Susanna Gallani

These findings echo one of the main concerns associated with monetary rewards that sometimes fail to accomplish their goals. Academics refer to this phenomenon as the crowding-out effect of explicit incentives on intrinsic motivation. In other words, associating an economic value with a certain activity changes the nature of the exchange. If health care workers sanitize their hands because it is in the best interest … [ Read more ]

Adam Galinsky, Maurice Schweitzer

[The] question — should we cooperate or should we compete — is often the wrong one. Our most important relationships are neither cooperative nor competitive. Instead, they are both. Rather than choosing a single course of action, we need to understand that cooperation and competition often occur simultaneously and we must nimbly shift between the two, and that how we navigate the tension between these … [ Read more ]

Peter F. Drucker

The flaw in so many policy statements, especially those of business, is that they contain no action commitment—to carry them out is no one’s specific work and responsibility. Small wonder then that the people in the organization tend to view such statements cynically, if not as declarations of what top management is really not going to do.

Robert Cialdini, Theodore Kinni

We not only assign undue levels of importance to whatever captures our attention at a certain point in time, but also assign causality to it.

Eric Garton

A well-designed operating model involves far more than the lines and boxes or spans and layers in the organization chart. It includes accountabilities. Who has P&L authority? Who on that org chart has the authority to make which decisions? As companies move to more agile operating models, they must learn to balance accountability with autonomy. A new operating model also requires a governance structure and … [ Read more ]

Randy Cook, Stefan de Raedemaecker, Jacek Fabianowicz, Alessandra Fantoni

The change-management literature has long focused on the need to overcome resistance. But resistance can imply intent, when in reality people often revert to old behavior out of habit or instinct, reflecting old mind-sets that may persist even after an apparently successful initial transformation.

Ron Carucci

Saying no is one of the greatest gifts an executive can give their organization. Too many leaders overestimate the capacity of their organizations under the ruse of “stretch goals” or “challenge assignments” to justify their denial of the organization’s true limitations.

Carolyn Everson

We have things called hard conversations, and we ask people all the time, “What’s the last hard conversation you had?” Because our belief is that as companies get bigger, people tend to be less willing to have the hard conversation. And if you look at companies that fail, it’s not like they sat there one day and suddenly said, “Oh, God, our business is gone!” … [ Read more ]

Julie Goran, Laura LaBerge, Ramesh Srinivasan

Some observers might consider organizational silos—so named for parallel parts of the org chart that don’t intersect—a structural issue rather than a cultural one. But silos are more than just lines and boxes. The narrow, parochial mentality of workers who hesitate to share information or collaborate across functions and departments can be corrosive to organizational culture.

Julie Goran, Laura LaBerge, Ramesh Srinivasan

The critical question for executives concerned with their organization’s risk appetite is whether they are trusting their employees, at all levels, to make big enough bets without subjecting them to red tape.

Ed Catmull

One of the things about failure is that it’s asymmetrical with respect to time. When you look back and see failure, you say, ‘It made me what I am!’ But looking forward, you think, ‘I don’t know what is going to happen and I don’t want to fail.’ The difficulty is that when you’re running an experiment, it’s forward looking. We have to try extra … [ Read more ]

Going From Fragile to Agile

Why do companies need to be more nimble? McKinsey’s Aaron De Smet and Chris Gagnon explain what’s driving organizational agility, why it matters, and what to do.

Jim Collins

If your company cannot be great without you, it is not yet a great company. It is merely a group of people who happen to have a leader. The test as to whether it’s a great company is it doesn’t need you.

Jim Collins

When we were studying in Built to Last, we were looking at companies that were visionary through generations, which meant sometimes you had to discount the role of any individual leader. You couldn’t say that Walt Disney was Disney because Walt Disney’s walking around anymore. There’s something about the company. And I still believe that. I still believe that even if you go back to … [ Read more ]

This Matrix Helps Growing Teams Make Great Decisions

Gil Shklarski, CTO at Flatiron Health, has adapted a framework from his executive coach Marcy Swenson to serve as a tool for his team to quickly and efficiently create alignment around decision-making — and at the same time, foster a level of psychological safety that would take fear, self-consciousness and anxiety out of the process.

Sylvie Bardaune, Sébastien Lacroix, Nicolas Maechler

Too many companies do not measure employee satisfaction or the support functions’ performance effectively and so fail to understand the needs of the employees using these internal services. The result is a diminished opportunity to take corrective action.

Marc-David Seidel

What underlying assumptions about centralized trust do you make in your own work? How would instantaneous peer-to-peer trust with no need for a centralized third party change things? If you could meet a stranger and be able to enter into a trusted exchange without needing a third party, what changes in your theoretical perspective on the world? That model of interaction is what distributed trust … [ Read more ]

Untangling Your Organization’s Decision Making

Any organization can improve the speed and quality of its decisions by paying more attention to what it’s deciding.

Pedro J. Pizarro

Human beings are incredibly perceptive. And they seem to be more perceptive when they look at people above them than when they look down.