First Friday Book Synopsis

"…like CliffNotes on steroids…"

Benedict Carey: Part 2 of an interview by Bob Morris

CareyBenedict J. Carey is a science reporter for The New York Times who focuses on brain and behavior topics. He writes about neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology, as well as everyday psychology. The territory includes the large and the small, memory molecules and group behavior, narcissism and nostalgia, drug uses and drug addiction. From 2007 to 2010, he was the Mind columnist for Science Times, where he wrote about pranks, binge drinking, boredom, regret, perfectionism, study habits and Super Bowl anxiety, among other things.

Carey joined The Times in 2004 as a behavior writer. Previously, he worked at The Los Angeles Times, writing about health, medicine and brain science, where he won a University of Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Award for a story on drinking water. Before that, he was a freelance magazine writer, and a staff writer for Health magazine in San Francisco. He began his career at American Shipper, a trade book in New York covering the shipping trade. He writes frequently for the Review section of the paper and has written two books, both science mysteries for middle-school aged kids: Island of the Unknowns (previously titled The Unknowns in hardback), a math adventure; and Poison Most Vial, a murder mystery involving forensic toxicology due out this spring. His latest book, How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, was published by Random House (September 2014).

Here is an excerpt from Part 2 of my interview of Ben. To read all of it, please click here.

* * *

Morris: When and why did you decide to write How to Learn?

Carey: I had covered the area – the cognitive science of learning – for years, and saw how counter-intuitive and little known it was. No one gets a course on How to Learn, and we all should. I realized I had the background and the access to deliver the story in all its pieces – biology, theory, experimental findings – and to tie it all together into one big idea: the brain as forager. I was excited about telling the story, and felt a professional obligation.

Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it? Please explain.

Carey: Yes, the many dimensions of forgetting, that was wonderful. So often we think of forgetting as the enemy. But no, it’s the greatest friend of learning, allowing us to acquire new skills while also ‘banking’ the old ones for future use.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?

Carey: It has more of myself in it than I expected. I thought I would let the science do the talking but in the end we are all experts on psychology and learning to some extent – and doing plausibility checks on the information put me in the book a lot. I was, in a sense, speaking for the reader.

Morris: Of all that you learned about how we learn, what did you find most surprising? Please explain.

Carey: Pre-testing was great. Take the final exam on the first day – and do better on the real final. The way front-loading information that is foreign and make it more digestible later on.

Morris: You provide a number of tools in this book. Which seems to be the most difficult to master? Why?

Carey: The most difficult to deploy may be perceptual learning – training up your instincts quickly, in sports, games, music, math. That takes some up-front work and it’s the kind of thing we’re used to doing very slowly.

Morris: You suggest that, “if the brain is a learning machine, then it’s an eccentric one. And it performs best when its quirks are exploited. “ Please explain.

Carey: The brain is a machine, a clump of cells. It has evolved to learn what is most valuable to survival, and just telling it, “Here, learn this,” is not enough to deepen learning. It needs to be *shown* that something is important, by spaced use, by use in all environments, by continual self-testing – all the techniques in the book. The ‘conscious mind’ whatever that is, can’t just give orders. *Using* information and skills is what tells the machine the stuff is important.

* * *

To read all of Part 2, please click here.

To read Part 1, please click here.

To read my review of How We Learn, please click here.

Ben cordially invites you to check out these websites:

The How We Learn Amazon link

New York Times link

NPR interview link

Scientific American review link

Wednesday, November 19, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frederic Laloux: Part 2 of an interview by Bob Morris

Laloux After I read Frederic Laloux‘s brilliant book, Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness, I was curious to know more about him and learned of his passionate commitment to helping leaders in almost any organization — whatever its size and nature may be — to explore fundamentally new ways of organizing resources (especially people) to achieve and then sustain excellence. One of the keys to that is creating a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive.

Reinventing Organizations draws on two strands:

o Frederick’s deep understanding of the inner workings of organizations, which he developed among other during the years he worked as an organization and strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company

o His longstanding fascination with the topic of human development and his own joyful journey of personal and spiritual growth.

He has worked intimately with people at all levels of organizations. He has witnessed how the organizations that make up the fabric of our modern lives (large corporations and small businesses, hospitals and schools, nonprofits and government agencies) are for the most part places of quiet and pervasive suffering, places inhospitable to the deeper yearnings of our souls. The intuition that more is possible—that we must be capable of creating truly soulful organizations that invite all of our human potential into the workplace—has led him to engage into groundbreaking research: how a currently emerging, new form of consciousness is bringing forth a radically more soulful, purposeful, and productive organizational model.

Reinventing Organizations was published by Kendall Parker (February 2014). It is based on extensive research and has been variously described as “groundbreaking,” “brilliant,” “spectacular,” “impressive,” and “world-changing” by some of the most respected scholars in the field of human development.

Frederic lives in Brussels, Belgium, where he is blessed to share his life with his wife, Hélène, and their two children.

Here is an excerpt from Part 2 of my interview of him. To read all of it, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing Reinventing Organizations? Please explain.

Laloux: A few. For instance, I was very aware of organizations that are values-driven, and that use this to empower people, to push decision-making as low as possible down the pyramid. This is what I was expecting to find in the organizations I was going to research. I didn’t expect for a minute to find very large organizations that didn’t just empower people, but operated entirely on self-managing principles, without layers of hierarchy!

I was still operating under the assumption that you can’t run a large organization without power hierarchy. Now, of course, I know better! I’ve come to see that hierarchy can only deal with limited complexity. And that organizations that want to cope with the increasing complexity of our world will naturally shift to more powerful mechanisms than those based on power hierarchy, of some people holding power over other people.

Another insight had to do with strategy. The current paradigm concerning strategy still made total sense to me before I did the research. In this paradigm the role of leadership is set a vision, define a strategy, and then execute that strategy. Vision, strategy, execution. How else could you do it, right?

