Monthly Archives: April 2012

Where Do Ideas Come From?

At a session with a management team recently, I responded to this question from one of the executives, “Where do ideas come from?” She prefaced the question with “not looking for the philosophical response.” I chose to honor the parameter of question by responding using some of the latest research of the neuroscience of how thinking occurs. Continue reading

Before and After Pictures

I facilitated a session last week discussing Action Learning Projects that a group of leaders were embarking on. They had to pick a problem to solve that was in their immediate circle of influence. The problems are often easy to identify and in many cases, so are some of the solutions. Continue reading

Bottom 10%

I was with a group of folks a few weeks ago who had a healthy debate on Jack Welch’s “remove the bottom 10% of your organization every year” policy from a couple of decades ago. Some of the folks who run large corporations said this would never happen in their company. Not only were they too big, but also they would have no idea how to identify the bottom 10%. Is it 10% across the board, or 10% in a department, or 10% of a level? Is the bottom 10% in one high performing business unit the same as another 10% of a low performing business unit? Would force-ranking be subjective thereby forcing employees to build alliances like the ones we see on “Survivor” on TV, instead of focusing on performance? Continue reading

Make Your Own Mistakes

Last week, I had a delightful lunch with a client I will call John. I asked him afterwards if I could share our conversation in my weekly blog, and he graciously approved. John is a senior executive with direct responsibility for the largest of six business units at his company. He has done a remarkable job over the years building relationships, making good business decisions, and has done so being very healthy (runs 20 miles every week) and having a wonderful family.  John is an avid reader. He reads 2-3 books a week. John has an intelligent opinion and grounded perspective on just about any topic. So why is he talking to me? Continue reading

Frustration, Angry, Mad–Old Terms

I worked with a professional athlete recently and he told me he gets very frustrated, angry, and mad when things do not go well. And then it’s downhill from there. I asked him how much “quality thinking” he does when he is frustrated, angry and mad. “Not much,” he replied. Continue reading