Archive | government

McChrystal on Leadership

Seven years ago (!) I wrote a blog titled Management by Marching Around which suggested that traditional command and control leadership no longer worked in business – or in the military. Instead, I believe in management by influence (suggesting direction) more than by control (enforcing rules). I also recommend management by exception (tell me about…

Continue Reading 1

The Poison of Food

For reasons I’d rather not go into, I decided to do a little research into food poisoning with a seemingly simple question: How does food get poisoned? It turns out that most food-related illnesses can be separated into two types: toxins and infection. The traditional use of the term food poisoning stems from the existence…

Continue Reading 7

Positive Persuasion through Peer Pressure

What would get people to reuse their towels in hotel rooms? The answer might surprise you, as it’s not saving the environment or saving money. People are more likely to reuse their hotel towels if they are told that everyone else is doing it. This variant of the ‘keeping up with the Joneses’ effect seems…

Continue Reading 13

The Politics of Brand

The U.S presidential election is imminent and, not surprisingly, politics are dominating everyone’s conversations.  Last week a work colleague and I had an on-going discussion of whether brands have political connotations. We started with an observation about cars in the office parking lot: more Republicans own BMW’s while more Democrats own Jeeps. Cars turned into sports: Democrats…

Continue Reading 27

Solving Traffic Congestion

If a stretch of highway is often congested, we should add another lane to increase capacity. Wrong. In “The Fundamental Law of Road Congestion: Evidence from U.S. Cities,” researchers show any increased capacity from additional roads is temporary.  Traffic increases to fill the added capacity.  The study’s startling findings include: The number of vehicle-kilometers traveled…

Continue Reading 3

Speedlinking, May 2009

One part writer’s block and two parts schedule overload means I don’t have time to write an original post.  Speedlinking to the rescue: Over at ‘I Help You Blog’, Philip suggests 101 Great Posting Ideas That Will Make Your Blog Sizzle.  My personal favorite is #101:  Create a post with a 101 ideas. In a relatively…

Continue Reading 0
BSC Public Sector

Citizens or customers?

Last month Ingrid Koehler (re)started an interesing discussion on whether citizens should be considered customers.  While the debate isn’t necessarily new (see, for example, these notes from 1997), the topic is just as relevant today with a majority of the U.S. population voting for change but with the nation in a difficult financial situation.  In the…

Continue Reading 1