And then I came across the leaders of some organizations that I researched who said: No, that’s bullshit (well, they didn’t quite say it that way). Vision, strategy, execution makes sense if you consider the organization to be a lifeless, inanimate entity.

If the organization is like a boat, then yes, the boat needs a captain that charts a course, and then sailors that get busy setting the sails in the right way to go in the right direction. But we don’t consider the organization to be a boat, an inanimate thing we need to direct.

We consider the organization to be like a living entity, we consider that it has its own sense of direction, its own energy, its own thing it wants to manifest in the world. So our role is not to arbitrarily set a direction. Instead, our role is to listen to the organization, listen deeply to where it wants to go. And then we dance with it to help it get there.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?

Laloux: There were a few unexpected insights, like the ones I just shared. But for the rest, the book in its final structure is very similar to what I had first sketched out on a piece of paper. Overall, the process of researching and writing this book has been surprisingly straightforward. In many ways, I felt like many things were falling in place naturally, like some forces were helping me to write the book.

Morris: In your opinion, from which organization’s reinvention can the most valuable lessons be learned in terms of do’s and don’ts? Please explain.

Laloux: As you know, I have come across three major breakthroughs in how these organizations operate. Now not all organizations have stumbled upon all three of them. Buurtzorg, the Dutch nursing organization, that grew from 0 to 8,000 people in 7 years, is in my opinion the one organization that comes closest to having implemented all three breakthroughs. So they might be a particularly good source of inspiration.

But then again, it all depends on what kind of organization you are. Buurtzorg operates in an industry with a very short process. Giving a patient a shot or changing a bandage is a much shorter process than, say, designing and manufacturing hydraulics valves. So if you want to implement some of these ideas in a factory, you might find inspiration with Sun Hydraulics in Florida, FAVI in France or Morning Star in California.

An organization like Morning Star has fine-tuned the breakthrough of self-management to a wonderful degree, but hasn’t worked much on the other two. So what I’ve tried to do is to draw a picture that would be as complete as possible, using pieces of the puzzle from all the organizations I researched.

* * *

To read all of Part 2, please click here.

To read Part 1,  please click here.

Frederic cordially invites you check out the resources at these websites:

Reinventing Organization‘s website link

Amazon link

Integral Life conversation with Ken Wilber link

LinkedIn link

YouTube link

Tony Schwartz review in New York Times link

Sunday, November 16, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Sher: Part 2 of an interview by Bob Morris

SherRob Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He has published extensively on the successful leadership traits of CEOs of mid-market companies. His first book, published in 2007, is The Feel of the Deal: How I Built a Business Through Acquisitions. His latest book, Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, was recently published by Bibliomotion in 2014. Rob is also a regular columnist for the online version of Forbes and CFO Magazine and recently published a seven part series on HBR online.

He and his partners act as consulting CEOs who help client companies’ CEOs and their top teams to navigate difficult passages. Running a company is a series of judgment calls, each of which can have major consequences. They often help make those judgment calls, drawing on deep experience as CEOs and by helping their clients think through situations. Some people call him a CEO coach. Others call him a CEO mentor. And some think of him as their own “Chairman of the Board.”

Here is an excerpt from Part 2 of my interview of Rob. To read all of it, please click here.

* * *

Rob Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He has published extensively on the successful leadership traits of CEOs of mid-market companies. His first book, published in 2007, is The Feel of the Deal: How I Built a Business Through Acquisitions. His latest book, Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, was recently published by Bibliomotion in 2014. Rob is also a regular columnist for the online version of Forbes and CFO Magazine and recently published a seven part series on HBR online.

He and his partners act as consulting CEOs who help client companies’ CEOs and their top teams to navigate difficult passages. Running a company is a series of judgment calls, each of which can have major consequences. They often help make those judgment calls, drawing on deep experience as CEOs and by helping their clients think through situations. Some people call him a CEO coach. Others call him a CEO mentor. And some think of him as their own “Chairman of the Board.”

Here is an excerpt from Part 2 of my interview of Rob. To read all of Part 2, please click here.

* * *

Morris: When and why did you decide to write Mighty Midsized Companies?

Sher: The book project began in August 2010 with the development of the idea, a working hypothesis and detailed outline. The research began in mid 2011 and continued for about two years. The writing itself began in mid-2013 and concluded just as 2014 began. This book was written because over the years I’ve seen many CEOs from all industries fall into the same traps over and over again. The act of writing is one of the ways I learn and synthesize my experiences, and the creation of this book pushed me to put the thinking into a powerful format that will save many, many midsized CEOs a lot of grief.

Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it? Please explain.

Sher: Yes. As I strove to distill a central concept that tied all seven growth killers together, the concept of leadership infrastructure popped into my head, and it became the core of the conclusion of the book. Leadership infrastructure is the sum of all systems, people, and processes that allow leadership of a midsized firm to comfortably and consistently grow the firm over time.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?

Sher: Well, I started with 12 chapters (each devoted to a growth killer) and as the research unfolded, some weren’t validated. Others weren’t specifically targeting midsized business (they targeted all sized of businesses). But essentially the book is focused on the same audience, dealing with the same kinds of challenges as originally envisioned. The research and writing processed focused the thinking. Of course the title developed later, as did the seven problems, the final silent growth killers.

Morris: Many of your readers will be surprised to learn that, in the United States, there are about 200,000 midsized companies; that is, those with annual sales within a range from $10-million to one billion dollars. They account for about a third of the U.S. GDP and a third of all U.S. jobs.

What are the defining characteristics of a midsized company that is “mighty”? Of the 200,000 that are now operational in the U.S., about how many meet those standards?

Sher: A midsized company that can be called mighty must be growing, strong and resilient as well as ea pleasure to own or lead must deliver predictable results that serve its owners. There is very little research on midsized companies, so there is no data as to how many could be considered mighty. My estimate estimated based on personal experience is that it’s less than 20%.

Morris: To what extent are the CEOs of your firm’s client companies facing challenges today that are [begin italics] significantly different [end italics] than the challenges they faced only 3-5 years ago? Please explain.

