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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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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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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