Tag Archives | culture

In Business, Informal Tribes Matter More Than Formal Teams

Not long after I joined my last employer, a colleague provided me with an incredibly important insight on how to get things done. Informal networks, she explained, were much stronger than the official hierarchy. Top-down decisions were usually met with questions which delayed their implementation. On the other hand, powerfully-connected people could implement decisions virally…

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Thinking About Big Data? Go For Big Outcomes Instead

The buzz around big data is deafening but I believe that much of the conversation has missed the point. Big data is not just a technological challenge; it’s a cultural challenge. Collecting and analyzing data is not enough. We need to start with business outcomes to truly leverage big data. Culture trumping technology was the underlying theme…

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Moving to California Won’t Make You Happy

Are people happier in California? Almost everywhere I’ve visited, I’ve encountered the belief that people are happier in California. When pressed as to why, the most common explanation is weather. Since studies have shown that sunlight positively influences mood, perhaps everyone should move to CA – it might make the world a happier place. Practicality aside, it turns out…

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Banished Words for 2012

I emerged from my man cave to discover it’s that time again.  Lake Superior State University (LSSU) released its amazing 37th annual “List of Words Banished from the Queen’s English for Misuse, Overuse and General Uselessness”.  The idea for the list was hatched at a 1975 New Year’s Eve party in an attempt to win…

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Orchestrator or Autocrat?

This weekend’s Wall Street Journal contained an article by former Chrysler and General Motors executive Bob Lutz called “Life Lessons from a Car Guy.”  Lutz believes that different kinds of organizations require different kinds of leaders.  A loosely-connected conglomerate like General Electric requires a leader with vision and portfolio management skills; investing/divesting lines of business,…

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Lost In Translation

Although I’m a native English speaker, I’m fascinated by other languages and how communication varies by culture. I’ve previously blogged that differences in languages seem to shape our thoughts without us realizing it and might be responsible for cultural differences. For example, directionally-challenged individuals might not do well in Pormpuraaw, a remote Aboriginal community in…

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Acronym Soup

I don’t like acronyms because they get in the way of clear communication. Unfortunately, I work in an industry that loves them. Even my best marketers have the irresistible urge to turn every project, every product, and every position into an acronym. There are so many acronyms that no one can keep them straight. Here…

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