Working Wider

Leadership

Safety: The New Norm for Opening in Covid-19

As restaurants, shops, and bars light up their “Open” signs, there’s one question that everyone from employee to customer will be asking: Is it safe to come in? Outside heavy industry, safety training typically stops at fire drills and job-specific items such as arresting grease fires in the kitchen.  Customers don’t choose between Wal-Mart, Costco, [...]

How to Screw Up Change

New leaders have an opportunity to drive change.  What we’re seeing on the national stage is a lesson in change leadership that not only challenges the status quo; it is an abject lesson in how not to lead change. Trump’s emotional appeal worked well for securing the mandate to change but it’s killing him in [...]

Before You Pitch Me, Ask Yourself:
Is Your Company a Me-Too or a Fast Follower?

Last week, I listened to seven startups pitches at the Band of Angels Deal Selection committee wondering at least three times, hadn’t I heard this deal before? Do customers crave another user friendly wearable that counts steps, heartbeats and measures sleep quality better than Apple Watch, FitBit, and Garmin? Is now the right time, to [...]

Clone ‘Em: Bring Instant Leadership to Your Company

Clone ‘Em Leads Apple App Store Rankings Cupertino, CA (AP) August 6, 2015 Latest App Store rankings released this morning reveal that Clone ‘Em, the Leadership Cloning App has risen to first place in the popular Fast Growth category.  Leveraging data from mobile and wearables, Clone ‘Em uses advanced algorithms to prompt new leaders when [...]

Fearlessness

President Obama discussed with comedian Mark Maron how the ups and downs of six years in office had made him a better president (paraphrased below). As you get older, you might slow down or not jump as high as you used to.  But I know what I’m doing and I’m fearless.  This is not pretending [...]

Decimal Point Thinking:
Good for Operators; Dangerous for Innovation

Winter in Detroit is rarely pretty.  Pristine snowfalls quickly turn to grey slush that outwits the best pedestrian avoidance maneuvers.  Once that happens, your feet are cold and clammy for the next three hours. It was on such a day that a new product team was presenting their “comeback” car design to a panel of [...]

Apple New Product Introduction:
Welcome to the Planet of the Ape

In a couple of hours, Apple executives will take to the stage.  And millions will be watching because part of our love for Apple is being co-conspirators in the OMG introduction process. While reverence for Steve Jobs will keep “incredibly insane” product descriptions off the table, expect to hear the word “amazing” more than once. [...]

Zen Start-up Lessons:
What Nest Labs Can Teach Entrepreneurs

Nest Labs makes a smarter, Internet- connected thermostat that sells for two to three times conventional models.  Most recently, they’ve introduced a similarly empowered and priced smoke detector.  You might ask if you need a smarter thermostat or smoke detector?  You’ll have a chance to answer that for yourselves in a moment. Nest was founded [...]

The New Corporate Giving Pledge:
An Alternative to Apple’s iAvoid Tax Strategy

“Apple has always believed in the simple, not the complex. You can see this in our products and in the way we conduct ourselves.” Tim Cook in testimony before the U.S. Senate, 5/21/13 Not That Simple It’s simple to understand avoiding corporate taxes.  But crafting subsidiaries nestled in virtual crevices between international taxing authorities or [...]

Organization Antidotes for Entrepreneurs

In Getting Organized: The Entrepreneurial Death Star, I described how the chaos of growth drives startups to get organized.  Organization comes at a price yet it seems that the only options are to stay small and creative, suffer chaos, or pick execution over agility. This piece provides two alternatives. Before we start, let me ask [...]

Six Lessons for Business Leaders
from the Lance Armstrong Disaster

Sports figures have longed served as icons for business leaders.  They simplify and symbolize the essence of competition by their dedication and success. As an avid cyclist, I’ve followed the meteoric rise and fall of Lance Armstrong’s career with deep interest.  Without drugs, he was one the greatest cyclists of his time.  With drugs, he [...]