Opportunity in Complexity

Lack of Clarity: There are several posts on this blog that relate some thoughts I have about complexity and how our businesses are affected by the external forces in a global market. What I’m thinking about this time, however, is the opportunity we can find in that complexity. Starting close to home, we are finding our workforce is multigenerational and …

Fear, Uncertainty, and Doubt

Forecasting is Treacherous Business: According to Linda Yueh, Adjunct Professor of Economics, this year and next are likely to be filled with uncertainty. She names the events we all know are on everyone’s minds—Brexit, US-China trade tensions, and European Union reforms. Since Professor Yueh’s specialty is economics, she goes on to point out that those disruptions are occurring at a …

Becoming Data Driven

Not Just Google: Some business leaders have watched with a mix of envy and consternation as the technology firms, and large retailers, have taken advantage of big data. Until now, smaller firms have not been able to afford significant data science operations. However, predictions are that this year and next will be the year when Small to Mid-sized Enterprises (SMEs) …

Uber horse.

Efficiently Providing What Isn’t Wanted

Management: When the markets for our products or services are reasonably stable and predictable, managing performance makes sense. We are, however, no longer in such a world. Managing will lead to performing to short term goals while missing the fact that markets may be moving away from us. Managing focuses on mitigating uncertainty by making business processes predictable and efficient. …

Owning Less

Youth Lead the Way: I was speaking with a close friend who was lamenting the fact that despite having a grandson old enough to be driving, he wasn’t, and didn’t show any interest in driving. Therefore, my friend was relegated to being a chauffeur for all the grandkids and their various activities. We remarked that when we were approaching driving …

Complexity

The School of Hard Knocks

Who Hasn’t Been to That School? Recently in an e-mail exchange with a long-time friend, he wrote, “You have a degree from college, and I have one from the School  of Hard Knocks, and we both seem to be doing ok….” That common idiomatic phrase got me thinking. My friend wasn’t being facetious. Like many people using that phrase, he …

The Credibility Gap

Sharing Before Caring: Recently I was in a meeting with two other well-established service providers. These are successful men (yes, it happens all three of us are male); at least I believe many would consider them to be successful. The conversation turned to how difficult it is to get potential clients to “pull the trigger” and hire them for their …

Book Review: The Influential Author

Revealed Complexity: Long ago I learned that the more I studied a topic, the more complexity I uncovered and the more I discovered what I didn’t know about that topic. Gregory Diehl’s seminal book, The Influential Author: How and Why to Write, Publish, and Sell Nonfiction Books that Matter, taught me just how much I didn’t understand about writing and …

Curiosity Disruption

The Curiosity Trap: As mentioned several times on this blog, curiosity is a common trait of successful leaders. Many leadership coaches consider curiosity to be a requisite leadership strength. Also, on the blog, I have mentioned that one’s strength is also a weakness. How do these two precepts jibe? When is curiosity a weakness? Disruption The employees of highly curious …

Accountability Wells Fargo

What Do We Expect?

How You Play The Game: When I was a boy, I learned that we play to win, but how we play the game is more important than winning. If I was caught cheating I was out of the game. I learned a similar lesson when negotiating with other people. The lesson was to negotiate the best deal I could, but …