These suggestions criss-cross important topics and disciplines always with an eye toward leadership and common-sense. I’ll add to this page occasionally. Drop me a line if anything sparks a question. Articles China and the Truth by Benjamin Ra in The Motley Fool It’s Time To Build by Marc Andreessen What 9/11 Taught Us About Leadership In A Crisis by Stanley McChrystal and Chris Fussell in NYTimes To Change The Way You Think, Change The Way You See by Adam Brandenburger in Harvard Business Review Turning Strategy Into Results by Donald Sull, Stefano Turconi, Charles Sull, and James Yoder in MIT Sloan Management Review Why Facts Don’t […]Continue readingMore Tag
Culture and relationships are the hardest part. You need to identify and develop willing lieutenants who can mobilize their people, evangelize a mindset of change, and gradually grant permission to their extended teams to evaluate and apply risk with high probability of paying dividends. Think ripple effect instead of tsunami.
Above all, recognize that culture is an output. If you want to change the culture, change the input.Continue readingMore Tag
Asking Better Questions: Context is micro by nature and doesn’t play well in the attention economy where prescription-based marketing has seconds to set a hook. Digital transformation marketing heralds one-size-fits-all imagery, easily packaged for change-weary leaders. Context, though, is the only way to discover all of the opportunities that lie before you. Simple, not easy.Continue readingMore Tag
Why? (Emotional) vs. How? (Practical) “Start with why” is a trendy leadership slogan that follows a best-selling book of the same name. It’s generated attention and revenue in the same way “investment gurus” generate attention and revenue by selling advice instead of investing. That’s an unpopular and arguably sour-grapes take that I’ll stand by. Systems-Rigidity Example: Supply Chains During COVID-19 We need more tweakers (systems, not meth) and fewer analysts. The brittleness of our food supply chain clearly indicates efficiency kills flexibility. Processing is overly centralized, suppliers may be limited by restrictive contracts, there are too few/too big players in the systems, and…? How does […]Continue readingMore Tag
Catch: the digital transformation narrative is stacked against you. 22: inaction is not an option. While the above example leans toward the extreme, it’s not uncommon. Bypassing the accepted narrative is the way forward. The mindset is so deeply entrenched that it demands a way around it in the same way a boulder demands water to flow around it. Be water.Continue readingMore Tag
Digital Transformation is the inescapable buzzword for implementing & adopting software. It’s effectively positioned as a magically complex category. Mostly, it’s not. You’ve heard the quote: “if you’re not a part of the solution, there’s good money to be made in prolonging the problem.” These sources speak to a pragmatic mindset, and frankly, there isn’t a lot of good writing out there on the topic. It’s mostly a remixed sales pitch so I’ll share what’s available, do more writing of my own, and add some video. Articles Why Companies Do “Innovation Theater” Instead Of Actual Innovation by Steve Blank in Harvard Business Review People, Not […]Continue readingMore Tag
Resistance to change is a highly developed analog/mental muscle. We’ve been exercising it instinctively since childhood. Ask any parent about the impact of small changes to a child’s routine, and the resulting meltdown. Survival mechanisms and social conditioning are powerful – that’s why attempts at sweeping change end in catastrophe.Continue readingMore Tag
Humans are masterful at cobbling sketchy theory into saleable packages. The internet extends this capability at massive scale because everyone is drinking from the same information fountain. It’s a side-effect that vaulted the “on-message” strategy, an established favorite of White House press secretaries, to wider application in marketing. It can give the appearance of synchronized messaging even in the absence of direct or deliberate coordination. Pack behavior dominates.Continue readingMore Tag
Change is where we stumble. Digital transformation, innovation, and agility all hit human roadblocks. Only those who hammer away until they gain traction will pass them. As individuals we struggle to change habits even when our well-being is at stake.
If transformation were digital we’d all have reached nirvana using the Headspace app, peak fitness with Apple Health, and inbox-zero with Boomerang. Alas, it’s the work, not the tools, that brings results.Continue readingMore Tag
Transformation is human not digital. And it’s not a standalone category. Anyone with skin in the game understands that the alchemy of change is some combination of leadership + key people/catalysts, culture, creative permission and technology that’s unique in different industries and even across teams withing the same org.Continue readingMore Tag