Breathe their own exhaust

March 18, 2013

By Todd Ordal via cobizmag.com   Article

“I prefer a confident president to a certain president.”
—Madeleine Albright

“When I first heard the Madeleine Albright quote, I thought about leaders I’d known or worked with over the years and which of these two buckets they fell into. Those who were confident but not always certain were more successful, more fun to be around and more respected by their teams. Those who were always certain (think Donald Rumsfeld) were constantly one step away from a catastrophic error. And if it came, they had little support from those around them. Know-it-alls who fall rarely get help up from anyone. …

A recent Harvard Business Review piece (‘Long CEO Tenure Can Hurt Performance,’ March 2013) points out that financial performance dictates that a CEO stay in office 4.8 years. That’s the point when the company’s financial performance peaks. The authors hypothesize that as CEOs get entrenched, they start to breathe their own exhaust (my words, not theirs), and they reduce the amount of outside input they receive. There are numerous behavioral reasons that correlate with reduced financial performance, but from my experience, they often become too ‘certain.'”

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Measure Your Life

March 18, 2013

By  via Survival Leadership Blog   Article

How Will You Measure Your Life?

” Renowned motivational psychologist, Frederick Herzberg’s two-factor theory debunks incentive theory. Satisfaction (hygiene factors) is all about basic requirements for job satisfaction (status, compensation, security, etc.). However, to be motivated requires satisfaction first and then more. So salary may satisfy us, but it will never motivate us. You have to pay people a fair wage, but after that you need motivators like challenging work, recognition, and personal growth.

We all crave meaning and purpose—that’s the “internal” real stuff of motivation, not some “external” factor like a bonus check.

Unfortunately, many of us choose jobs based on great hygiene factors (high pay, fancy office), but then we often get demotivated with a lack of internal motivators like a job with real purpose. This explains very unhappy wealthy business people and very modestly paid but extremely motivated and happy non-profit workers.

We need to ask ourselves new questions to be motivated in a new job: Is this work meaningful to me? Will it give me a chance to develop? Will I get more responsibility?”


“Most Interesting Man in the World”

March 18, 2013

By Mark Graban via Lean Blog   Article

“I Don’t Always Ask Why, But When I Do, I Ask it 5 Times”


Wrong, wrong, wrong … unbelievably right

March 18, 2013

By  via SmartPlanet Blog   Article

How to be the ‘disrupter’ and not the ‘disrupted’

“The new breed of disrupters share some common characteristics … :

  • Unencumbered development: … the engineers and developers at disruptive companies often are gathering for late-night ‘hackathons,’ and are trying to outdo one another with new products and innovations, which are rolled out in a rapid-fire manner. There’s lots of room for experimentation and failure. …
  • Unconstrained growth: The five distinct customer segments—innovators, early adopters, early majority, late majority, and laggards — are slashed down to two segments: ‘trial users, who often participate in product development, and everyone else.’
  • New product cycles: Traditional companies have months-long and years-long cycles of innovation, in which new ideas are vetted, approved, developed, tested, and brought to market. ‘The innovators collectively get it wrong, wrong, wrong—and then unbelievably right,’ …
  • Undisciplined strategy: Traditional companies have carefully laid-out plans and strategies, with different departments handling various phases of R&D, operations and sales …. ‘Big-bang disrupters, however, are thoroughly undisciplined,’ …. ‘They start life with better performance at a lower price and greater customization. They compete with mainstream products right from the start.””

A cat by the tail

March 18, 2013

By Al Shalloway via Net Objectives Blog   Article

A Lesson On Learning

“Theory withou texperience is useless. Experience without theory is expensive.” – Edward Deming

“A man who carries a cat by the tail learns something he can learn in no other way.” – Mark Twain

“There are three kinds of men. The ones that learn by readin’. The few who learn by observation. The rest of them have to pee on the electric fence for themselves.” – Will Rogers

“For those of you unfamiliar with Deming, he’s the individual credited with teaching the Japanese how to make quality products more than half a century ago. His thinking is also the foundation of Lean.”


Vast wasteland

March 11, 2013

By Randy Mayeux via First Friday Book Synopsis   Article

“Imagination, not sterility; creativity, not imitation; experimentation, not conformity; excellence, not mediocrity”

– Newton N. Minow, 1961


Sledgehammer to the forehead

March 11, 2013

By Mike Shipulski via Innovation Excellence   Article

Error Doesn’t Matter, Trial Does

“If you want to learn, to really learn, experiment. But I’m not talking about elaborate experiments; I’m talking about crude ones. Not simple ones, crude ones.

We were taught the best experiments maximize learning, but that’s dead wrong. The best experiments are fast, and the best way to be fast is to minimize the investment. In the name of speed, don’t maximize learning, minimize the investment. …

Define learning narrowly, design the minimum experiment, and run the trial. Learning per trial is low, but learning per month skyrockets because the number of trials per month skyrockets. … The first trial informs the second which shapes the third. But instead of three units of learning, it’s cubic. …

Another way to minimize investment is to minimize resolution. Don’t think nanometers, think thumbs up, thumbs down. Design the trial so the coarsest measuring stick gives an immediate and unambiguous response. … Think sledgehammer to the forehead.”