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.

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.

Continue reading


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.

Continue reading


Business people in a meeting discussing development

Blindsided by Business Development

It is not uncommon for a CEO not to know exactly how his or her sales and business development people routinely behave in front of real customers and prospects without observing them in action. I recently learned of how one CEO was blindsided when he did just that.

Continue reading


Problem with Engagement Surveys

Problem with Engagement Surveys

Engagement surveys mask both organizational dysfunction and organizational health. If you are using their results to make decisions, you are at risk of making the wrong ones.

Continue reading


When Risk Aversion Personal

When Risk Aversion is Personal

There is nothing wrong with risk aversion.

It is only aversion to reasonable business risk that is a problem. When a business leader complains of excessive risk aversion in his staff, the underlying concerns are frequently personal. Continue reading


You Have the Right to Make Mistakes

You Have the Right to Make Mistakes

Some people are natural leaders, and I have met a few. For most of us, leadership is something we learn. Making the transition from an operational staff or manager to a leader of people can involve the discarding of false beliefs and misconceptions. Below are five of the most common ones I have encountered when coaching leaders at all levels, along with what I advised.

Continue reading


Business people shaking hands!

The Golden Rolodex Trap

You should always own and never outsource relationships in your business in Japan or anywhere else, and there is no reason you should have to, no matter what you might have been told.

Continue reading