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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Breaking the Fire Fighting Cycle

Breaking the Fire Fighting Cycle

As traditional organizations look to address the new competition and rapidly increasing pace of change in today's competitive marketplace I am seeing some very interesting common struggles. Traditional markets and industries are seeing unprecedented changes to their customer's expectations, now competitors who are chipping away at their traditional profit centres, and even changes to their employee base with the emergence of the new millenial workforce and the retirement of many of their long standing organizational leaders. (more…)...
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Who Are You?

Who Are You?

I've been thinking a lot lately about how I define myself as a person. What parts of my life define who I am and if I'm asked what would I consider the most important things to communicate about who I am? What I've found is that by taking a good long look at all of the components of my life I have been able to create a better framework for how I face daily challenges and big decisions. (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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Loss Aversion and the Importance of Changing Your Lens

Loss Aversion and the Importance of Changing Your Lens

There is a concept called Loss Aversion that suggests that we hate losing exactly twice as much as we love winning.  That concept drives our behaviour in predictable ways and is a key driver for our aversion to failure in our work.  For that same reason I think it is twice as important to focus on areas of challenge with the right lens in order to accept our failures early and maximize our potential for success long term. In the late 1970's there was a study done by psychologists Daniel Kahneman and Amos Tversky that demonstrates the loss aversion phenomenon. In the first experiment they asked students to choose between two bets: a bet with 100% chance of winning $3,000 a bet  with an 80% chance of winning $4,000 and a 20% chance of winning nothing In this experiment they found that 80% of the students would choose the $3,000 bet even though the second bet had a higher expected payoff.  (Bet 1 expected payoff...
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This Makes You… Think?

This Makes You… Think?

I came across this graffiti painted on the back wall of a building at Yonge and Greenfield in Toronto and I was drawn to it instantly.  Most tagging mostly makes me angry at the gall of people who violate the property rights of others, but this one was different - it had a message. If you can't read it clearly in the picture, the tag reads: THIS MAKES YOU... (  ) ANGRY (  ) UPSET ($) THINK I've shown this to a few people and I find it interesting the mix of reactions I've received ranging from "Yah so?" to "Wow that's deep", but I wanted to share my thoughts on it as it relates to the business world. So often in our work lives we do things the right way - we do things to be respectful of others opinions, to not rock the boat, to keep our heads down and to hold true to what we think people expect of us. And then one day you'll run across...
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