How to Avoid the Next Equifax

By now, we all know about the Equifax debacle. Besides the obvious negligence from the very top of the Company to the lowly Security Chief, what's really appalling is Equifax's tone deaf response to messing up the credit of nearly 40% of the American population, whose identities and privacy are now at an astronomically high level risk of being stolen and used in all sorts of illegal ways. It will…

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Business Agility Is Really About Adaptability

Most of my clients these days are seeking help in developing strategies that will enable them to become more agile and quick. But, many struggle to embrace the deeper implications of what that really means to build business agility. Sure, nearly everyone I speak with on the subject recognizes that business agility is about being able to readily respond to changes in the marketplace. Greater…

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So, You Want to Be a Disruptor?

Mesmerized by industry innovators like Google, Apple and Uber, business leaders of all sorts want to become "disruptors" within their respective industries. Easier said than done! Interestingly, the key to unlocking the kind of breakthrough thinking needed to support an aggressive agenda of innovation lies with the leadership and culture of the organization. These are the only elements that can…

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How to Get to What Happens Next

All of my strategy, culture and organizational design work over the years comes down to one thing - enabling my clients to differentiate themselves from their competitors so to dominate the markets that they serve.  Consequently, the topic of industry best practices always comes up.  Most leaders want to be sure that their organizations are remaining competitive within their industry.  While the…

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Freedom to Shine: Empowerment through Free Will

There is recent research that points to the notion that the belief in free will is a significant predictor to personal achievement.  It is suggested through this work that one's motivation is often accelerated when they believe that their effort can determine results - and, that their progress will not be slowed or redirected by outsideinfluencers that exist beyond their control. That said,…

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20 Essential Terms that You Need to Know to Transform Your Business

Whenever you begin business transformation work, it's important to establish a common vocabulary that everyone in the organization can grasp and incorporate into their respective vocabularies. It improves communication and encourages engagement and buy-in. Here are the 20 most essential terms that you'll want your team to understand and to use. Each concept is described in its simplest form:…

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How to Get Ahead: Self-Directed Learning

Self-directed learners, or autodidacts, possess the capability to chart their futures in ways that can give them an advantage over their less ambitious contemporaries.  I should know, I am one! Back in the day, I didn't have the Internet to support me.  Yes, I did it the old fashioned way -- I bought books and read them.  It's laughable by today's standards, but, back in 1988, I spent countless…

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5 Ways to Become Indispensable

The Merriam-Webster Dictionary defines "indispensable" as being absolutely necessary and not subject to being set aside or neglected.  Wouldn't you like to become indispensable to your customers?  Sure, you would!  While there's not one sure fire formula to follow to become indispensable, you can do some things to improve your chances that you'll "stick" to your customers. Here are 5 tips to…

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Welcome to Business 2.0 as Powered by New IT

Business 2.0 represents a new way of thinking and doing for early 21st Century companies. Unlike e-commerce where consumer transactions are done via the Web, Business 2.0 is about using the Internet-based services to drive entire business processes. Indeed, the work of transforming an enterprise to Business 2.0 is quite an undertaking. But, this transformation has an ally in "New IT"--a…

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My Dad’s Best Advice

Father's Day has become a bit of a solemn day for me. I lost my father a few years ago and, while my kids do their best to celebrate the day with me, I can't help but to feel the loss of my father in my life. Just the same, Father's Day does provide me with the chance to reflect back on some of the sage advice that I got from him over the years and consider how it has informed my approach to work…

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Welcome to Strategic Planning 2.0

As a strategy consultant, I have had the opportunity to review a lot of strategic plans over the years. It's been truly amazing to discover just how many major organizations develop strategic plans that contain little more than a whole lot of budget estimates and revenue projections. Those firms practice what I call "Strategic Planning 1.0". Clearly, a new kind of planning approach is required to…

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Preparing Your Organization for the “Big Change”

Organizational change is inevitable. Like all living things, it's vital that organizations regularly adjust in order to accommodate the ebb and flow that goes on within the ecosystems in which they thrive. Every so often, though, a "Big Change" is needed to better position an organization for long-term success. In those times, proper preparation is required. Here are 6 steps that you can take to…

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Executive Engagement 101: How to Get Your Top Leaders to Participate in Your Change Effort

I've written about staff engagement from the top-down in many of my past columns--written from the perspective of executives engaging their people in transformation work. But, this is the first time that I've tackled the subject from the bottom-up. How do staff members engage their executive sponsors in the process of change management? As a management consultant responsible for driving…

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How Peer Pressure to Conform Affects Your Business

I've written about staff engagement from the top-down in many of my past columns--written from the perspective of executives engaging their people in transformation work. But, this is the first time that I've tackled the subject from the bottom-up. How do staff members engage their executive sponsors in the process of change management? As a management consultant responsible for driving…

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8 Tips for ‘Keeping It Real’ During Your Cultural Transformation Effort

Whenever I consider the pain and toil that goes into every deep, cultural transformation effort I recall the words of Japanese author, Haruki Murakami, "pain is inevitable, suffering is optional." Indeed, transformation work is always challenging. You're asking people to change and to move out of their comfort zones. Resistance, misunderstanding and confusion abound! But, managing through change…

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How to Select the “Right” Approach For Your Next Strategic Initiative

Many of my clients struggle with how to determine the best way to tackle strategic opportunities as they arise through the strategic planning frameworks that I've help them to institutionalize. They ponder questions, like: "Does the new proposed effort lend itself to being managed as a project? "Does the work at hand deserve to be designated as program in order to achieve the desired results?"…

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