Management

Is Dumb the New Smart?

How dumb is your business? At the risk of drawing the ire of corporate elitists, I submit to you that the dumber your business is, the better off you are. The truth is that great companies are those which can thrive and prosper in the absence of sophistication. As odd as it sounds, businesses that are not dependent on smart ...

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Rethinking the Role of a Manager

The root of the word “manager” comes from the same root as the words “manipulate” and “maneuver”, meaning to “adapt or change something to suit one’s purpose”. Although these words may carry a pejorative meaning, there is nothing inherently wrong with them. Indeed, into each life a little manipulation and maneuvering must fall. For example, if the door to your ...

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Innovation is a Form of Win-Win Negotiation

Almost three decades ago, Ury and Fisher published their ground-breaking negotiation method, “Getting to Yes” that laid the foundation of win-win negotiation. Reflecting back on my early years in B2B Account Management and my current activities in Technology, I was struck by the parallels between win-win negotiation and innovation. Negotiators look for the fundamental interests underneath the positions. For instance, ...

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Why Talent Needs External Connections

The May issue of Fast Company had an interesting column by Dan and Chip Heath. They looked into the thinking of Boris Groysberg, a Harvard Business School professor who is due with a new book, Chasing Stars: The Myth of Talent and the Portability of Performance. In this book, Groysberg argues that talents and star performers – the case in ...

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Create a Culture of Successful Failure

Very often the best way to test an idea is not to analyze it but to try it. The organization that implements lots of ideas will most likely have many failures but the chances are, it will reap some mighty successes too. By trying numerous initiatives we improve our chances that one of them will be a star. As Tom ...

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Death of the Chief Innovation Officer?

I recently did a presentation to a large nationwide insurance company around “the state of innovation” today. it was an interesting opportunity to reflect upon some of the major changes that I’ve been noticing going on over the last year. As this was a pretty senior audience, it was no surprise that one of the items that caught their attention ...

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Kaiser Permanente Crosses the Innovation O-Gap

In corporate innovation, it’s all about the O. At the recent Frost & Sullivan Executive MindXchange in San Francisco, Dr. Naomi Fried, VP of Innovation and Advanced Technology for Kaiser Permanente, presented her organization’s approach to managing innovation.This was a great opportunity to hear practical advice. Kaiser’s approach to innovation was recently profiled in BusinessWeek. Kaiser Permanente, which generates $40 ...

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Willing to be Great

I recently attended a conference with about 150 other client-side and agency marketers at which we had the pleasure of hearing from Scott Bedbury, who played a key role in the rise of both Nike and Starbucks, and Jeff Hayzlett, who is playing a key role in the resurrection of Kodak. Despite having completely different styles, Bedbury and Hayzlett were ...

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Share the Love

Three Strategies for Creatively Recognizing Employees Valentine’s Day is for lovers. Usually we stay away from the topic of ‘love’ at work but we’re talking about positive recognition here, not the stuff that gets you in a sexual harassment lawsuit! Smart leaders and managers know that it’s a good time to show your employees some love as well. In other ...

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Finding (or Avoiding) Innovators

As always, we’d like to make our readers and clients happy. In that vein, I’d like to introduce how to spot people who are likely innovators. In this way, you can identify them more quickly, and choose to hire them if you want to be more innovative, or you can ignore and avoid them if the status quo is more ...

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