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Beyond the Conference Room Solution

March 06, 2014

Best Advice: Invest in Relationships in All Directions

I spent 14 years as a professional at Goldman Sachs. I was hired as an analyst, then became a trader, then a desk manager, and in 1996 I became the youngest woman and first female trader to be made a partner of the firm. Over those years I had the good fortune of receiving some great career advice, but the most useful advice did not come from a person, but instead came from a process: Goldman’s partner selection process.

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December 09, 2013

Where to Find Innovation: Touchpoints

As some very smart people have written before, our present social era is about so much more than social media--rather, the social era is about the relationships that form between brands and users.

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December 04, 2013

How to Wow Customers Every Time

Sure the mechanics of your products matter.  But how do you  make your customers feel.  Nail that question and you'll win them over for good.

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December 03, 2013

Free Yourself from Conventional Thinking

Although organizations often consider creative thinking to be a luxury—and one they can’t afford because of current pressures—my experience with many organizational teams confirms that anyone within the organization can generate great ideas. From executive management to frontline employees, creating a culture of creativity and innovative thinking can be easier than you might think possible.

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July 17, 2013

My Visit to Google

I recently came back from Mountain View, California where I was invited to give a speech as part of the famed Authors@Google program http://youtu.be/tBiILyK8eyU.

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May 24, 2013

What Steve Cantrell and Sharol Henry Can Teach Us About Change (part 2)

Most contemporary change management approaches were either invented by, or are further propagated by what we call “traditional consultants.”

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May 06, 2013

Releasing the Entropy in Your Organization

Front-line workers - those who are closest to the customers and the products and services the company delivers – have historically been undervalued and ignored in major activities and decisions of many organizations.

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May 01, 2013

What Steve Cantrell and Sharol Henry Can Teach Us About Change p.1

I have decided to begin an executive interview series where I will periodically discuss interesting topics with a select group of thought leaders that I have gotten to know over the years.

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April 22, 2013

Translating Ideas into Innovation

Let’s consider those finicky and elusive sparks that ignite the many new products, services, refinements, and enhancements that we as consumers enjoy and demand at an increasing pace. These temperamental ideas are what give rise to the great actions, products, and services of our day, yet they are so often extinguished before ever being given a chance.

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April 08, 2013

How HP Lost its "Way"

Hewlett Packard’s logo when it was founded was “invent.”  Boy have times changed.  Founded in 1939, HP quickly grew and became a major multinational information technology firm by the 1960s.  It grew its to line through spectacular products (Laser printer, inkjets, networking gear), and acquisitions (Compaq, EDS, 3 Com, Palm).  In 1983, HP was rated as one of the most admired companies in the world.  Now HP is saddled by bloated labor costs (320,000 employees), me-too products, and a questionable future.    And just last week, HP’s Ray Lane gave up his role as chairman of the company and two of the company’s longest serving board members, John Hammergen and G. Kennedy Thompson have resigned their seats entirely.

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March 25, 2013

Organizational Bureaucracy and the Papacy

A recent atricle by Rachel Donadio and Jim Yardley in The New York Times offers an interesting view of papal bureaucracy that is certainly not unique to the papacy and plagues most, if not all organizations

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March 19, 2013

The (Once) Great Company Graveyard

Shelly Dubois @shellydubois recently wrote an article for CNN Money titled “7 Most Admired Companies That Fell Off the Map.”  Although a few of the companies Shelly referenced didn’t really fall off the map – they were acquired and became part of a new map, her point provides an interesting starting point for a discussion.

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March 01, 2013

Reinvent Your Company...or Someone Else Will

It is so easy to be complacent, particularly when you have an established reputation, long history of success and a successful business model.

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February 27, 2013

If the Pope Can't Execute His Strategy...

So even the pope can't execute strategy. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal, The Papacy After Benedict said "an intellectually strong Pope such as Benedict can set worthy goals and articulate them with force and eloquence. But it comes to naught if the Vatican is either incapable of following through to execute the Pope's intentions, or even undermines them."

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February 14, 2013

Yet Another Example of Why Top-Down Implementation Fails

I recently read an article by @anniekarni for Crains New York Business which I found to be absolutely remarkable given everything that has been written about how NOT to implemnent change.

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January 30, 2013

Let's Go Fishing

The oft-quoted Chinese proverb – “Give a man a fish and you feed him for a day. Teach a man to fish and you feed him for a lifetime” – provides an interesting perspective on the modern management consulting industry.

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January 23, 2013

When Corporations Cannot Adapt (aka Fear the Kid in the Black t-shirt)

In 1917, Forbes published its first list of the 100 most valuable companies. Here we are, almost a century later, and only 15 of those companies still exist.

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January 18, 2013

Embedding Corporate Strategy

Business leaders want their company’s strategy to be understood and accepted by employees—or, as they call it, “embedded."

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January 11, 2013

It Just Doesn't Have to be This Way

An article in this week's Wall Street Journal reported that healthcare costs are again on the rise.

Data published Monday showed "that the amount spent to treat individuals, as opposed to spending on administration and insurance premiums, began to rise in 2011, signaling that cuts in health spending hadn't become permanent.  I find this outrageous because radically reducing healthcare cost - without compromising service levels - is nowhere as hard as our leaders would have us believe.

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December 21, 2012

Why Not Start a Lemonade Stand

Start a lemonade stand…it’s the process, not the profit.

As summer approaches, my restless children are forever scheming with new and innovative way to earn some extra money.  With job growth in most industries remaining flat and since my wife doesn’t really feel comfortable letting our 11 year-old go door-to-door anyway, it’s tempting for a couple of entrepreneurial parents like us to encourage our kids to do what we’ve done — start a business and make some money.

For those of you busy parents, you might think, “what a pain to help the kids earn an extra $5” What’s the point?  What will they really learn?  Is it worth my (I mean their) time.  Or, you might think, “How cute, little Johnnie wants to peddle his concoction and make some money; what a fun little afternoon project”

What I can tell you first hand, it that with my parents’ unwavering encouragement, I started my first business in the forth grade, and it was that singular experience that gave me the confidence and passion to become an entrepreneur.  Back in elementary school, I was a baseball card fanatic.  However, I had little money with which to fuel my passion.  It was then that I had the idea to sell, rather than buy baseball cards.  My father and I contacted the Topps Company (www.topps.com) and they set me up as a regional distributor.  I bought in bulk, broke down the cases and distributed to everyone in my neighborhood.

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Blog Mission

"When I have fully decided that a result is worth getting I go ahead of it and make trial after trial until it comes." - Thomas A. Edison

Let’s start with an explanation of the title, Beyond The Conference Room Solution. In all of my workshops and in many of my lectures, I refer to the phrase, The Conference Room Solution as a far too common approach used by organizations use to solve many of their most challenging issues.

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The Q-Loop by Brian Klapper

How does an established organization filled with long-time employees, a deeply entrenched culture, and a history of drawn-out planning and development cycles become nimble, innovative, and responsive in today’s challenging business climate? Published by Bibliomotion, The Q-Loop: The Art & Science of Lasting Corporate Change delivers an actionable strategy to help your company rapidly achieve lasting transformational change.

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