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A Little Nonsense Might Be Just What You Need

A little nonsense, now and then, is cherished by the wisest men.” — Roald Dahl, “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” Stress-relief benefits from a belly laugh* Laughter’s health benefits are no joke. A good sense of humor can’t cure all ailments, but data are mounting about the positive things laughter can do. Moreover, if you […]

5 Leadership Lessons from Ross Perot’s EDS

I worked for Ross Perot and his company Electronic Data Systems (EDS) from 1984 to 1992. Ross Perot’s recent passing at age 89 caused me to reflect on this critical part of my professional life. Ross Perot created a very strong culture at EDS and an important part of any culture are the language and phrases that are used to help guide actions and decisions. Following are the top five leadership phrases I still use from my time with EDS:

Four Strategies for Navigating the J Curve of Change

When implementing a change, we usually spend some period of time at the beginning of the change effort on what we call the vision or the desired end state. Inevitability, however, there is also a time at the beginning of the change when productivity or other results we are focused on go down instead of improving. Here are four strategies to help you minimize this dip and get your productivity headed back upward.

How to Forge Resilient Relationships in the Heat of Change

Author Michael Papanek takes three decades of experience with clients ranging from Apple to Google and shares it in his new book, From Breakdown to Breakthrough: Forging Resilient Relationships in the Heat of Change. His framework helps leaders develop the confidence to take these relationships to the next level. I recently asked him about his work.

Bells, Whistles, and iPhones: Successful Collaboration In the Blur of Technology & Tools

The business world is awash in technologies and tools that promise to enable us to work smarter, faster, more productively, and with more people — whether they’re colleagues across the company or around the world. Many new technologies are pegged as collaboration solutions or communications tools — like video and web conferencing, instant messaging, file […]

In Defense of Brainstorming

Brainstorming’s highest value is not in producing the greatest number of ideas, but in (1) generating creative and innovate ideas, and (2) creating ownership for implementing those ideas. Marc Andreessen’s “Quote of the Week” last week was “Why brainstorming is a bad idea.” Andreessen quoted Frans Johansson’s book, The Medici Effect: “…In 1958…psychologists let groups […]

Signs of Progress: Removing the Stop Signs in Your Organization

In the Dutch Province of Makkinga, motorists drive around uninhibited by signs instructing them to stop, yield, or merge. They don’t have any parking meters to feed, red zones to avoid, or yellow lines to follow. Makkinga — as well as some other small towns in Denmark, England, Germany, and Belgium — are participating in […]

The State of The Union: Does Where You Stand Depend on Where You Sit?

Reactions to the idea that Democrats and Republicans sit together at the upcoming State of the Union speech have ranged from humor from Jon Stewart to cynical dismissal by Rush Limbaugh. I think the idea, while not the cure for all that ails Washington, does have some potential to impact the quality of discourse in […]

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