Hidden Lessons in Leadership #29

In a New York Times interview Andrew M. Thompson, co-founder and C.E.O of Proteus, spoke about how he advances the capability of his company by creating and maintaining what he calls “ a leadership culture as opposed to a management culture.”  As Andrew noted, “culture in our company is a really big deal, and we have a values system built around quality, teamwork and leadership.” Continue reading

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

Reductionism Can Reduce Everything

What is reductionism?  It is the theory and practice of solving problems by placing attention on its simpler constituent parts or components.  In other words, solving problems of the whole—which can be quite complex—can be realized by attention to the most important constituent—the one cause or the one outcome—of the whole. Moreover this approach to decision-making and problem resolution is likely not only quite widespread it is also a way of thinking that most are not consciously aware they practice.  So why should we care?  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

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #23

With technology begetting more technology, innovation appears to be increasing at an increasing rate.   Consequently in many industries, if a business is not cutting edge, it may not be too long before it fails to make the cut.  Accordingly business managers/leaders have a corresponding need to foster creativity within the organization toward realizing more innovation of product and service just to sustain a favorable image and position in the market—current and future.  Doing so is not so much a skill or technique as it is an attitude or mindset about people that is evident in the leadership one exhibits. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #22

Interviews with CEOs, Romil Bahl (PRGX) and Irwin Simon (HAIN Celestial Group), bring to light the importance of people and their ideas to an organization’s success; and consequently why creating a culture that fosters the unfolding of people’s potential is central to the viability of the enterprise.  Two quite business organizations operating in quite different industries striving to essentially create the same kind of culture, one wherein people and ideas flourish. Continue reading

Want to Improve Quality, Listen Up

Often those with authority over a system/organization—frequently referred to as ‘the leadership’—use the thing they believe is valued by most as a way of resolving a complex problem such as quality. That is, they throw money at it!  Since money is the thing we greatly value, then what better way to demonstrate commitment to quality than to willingly spend it in the name of quality! Continue reading

Growing Out of Capability

As a business enterprise grows the more people it employs and correspondingly it comprises greater diversity in skill and knowledge. In short, the enterprise becomes more complex.  Unfortunately all too often as it grows a shift in the businesses’ purpose-in-practice occurs, especially if it becomes a publically traded business.  Yes of course Wall Street adds its requirements! The resultant organization will be quite different from the entrepreneurial enterprise from which it grew. Continue reading

Leading the Bottom from the Top

Leading from the top presents many challenges—you could also think of these as responsibilities—that have an impact on the viability of the enterprise. How do you maintain the energy that supported the growth of the business from its inception?  Whether the enterprise is new or old, this challenge is the same. Continue reading

Enfold and Unfold

All people throughout the world are human beings: We each are human beings having a human experience.  However while, at base, we are very much the same we are also very different.  Between individual to individual we can observe differences, as well as identify similarities.  Moreover, individuals living within the same society are more alike—perceiving and experiencing life in a similar way—than those living in very different societies. Continue reading