Change the toilet, not the pipes

October 6, 2012

First things first. I’m about to use a toilet analogy to share an innovation and transformation idea. If toilet analogies bother you then either stop reading or get over it. I’m using this analogy deliberately for two reasons. The first is that that’s where and how the idea came to me. I was in a […]

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What would Patrick Moynihan think about TED?

August 23, 2012

I came across an article on the TED blog about the 20 most watched TED talks. I found it at first oddly unsettling. And then I realized there was nothing at all odd about being unsettled by that. Here’s what TED has to say about itself: “TED is dedicated to ideas worth spreading. And that […]

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Why do we work?

July 10, 2012

Once upon a time, people worked to subsist. Or, for a few lucky people, to get fat and have lots of women (sorry ladies, I don’t espouse that point of view but that’s how it was back then). But today, in so many places around the world, that is not why people work. In a large […]

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Leading by non-example?

June 9, 2012

Doesn’t that sound silly? Yet leading by example is talked about as some special kind of leading – an above and beyond form of leadership. I don’t agree. If you’re not setting an example, you aren’t leading. Let’s think about what the word “lead” actually means. Consider the very simple case of leading someone to a place. […]

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How to change the culture of your organization

May 31, 2012

Years ago, we used to believe that changing a large organization required nothing more than an act of communication. Of course crafting that communication was never easy but we used to believe in the power of hierarchy – if the person at the top issued the right communication then the organization would fall in line. […]

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Principles for creating change at scale

May 30, 2012

Change is essential to the continued vitality of humanity and our institutions. Yet it can be so difficult for people to change. Even when we know we need to change, we often find it so difficult to let go of what we are, what we believe, what we do, and what we have. This is […]

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What if you lost your title?

May 25, 2012

Imagine someone designed a device that could selectively wipe out human memory. Imagine that person used the device on everyone at your company – except you – to wipe out their memory of the organizational hierarchy. You go into work today and everything seems the same. People know what they do for a living. They […]

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Leadership vs. management

May 25, 2012

Leadership is one of the most written-about topics – personal leadership, business leadership, political leadership, etc. Yet, in these turbulent times, we are more in need of leadership than we have been for a long time. So perhaps one more opinion about leadership will not be considered one too many. I’d like to focus on […]

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A new kind of ridiculous

May 17, 2012

Below is a the entire signature from an email I recently received. I copied it in its entirety and did not edit it. This message (including any attachments) contains confidential information intended for a specific individual and purpose, and is protected by law. If you are not the intended recipient, you should delete this message. […]

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May 16, 2012

This is one of the most powerful words. Well, in English. In another language, other words might be more powerful. Like, in French, “croissant” is very powerful. But I digress. “Why” is such a powerful word because it invites people to make sense of what they’ve just said. And it’s so important to have an […]

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