Working Wider


Unexpected Expectations: Leadership Lessons from BP

On Christmas, the New York Times ran its most riveting story of the year. Deepwater Horizon’s Final Hours has all the drama of a Hollywood action movie as it recounts the final nine minutes on BP’s ill-fated rig. In contrast to the coverage of efforts to stop the ecological damage from the BP oil spill [...]

Alignment Wins Global Competitions

Shortly after receiving the birth announcement of my fifth grandchild, Ms. Clover Newton, I watched Fareed Zakaria ask his studio audience if they thought their children would be better off than they were.  Not one hand went up. Welcome to the world Ms. Clover. As a nation, we are losing our competitive edge as we [...]

Lean Into the Future

In the word’s of Hollywood’s Jack Bauer from 24, the events you are about to see happen in real-time We live in the moment.  It’s the only reality we have.  We can be trapped by it as well.  When we are trapped, we hang on to the moment.  We repeat it.  It’s the exaggerated hell [...]

Apple’s iPhone: An Attractive Platform Ages

Apple rocked the world with the iPhone introduction in January, 2007.  At the time, smartphone leaders Nokia, Blackberry and Palm were squeezing email and PC content on to tiny screens. Apple expanded the screen, added navigation gestures followed by thousands of apps that transformed the small device into an expansive experience. If there’s any company [...]

Stop Change Management!
… and Start Designing Attractive Change

“Change management” scares me.  It’s like selling a poorly designed product or service.  Someone has to twist your arm to buy it. We have to manage change when it’s not attractive.  Change management becomes code for convincing others to change. The less attractive the change, the more change management required.  It smacks of hierarchical thinking [...]

Apple’s Most Obvious Secret: Reducing Time-to-Value

Apple’s success comes from how effectively they’ve accelerated time-to-value; not time-to-market. After less than eighty days on the market, Apple’s iPad sold three million units.  In contrast, Apple began tablet research before they began iPhone development.  That would imply the iPad’s time-to-market is well over four years. Apple has consistently reduced their time-to-value.  It took [...]

Netflix at a Crossroads:
Can They Beat Apple, Google, Comcast, Hulu and more?

What can you do when competitive boundaries change dramatically?  Let’s take a look at the challenges and choices facing Netflix as their market shifts from DVDs to digital distribution. In doing so, we’ll see how environmental boundary changes can quickly overpower the best business and organization models. How Netflix Won Netflix’s initial success can seem [...]

Leaders Drive Change by Setting, Crossing and Changing Boundaries

Procter & Gamble sources 50% of new product ideas from outside Starbucks is in Safeway and down the street GE Propulsion sells propulsion rather than jet engines Netflix now distributes movies over the Web as well as CDs Cummins makes power generators as well as diesel engines Facebook’s opens API’s to developers such as Zynga [...]

Apple’s New Platform Citizenship

Yesterday morning Apple announced that they “…are relaxing all restrictions on the development tools used to create iOS apps, as long as the resulting apps do not download any code.”  Effectively, they removed the words they added to their April development agreement that blocked Adobe Flash apps.  This change will also make it easier for [...]

The New Citizenship Model Revisited:
Building on Lessons from Facebook and IBM

Building on a previous post, I advocate implementing a wider reaching set of mutual “citizen” obligations will increase competitiveness over traditional employer-employee cultures. “When working across wider boundaries, it’s the citizens that rule.  The problem there is we think so much about leadership that we undervalue the role of citizens.  Working wider depends on a [...]

Leading by Attraction:
Collaborative Leadership Strategies for The Wider World

Power and position fail to deliver when collaborating across boundaries: internal and external. In response, leaders are increasingly called upon to lead by attraction.  While attraction is intuitively easy to understand, the principles and practices are not well-defined.  This essay offers a framework for understanding attraction and putting it to use. In my lifetime, I’ve [...]