To Understand Your Company’s Critical Next Steps, Ask Your Team to Try This

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Sometimes, to achieve dramatic improvement in a company, I’ll ask the team to do something difficult: consider ways to make the company fail. That’s right, fail.  We gather in one room, take a look at a problem, then spend an agreed amount of time to work quietly and alone in listing ways to make that problem […]

How a Successful Interim Meets the Team

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When companies undergo a change in management, there is often a sense of anxiety among the employees. They are likely to think, Will the change hurt me? Will we be okay? Often, these are questions that cannot be answered right away. The new manager needs to get information, meet the people and get out into the market. That learning […]

Get Your Kid A Free Education…In Germany!

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There has been a lot written about how European universities offer “free” education.   These articles make it sound easy to sign up, get access to the European lifestyle and startup culture, and simply attend class. Well, my oldest son actually achieved this goal.  He is the only American in my circle to have done this, and as far as I […]

“Billions” and the Glare of Lighthouse Management

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In the Showtime drama “Billions,” Damian Lewis plays Bobby Axelrod, a brilliant, ruthless hedge fund manager who rules his trading room through fear. He walks in the room and glares at each trader in turn. The trader who flinches gets yelled at, grilled, or even fired. This is one aspect of the streaming envy-fest I […]

Positive Corporate Culture is Free

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It surprises many clients that, when I am helping them to become more profitable, I spend a lot of time diagnosing, then supporting, the company’s organization. They say, “Why are you wasting your time on how we’re organized? We want financial improvements!” Turns out, the finance department has less to do with getting financial improvements […]

Are You Ready to Succeed? Mindfulness Training for Professionals

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I have the easiest job in the world. Perhaps “easy” is not the right word. After all, my work involves constant travel, detailed analysis, crushing deadlines, and enough pressure to make a pair of diamond stud earrings. But it’s still easy, in that I wouldn’t have it any other way. I shudder to think what […]

The Checklist Manifesto for Business

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The Checklist Manifesto for Business What do Harvard Medical School, The New Yorker and middle market business have in common? Usually very little, but courtesy of a remarkable book by a public health authority, I can make a meaningful connection that you will find profitable. The book is The Checklist Manifesto-How to Get Things Right […]

The Turnaround Assessment Test

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In 1968, Edward I. Altman formulated a simple, path-breaking scoring mechanism that could predict, with high confidence, the probability that any one corporation would enter bankruptcy within two years. He called the mechanism the Z score and, by publishing in academic journals, allowed it to enter the public domain. It has been, for many years, one of the most-studied […]

What Year is This? …Now Answered

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Here is a reprise of my In Business post of February, 2011, where I compared our current economy to the 1930’s.  We now know the answer to the question.  We are replaying 1937, the year the economy re-entered recession.   Even though the news is depressing, I encourage you to enjoy! In 1939, my grandfather’s […]

Blue Collar Nation

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*Warning. True Story.** Well, the other day I awoke to find that the hockeymobile–an otherwise faithful companion and servant–had developed a flat tire during the night. I called AAA to see if they could provide some quick service and save my appointments for the day. They could. They sent a truck within twenty minutes, and […]

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