Recent Posts

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A Picture Is Work 1000 Words
How the Mighty Toyota Falls
Are you Fast?
Wave Bye Bye
Down to the Wire at Netflix
GFCI Rankings Are In!
Clarity, Clarity, Clarity
Ram Charan - Leadership in the Era of Economic Unc...
Ebay is for the aged...

Worthwhile Reading

Geoff Colvin: The Upside of the Downturn
Geoff Colvin: The Upside of the Downturn

Click here to read our view of this book in our monthly Publication LeaderShip Edge


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Slacker Manager
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Incite by Design
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This is Broken

The business world - as it relates to strategy and human capital.

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A Picture Is Work 1000 Words

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

Coloured paper, fancy font, unique ordering. All of these are techniques for getting noticed on the job hunt. So, how does one stand out, knowing full well each resume may be looked at for a couple of minutes at most? One thought, don't say it with words, use pictures instead.

While this may be radical for individual use, it's out of this world when it comes to business proposals. However, imagine what you would think of an organzation summing up their proposal in a single page diagram? To the point, and stands out.

Might be worth a shot in the new, new business world of 2010...

How the Mighty Toyota Falls

Friday, October 02, 2009

Built to Last companies, didn't last. Good to Great companies have fallen. Now, it looks like bestselling author Jim Collins understands what he can truly rely on - organizational decline. In his most recent book How the Mighty Fall, Collins has outlined that companies go through a predictable pattern that can lead to their demise, and that they must catch themselves early enough in what he calls the 5 Stages of Decline, if they have any chance at all to pull out of the downward spiral.

Collins knows that great companies must develop the ability to see the warning signs, and he's being proven right. Earlier today, Akio Toyoda was quoted as saying that Toyota is "grasping for salvation", which as you can see by the illustration above is not a great place to be.

The lesson for other leaders is that they must be crystal clear in how they see the world, and how it relates to their organization, and its products and services. Otherwise, the chances of reversing the decline may not be in your favour.

Click here to read our recent LeaderShip Edge view of Jim Collins' book How the Mighty Fall.

Click here to read the Toyota article on Bloomberg.

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Are you Fast?

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Last night the winners of the Technology Fast 50 were announced. The annual program, now in it's 12th year, is Canada’s pre-eminent technology awards program, is a ranking of the country’s 50 fastest-growing technology companies based on percentage revenue growth over five years.

To qualify for the Technology Fast 50 ranking, companies must have been in business for at least five years, have revenues of at least $5 million, be headquartered in Canada, own proprietary technology, and conduct research and development activities in Canada. A panel of industry experts evaluates and judges companies based on four key criteria: competitive advantage; size, growth, and market attractiveness; management effectiveness and organization; and financial performance.

To see the list of winners, and to see where Canada's technology is heading, click here.


Wave Bye Bye

Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Talk about a Game Changer. Google has done it again, they are in the final stages of preparing to release their next innovation - Google Wave. Wave promises to change email as much as email changed traditional mail. The fundamental fact is, this will revolutionize how people communicate.

See it in action...


Down to the Wire at Netflix

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

After a three-year long competition, the winning team won with less than 10 minutes to spare. In a true testament to the power of collaboration, open door innovation, and global teams, BellKor's Pragmatic Chaos won the $1 million dollar Netflix Prize for improving the search results on the popular movie rental company's website.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings announced the results today. The winning team consists of two researchers at AT&T Inc., two engineers from Montreal, a research scientist at Yahoo Inc. and two machine-learning researchers from Austria.

Not only was the fact that the winning solution was submitted with nearly 10 minutes to go, Netflix said all seven met in person as a group for the first time Monday.

In true Open Door Innovation fashion, here's how they won (and how the second place team was so successful) from Wired Magazine:

"The secret sauce for both Bellkor’s Pragmatic Chaos and The Ensemble was collaboration between diverse ideas, and not in some touchy-feely, unquantifiable, “when people work together things are better” sort of way. The top two teams beat the challenge by combining teams and their algorithms into more complex algorithms incorporating everybody’s work. The more people joined, the more the resulting team’s score would increase."

Want to see what collaboration looks like?

Click here to read the Wall Street Journal article.

Click here to read the Wired article.

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GFCI Rankings Are In!

The 6th Global Financial Centre Index was published today, and the results showed some significant changes in ranking around the world. The report is published twice a year by the City of London, and ranks the world's top financial cities.

A spokesperson for the City of London Corporation, which commissioned the research said:

"This independent research demonstrates three trends: cautious optimism that the global financial services industry is showing signs of recovery, further movement of the financial business centre of gravity towards fast-developing markets - especially in Asia; and the emergence of a 'Premier League' of economically and socially interconnected cities."

To read the full report click here.

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Clarity, Clarity, Clarity

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

Whether you believe the economy is turning around, or not, the signs are looking up. That being said your employees are probably seeing the light at the end of the tunnel. If the video post below of Ram Charan reminded me of one thing is that this time, the change is real. Business models are changing, markets are changing, and management is changing. The one thing however that hasn't, and won't change is enthusiasm.

With that said, the coming light will lead your people to conjure up great new projects, and plans for your company to follow. Be calm, be smart, be prudent. Choose wisely.

Now is the time to ensure that plans are comprehensive, well thought out, and intelligent. Oh, and clear. With your corporate coffers at an all time low (or all time lock-down) money will only be spent on well thought out ideas.

Consider the today's report from the IOC summarizing the overall bids of the four bidding cities for the 2016 Olympic Summer Games. Keeping in mind the final vote is one month away, two of the four cities had rather harsh reviews that included a note on the lack of "a full understanding of the need for clear delineation of roles and responsibilities, including financial, between different stakeholders" in their bid.

My thought would be that if anyone could provide a professional bid it would be for the Olympics. However, even at the highest level clarity is still an issue. Even the IOC knows that the times have changed.

So, as we all move forward, move faster, aim higher, in order to get stronger.

Click here to read the full article from

Ram Charan - Leadership in the Era of Economic Uncertainty

Just stumbled across this video, and thought it always helps to a new take on things. So hope you enjoy this take from Ram Charan on Leadership in the the era of economic uncertainty.

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Ebay is for the aged...

Thursday, July 30, 2009

As there are some signs of life in the global economies, the interesting thing to be on the look out for is how companies are doing things to get ahead of their competition.

In recent example is Morgan Stanley's UK offices, using the power of one of their interns to generate research on how teenagers consume the media. Finishing part is that when looking for data on teenagers. They didn't do the usual approach, namely getting a 35-year-old researcher to conduct the data. They decided to take a different approach in this case to severe teenagers. They took one of their interns asked them to provide a report. The interesting part is Matthew Robson their superstar intern is only 15 years old.

As turns out, having people deep inside the demographic provider information allows information to be far more rich far more robust and far more accurate to that point. Morgan Stanley's UK office has been inundated with requests from CEOs and organizations all over Europe asking for the information in the report, and asking to speak with Matt fact, the most popular reach and reports Morgan Stanley was put out in recent history. To wit, it's being blogged about in Canada.

This is one example of the interesting things are about in the next couple months as the economy rebounds, and companies start to do new, bold and unique things that have never been done before.

What are some of his findings, well;

  • Twitter is useless

  • eBay is for old people (who have credit cards)

  • Sony Ericsson phones are the phones of choice, and

  • Teenagers don't read newspapers

Click here to read Robson's report.