Bill Schaninger

Historically, we’ve been disproportionately focused on the value of the cascade, the leader, change leaders. They’re still all very important. But, increasingly, as we are a workforce comprised of a generation that has a lot of their actions that are digitally based, we’ve had to come to grips with the idea that influencers and opinion leaders and people in the social network, their role modeling … [ Read more ]

Julie Zhuo

Hiring is not a problem to be solved but an opportunity to build the future of your organization.

Farzana Nasser

Brand-driven insight is your truth—the WHY behind all that you do. Performance marketing is your plan put into action—the HOW and WHAT of manifesting that truth. You can be optimized to a T and your performance channels can be solid, but without leveraging brand learnings your organization will not achieve the growth and success that it can when those two realms are combined. Needless to … [ Read more ]

Julian Birkinshaw

Two worldviews — market positioning and the resource-based view — have dominated how we think about competitive advantage for 40 years.

But the rapid growth of business ecosystems in recent years challenges this thinking. Most of these ecosystem orchestrators, like Google, Alibaba, and Uber, don’t make the things they sell; they exist to link others together, and this makes the old positioning-based logic less relevant. And, … [ Read more ]

Gokul Rajaram

Consensus means no ownership. What’s important is not that everyone agrees, but that everyone is heard and then the right person makes a decision.

Russell Fradin

When I recently joined the board of a public company, I asked them if they’ve looked at how an activist would attack them. If a company hasn’t, that tells me it’s not on their minds. What do you think the activists would be picking on? If management is not open to that alternative viewpoint, it’s not a good thing.

First Round Review

The art of decision-making isn’t always about capturing some elusive “best” decision — it’s about making the most of information available, garnering trust across stakeholders and executing with conviction.

Paul Magill

To executives used to managing their businesses through the scrutiny of numbers, marketing’s uncertainties can be frustrating. As the saying goes, “What gets measured gets managed.” If marketing is hard to measure precisely, how can we manage it? The answer: Marketing does have valid metrics through which its activities can be assessed and managed. A/B testing and test markets can confirm or refute hypotheses to … [ Read more ]

Josh Levs, Amy C. Edmondson

Psychological safety has received significant attention in recent years. Harvard Business School professor Amy C. Edmondson, credited with coining the term, has defined it in these pages as “the belief that the environment is safe for interpersonal risk taking. People feel able to speak up when needed — with relevant ideas, questions, or concerns — without being shut down in a gratuitous way.”

But I’ve found … [ Read more ]

Adam Pisoni

Efficiency is great if you can plan for the long-term. If you know what you’re going to do for a long period of time, you can really get into the nuts and bolts of how to do it efficiently. But because efficiency, by design, locks in roles, processes and practices, it also makes it much harder to change.

Erik Roth

A company needs to be really clear on why they’re acquiring something. If it’s an acqui-hire, then it’s the talent. If it’s a business-model acquisition, it’s the business, the technology, and the IP [intellectual property]. There are lots of different reasons. So first, be super clear on why you’re acquiring something. And then, I always like to say, there’s pitchers and catchers. The pitcher is … [ Read more ]

Erik Roth

We’ve done a lot of research around what really makes for a high-performance innovation team. What we’ve found is that, if you go to Silicon Valley or Berlin or Singapore or Israel and look for the entrepreneurs—individual founders—they overweight slightly on the vision and the collaborations and underweight slightly on the execution and learning. But again, it depends on the individual.

But in a corporate environment, … [ Read more ]

Erik Roth

One of the questions we often get asked is, “How do I get the best innovation talent into my organization?” It’s an interesting question because of course we all want to find the most talented individuals and the most high-performing individuals to drive some of our most important endeavors.

But as we look at innovation, what we’re finding is there just aren’t that many people who … [ Read more ]

Adam Bryant, David Reimer

A company’s most powerful cultural signals aren’t communicated by talking points. They’re determined by who gets promoted and who receives outsized rewards. Yet compensation and bonus frameworks in most organizations are still based almost solely upon financial results. In an effort to rule out subjectivity, such plans emphasize — and often focus exclusively on — achieving numerical targets. This oversimplified focus on the what of … [ Read more ]

Ginia Bellafante

Modern capitalism’s fundamental myth is that acquiring money is the equivalent of achieving success.

David Loftesness

At a certain scale, you’re growing so fast that you might have five to 10 or more employees starting in a given week. Take advantage of these new hire cohorts and help them to bond like a freshman class at college. Even without team rotations, they can use these personal connections to learn more about other teams. It’s a particularly effective way to formalize onboarding … [ Read more ]

Adam Kahane

One challenge in working with powerful and capable actors is that they’re typically confident that they already know what’s going on and what they need to do. This makes it hard for them to see things from a different perspective. One way to help them is to give them opportunities to listen to and talk with people who have different experiences and whom they consider … [ Read more ]

Adam Kahane

Leaders actually have little capacity to make anyone do anything, so instead they need to think about how to help people connect to the understanding, intention, and will that can inspire them to act of their own volition.

Jody Foster

There’s a fine line between being detail-oriented and detail-saturated. It’s the difference between details giving direction and details impeding decisions.

Ann Mehl, Jerry Colonna

In any conflict situation, finding a solution to the problem at hand is the highest goal. To do that, you must separate the person you’re in conflict with from that problem.