Management posts

Scenario Planning and Agility: The Case for Scenarios In an Uncertain World

Scenario Planning and Agility: The Case for Scenarios In an Uncertain World Scenario planning and agility. Too often, managers and leaders focus on how to control the near-term. They don’t take the time to consider if what they prioritize as important today, will be useful, valuable, or applicable to some future state of the organization. …

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Why Best Practices Suck

  Why Best Practices Suck: Best practices are like vampires: They can suck the life out of an organization, kill its productivity, drain its creativity, and bleed its initiative. If you seek perfection in perpetuity, your organization’s learning apparatus will become an animated corpse cursed through the ages to feed on its ancestors. Every organization…

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Technology Lock-in: How 20th Century Technology Keeps Small and Medium Businesses from Joining the 21st Century

Technology lock-in… “We can do this because we have technology to manipulate matter right down to the molecular level. This is an extraordinary ability, think of it! And yet some of us here can accept transforming the entire physical reality of this planet, without doing a single thing to change ourselves, or the way we…

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Salesforce CEO Slams ‘The World’s Dumbest Idea’: Maximizing Shareholder Value

Do you think Shareholder value is stupid? Maybe you should. I was just referencing friend and colleague Stephen Denning, a Forbes contributor and author of The Leader’s Guide to Storytelling: Mastering the Art and Discipline of Business Narrative. Denning asserts in his Forbes post that: a growing number of CEOs agree: shareholder value theory is stupid. In the…

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Uncertainty and Globalization: Uncertainties Are More Important Than Trends

Uncertainty and globalization Uncertainty and globalization are joined at the hip as the world vacillates between open borders and hostility, creating tension and opportunity. For every trend, there is an uncertainty waiting to derail it. Some outside force prowling at the edges of visibility waiting to pounce on what so many consider an inevitability. I…

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Emotional Infrastructure: How Core Competencies Are Breaking Your Organization’s Heart

Emotional Infrastructure or HOW CLINGING TO CORE COMPETENCIES IS BREAKING YOUR ORGANIZATION’S HEART ORGANIZATIONS ARE MORE COMPLEX THAN EVER, AND FOCUSING TOO MUCH ON GARY HAMEL’S IDEA OF “CORE COMPETENCIES” IS BOTH OUTDATED AND DAMAGING TO YOUR COMPANY’S EMOTIONAL INFRASTRUCTURE Since Gary Hamel and CK Prahalad put forth the idea of “core competencies” in a…

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Angry Birds Layoffs: Poor strategic aim causes pigs to proliferate as Rovio’s growth slows

Angry Birds Layoffs Rovio announced layoffs today as reported in Wired Rovio Layoffs Prove Mobile Gaming Is an Industry of One-Hit Wonders (October 2, 2014,) and elsewhere. I don’t believe, however, that Rovio’s issues stem from the inherent nature of mobile gaming. If we look at their iconic games, we find “innovations” that distract from gameplay…

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Celebrity Insights: Star Trek’s Chase Masterson – Leadership Lessons from a Dabo Girl

What can we learn about leadership from a Dabo girl? Well, a lot as it turns out. I had the pleasure of hanging out with several Star Trek celebrities over the course of a recent Seattle convention weekend. I was particularly struck by Chase Masterson — Star Trek Deep Space Nine’s Leeta, the most featured of…

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Celebrity Insights: Tyler Oakley’s Take on Personal Branding for the Rest Of Us

If you are young and spend your time on YouTube, or if you track the world of pop culture through Twitter, you probably know Tyler Oakley. If your YouTube experience is limited to talking dog videos, expand your horizons, and go find Tyler Oakley. Tyler has something to teach you about personal branding, and more…

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Radio Shack Store Closures: It’s Time For People Make Things Again

  Radio Shack (NYSE: RSH) is closing 1,100 stores, in large part, because it’s business has become a commodity. It is a classic case of a strategic misstep and short-sightedness. In 2000 Radio Shack abandoned its heritage name, Tandy, consolidating around the Radio Shack brand. They did this primarily because they had become a neighborhood…

