Winning The Long GameThis article was adapted from “Winning the Long Game: How Strategic Leaders Shape the Future” by Steven Krupp and Paul J.H. Schoemaker. Krupp is senior managing partner and Schoemaker is founder and executive chairman of Decision Strategies International, a consulting and training firm specializing in leadership development and strategy formulation. Schoemaker also serves as research director of the Mack Institute for Innovation Management at the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania.

In July 2013, 3 million devotees, mostly young, swarmed to Copacabana Beach to hear the newly elected leader of the Roman Catholic Church on his first official tour. The Catholic Church was at a pivotal moment in its history. Brazil has the largest number of Catholics in the world but between 2000 and 2010, the church’s share slipped from three-fourths of the nation’s population to about two-thirds. Pope Francis knew the challenges facing his organization, not only in Brazil but throughout the world. (read more…)

When we think about the makeup of a workplace, tangible aspects often come to mind: location, office space, number of employees, revenue. However, certain intangibles are just as much a part of a company’s identity. Workplace culture tops this list.

Attracting and retaining talent relies heavily on the cohesiveness of worker attitudes, as well as the example set by company leadership. Are employees on board with their management’s vision? Are they motivated to learn and improve their professional skills? Do they adhere to company policies? Although management is tasked with setting the right example for their employees, if they don’t get buy-in, it can be awfully challenging to grow and succeed.

All industries deal with on-the-job safety in some way, whether you’re a 9-5er staring into a computer screen, a crane operator on a construction site or a brewer at a craft brewery. MySafetySign surveyed nearly 500 occupational safety professionals to gain insight into the biggest challenges their companies face when implementing health and safety practices. (read more…)

There are many reasons why executives decide to pivot their companies, but the biggest one is by listening to customers and responding to their needs (faster than the competitor).

In 2007, our customers expressed the need to better govern information across controlled and uncontrolled environments. This wasn’t an area we had previously specialized in, so when we heard this recurring theme from multiple customers, we knew it was time for a change and focus on a new market with a new product. As a trusted partner of our customers, one of our top priorities is making sure we deliver value to them.

There are three main pillars to making a pivot work — Vision, Product, Commercial. Each must have a strong leader who knows how to transform an organization and balance customers, competitors and analysts.

  1. Vision: Someone needs to be tasked with owning the vision. Many times, this is the CTO or CSO.
  2. (read more…)

Emily Post is one of the best known experts on etiquette and manners. But there are countless others providing advice on how to behave. There are trainings, books and a myriad of articles on business etiquette, social etiquette and manners of all types.

This guidance tends however, to end outside the boardroom doors. Perhaps, we assume that by definition board directors have reached the pinnacle of business and as such have their manners down pat. Think again. Discerning board directors, like many others in positions of power and influence, need to regularly check in with themselves and measure their awareness of and adherence to the following basic boardroom manners:

1. Don’t be late

Board meetings typically have an agenda packed from beginning to end. There are presentations to be made and decisions to be reflected upon. It is simply bad form to show up late. Late not only refers to the beginning of the meeting, but post breaks for lunch and other refresh activities. (read more…)

NotterGrantBookThumbThis post is an edited excerpt from “When Millennials Take Over: Preparing for the Ridiculously Optimistic Future of Business,” (Ideapress Publishing, March 2015) by Jamie Notter and Maddie Grant. The book identifies four principles that will guide successful businesses now and in the future: Digital, Clear, Fluid, and Fast. This excerpt is from the chapter on Fluid.

There has been a long-standing love/hate relationship in the business world with hierarchy. It has helped us scale and get things done, and it also reduces complexity for us by providing a set of rules about who gets to decide on things, but it frustrates us by making us less agile and bogging us down in bureaucratic details. And although many call out for “flattening” the hierarchy, what we really need is for our hierarchies to be more fluid and flexible. When you look at the threads that connect the companies that have unlocked the potential of a fluid hierarchy, you will see that two fundamental building blocks can enable such a system in your organization:

  • understanding what drives success, and
  • investing in soft skills.
  • (read more…)