175 years ago a Hungarian physician found a solution to needless deaths in hospital maternity wards. But other doctors didn't take his recommendation to wash their hands. If you think we've come a long way, the same problem persisted just a few years ago in a top-tier hospital.
Major investors see a dangerous imbalance stemming from our current business practices. Our preoccupation with short-term results is unhealthy and unsustainable. But that remains our focus.
If physicians had listened to Ignaz Semmelweis 1864, they could have changed the course of hospital care. Doctors needed to rein in their egos, open up to a new way of thinking, and, most of all, take action. The prescription is the same for business leaders today.
Higher levels of efficiency fueled success over the past thirty years. Those days are behind us according to Bain and Company's Michael Mankins. He suggests that the next decade is about increasing productivity.
To succeed in that environment companies will need to emphasize leadership skills ahead of technology.
In strong cultures leadership is present throughout the organization. There's also a shared vision and a foundation of mutual trust. In that environment, new ideas are welcomed and challenged as part of building a consensus to support new ideas. That ensures that changes are embraced and that they move the team closer to its goal.Read More
In an open letter to CEO's, Larry Fink, chairman and chief executive at BlackRock, called on companies to serve a social purpose. Urging corporate leadership to pursue an agenda that has social benefits is a new refrain from investors. It is also good business.
Regardless of any outside mandate, being clear about the purpose of our work is elevating -- as individuals and organizations. It also moves us closer to our full potential.Read More
Personal and professional success requires us to focus on a destination. As part of fine-tuning our direction, we like to evaluate successful people. Since money is an all-time favorite yardstick of success, those with a lot of money get a lot of attention. And by concentrating on their money, we get misdirected. Money is not a source of excellence -- it's only a signal.
The most important reason to pay attention to Warren Buffett isn't his wealth. If we look at his net worth and decide he's successful, we came to the right conclusion without understanding why. His balance sheet is a result of what makes him successful, not the cause.Read More
In his article "The Mythical Ridgeline: Balance vs Being", Michael Gervais asks if "the quest for balance the same as the quest for perfection or is it a mythical ridgeline that exhausts us on the pursuit?" The question was prompted by corporate leaders asking how to help employees find balance.
Instead of continuing down that dead-end road, Gervais wants to change course. He suggests that focusing on "being" instead of "balance" yields what we've been seeking. He's right. But it begs another question:Read More
Being caught up in disappointments and frustrations of the past is a self-inflicted obstacle to success. Regrets and resentments clutter our thinking. Those distractions cause us to slow our progress, lose focus, and to get aggravated for no apparent reason.
The story about two monks, a young woman, and a flooded river is a powerful reminder to set down excess baggage. It's a long road to success. Travel light.Read More
Spending time on digital media is okay if our business is to monetize a digital platform. But let's not give our time away to monetize someone else’s platform. The more time we spend consuming media, the less time there is to get things done.Read More
There are two ways to fail in the experience economy. The first is if you don’t get the importance of people. The other is if you don’t get the right people. Retailers that miss both are going to get Amazon-ed on its way to a $1 trillion valuation.Read More
One concept stands alone atop a mountain of business-speak nonsense: "owning the customer _______." It doesn't matter if we fill in the blank with "experience," "relationship," "data," or "journey," they all end up in the same, absurd place.
We don't own our customers; we earn them.Read More