Sher: I’m sure there are some differences, but largely the challenges are the same, including competition, delivering great customer service, and great products, innovation, managing waste, and finding markets hungry for products. The reason so many business struggle isn’t that the challenges change, it is that the people running businesses are human and make mistakes, some learn from those mistakes but many do not, and there are new business leaders emerging every year.

Morris: In your opinion, how can social media be of greatest assistance and value to midsized companies?

Sher: Involvement with social media is about building communities of people who have common interests and want to connect with peers. The first question, for any business, is how interested is your constituency in talking about your mission/products/services? Social media is not a new way to output marketing messages, but a way to engage in discussions. If you have a real community that is large enough to build momentum, it might be helpful. If not, spend your time and money elsewhere. However, like any new global behavior, it is advisable that business leaders engage in it to some extent so they are ready to dive in when an opportunity arises. Remaining ignorant about social media would be a blind spot.

Morris: No doubt many of those who read your book are thinking about launching their own company. In your opinion, what are the most important do’s and don’ts to keep in mind when preparing to do so?

Sher: My book is not for startups. While I’m happy they buy my book, they should skim it to raise awareness of the 7 silent killers when/if their startup grows, but then they should shelve it. They should not try to run their startup like a midsized business. They should read the plethora of books targeted toward startups (or small business) and follow that advice. Re-read my book around five million in revenues or a headcount of about 30.

Morris: Opinions are divided – sometimes sharply divided – about the importance of charisma to effective leadership. What do you think?

Sher: If you’ve got charisma, it’s a gift, and you should use it. But leaders who are most successful know they must not only attract and excite followers, but deliver the goods as well. Charisma alone starts to look like fraud after a while: all promises and no results. Leaders without charisma can succeed as well. They still need to attract people and inspire them, but there are many other ways to do that (a powerful mission, empathy, and on and on).

Morris: I’ve served as a CEO of two companies and then provided consulting services of various kinds to hundreds of CEOs. I cannot recall a prior time when the challenges facing a CEO were greater than they are today. What do you think?

Sher: I think you’re feeling your age, Bob. Every generation remembers the good old days versus the terrible scary world we’re in today. I think it has always been hard. In the good old days, getting data on your own business was incredibly hard. Now with modern computers it’s much easier. In the good old days we had to wait forever to get inputs, sometimes a month after we mailed the letter to get the response. Now its just seconds by e-mail. In the good old days, making friends in distant lands and staying connected to them was arduous. Now with social media and e-mail and video chats its so much easier.

But what does all this matter? The leaders of today must learn, adapt, and strive to succeed…and many do. Ditto for the leaders of 2114 and 2214. It is our job, and it will be hard. That’s what makes it so fun! Great leaders thrive on challenge.

* * *

To read all of Part 2, please click here.

To read Part 1, please click here.

Rob cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

All about Mighty Midsized Companies link

Free assessments and other tools link

Rob’s consulting firm, CEO to CEO, website link

Wednesday, November 12, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Benedict Carey: Part 1 of an interview by Bob Morris

CareyBenedict J. Carey is a science reporter for The New York Times who focuses on brain and behavior topics. He writes about neuroscience, psychiatry and neurology, as well as everyday psychology. The territory includes the large and the small, memory molecules and group behavior, narcissism and nostalgia, drug uses and drug addiction. From 2007 to 2010, he was the Mind columnist for Science Times, where he wrote about pranks, binge drinking, boredom, regret, perfectionism, study habits and Super Bowl anxiety, among other things.

Carey joined The Times in 2004 as a behavior writer. Previously, he worked at The Los Angeles Times, writing about health, medicine and brain science, where he won a University of Missouri Lifestyle Journalism Award for a story on drinking water. Before that, he was a freelance magazine writer, and a staff writer for Health magazine in San Francisco. He began his career at American Shipper, a trade book in New York covering the shipping trade. He writes frequently for the Review section of the paper and has written two books, both science mysteries for middle-school aged kids: Island of the Unknowns (previously titled The Unknowns in hardback), a math adventure; and Poison Most Vial, a murder mystery involving forensic toxicology due out this spring. His latest book, How We Learn: The Surprising Truth About When, Where, and Why It Happens, was published by Random House (September 2014).

Here is an excerpt from Part 1. To read all of it, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Before discussing How We Learn, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Carey: Personally, it’s my parents, my siblings, my wife and kids (I have two daughters, 17 and 22). I also find the movies of Alexander Payne, and the classic Muppets in Space have been helpful in times of doubt.

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Carey: My many editors along the way, for sure, including Michael Gold and Susan West, Rick Flaste at The New York Times and Erica Goode, also at the Times. Also, to some extent, Russ Rymer, a book writer.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Carey: I was a math and physics student in college who saw at some point that I didn’t have the chops to make a real impact in those fields. A physics teacher – can’t remember his name – handed me a magazine called (at the time) Science ’80, put out by the AAAS. I devoured that and decided then that I could write about science. That’s how it started.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Carey: It has been mostly of secondary importance. I never had a mentor-like teacher, and no one really advised me specifically (the physics teacher was handing out those magazines to a lot of people). It was my travels on my own – in Ireland and Spain, mostly – in which I discovered what my strengths could be.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Carey: I wish I’d known something, anything about the business world. I knew nothing and am still learning. I believe economics/ business classes should be part of all regular curricula, from early on. Sales, marketing and basic economics are all critical components of what I do – pitching stories is sales.

Morris: Of all the films that you have seen, which – in your opinion – best dramatizes important business principles? Please explain.

Carey: Jeez, very tough one. Tin Men is good and Glengarry Glen Ross, although these are highly stylized and not strictly ‘business’ movies. Margin Call is also excellent. Those all lay out the importance of sales and forging relationships – in person.

But I’ll take any recommendations.

Morris: From which non-business book have you learned the most valuable lessons about business? Please explain.

