Entries by tagonline

Leadership in the Age of Robots

In March of this year, a Google computer defeated the world’s reigning Go champion in four out of five matches. Several years earlier, IBM’s Watson computer defeated two of Jeopardy’s greatest champions and IBM’s Deep Blue competed successfully against the former world chess champion Garry Kasparov. We are all aware of the use of robots […]

Mastering Change Fatigue

During a strategy update with the top 100 executives of a Fortune 500 corporation, the CEO discussed each of the thirteen “strategy initiatives” that the company had recently launched. They ranged from changing the sales model, introducing new product categories, expanding to new markets overseas, partnering with other firms in alliances and joint ventures, and […]

Making Positive Deviance Work in Organizations

Although the term positive deviance has been around for at least twenty years, not many executives I know are familiar with this term, much less with using it as a tool to improve their organizations. And unlike other organizational change initiatives, there seem to be few examples of successful applications of positive deviance in the […]

How Much Does Cultural Fit Matter?

Cultural fit matters to senior executives. Several years ago, the CEO of a major consumer products company decided to hire an executive from GE to a senior level position, partly to help drive change in the company’s culture. GE’s culture, at least during the Jack Welch era when this event took place, was characterized by […]

Valuing Humility in Leadership

In a blog post earlier this year, I wrote about the value of productive narcissism for leaders in organizations, but also raised some questions about its dangers. In this blog, I want to focus on humility – a trait we often don’t associate with leaders, especially those larger-than-life leaders past and present. Even among CEOs, […]

Generational Differences: Myth or Reality?

Traditionalists (otherwise known as Matures or the Silent Generation), those born before 1946, are hard-working and detail-oriented. They are disciplined and like consistency and uniformity. They are stable and loyal, and, at work, they are concerned about healthcare and retirement benefits and possibly being discriminated against because of their age. Baby boomers, those born between […]

Adopting a “Reverse Innovation” Attitude

Professor Vijay Gavindarajan’s concept of reverse innovation – developing ideas in an emerging market and coaxing them to flow uphill to Western markets – is a powerful one. If you are familiar with his work, you will know that he cites many examples, especially at GE, where products such as a low-cost ECG machine were […]

Building Cultural Self-Awareness

In a recent coaching session I had with an executive I will call Henry, we reviewed the results of 360-degree feedback interviews I had conducted with over 12 of his stakeholders (e.g., his boss, direct reports, internal and external customers) as well as the results of an anonymous survey. Like many very successful managers, Henry […]

“Flash” Organizations and Temporary Teams – On the Rise?

Lately, I’ve been reading a number of articles on the rise of so-called temporary organizations. While such types of teams have been around for a while (e.g., movie crews, emergency response teams), several related trends seem to be driving their prevalence. One is the reluctance of workers who get laid off to move elsewhere to […]