Democrats and

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Appraisal vs. Coaching

There’s a significant difference between appraising performance and coaching performance.  Appraisal is judging the past while coaching has to do with the future.  While both

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Listen Up!

During a heated election season, all the signs of weak communication and miscommunication are on full display.  One clear sign of a poor communicator is

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Your Under-employment Problem

Unemployment is a societal problem; under-employment is an organizational problem.  I am referring to employees who are prevented from excelling because of restrictive jobs, bureaucratic

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Resistance at the Top

The leader who is attempting to shift strategic direction faces three sources of resistance within their organization — the broad employee base, middle managers, and

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What the Doctor Said

“Are you exercising?” he asked. “Yes, sure, I’m going on walks around the farm,” I said. “By exercising, I mean 30-40 minutes, 4 times each

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Changing Tires at 65 mph

Much of my work is either helping executives successfully implement strategy or lead major change.  In either case, success often hinges on preparing an organization

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Poison in the Well

During a college summer I worked for a manufacturing company as a machine operator.  It was boring work.  During the first night, I figured out a

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Fuzzy vision problem

Early in my consulting career, I worked extensively with Wilson Sporting Goods. One day I interviewed an elderly gentleman who was the wood head designer.

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What Do You Mean?

“We want to go from good to great,” a prospective client recently told me.  “That’s wonderful.” I remarked, “Can you tell me what in particular

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Actions and Emotions

The reaction of Afgans to the treatment of religious materials is alarming but it clearly illustrates two points affecting organizational behavior: Emotion is at least

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A Fresh Take

CEO turnover is high. Every week the Wall Street Journal reports on more turnover and that’s just at large companies. In most cases, the new

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Why Not Use a Horoscope?

Assessment tools (Myers Briggs, DISC, etc.) are being touted as useful ways to improve teamwork and productivity.  But they’re really nothing more than a way

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Why Apple is so Profitable

Steve Jobs leapfrogged the competition in computers, music, animated film, cell phones and tablets by developing a distinctive strategy, not by focusing on improving operational

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The Crab Pot

It’s been interesting to watch the rise and fall of various candidates in Iowa this Fall. One candidate will soar in the polls only to

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