Carey: Well, I have profited to some degree from Ayn Rand’s books (The Fountainhead, mainly), tho I am not a Rand acolyte. Also, for sure, Robert Caro’s The Power Broker about Robert Moses and the making of modern New York. That’s all that come to mind, at this moment. Which are your choices?

Morris: There are so many. Here are three plays, none of which is strictly about business: Sophocles’ Antigone, Shakespeare’s King Lear, and Chekhov’s The Cherry Orchard. All three address key issues about loyalty, authority, and — to paraphrase Dante — not preserving neutrality when in a moral crisis.

Here are several of my favorite quotations to which I ask you to respond. First, from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Carey: Love that. That’s what I try to do in the book.

Morris: From Thomas Edison: “Vision without execution is hallucination.” Your response?

Carey: Execution is damn hard, Robert, and rarely lives up to the vision. I think Mr. Edison is holding the bar too high and being too dismissive of Vision. Execution needs Vision, and to the extent that hallucination (un-executed Vision) prompts “some” real work and original thinking, it’s success of precious kind.

Morris: From Richard Dawkins: “Yesterday’s dangerous idea is today’s orthodoxy and tomorrow’s cliché.”

Carey: Not necessarily. More often yesterday’s dangerous idea fizzles out. I love Dawkins but he’s being grandiose. His comment only applies in retrospect, to those dangerous “pearls” than do indeed play out.

Morris: From Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s odd….’”

Carey: Dead correct.

Morris: From Derek Bok: “If you think education is expensive, try ignorance.”

Carey: Yes

Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

Carey: Yes – but it’s not always clear what should and should not be done!

Morris: In one of Tom Davenport’s recent books, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer “an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision making and organizational performance”: organizational judgment. That is, “the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader’s direct control.” What do you think?

Carey: I think that’s probably right, yes. That’s why we value instinct in leaders: no one has all the information, no matter how good their advisors.

Morris: Here’s a brief excerpt from Paul Schoemaker’s latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: “The key question companies need to address is not Should we make mistakes?’ but rather ‘Which mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?’” Your response?

Carey: Love that. You have to make bets, and you’d better make ones that will be valuable even if they fail spectacularly.

* * *

To read the complete interview, please click here.

To read my review of How We Learn, please click here.

Ben cordially invites you to check out these websites:

The How We Learn Amazon link

New York Times link

NPR interview link

Scientific American review link

Sunday, November 9, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Frederic Laloux: Part 1 of an interview by Bob Morris

LalouxAfter I read Frederic Laloux‘s brilliant book, Reinventing Organizations: A Guide to Creating Organizations by the Next Stage of Human Consciousness, I was curious to know more about him and learned of his passionate commitment to helping leaders in almost any organization — whatever its size and nature may be — to explore fundamentally new ways of organizing resources (especially people) to achieve and then sustain excellence. One of the keys to that is creating a workplace culture within which personal growth and professional development are most likely to thrive.

Reinventing Organizations draws on two strands:

o Frederick’s deep understanding of the inner workings of organizations, which he developed among other during the years he worked as an organization and strategy consultant with McKinsey & Company

o His longstanding fascination with the topic of human development and his own joyful journey of personal and spiritual growth.

He has worked intimately with people at all levels of organizations. He has witnessed how the organizations that make up the fabric of our modern lives (large corporations and small businesses, hospitals and schools, nonprofits and government agencies) are for the most part places of quiet and pervasive suffering, places inhospitable to the deeper yearnings of our souls. The intuition that more is possible—that we must be capable of creating truly soulful organizations that invite all of our human potential into the workplace—has led him to engage into groundbreaking research: how a currently emerging, new form of consciousness is bringing forth a radically more soulful, purposeful, and productive organizational model.

Reinventing Organizations was published by Kendall Parker (February 2014). It is based on extensive research and has been variously described as “groundbreaking,” “brilliant,” “spectacular,” “impressive,” and “world-changing” by some of the most respected scholars in the field of human development.

Frederic lives in Brussels, Belgium, where he is blessed to share his life with his wife, Hélène, and their two children.

Here is an excerpt from Part 1 of my interview of him. To read all of Part 1, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Before discussing Reinventing Organizations, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Laloux: I would say: life! (Laughs) Seriously. It took me 30 years before I realized there was something like personal growth. But since then, I was lucky that life, or perhaps I should call it my soul, has found ways to make itself heard when it was time to learn something, to change something, to move on.

Now I’m also blessed to know quite a few impressive practitioners in a number of techniques of personal growth. And so whenever I bump onto another piece of shadow of mine, I pick up my phone to make an appointment and with their help I try to bring it into the light. Over the years, I feel a great deal of weight has been lifted from my shoulders, that I’ve left behind quite a few limiting beliefs and fears. When I look forward, I can’t fail to be excited. Life feels so good now already. What will it be in 10 years from now? Or in 20?

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Laloux: In many ways, during the years when I worked in the McKinsey firm. Starting in my mid-twenties, I was exposed to a great number of organizations, a great number of leaders, of executive committees. In many ways, I could not have written Reinventing Organizations without this broad exposure. I’ve had insights into the dynamics of business and of people that I would not have had if I had worked in a traditional corporation and climbed the ladder there.

In 2007, I spent time with Newfield network, a wonderful coaching training with the masterful Julio Ollala. The learning there couldn’t be more different from the learning I had at McKinsey, and it opened many new horizons for me. I learned to love and to care. I learned that emotions, intuition, and the body are places of great intelligence and insights, that they are domains of learning, too. I realized that wisdom isn’t just something that may happen to us when we get old, but something that we can try and cultivate.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Laloux: Professionally, I had two turning points, I guess. For the longest time, when I was working with McKinsey, I felt deeply conflicted. On the one hand, the work was playing to many of my strengths and talents, and I enjoyed it. On the other, there was always this lingering sense of “What am I doing here? What is the purpose of it all?” I never really fully fit in. I always knew I didn’t want to become a partner, but I just didn’t know what else to do with my life. And then one day, I had this extraordinarily powerful coaching session with a woman that brought great clarity on a number of issues. A month later I resigned! She helped me understand some of the patterns of my parents’ lives, and why I had stayed with McKinsey when my heart told me it was time to move on.

