Apple’s Latest Diversity Report A Big “So What”

Last week, Apple released its latest Diversity Report.  Apple claims that from July 2016 to July 2017, half of its new hires in the U.S. were from historically underrepresented groups in tech (including black, Hispanic, Native American, Native Hawaiian & women).   In the U.S., Apple is 54 percent white (down two percentage points from last year), 13 percent Hispanic (up one percentage…

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Time for a Brand Overhaul at Harley-Davidson

Harley-Davidson announced its third-quarter results last month and the news wasn't great.  Harley's worldwide sales was down nearly 7%, while American retail sales slumped by over 8%.  This all translated into about a 40% drop in profits as compared to the year-ago quarter.  Prompting its CEO to comment in its earnings press release:  "The continued weakness in the U.S. motorcycle industry only…

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What Was Unilever Thinking?

The PR Disaster that resulted when Unilever decided a run a Dove Soap ad on its U.S. Facebook page last Friday, that showed a black woman turning white, could have been avoided with better leadership. It's that simple! No more discussion or debate needed. It was a lack of leadership that led to this kind of tone deaf flub on the part of the company. Here are some thoughts on the matter: The…

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Free Advice For Uber’s New CEO

In June, under immense pressure from incensed investors who didn't take kindly to Uber's unrestrained "Bro" culture, Travis Kalanick stepped down as its CEO. Able to retain his seat on the firm's 11-member board, Kalanick was able to maintain extra voting power granted him in the Company's original by-laws. This extra voting power could have been used to help him to control the company's future…

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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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The Leadership Wisdom of Kung Fu

You may not remember the hit TV series from the 70s that traced the adventures of a Shaolin Monk, Kwai Chang Caine (played by the late David Carradine) as he wanders the American West armed only with his spiritual training and skill in Kung Fu. But, if you were a young boy back then, as I was, there was really nothing better on TV! The Kung Fu television show aired on ABC from 1972 through 1975.…

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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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The Value of Value Chain Analysis in Transforming Your Business

I have a different take on value chain analysis. Most think of it as positioning a business within its ecosystem. I think of a value chain as a graphical representation of all of the work that must be done by a business or work area in order to provide its goods/services (i.e., "value") to its customers. Value chains are a valuable means of presenting a normalized view of the business. It is free…

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Doing Digital Right: Ensuring Alignment of Business Strategy and Transformation Planning

A manufacturing industry client had put a Digital Transformation Planning process in place before I began working them last year. The management team had done many of the right things in getting the planning program off of the ground - training, governance and executive oversight were all in place. But, they felt that the Digital Transformation Planning process wasn't really getting them where it…

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Emotional Intelligence As Competitive Differentiator

People with high emotional intelligence quotients (EQ) are easy to talk with. They are great listeners and strong communicators in both the written and spoken word. People with high EQ know who they are and are the ones that can resolve conflicts before they escalate beyond repair. These people regulate their reactions to everyday work situations and can keep their cool no matter what comes their…

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The “Be Attitudes” of Building Trust in the Workplace

Not to be confused with the biblical reference to the beatitudes shared in the Sermon on the Mount, these "be attitudes" are suggestions that you may consider adopting to help you and your colleagues to establish better trust within your workplace. I hope that you find them worthy to put into practice: 1. Be Real, for it Inspires Confidence: Authenticity goes a long way in establishing trust in…

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Continuous Business Optimization is a 21st Century Next Practice

Business optimization efforts have been around for years and are aimed at redefining the way work is performed within a business area. They explore issues surrounding what work is performed, how it is accomplished, when it's done and by whom. It's not unusual for a firm to totally reconstruct its departmental workflow and reorganize its workers during a business optimization. In most cases, these…

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The Back-To-Basics Prescription

If you're a senior leader, mid-level manager, or, simply, a company change agent struggling to determine ways in which to ensure the long-term success of your business, you may find value in what I call the Back-To-Basics Prescription. It is an overarching program aimed at renewing the basic business fundamentals that every organization should have perfected to compete at a world-class level.…

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How to Drive Strategies By Assessing Your Company Capabilities

Every company has a set of capabilities that, when properly leveraged, can serve to devastate the competition. So, it's essential for leadership teams to pinpoint and honestly assess these capabilities. Once a solid profile is established, it can be used to inform the strategic planning processes used to build a winning strategic plan. Here's a simple framework that I use with clients to form…

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Digitalizing Your Business Means Re-Imagining How It Operates

Today's digital capabilities offer great promise for businesses big and small. But, in order to realize that promise, business leaders must be willing to drastically re-think their company's business processes. In fact, all processes must be broadened to include all related responsibilities and tasks, independent of organization design or "chain of command" and they must be redesigned…

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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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