Tag Archives: context

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Bloody Ships – Bloody Systems: A Managerial Reflection on the Centenary of the Battle of Jutland


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“There seems to be something wrong with our bloody ships today…” remarked Vice Admiral David Beatty to his Flag Captain. Beatty was commander of the Battle Cruiser Fleet at Jutland, and his cool comment belied the scale of the catastrophe. … Continue reading


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Capitalism as an Ecological Process


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On April 2 The Economist published a book review of Valuation: Measuring and Managing the Value of Corporations, a 700-page manual on corporate finance and shareholder value published by McKinsey & Company. The views in both the book and the … Continue reading


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The VW Debacle: How Large Successful Organizations and Institutions Can Become “Bad Barrels” And What To Do About It


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The outlines of Volkswagen’s comprehensive program to defeat national auto emissions laws are becoming clearer. According to the New York Times the company began installing software designed to cheat on emissions test in 2008, when they realized that their new … Continue reading


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Disrupting Disruption Theory (Part II) – Ecological Transformation


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This blog is a continuation of last week’s in which I discussed Jill Lepore’s mostly off-target criticisms of HBS professor Clayton Christensen’s theory of disruptive innovation. There I said that my concern with Christensen’s work was his tendency to rely … Continue reading


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


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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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Renewing Rome Part III: The Future is the Means – the Present is the End


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Last week I took an ecological perspective on Pope Francis and his efforts to renew the Roman Catholic Church (RCC). His chosen role of prophet (rather than the other two religious offices of priest and king) is to bring passion … Continue reading


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Harvard Business School: The Reality Show?


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A fascinating front-page article in the New York Times reported on Harvard Business School’s attempt to achieve “gender equity”. HBS has had problems attracting and retaining female faculty. They comprise 22% of the faculty and the “pipeline” that leads to tenure … Continue reading


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See-Feel-Smell-Change? Changing Behaviour Without Changing Minds Part II


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The essence of an ecological perspective on human behavior is that our minds are rational, but in an ecological way. That is we automatically take into account myriad aspects of our environment using all our senses and adjust our behavior … Continue reading


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Principles and Paradigms: The Debate Continues


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Steve Denning, with whom I have jousted in the columns of Forbes, about the nature of management paradigms, recent wrote a blog in HBR in the series leading up to the fifth annual Global Peter Drucker Forum on November 2013 … Continue reading


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Decommoditize Yourself! – Coating Products in Meaning


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Last week I travelled to Phoenix, Arizona to attend the annual meeting of Electro-Federation Canada and to deliver the opening keynote address. The association works with the electrical, consumer electronics and telecommunications industries and its membership consists of manufacturers and … Continue reading


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