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5 Reasons to Rediscover Management and Question the Focus on Leadership

Peter Drucker didn’t really believe in leadership as the core skill for business. Looking at his quotes yields an equivalency between efficiency and management, and between effectiveness and leadership. Management does things right, and leaders do the right things. But beyond a few passing quotes, Drucker dedicated himself to helping people do things right.  Drucker…

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Healthcare.gov: DelBene Needs to Embrace Transparency, Collaboration and Customers

There are several things former Microsoft Office President Kurt DelBene will need to learn quickly in his new role as Developer-in-Chief of the struggling healthcare.gov website in order to be successful. Here are three critical areas he will have to master. Customer-Facing Transaction Systems. DelBene is an application development expert focused on commercial software for…

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The Tens—Designing the IT CRM Role

Unlike sales-oriented CRM, Customer Relationship Management within IT focuses on relationships that help empower the business with technology, and if necessary, keep IT out of the way until the time is right Be a member of the customer’s team IT Customer Relationship Managers need to balance between what IT management thinks it needs to deliver,…

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The Tens—IT Change Management

IT often drives change within organizations. This list of tens focuses on how IT can successfully implement new customer-facing systems and infrastructure. Executive engagement. Buy-in doesn’t cut it. If executives and organizational leaders don’t actively engage, drive, and lead the new applications or infrastructure, change won’t happen. Executives need to understand that adoption arrives by…

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How to Design a Meeting in a collaborative work environment: The DOs

Here is a follow-up to the Infographic How to Design a Meeting in a collaborative work environment. This installment focuses on what to do when planning and running a meeting in a collaborative work environment. Next time, the DON’Ts. Work with attendees to co-create a prioritized agenda so everyone understands the purpose of the meeting,…

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Making Sense of Strategy

Making sense of strategy: Explore this insight post from Boston Consulting’s Martin Reeves at HBR: Does Your Strategy Match Your Competitive Environment? Organizations don’t perceive their position correctly against the competitive landscape. Key insight is here: These distinctions are so important because the four different strategic environments require four different styles of strategy execution. For…

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How to Unshackle Yourself from E-mail

On this Harvard Business Review blog this morning, Daniel Markovitz, wrote a piece titled: How to Break Free from Email Jail. I appreciate Daniel’s manufacturing analogy of creating a pull system for information.  His designs make sense. However, what Daniel doesn’t acknowledge is that outside of manufacturing, most organizations don’t run like manufacturing floors. That…

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How to Design a Meeting in a Collaborative Work Environment (infographic)

This infographic captures the basic principles of meeting design based on the Management by Design methodology. It derives from the consideration of balance and purpose, and the use of technology considered ahead of its use. For more details read about the DOs here and DON’Ts here. Download the PDF here. #howtodesignameetinginfographic

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Ten Ways to Keep Customers Close

Ten Ways to Keep Customers Close In a turbulent economy, it is just as important, perhaps more so, to keep current customers close, as it is to fill the pipeline with new customers. The loss of a current customer translates into an immediate reduction of current and future revenue, and the need to invest in…

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How Clinging To Core Competencies Is Breaking Your Organization’s Heart

Since Gary Hamel and CK Prahalad put forth the idea of “core competencies” in a 1990 Harvard Business Review article, “The Core Competence of the Corporation,” organizations have taken this insight as permission to outsource various parts of their business operations. With “core competencies” organizations became machines with core functions that made the machine work,…

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August – Management by Design Tip of the Month: Design for Collaboration

I have been thinking a lot about collaboration lately. Writing whitepapers, facilitating scenario planning sessions and running workshops. We still have a lot to learn about working collaboratively. Working together just happens most of the time. We don’t think about designing how we work, we just make the assumption that people know how to work…

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Retail Needs to Invest in Talent to Remain Competitive

In Management by Design I suggested that organizations need to invest in their work experience. That means people, wages, policies and practice, space and technology, that combine to create an experience that provides value through the employment relationship that then creates more innovation,  lower turn over and high employee engagement. Zeynep Ton, a Professor of…

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