Mistaken Solution

A story told by Jay Goltz to illustrate his strategy for learning from mistakes highlights common errors that many business managers and owners commit.  Though Jay’s story takes place in one of his small businesses these errors are indeed common and committed regularly by managers in both  small and large companies. Continue reading

Leading With Vision

A New York Times article, Lessons in Longevity From I.B.M., by Steve Lohr used IBM reaching the 100-year old mark to call attention to practices that contribute to an organization’s longevity.  A noteworthy point made is that past success can impede future success.  The article seems to suggest that all companies will lose their dominance and only a few will be able to survive beyond the dominance they once held.  Although this may be a common occurrence it should not be concluded that it is inevitable! Continue reading

Why Educate

Why educate? For cognitive development!  We see ourselves as intelligent beings and therefore we see the need to use our intellect to acquire knowledge in support of cognitive development. Operationally education involves disseminating facts from within various subjects/disciplines and then testing for retention and recall, with the percent passing a test being the indicator of educational success. Continue reading

Making Quality in America

In his New York Times column, Paul Krugman, spoke of a hint of the return of American manufacturing.  In this column Mr. Krugman mentioned that Michigan which had an unemployment rate of 14.1% in August 2009 is now experiencing the improved rate of 10.3%, and as Krugman noted “still above the national average, but nonetheless a huge improvement.”  Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #25

A New York Times interview with Dominic Orr, president and CEO of Aruba Networks, highlights the importance for a leader to understand the organization as a system and to relate to its’ employees as people.  Together these two principles are essential for creating a workplace culture that affords high levels of performance. Continue reading

Lean Understanding

It is estimated that about 70% of organizations initiating lean programs don’t realize the promised or anticipated success.  So it would seem that either lean is a bad idea or lean is not properly understood.  Given Toyota’s notable success, I think we’ll go with the latter!   Continue reading

Replace Performance Reviews with Leadership for Quality

A recent issue of Knowledge@Wharton indicates, that while 91% of companies worldwide have performance appraisals only 35% to 40% do performance reviews well.  The question remains, what does doing them well mean?  What are the criteria for the performance of performance reviews?  Can performance reviews (as we’ve come to know and love them) really be done well?  Should they be done at all?  If not what should be put in their place? Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #24

What does Mark Fuller, CEO of WET Design, do to foster a collaborative and creative culture?  Given that people are far more creative when they actually share ideas with each other, Mark focuses on developing skillful listening.   Quite creatively Mark uses improvisation classes as a means to this end.  Why? Continue reading

Is This the Way We Want to Roll?

Like all other animals we are equipped with the capacity for sight smell taste touch and hearing as ways of sensing the immediate environment.  So as long as danger and opportunity are within arms’ reach, earshot, in line of sight or so close we could taste them we can react to them quite well. Continue reading

Democracy’s Viability Depends on Education

According to a recent Newsweek survey among 1,000 U.S. citizens, “29 percent couldn’t name the vice president. Seventy-three percent couldn’t correctly say why we fought the Cold War. Forty-four percent were unable to define the Bill of Rights. And 6 percent couldn’t even circle Independence Day on a calendar.”  As Andrew Romano, the author of the Newsweek article noted, “…the world has changed. And unfortunately, it’s becoming more and more inhospitable to incurious know-nothings—like us.”  To quote Plato, “the price good men pay for indifference to public affairs is to be ruled by evil men.”  The need for a curiosity of mind in all human endeavors, particularly in business, education and government, should be clear. Continue reading