Tag Archives: transformation

advantage at the fringe

Colored sphere explosion

In today’s business environment, competitive advantages rapidly erode. Entire industries are transforming and being overwhelmed by new developments.

The internet is shifting power from companies to consumers.

Product and strategy life cycles are shrinking.

Deregulation and globalization are opening up entire industries to an onslaught of nimble low-cost competitors.

The fact is organizations using yesterday’s rigid management principles are not adaptable or creative enough to handle these challenges.

The problem is innovation is stifled by the norms of organizational structures. Individuals who deviate from this structure are identified as renegades and discouraged from contributing.

The outcome is organizations deal with change in a traumatic fashion. They aren’t nimble, they aren’t creative and they aren’t proactive.

The solution is management innovation. For far too long companies stuck to the same corporate regime. Products and branding are refreshed regularly, but the process by which we organize resources, plan and aggregate effort has remained untouched.

What kinds of questions should you be asking within your organization to foster innovation and management change? How many of these questions are being asked by your executive and management teams on a regular basis?

What can we do to encourage more open exchange? (creating a democracy of ideas)

What are we doing to make our employees innovators? (amplifying human imagination)

How are we allocating our experimental capital? (reallocating resources for adaptability)

How are we tapping into the intelligence of all of our employees? (aggregating wisdom)

Is our decision-making determined by foresight or the past? (minimizing the influence of old paradigms)

Can people choose where to make their best contributions in our organization? (allowing everyone to participate)

insiders versus outsiders in CEO succession

insiders versus outsiders in CEO succession

Whether you agree or disagree with the premise, the title of a recent Fortune Magazine article is certainly an attention grabber. It is by Noel Tichy and entitled “J. C. Penney and the terrible costs of hiring an outsider CEO.” In the article, Tichy reviews J.C. Penney’s decision to hire Ron Johnson (who had previously enjoyed great success at Apple and Target), and the dismal failure that ensued.

While I am a person of strongly held views, I can see both sides of the insider versus outsider debate when it comes to CEO succession. Tichy presents several very strong arguments from the insider camp, where he seems to be firmly entrenched. When transformation is required, however, a strong case can also be made for bringing in a change agent.

Click on the picture image to read the entire article.