Saturday Feb 04, 2023

Six reasons successful leaders love questions

It has become a habit of mine to kick off my presentations by inviting people to write down a question. I ask people to follow two rules: the question must be relevant to the context—typically, leaders meeting in or across organizations to discuss leadership—and it must be important to the person asking the question to […]

When the real problem isn’t the obvious one

How do you know if you have identified the real challenge facing your business? And, once you identify that challenge, how do you know that you are solving it correctly? Answering both those questions requires not only a willingness to innovate but also the humility to change direction. This is the salutary lesson to be […]

A pose by any other name

It was a bit like those internet advertisements for “one weird trick to get rid of belly fat,” except this one weird trick came with impeccable credentials. Amy Cuddy, a social psychologist with degrees from Princeton University, claimed that holding an “expansive nonverbal display”—say, chest out, hands on hips, legs sturdily apart exactly like Wonder […]

Sports, by the numbers

An Economist Goes to the Game: How to Throw Away $580 Million and Other Surprising Insights from the Economics of Sports by Paul Oyer, Yale University Press, 2022 When Oakland Athletics general manager Billy Beane sat down with writer Michael Lewis and described how he had turned an underdog team into playoff regulars, the chances of the […]

Envisioning the futures of retail banking

Picture a future in which customers conduct all their financial services through digital wallets handled by nonbanks like Apple, Google, and Uber. Or imagine another potential future, in which a mere handful of mega banks dominate global markets. Or yet another, in which traditional currency fades from relevance, and transactions largely happen through cryptocurrencies and […]

Beyond purpose statements

Imagine, for a moment, somebody sitting down 50 years from now to write a book about the history of modern capitalism. That writer would undoubtedly devote at least a few chapters to the rise of stakeholder capitalism and how the pandemic transformed the nature of work, and particularly to the degree to which corporations have […]

Five ways to harness the power of purpose

Leaders instinctively understand the value of corporate purpose. They know that, when it is well articulated, a company’s purpose statement—or the best proxy for it, such as a mission or vision statement—serves as a north star. It is a reminder of what matters most and provides clarity to employees, managers, and leaders about how to […]

When it comes to changing culture, think small

Effective leaders know that long-term corporate success requires a strong organizational culture that is well aligned with a company’s purpose and strategy. As Lou Gerstner wrote, describing the turnaround he orchestrated at IBM in the 1990s, “I came to see, in my time at IBM, that culture isn’t just one aspect of the game—it is […]

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