Tag Archives: creativity

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Cattle, Slaves and Automobiles: Driving Dangerously With Management Clichés


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Language is rooted in metaphor. In their popular book, Metaphors We Live By (1982) George Lakoff and Mark Johnson showed the pervasive role that our embodied experience plays in our understanding of how the world works, or might work. We … 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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Exploring The Ecology of Leadership: the Power of Analogical Thinking


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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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Organic and Mechanical Approaches to Complex Systems


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The last week a blog I wrote for the Harvard Business Review and the Drucker Forum was published on the HBR site. It brought together a number of issues that I have been talking about in the past few months … Continue reading


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T-shaped People: Deduction, Induction, Abduction and Systems Thinking


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IDEO, the design and innovation firm, prizes what they call “T-shaped” individuals. These are people with a deep expertise in one field or domain (the vertical stroke of the “T”) and some expertise across several, often dissimilar, domains (the horizontal … Continue reading


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The Buzz of Entrepreneurs: Hunting Dynamics Part II


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Last week I blogged about the virtues of organizations with “hunting dynamics” – networks that could spread themselves out across an opportunity space to explore for opportunities that come and go in unpredictable ways. Once a resource is discovered, the … Continue reading


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The Natural Case for Employee Engagement


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Yesterday the Strategic Management Bureau asked, “Is the unending search for ‘the business case’ for employee engagement a futile exercise?” and cited an article on the topic. In my response to the question I suggested that the attempt to create … Continue reading


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Management and the Limits of Logic Part II


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When I wrote last week’s blog, I was unaware that Monitor Group, the consulting company founded in 1983 by strategy guru Michael Porter and some Harvard Business School colleagues, had filed for bankruptcy in mid-November and that its assets were … Continue reading


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