Scaling to Differentiation

Scaling to Differentiation

I recently wrote about the importance of "Framework Thinking" as a way to simplify how you look at problems, structures, and processes so I thought I would extend that thinking as an example of how you can think about how you organize your business structure. Scaling an organization requires an evolution of maturity in your structures, your processes, and your approach to priority management. Without recognizing the need for evolution and focusing on building your foundation you can find yourself in crisis mode. Scaling to differentiation is framework approach to avoiding this crisis. I have written about the importance of foundation as well in the past as it related specifically to building an innovation capability in your organization, but the same concept of foundation applies as you think about your organizational structure. (more…)...
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Simplify Alignment with Framework Thinking

Simplify Alignment with Framework Thinking

Entrepreneurs get started in business with a great idea and the energy to bring it to reality. Then they grow the business based on hard work. Hopefully that hard work translates into a growing team of exceptional team players around them. But at some point the outcomes of raw desire and entrepreneurial energy start to peak. Then the outputs turn downward as the organization grows and coordination becomes more difficult. What created success as a start-up organization was agility, organic collaboration, and energy-driven execution. Those wins start to falter as the number of clients, the scale of the opportunities, and the complexity of the organization rises. (more…)...
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Innovation Requires a Solid Foundation

Innovation Requires a Solid Foundation

Those of you who know me won't be shocked by the fact that I have a serious passion for innovation. I believe you always need to be pushing your organization (and your life) forward, reinventing what you do and how you do it as often as possible to continually drive new value to your customers and your organization. Companies like GE or IBM who have consistently changed their business, sold off core components, reinvented their primary revenue base, and evolved how they execute based on the demands of an evolving market are great examples of companies that do innovation very well. (more…)...
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Who Are The Leaders?

Who Are The Leaders?

More and more often we are seeing organizations distance themselves from traditional title-based (VP, Director, etc) positions within their organizational structure and instead moving to a role-based structure.  Companies are looking carefully at each layer of the organization in order to create consistency in the activities performed at each level and drive efficiency and productivity from the management layers. This change has a couple of distinct impacts: Titles Don't Matter If you're a person who is attached to the traditional view of career growth and put a lot of weight in your title or the "rung" of the organization you fit into it's time to rethink your priorities.  It is now very common to see a single organizational layer that has VP, Director, and Manager titles all working together as peers.  If you're hung up on your title in that mix then you'll be a less effective team member and likely will severely limit your future career growth. Leadership Can Come From Anyone There is...
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Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge

Imagination is More Important Than Knowledge

I came across this quote the other day in the book Disrupt by Luke Williams (from frog design) and it hit me in it's simplicity: Imagination is more important than knowledge. -Albert Einstein Perhaps given the source I shouldn't be surprised by the simplicity, but it's such an obvious concept to me it got me to thinking about why every business leader doesn't have a six foot version of this posted in their lobby, their primary boardroom, and in their office.  Some may question the importance I am placing on this in the same way as we debate whether the strategy or the execution is most important, but let me walk you through my thinking and see if we can't come to an agreement on this one. Knowledge is the foundation of your business as it exists today.  After all we live in the "knowledge economy" and "knowledge workers" are our most important asset right? Let me propose an alternate view: Knowledge is the foundation of...
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The Importance of Book Ends

The Importance of Book Ends

Take a look at your book shelf.  You might have a nice built-in bookcase, an IKEA Billy case, or perhaps an open shelf on the wall, but any of them will do.  Now imagine that your book shelf didn't have any sides or book ends... how easy do you think it would be to keep your library of business and professional development books upright and organized on your shelf?  So if the book ends are so critical to maintaining order and keeping your books contained why do so many of us not recognize the same importance of book ends in our own lives? Think about a typical day in your life.  If you're like most people I know it goes something like this: 06:00 Wake up 06:15 Eat breakfast 06:30 Shower and dress 07:00 Get kids dressed and ready for school 07:15 Walk the dog 07:30 Take the kids to school 08:00 Arrive at work (with coffee) 08:15 Start processing Inbox 08:30 Start of meeting schedule 10:15 Check in on your Inbox 10:30 More meetings 12:30 Grab a soup...
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