Author: David Lee

customer centric, strategy

Customer Service is No Longer Good Enough


Are Customers a Burden to Your Employees?
This is one of my favorite ambiguous quotes from the internet about how businesses deal with customers. Depending on the source, the quote has been attributed to LL Bean, to Mahatma Gandhi or to some guy who wrote a book in the 1950’s…

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high performance, teams

The Art of Ensembling


Something new is happening in sports and particularly basketball. I first noticed it when I had the chance to attend several pro basketball games for my business. One of the games I attended featured the Golden State Warriors who, if you know NBA basketball, is one of the more successful teams of late…

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change management, responsive

Change and the Pizza Principle


A person I admire recently explained his view of change management as,

“Taking people who are in a room eating pizza, dragging them by the hair to another room, and forcing them to eat a slightly better pizza.”

This image of violent change for incremental improvement is extreme, but it is representative of many change efforts I have observed and explains simply why so many of them fail…

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culture, high performance, innovation, responsive, strategy

Responsive Innovation


My family can tell you that I consider myself one of the great armchair innovators. Among the many things I believe I invented before they were actually invented is the Keurig coffee dispenser, Netflix (streaming AND original content), and the Amazing Race. The problem I always told myself was that I never had access to the resources required to put my ideas into the market. So when I secured a position managing innovation at a global mega-company, I was excited. Here, I would finally have the opportunity to launch my great ideas, become massively famous, and change the world. Boy, did I have a lot to learn…

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responsive, strategic planning

Strategic Planning on a Dancing Landscape


“In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.” – Dwight D. Eisenhower


When you start a new business, it is like climbing a mountain. You have a goal in mind and generally understand what you need to achieve. Develop the idea, raise the money, and launch the business. Things remain fairly simple during the first years as well. Grow the business, add the people, build the client base and reach a breakeven point. Whew! It’s not easy, in fact it is one of the most difficult things to do successfully, but the challenge is simple to understand…

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high performance, responsive

Why Band Kids Get Responsive


I encouraged my daughter to join band when she was in fourth grade and to stick with it at least through high school because I thought she would enjoy it. I was a jock, and I was always jealous of the band kids. They seemed to have more fun and be closer friends. As she entered her senior year, I realized that there is more to band than I thought…

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leadership, responsive

Generals vs. Conductors the Evolution of Leadership


The other day I was binge watching Mozart in the Jungle. I love this show not just because of the story, characters and the set pieces but because of what it teaches me about leadership. Mozart in the Jungle presents the fictional transformation of the New York Symphony from an old school, tradition-based organization that has become all but obsolete to a new wave, popular organization – at least I hope, because it is nowhere near its destination. The show is also a study in the evolution of the leaders in the story from the previous conductor dealing with a new reality to the new conductor trying to reach his potential as well as the potential of the organization he is leading. As we discuss what it takes to be a leader in today’s exponentially changing environment, we must also look at the evolution of leadership…

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culture, purpose

The New Humanism


Purpose Driven Strategy has become a prime topic of management in the last decade due in no small part to the popular books like Start with Why by Simon Sinek; Firms of Endearment by Raj Sisodia; Leading with Purpose by Mark Koehler; Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies, by Nikos Mourkogiannis; and the Progress Principle by Teresa M. Amabile & Steven J. Kramer. Executive seminars are held about it, business models are built on it, and consulting companies have established whole practice lines dedicated to it…

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responsive, strategy

Embracing Uncertainty


The world has become VUCA. After the Cold War, the US Military came to something of a revelation. Without a clear power counterbalance from the USSR, the world became a much more challenging place. Suddenly, they were in a situation without a single, clear, predictable enemy but many potential adversaries who were unknown, remote, loosely organized, and hard to detect with diverse, indeterminable motivations. The new challenges ranged from global terrorist organizations to warlords and pirates in Africa to sudden geopolitical shifts such as Arab Spring. The term created for this new reality was VUCA…

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responsive

Finding the Responsive Lens


When it comes to discussing the Responsive Lens, I find it is wise to start with examples of practical applications because the concepts behind it are born out of natural science, mathematics and physics, and many managers struggle to see them as anything more than theoretical and not relevant in the “real world” of business. This is an understandable but unwarranted view…

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complexity, responsive

The Perils of Complexity Creep


Complexity is a natural phenomenon. We see it all around us, but we rarely do much about it. This is because complexity does not announce itself as an issue. It infiltrates organizations bit-by-bit, day-by-day.  Moreover, complexity is most often the result of success which is not something we normally don’t want to examine too much…

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complexity

The Complexity Issue


The nature of business is to seek opportunity for growth and expansion. This is a good thing and indicates success when it is at hand. Executives are encouraged to innovate, embrace new opportunities, and create change to take advantage of potential opportunities such as…

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