Change = Weakness?

Change = Weakness?

Last week I was in the car driving and listening to the Jeff Blair Show on Sportsnet 590 The Fan and while discussing the pitching situation with the Toronto Blue Jays coming out of the trade deadline he said something that really stuck out to me. He had recently changed his position and opinion on whether pitcher Aaron Sanchez should move to the bullpen or stay in the starting line-up and he was catching a lot of listener ire for that change in position. The thing that really caught my ear was the fact that the listener issues were largely with the fact that he had changed his mind, not with whether the listeners agreed with his position (new or old). People simply didn't like the fact that he had CHANGED his position. Somewhat flipantly Jeff said something that I think is a pretty profound statement on our society and one of the reasons that creativity and innovation is so hard in our organizations: Changing your...
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Connecting Strategy and Execution

Connecting Strategy and Execution

I will be speaking next week at the Bank-IT Conference on the topic of "Building a Full Stack Strategy: Integrating Strategy from Business Vision to Tech Execution" so I felt that I would share some of my thinking more broadly here. While I'm containing my discussion next week specifically to the Technology area the reality is that connecting strategy to execution is critical (and similar) across the organization. Too many organizations build their strategy in a silo, completely separated from the business lines and the supporting organizations that are required to execute the strategy. In many organizations you'll find "Strategic Management" offices or "CEO Strategy Board" functions which operate at the highest level of the organization and focus on the macro issue and strategy and then pass their plans and white papers off to the supporting teams on the assumption that will result in execution of those plans. (more…)...
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Take Chances When Opportunity Strikes

Take Chances When Opportunity Strikes

I've recently had new opportunities present itself on multiple fronts in my life both personally and professionally. Those opportunities couldn't be different from one another in their context, but upon reflection I think my potential success in both cases is very similar. The key to my success will be a willingness to take chances when the opportunities exist. If I spend too much time thinking and weighing options or and don't commit myself to my first step toward the goal then I will likely doom myself to either failure or minimal success. (more…)...
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Innovate Everything

Innovate Everything

Most often when people hear the word Innovation it springs to mind images of high tech gadgets like the iPhone and iPad. For a smaller group of people it may also trigger images of service innovations like NetFlix or Starbucks. A few really creative folks might even register images of business model innovation like Google Adwords or Zipcar. But how many people think about process innovation, procedure innovation, or project execution innovation. Fancy gadgets and new services and business models get all the press and air time in business journals because their outcomes are sexy and well recognized, but the same approaches used to disrupt markets from a product, service, or business model perspective can also be used to disrupt your own internal processes, procedures, and projects. Think about your own organization's processes and procedures. Unless you work for an incredibly unique company you are likely laden with the legacy of scientific management and control frameworks with 12 templates for every document...
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It’s The End of the World (And I Feel Fine)

It’s The End of the World (And I Feel Fine)

So today marks the end of the world according to the Mayan calendar and it also marks the end of my work days for 2012 so I thought it made a fitting setting to wish everyone all the best in the pending apocalypse,  or over the holiday season, whichever turns out to be more accurate. Television and the Internet have been clogged lately with reviews of the Mayan prediction for the end of the world, movies depicting the various ways we might be destroyed, and accounts of people who are preparing for the impending doom by installing bunkers and buying years worth of non-perishable food supplies. It all seems a bit comical to me, but in some ways I do think we are facing a fundamental shift in the world that could be equated to the Mayan prediction most accurately through the immortal words of Michael Stipe: It's the end of the world as we know it. No I don't believe that we'll be seeing...
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