When I left, I built up my own practice as a coach and facilitator, opening up deep conversations with leaders of large organizations. For a few years, I felt like I had hit the ultimate jackpot. My work felt very meaningful. I worked much less than I used to, leaving me lots of time for my personal development, and to live a good and simple life.

And then, quite unexpectedly, in the spring of 2011, I was hit with a deep sense of sadness. It took me two or three weeks to make sense of it. The sadness was a form of grief: the work that had brought me so much joy for the last few years was work I no longer could do. It was as if my soul were saying, “Enough! You are meant to move on again!” I thought that I had found my vocation, found what I would do for the next 20 years of my life! (laughs).

I had done a fair bit of a personal and spiritual journey over the last few years, and the point I had gotten to was really quite far away from where the CEOs and business leaders who I was working with were at. Something in me was tired of the constant game of translation, of always being mindful of how far I could go, how much I could show of what my convictions before it would be too much for them. There was also something physical to it. There was something about just going into these large organizations that I felt was draining, almost depressing. You know, the grand but soulless marble and glass lobbies of these big corporations. And all these managers running around hurriedly, talking about one more change project and cross-functional initiative and mid-term planning and budget exercise. I felt like stopping them in their tracks and asking them “Do you still believe in any of this?” Apparently I didn’t! (Laughs).

Out of that came the question: “If that’s no longer the work I can do, then what’s next?” When I asked myself that question, I had a powerful insight. For some reason, I realized the right questions for me to ask were not: “What will my next work be? What will I put on my business card? What will my identity be?” Instead, I figured the right question was “What would be the most meaningful thing I could do with my life right now?” Not even “with my life in general”? No, right now. And the answer was immediate. I wanted to focus on two projects that felt totally meaningful to me. And one was the research that lead to the book Reinventing Organizations.

I was fascinated by the question: what would really healthy, really evolved organizations look like? I knew that there is an increasing number of people who go through an inner transformation and end up leaving their organizations, just as I left McKinsey. Business leaders who leave their corporation because they are tired of the politics. Doctors and nurses leaving their hospitals, because hospitals are for the most part soulless medical factories. Teachers leaving their schools. Not all of them become coaches and consultants from the sidelines in the way I had. Some of them must have felt called to start a new business, school or hospital. I wondered if they had found ways to build very different organizations that would be aligned with the inner journey they had made.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Laloux: Not at all! Oh man, my studies of business were almost a complete waste of time. I believe we need to fundamentally reinvent formal education. Stop considering that good education only fills our minds with data and information, and consider that our body, our emotions, intuitions and spirit are also domains of truly meaningful learning!

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To read all of Part 1, please click here.

Frederic cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

Reinventing Organization‘s website link

Amazon link

Integral Life conversation with Ken Wilber link

LinkedIn link

YouTube link

Tony Schwartz review in New York Times link

Tuesday, November 4, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rod Pyle: Part 2 of an interview by Bob Morris

Pyle, RodRod Pyle is author of multiple best-selling books on space exploration and innovation for major publishers including Smithsonian, McGraw-Hill, HarperCollins, Prometheus/Random House, Sterling and Carlton. His most recent books are Innovation the NASA Way: Harnessing the Power of Your Organization for Breakthrough Success for McGraw Hill (March 2014), which the Library Journal called “A gripping history of NASA… riveting… [the] writing is superb,” and, Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen, published by Prometheus/Random House. It is listed as a “Top Ten Science and Tech Book for July” by The Guardian. Rod wrote and co-created The Apollo Leadership Experience for NASA and The Conference Board, which he taught at the Johnson Space Center for C-suite executives from companies like Michelin, Conoco-Philips, Ebay and The Federal Reserve. He continues to give keynotes and seminars on innovation and leadership.

His 2012 Destination Mars (Prometheus) was heralded as “The best recent overview of Mars missions” by the Washington Post, and was selected for Scientific American’s book of the month club. Rod has produced and directed numerous documentaries for The History Channel and Discovery Communications, including “Modern Marvels: Apollo 11” and “Mars: 100 Years of Discovery.”

Rod is a space journalist, writing frequent articles and creating videos for Space.com, LiveScience, Huffington Post, NBCNews Online, the Christian Science Monitor and the Daily Telegraph. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Art Center College of Design, and taught communication studies at the University of La Verne for ten years.

Here is an excerpt from Part 2. To read all of Part 2, please click here.

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Morris: When and why did you decide to write Innovation the NASA Way?

Pyle: I was hired in 2010 by The Conference Board to design an experiential Apollo Leadership Training program for C-suite executives and their direct reports. Working with some other experts, we fashioned a compelling and successful program that, according to the reviews, was highly motivating and inspiring. I enjoyed teaching it at the Johnson Space Center. After that, I wanted to write-up some of the things I had discovered both by delving deep into NASA’s history and spending time talking to some of the giants from the space race and shuttle eras. There seemed to be plenty of good books on leadership on the shelf, but none – and I mean, not one – trade book on innovation and NASA. I wanted to fill that gap in the market with NASA’s wonderful stories. I’m working to create a second edition, as there are so many more amazing and inspiring tales to be told.

Morris: Were there any head-snapping revelations while writing it? Please explain.

Pyle: Plenty. The most apparent to me was the passion that these people had, and have, for their work. Talk to anyone at JPL working, for example, on the Curiosity rover. They become so excited that it can be tough for them to get the words out. They live and breathe Mars, and there is nothing else they would rather do. They are passionate, mission-driven fanatics. Isn’t that who we want driving innovation in our own organizations?

