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Category Archives: Strategy

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A Theory and a Hammer: Managing With Incentives (Part II)

I spent the past week teaching a leadership class at the Kenneth Levene Graduate School of Business at the University of Regina. At the same time my HBR blog “Is Management Due For a Renaissance” has been attracting continuing comment … Continue reading

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A Theory and a Hammer: Managing with Incentives (Part I)

The wait time scandal, recently revealed in the Veterans Affairs Hospital (VAH) network in the U.S., is another indication of how difficult it can be to change large-scale, complex organizations. The VAH system has had a long roller-coaster history. It … Continue reading

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Exploring The Ecology of Leadership: the Power of Analogical Thinking

I spent the past week in California working with a senior management team from a large global corporation as part of their extensive executive development program. This was my third time with the same organization and I had worked hard … Continue reading

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Double Vision: “Boxes and Bubbles” Thirty Years On [Part II]

This is the second blog on the thirtieth anniversary of my article “Of Boxes, Bubbles and Effective Management” appearing in the May-June 1984 issue of the Harvard Business Review. I had been inspired to write the article when I read … Continue reading

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The Double Vision: “Boxes and Bubbles” Thirty Years On [Part I]

“For double the vision my Eyes do see, And a double vision is always with me:” In 1984 the first article I ever wrote on management appeared in the May-June issue of the Harvard Business Review. Entitled “Of Boxes, Bubbles … Continue reading

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The Nature of Uncertainty: Hunting Black Swans

This past week I gave the opening keynote at the 2014 Conference Board meeting on Enterprise Risk Management. It gave me an opportunity to bring an ecological perspective to risk and uncertainty as well as allowing me to promote The … Continue reading

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Exploring Leadership Using Metaphors

Last week I spent a day-and-a-half with a group of senior managers from a large global company discussing leadership. The company faces all the challenges one might expect it to face – globalization, digitization, cross-cultural difficulties and so on in … Continue reading

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BOOM! – The Perils of Big-Bang Rollouts

Late last year Target, the Minneapolis-based American discount retail chain, suffered a massive data security breach. Just before the busy Christmas season hackers broke into the corporation’s computer systems and stole information from over 100 million of its credit and … Continue reading

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Sweet But Dangerous: The Challenge of Institutional Change

There was a very interesting story in the Sunday Telegraph a couple of weeks ago about John Yudkin (1910-1995), a British physiologist and nutritionist who did pioneering work on the connection between the consumption of sugar and all manner of … Continue reading

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Watch Your Language! Why Metaphors Matter in Management

It’s another launch of another strategic plan to the company’s senior and middle managers and the CEO is rattling on about “roadmaps” and “blueprints” that will generate “traction” in the market and “buy-in” from the employees. The employees are watching … Continue reading

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