responsive

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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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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