Sunday, January 30, 2011

Vroom, Vroom!

And we’re off.

Did you know there are specific approaches you can take to: turbocharge your company’s productivity? drive performance breakthroughs? harness the power (of “pull”) to negotiate today’s tough business terrain and set big things in motion?

Well, there are

And – apart from the fact that their authors like automotive analogies – the approaches I have in mind, while distinctly different from one another, share lots of things in common. Each one, for example, represents a comprehensive and holistic way to create value. Each is essentially a formula for success. “This is how you, Mr. or Ms. CEO, should manage your company; this is how to systematically and continually make things better” is what they’d say if they could talk. Each is well-conceived, well-developed and real-world tested.

Le’ me throw some names at ya: John Hagel. Ram Charan. David Allen. Robert Kaplan. Tony Schwartz. David Norton. John Seely Brown. These are some of the authors / leading thinkers I’ve been following like a detective the past few years.

What I’d like to do (in this here blog) is explore various aspects of their work. I’m especially interested in the common grounds: Where do their approaches intersect and overlap? How complete are they? Could they be merged in helpful ways?


Let’s just say for now there’s a learning intention on my part, and an equally big teaching intention. If there are management tools leaders can reliably use to get and keep their firms on track, i.e., if there are shortcuts to business success, I want to know about them. And I want to pass them on –

Especially to leaders of smaller businesses. Smaller businesses are responsible for most of the growth in the U.S. but many fail because, in the words of Dick Harrington, the former head of Thomson Reuters, “they have poor basic business practices.” I'd like to help speed up the adoption of good basic practices amongst this group.

Just how to do that is another matter. Is it even possible to pass these approaches (that typically originate within academia or at top consultancies and Fortune 500 companies) down to the little guy? What kinds of messaging and media are most effective?

The latter is a subject I’m keenly interested in. It’s where elements like storytelling, dramatization and visual presentation could come into play…and where I hope to head soon!