Here’s another example: before one of the Apollo flights to the moon, a technician was working on the giant Saturn rocket on the launch pad. He noticed someone hanging around the gantry and told him that he should not be near the rocket. The other guy introduced himself as the commander of the mission about to fly that exact rocket to the moon in a couple of days. The technician thought for a moment, then shook the astronaut’s hand, looking him straight in the eye. He said, “In that case, I just want you to know that nothing in this mission will fail because of me.” I think that about says it all. These folks dedicated themselves heart and soul to the space program, to the mission. If we can imbue the creative people in our own organizations with a sense of mission, and the passion that drives it, we’re 90% of the way there.

Morris: To what extent (if any) does the book in final form differ significantly from what you originally envisioned?

Pyle: Honestly, it’s pretty close to the proposal. If there were deviations, they came from the process of extracting lessons form the stories. The book is a collection of stories about NASA’s “finest hours”, to paraphrase Winston Churchill. In each of these stories, there are many lessons on both leadership and innovation – the trick was to find, and adequately explain – the best of them.

Morris: When and why did you first develop your keen interest in space exploration?

Pyle: I was born at the dawn of the space race, so I saw the whole thing play out from a front-row seat (at least as front-row as an adolescent could get), and what a show it was. Imagine rockets thundering off to the moon every two months to engage in great voyages of exploration, these incredible adventures. It was thrilling, just amazing. Then, when Apollo was over, we waited nearly a decade for the shuttle. It flew an impressive range of missions for 30 years and built a space station. All the while, NASA was exploring Mars, Venus, Jupiter, Saturn and the other planets. It’s been a privilege to be alive during humanity’s first forays into the solar system.

Morris: In your opinion, to what extent does exploration of space differ significantly from the voyages of earlier explorers such as Polo, Columbus, de Gama, Magellan, Cortes, and Drake?

Pyle: No matter how you slice it, space is hard. Look at one of the Saturn V rockets in Houston or Florida: just the top 12 feet or so on the pointy end came home. All the rest was used up getting there. And as remote as, say, the Antarctic was at the dawn of the 20th century, at least Ernest Shackleton was able to live off the land for years to save his men and get them home. If you have a problem in space, as with Apollo 13, there is no living off the land, no scavenging, no second chances. Whatever you have in that little can with you, and your inventiveness and that of your support on the ground, is all you have. Space is unforgiving.

Morris: In your opinion, how true-to-life were two films, The Right Stuff and Apollo 13? Please explain.

Pyle: Those are very different films. The Right Stuff was a parable, a lyrical story (with much dramatic license taken) about the origins of the space age. It was part mythology and part sitcom. Many liberties were taken and it made for a fun film, drawn from a fun (and somewhat more accurate) book. Apollo 13 represents a very different approach. Tom Hanks is the same age as me, and every bit as much an enthusiast. We witnessed the space race from similar perspectives, and he insisted that they get it right for the film (here the parallels between myself and Tom end, sadly). That’s why they shot so many scenes in NASA’s zero-g plane, 30-seconds at a time. That’s why the hardware is spot-on accurate. Yes, he and Ron Howard also took a few liberties with the true story, but nothing like The Right Stuff. They weren’t trying to create a modern myth with Apollo 13; they just wanted to condense some of the action and tweak a few of the moments to keep the film taut and convey a great adventure. Otherwise, it would have taken eight hours to tell that story. I thought they did a fine job – it was as accurate and true to the history as it could be.

Morris: In my review of your book for various Amazon websites, I neglected to mention another film, From Earth to the Moon. In my opinion, it is superb. What do you think?

Pyle: That HBO mini-series is another Tom Hanks work of passion. Again, there was tremendous attention to detail and accuracy. I think there were times where it slowed the dramatic pacing a bit, but it was worth it. Hanks was, for the first time, dramatically memorializing the bulk of America’s greatest adventure. He used a lot of lesser-known actors, and put his money into great scripting, fine directors and incredibly accurate sets. The result was a wonderfully acted and executed telling of the story of Apollo, from its origins to the end. Nobody will ever do it in quite that way again.

Morris: Opinions about Gravity seem to be somewhat divided. What do you think?

Pyle: Overall, a great romp. The director made some very brave decisions: let space be silent like it really is, use the shuttle in a film after it had been retired, and let Sandra Bullock carry the vast bulk of the film in an outstanding solo performance. The smashup of NASA hardware was hard to watch, and it alienated some people I know. And there were some funky bits of bad physics in the film – memorably when George Clooney is tugging on Bullock’s tether after his forward motion had already been arrested. Something kept pulling on him – some odd non-Newtonian force, like anti-love? – so that they could have the cliche “leave me, save yourself” moment. But it was an intentional space opera/adventure, so overall I think it held together well.

Morris: As I indicate in my review of the book for various Amazon websites, there are dozens of passages throughout your narrative that caught my eye. For those who have not as yet read the book, please suggest what you view as the most important point or key take-away in each of several passages.

First, Innovation from the Old World (23-26)

Pyle: When Wernher von Braun came to America after WWII, he brought with him a way of doing business that had evolved from his aristocratic origins, through slimly-funded German rocket societies in the 1930’s, and finally via the Nazi war machine. Their methods were not necessarily compatible with the American way of doing things, to say the least. But he and his fellow German engineers (he brought out over 100) took the best of what they had experienced and blended it skillfully with the American way. The result was a branch of NASA that had remarkable lateral communication and where everyone was responsible, at least in part, to help everyone else if they could. He supported this with a passion, and it worked.

Morris: The Dirty Rag (26-28)

Pyle: Rockedyne in Canoga Park, CA built the large rocket engines that powered the Saturn V. When they arrived in Huntsville to be put into the rockets, von Braun’s German engineers tore them apart and reassembled them, bit by bit. Rocketdyne was outraged, until one of the head German engineers at Huntsville showed them a greasy rag he had found inside one of their “completed and inspected” rocket engines, in a space where a ping-pong ball, much less a rag, could have caused disaster. Overarching lesson? It was an object lesson in quality control, told with an elegantly simple, and damning, visual statement.

