Business meeting with salespeople

Motivation is Overrated

When a CEO asks me how to better motivate his or her employees to change, the focus is on the wrong thing. Motivation can get a person started, but only discipline can see him or her through to an outcome.

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you are fired

Fairness to All in Firing

An executive I was asked to coach told me how she was at wits end trying without success to get a manager on her staff in a significant role to work with an important segment of customers. She did her best to explain to the manager why working with this segment is important to the business and to coach the manager in how to go about working with such customers. The executive made herself available for advice should the manager get stuck and need help, and asked the manager about concerns that she might help address. The executive was doing all the right things time and time again—all to no avail. Her manager simply would not improve. Continue reading


Automate HR, Proliferate Mediocrity

Automate HR, Proliferate Mediocrity

Machine learning algorithms are no smarter than the humans they learn from, and in most cases not nearly as smart.

I am no luddite. I am aware of the power of big data when used with good analytics and artificial intelligence in automating functions like logistics, supply chain management, manufacturing and market intelligence. However, business leaders ought to treat automating human resources with particular skepticism and caution.

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Business man walking inside building.

Change First, Culture Later

If you are a leader seeking rapid change in your company, forget about culture. Culture will take care of itself. Focus on new ways of doing things. The genesis of a new culture results from a change in behavior, not the other way around. Change the way people do things. Culture change follows as a result.

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buildings

Org Dev? Forget All You Know!

Do you want to strengthen your business’s performance, and grow your business fast? Below are my top five pieces of advice that often run most counter to conventional practices I observe in companies in Japan and elsewhere in the world. Continue reading


Businessmen negotiating

Be Unreasonable

Strategy is about creating the future, not predicting it. You develop strategy by starting with a bold vision of the business in the future and working backwards, not by an understanding of the present business and working forward. The latter merely entices you to compromise your vision. It is only the former that can take you where you want to go.

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Business people talking about feedback

Feedback is Not Always a Gift

Unsolicited feedback is meant only for the benefit of the person who gives it and never for the person to whom it is given. I pay it no heed. Neither should you. 

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Business person thinking

Conservatism isn’t the Problem

I define conservatism as clinging to traditional practices with opposition to change and innovation out of principle. You fight conservatism in an organization through initiating bold action independently and dealing with the consequences, not by insisting others change first. It is the way a person acts that makes him or her conservative, and not necessarily the way he or she thinks.

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