As world financial markets toss and turn following the U.S. sub-prime mortgage meltdown, I can’t help but think the bogus products that led to this mess where the result of a toxic culture. From the retail point of view, I recently reacted to how far customer trust has declined. On a recent morning, in a [...]
Hip hop culture (at least here in America) has influenced not only our musical preferences but also our language, clothing, movies, and car styling. But you won’t see much of it online. The websites for hip hop artists resemble those for other artists, and the more innovative things are mostly done by us geeky white [...]
The Sartorialist blog has been a big hit, with each post getting dozens of comments. Why? On the surface it’s the usual blogger story: an individual with insight on a particular topic publishes quickly and honestly sans organizational overhead. To me, the Sartorialist does something else important. He delineates the difference between art and design. [...]
…the business world is full of highly touted prescriptions for being more innovative… in my experience, few solutions actually address what I believe to be a fundamental enabler of innovative behavior in organizations… The key to unleashing innovative behavior is asking the question “how can I help each person in my organization achieve a state [...]
I wonder if this flashy, animated building facade — very not-financial services — changes employees’ perception of Lehman Brothers? Could it backfire and make employees more cynical?
The always entertaining Andrew Zolli has a new article in the current Fast Company mag, expanding on the themes he’s been talking about in person. Essentially he demonstrates the importance of looking through the demographics lens when thinking about the future… The hourglass society will bring an avalanche of new social challenges, cultural norms, and [...]
I love seeing big companies move in agile ways (because it’s so unusual), even if it only arises from panic of losing their old revenue streams. Here’s an example from Lockheed, whose old culture (despite their Skunk Works-style innovation) included bitter internal fights over whether to pursue unmanned aircraft… …It also designed and delivered the [...]
Walking home from work tonight I was thinking that most everything written about innovation is useless. It’s generic banter. Fixing companies must be done in the context of their problems by people passionate enough to constantly push against the dead weight of status quo. If we learn anything useful from the Tom Peters of this [...]
Quotes from the Wall Street Journal… Ford will announce a plan tomorrow called “The Way Forward” that will involve 30,000 layoffs and target “the root of the auto maker’s recent woes: a stifling corporate culture.” [In the war room,] high on the wall, hangs a big, white sheet of paper on which is written: “Culture [...]
Joel Spolsky’s Fog Creek Software created a documentary DVD of the summer interns’ experience creating an actual software product. Notice how they cook and share a meal together. I’m a big fan of establishing a relationship over home-cooked meals. Last winter I met the guys from Zago Design for the first time in one of [...]
I live in one of the art centers of the world — the West Chelsea section of Manhattan — and my opinion of today’s art can be summed up in one word: boring. Rarely do contemporary artists teach us anything, or even make us feel anything. The best art only manages commentary, as with Banksy’s [...]
In this latest HBSWK piece, Bain’s talking customer experience. Not long ago, BCG was talking about open source-style collaboration. Naturally, we talk about the vital importance of strategic delivery too, having lived it. I clearly see many ways in which the no-collar working style — natural collaboration, little hierarchy, relationships built on trust, smooth flow [...]
Did Johnson & Johnson heed my advice to stay away from purchasing Guidant with its unethical practices? Probably not, but I’m glad they’re hesistating. Guidant responds, typically, by suing the company that wants to buy it.
Song Airlines is closing. It’s sad that a better customer experience alone isn’t enough to compete, but that in itself is a good lesson. The symptom of Song’s decline was a failure to replicate JetBlue’s service, while the cause is a failure to look beyond JetBlue’s product to the true source of their success. There’s [...]
Stephanie Rosenbloom’s Big Girls Don’t Cry in the NY Times offers many opinions on women crying in the office, all of them against it. When I was a young manager, a woman in my group came to my desk to ask about a resourcing decision I had made. Unhappy with it, she broke into tears. [...]