Morris: Fifty-One Feet of Mean (31-33)

Pyle: The X-15 was an Air Force program to test the limits of hypersonic flight at the edge of space. The evil-looking rocket plane flew 199 times with only a few accidents and one fatal crash. In every case they recovered quickly and moved on, expertly incorporating lessons learned from before. It was a military program and therefore not subject to the same political vicissitudes as the NASA’s civilian program. Overarching lesson? Bigger is not necessarily better, and sometimes fast-track, rough-and-ready programs win the day.

Morris: Finding Mars, and, Goodbye, Martians…Hello, Mars (49-53)

Pyle: When the Mariner 4 spacecraft flew past Mars in 1965, quickly snapping just 22 grainy, low-resolution images of that planet, it was a sea-change in our perceptions about both Mars and the solar system. At a time when almost nothing was known beyond what could be gleaned form an Earth-based telescope, NASA struck gold with its second robotic mission, and engaged the public worldwide with ghostly B&W images of Mars. They had almost flown without a camera onboard, but the dogged determination of a couple of scientists had placed rudimentary camera on the spacecraft. Overarching lesson? If you are going to explore space, you need to take the public along for the ride. From then on, cameras were a part of most of NASA’s missions, whether manned or robotic, and the world was awed by the results.

Morris: How Hard Can It Be? (55-60)

Pyle: Early spacewalks were akin to stunts; exploiting them for useful work in space was a tough nut to crack. NASA labored with this challenge throughout the Gemini years, and only succeeded in the final flight of that program with Buzz Aldrin’s continuous pressing for better preflight simulations. In the end, his ideas – shared by a few others – about water-based training won the day. The overarching lesson? Simulation, and lots of it, was key to success.

Morris: Just a Simple Test., and, “We’re Burning Up” (71-75)

Pyle: In January of 1967, NASA was testing the first flight-ready Apollo capsule with three astronauts, The rocket was not fueled, but the capsule was pumped full of oxygen as it would be in space. But it was at almost 15 PSI instead of the 5 PSI that is used in space. A random spark ignited a fire that killed the three astronauts immediately. As one person put it, “We had a failure of imagination…” – nobody had stopped to really consider what could happen in a pure oxygen environment at those pressures. It was an explosion waiting to happen. It set the Apollo program back well over a year, but was also an effective (though dreadful) wake-up call to NASA: take nothing for granted, evaluate every piece of hardware and every procedure, and assume nothing. Only then might you succeed (NOTE: The Soviet Union failed to do this, and ultimately failed to reach the moon as a result). Overarching lesson? Spaceflight is dangerous, and tolerates few errors. Everything must be taken into account to succeed.

Morris: The Krantz Dictum” (77-81)

Pyle: After the Apollo 1 fire and the deaths of three astronauts, Gene Kranz, the tough ex-marine flight director, assembled the Mission Control team and gave it to them straight: spaceflight is unforgiving. They had been rushing to “beat the Russians” and they all knew it. They had grown sloppy, and had failed to heed their own inner voices. From now on they would be “tough and competent,” and Mission Control would be “perfect.” This speech, in its entirety, is still posted at multiple locations in the control center almost 50 years later. Overarching lesson? Strong, dedicated leadership has become the de-facto way of doing business at Mission Control, and remains so to this day.

Morris: An Urgent Call (140-144)

Pyle: With both Apollo and the USSR’s Soyuz moon landing programs delayed by deadly accidents, the race to the moon was hotter than ever once they got back on track in 1967/68. The CIA had generated reports indicating that the Russians, if not close to a landing, were closing on the ability to at least loop the moon and steal much of Apollo’s thunder. Something needed to be done, and quickly. NASA’s lunar module was nowhere near ready to fly, and the rest of the moon rocket and the Apollo capsule had been little tested with mixed results. NASA’s bold decision? Shuffle the flight schedule and send Apollo 8 to orbit the moon (but not land) before the end of 1968. It was daring and risky… and the Apollo 8 astronauts agreed instantly to take the mission. Overarching lesson? Sometimes you need to make bold decisions and take calculated risks to leap ahead and win the day.

Morris: Coming Home: Bringing NASA’s Lessons to Your Business (263-270)

Pyle: A review of NASA’s lessons learned is of little value unless they can be applied to your own organization. Fortunately there is much to be learned from its nearly 60 years of history. Paramount among these lessons are the need for passion for innovation within the individual, and an environment conducive to innovation created by management. Both parties need to evolve a mission mentality, and commit the time and resources to allow innovation to flourish. Overarching lesson? NASA has achieved this time-and-again throughout their history, and you can too.

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To read all of Part 2, please click here.

To read Part 1, please click here.

Rod cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

His website link

His LinkedIn link

His Amazon link

Huffington Post link

Sunday, November 2, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Karl M. Kapp: Part 2 of an interview by Bob Morris

KappKarl M. Kapp, Ed.D., CFPIM, CIRM, is a scholar, writer and expert on the convergence of learning, technology and business operations. He is a graduate professor of instructional technology at Bloomsburg University in Bloomsburg, PA. where he teaches courses in instructional game design and gamification and is the Director of the acclaimed Institute for Interactive Technologies. He is author of six books on the convergence of learning and technology and has authored courses for Lynda.com.

Karl works internationally to help government, corporate and non-profit organizations leverage learning technologies to positively impact productivity and profitability. He provides advice on e-learning design, games and gamification and learning technology to companies and organizations in diverse industries ranging from pharmaceutical, to manufacturing to high-tech. Karl He is a Participant in the National Security Agency Advisory Board (NSAAB) (Emerging Technologies Panel) and sits on several National Science Foundation (NSF) visiting committees. He works frequently with startup companies. He has been called a “Rock Star” of eLearning and is listed among the top gamification experts in the world as it relates to learning and instruction. In 2007, Karl was named one of the Top 20 Most Influential Training Professionals as voted by TrainingIndustry, Inc.

Here is an excerpt from Part 2 of my interview of Karl. To read the complete interview, please click here.

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Morris: To what extent is the Fieldbook a sequel to Gamification, a volume in which you, Lucas, and Rich develop in much greater depth core concepts introduced in the previous book? To what extent does Fieldbook break new ground?

