Working Wider


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, [...]

Risky Distance: How Covid-19 Inverts the Open Office

Private offices have been under attack for decades.  First came cubicles followed by hoteling. Most recently, long tables where knowledge workers sit side-by-side in headphone-enabled bubbles are de rigueur.  In theory, each goes further to create a cross-functional community that also saves money by increasing the number of people per square foot.  Add in free [...]

Speed Test Results Confirm:
Do Not Attack Your Top 5 Problems!

This post was inspired by my friend Steve Pile who after reading a letter I’d written to a colleague said it should be on Working Wider. Tell me if this doesn’t sound familiar… Your group is totally overwhelmed.  Demands outweigh capacity 7 to 1.  There are no top priorities because now everything is at the [...]

Can Google & Motorola Make this Marriage Work?

On Monday, Google announced that it’s engaged to buy Motorola.  Is it a brilliant move that puts Google on an even footing with Apple as a vertically integrated competitor?  Or is it an overpriced, gargantuan error that transforms Google from a fleet-footed software company with great margins into a hybrid hardware/software company with average margins? [...]

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 [...]

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 Outside the Box:
The Outward Facing Organization

This article outlines how to turn an inward facing organization outwards. It is meant for companies that seek significant growth rather than those in a pitched battle with established competitors in mature markets. The larger an organization becomes and the longer it lives, the more likely it is to become inward facing. As people, we [...]

Designing Change: What Would IDEO, Frog or D2M Do?

In the wider world, leadership and leading change are virtually synonymous.  With increased competition, the ability to change rarely happens as fast as we’d like. For example, how many times have you: Solicited input to define a change only to find that while everyone supports change, there are multiple opinions of what it should be [...]

Understanding the New Citizen-Customer

In a prior post, I offered a new corporate citizenship model that replaces heroic management and reflects our world’s growing capabilities and challenges. Today I’d like to turn this lens outward and introduce a parallel new concept: the “citizen-customer”. The citizen-customer reflects the wider set of criteria customers use to make decisions as well as [...]

New Technology Opens Competitive Leadership Opportunities

Technology influences economies at the same time economies point to the next technology that can be monetized.  In The Nature of Technology: What It Is and How It Evolves (Free Press, 2009), Brian Arthur goes a step further suggesting that economies are defined by and structured around technologies. He argues that the daily encounters between [...]

Note to GM: Push Decisions Out; Not Just Down

Recently General Motors CEO Ed Whitacre attended a meeting to approve the next generation of GM cars and trucks. Before the presentations began, he asked why they were having this meeting in the first place: “Y’all have checked all this out pretty thoroughly.  I imagine you’re not going to approve something that’s bad or unprofitable, [...]