Blog Articles on the Future of Business Collaboration, Strategy, Innovation, Organizational Change Management and Execution

Learn the latest from the world’s leading experts across disciplines and industries on our blog with articles and resources that give your team the strategic edge. Get practical insights, tools, & templates to accelerate business success.  Our global network of Thought Leaders write for Harvard Business Review, Fast Company, Inc. Magazine, Forbes, and other academic, professional, and business press. They all have one big thing in common: they’re shaping the future of business best practices.

Articles

6 Simple Growth Hacks for Startups

  Building a new business is tough. These strategies will help your startup succeed without a big investment.   As many of my readers know, I usually write about strategy, innovation, and leadership. But recently I’ve been asked a lot about how I helped establish Praxie.com as a destination website for hundreds of best practice…

Details

Don’t Lose Your Best People. Use the 9-Box Grid to Grow Your Future Talent.

  Keep and develop your best people to create a high-performance culture and competitive advantage.   Hiring good people is tough. Retaining your best talent can be equally challenging. In today’s disruptive world, competitive advantage relies as much on people as it does technology. So, how do you objectively know which people are your all-stars, especially in a bigger…

Details

Empathy: The Currency of Human Connection—and Innovation.

Having worked with innovation teams from global companies like Visa, Colgate-Palmolive, Kimberly-Clark, Disney, Medtronic and many others, there’s one consistent success factor when it comes to innovation, no matter what you’re doing: it all starts with the customer. Companies spend oodles of time and money trying to understand customers. They conduct surveys, hire market researchers, run…

Details

Use Leading and Lagging Indicators to Drive Your Business Forward

You get what you measure, so make sure you’re tracking the right things. I’ve seen a lot of organizations create strategies, programs, and projects focused on optimizing operations, streamlining processes, and driving innovation. Leadership teams put lots of energy coming up with the next big thing. But amazingly few teams think about how they’ll measure…

Details

5 Innovation Lessons from the Backstory of OpenTable.com

In 1998, Chuck Templeton started a company called EasyEats.com. I went to high school with Chuck. We discussed the business plan which included providing recipes, food critic review, and much more. He eventually honed the scope and changed the name to OpenTable. As you probably know, the company would become an icon for what it…

Details

Use “Calculated Optimism”​ for More Strategic Decisions

Harvard Research Suggests Pessimism Is Bad for Business. Replace pessimism with “calculated optimism” for better decision-making. Research from Harvard University looked at whether people were afraid of various situations or objects, such as being stuck in enclosed places or coming face-to-face with snakes. These same individuals were asked to estimate the number of fatalities each year…

Details

Use Intuition for Innovation Just Like Apple and Target

‘Unconscious thinking’ helps you analyze data so you make the best decisions. I get asked a lot about how much to rely on data versus gut instinct when innovating the next big thing. I wrote about this extensively in my book Leapfrogging. The answer may surprise you. Disruptive Innovators Use Their Gut Apple never did…

Details

How to See Your Hidden Assumptions

Successful strategy and innovation are about how fast you can become aware of your assumptions. When it comes to strategy and innovation, success depends on how fast you become aware of your assumptions and then modify them. But it’s a paradox:  You can’t see your most fundamental assumptions until you overcome them. This means that you…

Details

Work Backward to Drive Innovation Forward

Here’s how Amazon defines the ideal customer experience and then works backward to create it. Everyone wants to uncover the secret to the perfect business model that will unlock their true potential. The best business strategies focus on meeting and exceeding customer needs and expectations. This means envisioning customer problems as well as ideal solutions…

Details

Use a Strategy Uncertainty Map to Find Clarity in Disruptive Times

All opportunities have uncertainty. Use a map to navigate it. Let’s kick-off 2022 with a useful tool. Here’s the downloadable Strategy Uncertainty MapI developed as part of my work with Praxie.com. The past two years were as disruptive as they get for both society and business. So how do you plan for the next year…

Details

Turn Overwhelming Data into New Insight to make Strategic Decisions

Focused on insight, not numbers Planning for next year is well under way. Because of unprecedented uncertainty, there’s a strong desire to use data to deliver better decision-making. Makes sense. Yet many teams and organizations get paralyzed by overwhelming data. Spreadsheets, presentations, and industry reports, can inform, but also overwhelm. While data exists, many teams…

Details

Organize innovation to fit your strategy & culture.

Companies don’t fail at innovation due to lack of ideas. They often don’t create the right innovation structure to implement their opportunities. Most organizations struggle with innovation. That’s because they try to apply processes and structures that don’t fit their business strategies and cultures. They partner with Silicon Valley startups who have breakthrough technology when…

Details

Push Thinking & Get Innovation Using this Little-Known Children’s Game

Fifty years ago, a little-known children’s book introduced the “SCAMPER” model as way to help teachers foster creativity in their classrooms. It’s an amazingly simple tool, and unbelievably powerful for pushing thinking beyond “business as usual” to help teams innovate. SCAMPER is an acronym for Substitute, Combine, Adapt, Modify, Put to another use, Eliminate, and Reverse. Each letter prompts…

Details

The One Thing That Keeps Teams on Track

Project Charters Are the Secret to Keeping Teams on Track. Real success occurs when you combine the big picture with concrete action. A mid-sized manufacturing company I recently worked with wanted to create a business strategy. The challenge was that their leaders had so many projects going, people barely had time to meet together to…

Details

Forget Your Plan. Create a Strategy Map.

Strategic plans become outdated the moment they’re created. Instead, create a one-page strategy map. Having run the internal strategy consulting group at HP, and then consulting to both startups and big companies like Disney, Visa, Colgate, Medtronic and others, I’ve created dozens of strategic plans. Business strategy used to be a clear and methodical process.…

Details

6 Ways to Create a Culture of Innovation in a Virtual World

Culture is a key success factor for every organization. Shape it to get more innovation from your remote team. Companies like Facebook, Twitter, Box, Slack, and Salesforce all say that employees can keep working remotely. We’re seeing a sea-change toward remote work. But what happens to the culture of teams and organizations in a virtual…

Details

Disruptive Innovation is NOT a Business Strategy

Stop trying to disrupt. Start changing the world. In the late 1990’s when I was running the strategy consulting group at HP, we invited Clayton Christensen, the iconic Harvard professor who wrote The Innovator’s Dilemma and popularized the term “disruptive innovation,” to come speak to us. We asked him a simple question, “How do you…

Details

Innovation Teams in a Virtual World

Innovation is an art and science. Here’s how to help your team generate and prioritize the best ideas and opportunities in today’s virtual world. Over the past 25 years, I have run hundreds of innovation sessions for high performing teams. My programs are often part of larger strategy and innovation initiatives. But they’re all focused…

Details

You Get What You Measure, So Make Your KPIs Count

Management guru Peter Drucker once said, “What’s measured improves.” So true. The problem is that most teams don’t have clear key performance indicators (KPIs) to measure the success of their strategies and projects. Sure, they may have goals, but without clear KPIs, they don’t have a way to know quantitatively that they’re on or off track. As a result, many teams wait until…

Details

Virtual Innovation Sessions in 5 Simple Steps

Innovation is an art and science. Here’s the secret to identifying & prioritizing ideas in a virtual world. Over the past 25 years, I have run hundreds of innovation sessions with companies like NBCUniversal, Visa, Colgate, Kimberly-Clark, Red Bull, and dozens of others. My sessions are often part of larger strategy and growth initiatives. But…

Details