Managers & Leaders

While perusing though LinkedIn updates recently, I noticed a definite trend when it comes to comparing Managers and Leaders.  It basically boils down to this: Manager = Bad; Leader = Good.

Based on the prevailing wisdom, one would come to the conclusion that managers are evil, nasty, no good, dirty, rotten, scoundrels, while leaders are compassionate, kind, giving of their time, and patient, caring, just plain wonderful people.  Continue reading

Tesla’s Everest


It’s good to be Tesla.  With pre-orders for the yet to be release Model 3 over 325,000, each with a $1,000 reservation fee, Tesla just “crowd-sourced” over $325 million.  Pretty Impressive.  If all of these orders transfer into sales, then Tesla will make somewhere around $14 Billion in revenue.  More Impressive.  However, while the analysts might be oohing and ahhing over Tesla’s production facility and these orders, actually producing them might be a little more daunting.  In what may be the understatement of the year, CEO Elon Musk tweeted, “Definitely going to need to rethink production planning…” Continue reading

Saving Money vs Making Money

Recently, I have had many discussions with colleagues about whether or not the primary purpose of Lean is to eliminate waste or to increase value.  I’m a proponent of the latter, where Lean is to increase value with respect for people.  Yes, in order to increase value, waste must be removed from the system, to which, my colleague says, “See, it comes down to eliminating waste.  Besides, that’s easier to understand.” Continue reading

Thinking for Yourself and the Mad Men Finale

Thank you Matthew Weiner. Not only for providing 7 seasons of masterful television, but for ending it in a way that leaves the viewer open to creating their own endings, and molding the storylines the way they see fit.  No tidy box with a ribbon on it, with no assembly required; but here are the pieces, there’s the direction we’re heading, put it together so it makes sense for you.  Brilliant! Continue reading

What if the Technology Just Isn’t Good Enough?

I was watching a show the other day about the making of The Beatles album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, and one of the things that struck me about the show was the mention of one of the reasons why The Beatles stopped touring: “We couldn’t hear ourselves onstage.”  Ringo mentioned he was just hoping he was playing the right notes as he couldn’t hear the music and was trying to play by reading John and Paul’s lips.  The sound amplification technology of the day just wasn’t good enough to allow The Beatles to keep touring. Continue reading

Design Thinking and The Lean Start Up

Editors note: While some may consider Design Thinking and the Lean Start Up methodology competing, in my view they compliment each other quite well.  This post is my view on how they can be integrated to help organizations succeed.

The importance of design cannot be understated.  It is a premise that most readily accept, especially when it comes to product design; but when we take an honest assessment of the results of our projects (or initiatives), in retrospect, many of our designs – system designs – are poor.  Problems and opportunities are identified, and a solution is visualized, but at the end of the day, the vision rarely materializes as originally seen.

Design Thinking incorporating the Lean Start Up can help.

Continue reading

What If We Ran Our Organizations Like Sports Teams?

One of the interesting things I always notice as we approach big games, like the recent Super Bore, is that business writers and observers tend to skew their musings toward sport, or the business of sport (maybe that’s just a way for them to justify their employer paying for a trip to the game??).

Anyway, not being one to miss the boat, I began to think – what if an organization was run like a sports team?  Continue reading