Blog - Search 2016

Silos and Octopus Traps

Silos and Octopus Traps

In the wheat growing areas of the world, grain is stored in large towers known as silos. Multiple silos are usually required. Each silo rises high into the sky, independent of the other silos. However, this colorful metaphor that has become commonplace to describe separation and lack of coordination in organizations and in society is not necessarily understood across the entire world. Silos are not to be found in rice based economies. When in 2005 the newly appointed CEO to Sony – Howard Stringer (an Englishman who had led Sony’s North American operations) – made his first strategy speech in [...]

Making the Whole Elephant Visible

Making the Whole Elephant Visible

This blog will take a look at a novel approach which companies are using to deal with complex issues – an energy company aspiring to improve internal communications, an organization dealing with an aging workforce and a pharmaceutical company targeting to create a learning environment within its marketing department. All of these issues are multi-facetted. For instance, communication within a company includes top-down and cross-functional communication, bottom-up and inter-departmental communication, performance reviews and feedback, etc. – not to mention the myriad of instruments available to support this communication. Most attempts to deal with such issues revolve around the tried and [...]

Organizational Culture and Networks

Organizational Culture and Networks

In today’s digitalized world, it is difficult to conceive of work getting done without harnessing the power of networks.  There are virtual groups and teams, communities of practice, webinar meetings, etc. When it comes to organizational culture however, corporations tend to underutilize the power of networks. Perhaps that has to do with the abstract nature of culture. Managers have a difficult enough time grasping how to renew culture – never mind how to use networks to that effect. Yet networks are essential to the Culture Renewal process. Cultural messages often contain a large dose of emotional content.  When talking about [...]

Keystone Habits

Keystone Habits

I recently read a story which merits retelling . It is a powerful story about how an unwavering focus on a specific value can help to turn a company around. The year was 1987. The company was the A luminum Company of America otherwise known as Alcoa. The business results in the last few years had not been good. A new CEO was being brought on board to see if the ship could be tumed around. That new CEO was Paul O’Neill – a former government bureaucrat. The investment community did not know too much about him, so when he [...]

Global Ignorance

Global Ignorance

Last week I had the privilege to facilitate a portion of the DGUV International Strategy Conference on Safety and Health at Work held in Dresden . I would like to comment on some of the food for thought I got from that conference and compare that to a survey that came out today, the 29 th of March in the Handelsblatt. It appears to me that we are living in a world of a surprising and very disturbing paradox. From a global perspective, the state of human well-being has never been so good as it is now AND not since [...]