Blogging about networks, collaboration and leadership

Weißbierpils - a metaphor for innovation

Weißbierpils - a metaphor for innovation

What is innovation? …AND how can we better foster innovation in our organizations? A recent trip in the Bavarian countryside provided me with a wonderfully simple example of what innovation is and what it takes to make it happen. As I was driving back to Munich after an extended business trip in the north of Germany, I stopped for dinner at a charming and modestly simple local restaurant in the town of Amerdingen. The weather was warm enough on this early autumn day to permit sitting outside on the terrace. Meticulously taken care of was the garden where benches invited [...]

Our Historical Moment As the first few days of this crisis hit and people began quarantining in their homes in an effort to "flatten the curve" in 2020, I immediately felt that this was one of those events that changes the course of human history. I wrote to some of my professional colleagues in those momentous first days that I believed that future historians would write about a pre- and post-corona world. One colleague responded to me by saying that we had gone through several crises in our lifetime - 9/11 and the financial crash of 2008/2009 - and not [...]

Through the impact of the digital revolution, change is occurring with increasing speed in all aspects of both our business and personal milieus. Why would these accelerated developments not have an impact on how business strategy is approached as well? Digital transformation has indeed changed the classical paradigm of strategy. Like everything else in the digital age, the world of strategy is in a state of disruption. This shift is particularly noticeable to me due to my hands-on-experience working for two of the best known strategy consultants in the world. During those years, I was applying what I had learned [...]

Feedback loops are often an untapped resource to enhance creativity and innovation in companies. Astute organizations recognize the value and use of feedback loops to stimulate learning and innovation at all levels. Why? Feedback loops lay down the foundation for an organizational mindset which is favorable for scalable learning and innovation throughout the organization. Through the cultivation of an environment which intentionally promotes the use of feedback loops, an organization benefits from the wisdom of employees which is harvested to reap productive insights for the business. Definition of Feedback: Information about reactions to a product, a person's performance of a [...]

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 turned 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 [...]

Fighting Ignorance with a Fact-Based Worldview

Fighting Ignorance with a Fact-Based Worldview

I would like to reflect  on food for thought which I received from a DGUV International Strategy Conference on Safety and Health at Work where I was serving to facilitate a portion of the event. A comparison with a survey from the Handelsblatt confirms 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 the 1930s have people’s views of the future been so bleak. The opening speaker of the conference was Matthias Horx of [...]

Organizations need to create work environments which provide employees with psychological safety  It is becoming increasingly clear that mastering digital disruption is primarily an organizational culture issue not a technology issue.  The results of a 4 year study by the Massachussetts Institute of Technology and Deloitte clearly spells this out. Digital maturity is the new paradigm which will increasingly be the focus of organizations' efforts to master digital disruption.  A "fearless culture" is the first step to digital maturity. DIGITAL MATURITY is defined as "an organization's ability to compete effectively by taking advantage of opportunities enabled by technological infrastructure, both [...]

    The 4 Enabling Disciplines