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Three Questions to Remove Ego from Decision Making PDF Print E-mail
As President Barack Obama wrestles with the issue of what to do next in Afghanistan, there is absolutely one thing he cannot do: Make it personal. That is precisely the mistake that his predecessor, Lyndon Johnson made when escalating the war in Vietnam.

Again and again, as is made clear by listening to tapes of him in the Oval Office, Johnson personalized the war not as the United States versus North Vietnam (or Russia and China), but as
On Innovators, Imitators, and Idiots PDF Print E-mail
I'm not sure who said it first, but I agree with the sentiment: "A crisis is a terrible thing to waste." We're all struggling to make sense of the financial crisis that has spread around the world, to learn some lessons that will guide us as we go forward.

One of my worries is that many of us will learn the wrong lessons -- specifically, that we will become too conservative and risk-averse, that we will learn to fear creativity rather than embrace it.
Design Your Customers' Decisions PDF Print E-mail
There is a vital lesson buried in the August 19, 2009 Jet Blue announcement that they were suspending sales of the $599.00 "All You Can Jet" promotion they'd debuted only seven days before.

Any student of Behavioral Economics could have predicted that an "all you can eat" approach would inspire vastly different behavior than if Jet Blue had charged a lower fixed fee plus $1 per mile. 
The Secrets to Successful Strategy Execution PDF Print E-mail
When a company finds itself unable to execute strategy, all too often the first reaction is to redraw the organization chart or tinker with incentives.  Far more effective would be to clarify decision rights and improve the flow of information both up the line of command and across the organization.

Then, the right structures and motivators tend to fall into place. That conclusion is borne out by the authors' decades of experience as Booz & Company consultants and by the survey data that they have been collecting for almost five years from more than 125,000 employees of some 1,000 organizations in over 50 countries. 
Use the Downturn to Your Advantage PDF Print E-mail
The first time I heard department stores referred to as dinosaurs (e.g. facing extinction) was at least twenty-five years ago, and even then it was old news. So when Terry Lundgren, CEO of Macy's, gave an interview to the Wall Street Journal talking about how he was using the downturn to improve operations, I thought it wise to pay attention.

First and foremost, Lundgren is a realist. When asked if he "worried about" customers holding out for discounts, he replied: "I'm not worried about it. I'm counting on it."
Leadership in a Permanent Crisis PDF Print E-mail
The current economic crisis is not just another rough spell. Today's mix of urgency, high stakes, and uncertainty will continue even after the recession ends.

The immediate crisis - which we will get through with policy makers' expert technical adjustments - sets the stage for a sustained, or even permanent, crisis, a relentless series of challenges no one has encountered before. Instead of hunkering down and relying on their familiar expertise to deal with the sustained crisis, people in positions of authority 
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