Bad Math

By | November 13th, 2017|

Business and math are inextricably linked. Big data, income statements, turnover, weighted average cost of capital, customer satisfaction scores and quotas — just to name a few. And accuracy is vital. Don’t you dare make a miscalculation in a 10Q! But accuracy and efficacy are two different things. I may have a bang-on measure of [...]

Board or Bored Relations?

By | October 30th, 2017|

For the CEO of a company with a fiduciary board (as opposed to an advisory board), there’s perhaps nothing more complex than developing a healthy, mutually satisfying relationship with the board. I’ve been on numerous boards, worked for a few and observed many management-board relationships up close and personal. Few of them work on the [...]

The Organizational Effectiveness of Democracy

By | July 1st, 2017|

I’ve been thinking a lot about democracy and capitalism recently so thought that I’d share a few interesting quotes—some of them conflicting messages—from some very bright fellows to whom I looked for guidance. Before you read them, please ponder this quote from F. Scott Fitzgerald, “The test of a first rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposed ideas in [...]

“Your Momma Don’t Dance and Your Daddy Don’t Rock and Roll”—Family Business Matters

By | June 19th, 2017|

Common wisdom says that family businesses have an extremely high failure rate when moving from the first to second to third generation, and that’s absolutely true. The numbers often cited state that 30 percent survive the second generation, and it decreases to midteens by the third and single digits by the fourth. What you don’t [...]

Trips Without Destinations

By | May 30th, 2017|

When I was a kid, we’d sometimes go for a Sunday drive after church. I suspect my mother, a widow with two kids, just wanted some quiet time, but I remember mostly being bored. We lived in the Midwest and frankly, once you’ve seen one field of sugar beets, the others aren’t that interesting! We [...]

The Four Pillars to Defeat Chaos

By | February 20th, 2017|

I’ve read with some interest, amazement and amusement about “new” organizational structures in the past few years. And I believe that if everyone followed all the rules, we’d still have a feudal society. There are some interesting experiments regarding how democratic a work environment should be, but one thing I know for sure: If the [...]

Declare War on Bureaucracy

By | January 9th, 2017|

Insidious as termites, as hard to destroy as a nuclear-hardened bomb shelter, disguised as health food but as nasty as deep-fried butter, bureaucracy is killing you. Tolerating organizational bureaucracy is like breathing secondhand smoke for decades. You can see it, it’s annoying and it’ll eventually kill you, but it won’t kill you today, so you [...]

Make It A Great Day, But Have A Damn Plan

By | November 7th, 2016|

I’m as web-based as the next guy — searching, buying, posting, texting and noodling just like most of you. I’m also pretty disciplined, so I try to do my noodling only after finishing my work. But I don’t often peruse social media looking for deep thoughts. I still shudder at the poor-quality content that self-made [...]

The Actions Of A Successful CEO

By | April 22nd, 2016|

In last week's blog I postulated that there were three questions that drove my best CEO clients in their quest for excellence: What do I need to know, what do I need to do and who do I need to be? I addressed the first last week and will address the second this week—What do [...]

David Or Paul Bunyan? Chisel Away What’s Not You

By | April 11th, 2016|

There’s a parable of sorts attributed to Michelangelo who, when asked how he was able to so beautifully carve the statue of David, responded that he merely cut away everything that wasn’t David. That’s a wonderful depiction of focus that we can all take with us. If we could just cut away all that’s not [...]