Kapp: In comparing the two books, the fieldbook is a sequel in the sense that it provides foundational knowledge that is helpful in developing a game, gamification or a simulation. Certainly someone can pick up the second book and find lots of value but the two together provide the how and why of creating engaging instruction. I think this is the best combination for understanding the most from the topic. The new content and ideas in the second book revolve around the worksheets and steps needed to creation gamified instruction but also provide more in depth and exhaustive case studies. I wanted to provide clear examples of what others had done and show how gamification is already being implemented that it is not something that is unheard of or crazy. The second book provides information on what others have done and provides guidelines for someone to do it themselves and that is my desire. I want people to be able to create engaging instruction using the ideas concepts and worksheets in the book.

Morris: To what extent (if any) are there any unique challenges when creating a fieldbook rather than, let’s say, a straight narrative such as Gamification?

Kapp: Our biggest challenge was deciding how to chunk the information we wanted to present. So we spent a lot of time determining the sequence and order of the table of contents. We all had a great deal of knowledge of our content but thinking of the best way to arrange it among the three co-authors and then thinking how to leverage contributors was a tricky process. We were also challenged to arrange the content in a certain was because we knew that people would be accessing the content in a non-linear fashion (unlike the first book) meanwhile, certain foundational topics needed to be addressed before someone could just jump into “designing a game” for example. In the end, we created sections and felt that a person could turn to the section which was most appropriate for them—no matter what type of learning they were developing or where they were in the process. This approach seemed like a good way to provide the content in a way that could be accessed differently based on the individual needs of the reader.

Morris: In your opinion, how important is it to read Gamification before reading the Fieldbook?

Kapp: If you have no knowledge of games or game elements and little understanding of how games can be crafted for learning then it’s really, really important to read the Gamification book first. You cannot develop or design a game, gamification or a simulation without a good, solid understanding of the key elements of games. But, unfortunately, many people try to do that. So, I think it is highly important to read Gamification before the fieldbook.

Morris: With regard to the writing of Gamification and the Fieldbook, did either pose greater challenges than did the other? Please explain.

Kapp: Not really, although both were different. Gamification was linear and a contained a great deal more academic based content that I worked hard to translate to non-academic readers. The fieldbook did not have much of the theoretical information but had practical tips and techniques that needed to be presented to the reader so they could develop their own interactive learning event. Each book posed it’s own challenge. Although one specific challenge of the second book was to try to be careful not to just re-state what was in the first book. We wanted some overlap but very little. We cut a good deal from the second book as we wrote it to avoid as much overlap as possible. There is still some overlap but where it overlaps, we feel is important information that is worth repeating or needs to be repeated to make sure someone designing the instruction gets it right.

Morris: To what extent did game-based methods and strategies prove beneficial to your collaboration with Lucas and Rich?

Kapp: Ha! Good question. Not sure we really thought of it that way. Of course we had the constraint of time so that’s a game element. We also knew the second book was the next level from foundation to application but as far as consciously approaching the writing of the fieldbook as a gamified event, that was not the case. As we say in the book…you can’t and shouldn’t gamify everything and I guess writing this book was one of the non-examples.

Morris: By what process did you select the contributors (in Sections IV and V) and then decide what the nature and extent of each contribution would be? Or did they make that determination? Please explain. They produced some great stuff.

Kapp: We specifically selected the contributors for their knowledge and experience in a certain area. Again we wanted many voices for the reader to gain a perspective larger than the three of us could provide. We each could have written the contributor chapters but, instead, felt that it was really important to have those voices. For each chapter we provided the contributor with an outline and general instruction but gave them a good bit of latitude in terms of exactly what they decided to write. In some cases, we inserted some materials into the chapters for consistence and to add any additional information we felt was necessary but that was rare due to the knowledge and experience of the contributors. For each contributor, Lucas, Rich or I knew the contributor’s work so we didn’t have any doubt about what the quality would be and we knew they all had rich experience and knowledge of the industry so we were excited to have them share and help expand the thinking in the area of engaging learning through games, gamification and simulations.

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To read alll of Part 2, please click here.

To\ read Part 1, please click here.

* * *

Karl cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

Karl’s Website link

Karl’s TEDx Talk link

YouTube Gamification link

Facebook link

Pinterest link

Articles:

“Gamification Myths Debunked: How To Sidestep Failure And Boost Employee Learning” link

“Improve Training: Thinking Like a Game Developer”link

“Gamification of Retail Safety and Loss Prevention Training” link

Thursday, October 30, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Jeff Bloomfield: An interview by Bob Morris

BloomfieldAs a founder of BrainTrust, a successful organization that trains and develops sales and marketing professionals, Jeff Bloomfield has given a lot of thought to why customers say yes. In Story-Based Selling: Create, Connect, and Close, Bloomfield says it’s really no mystery. People buy from people they trust. They trust people they like, and they like people they connect to with. And he believes that storytelling is the best way for salespeople-and all of us-to immediately connect to a customer’s feelings of trust and liking. He thinks teaching sales professionals to close a deal by presenting their product, probing its mutual benefits, and overcoming the customer’s objections and skepticism, is a waste of time. Instead, he urges them to tell a great story to create a personal connection. Bloomfield calls upon the latest research in neuroscience to explain the process of communication.

The truth is that during the salesperson’s engagement with clients, people quickly base their decisions on how they feel, not the way they think, so trying to persuade someone by first imparting lifeless facts and figures is self-defeating. In fact, this information goes right to an area of the listener’s brain (the left brain neocortex) that drives doubt and skepticism. To make a deal we need to connect with the parts of the customer’s brain that inspire emotions of trust and empathy. By telling a story, we can immediately connect to these good gut feelings and drive away the client’s fear of being sold. Bloomfield tells his own engaging stories while teaching step-by-step techniques of intentional storytelling to create a fast connection with the listener, no matter who is buying or what a person wants to sell.

Here is an excerpt from my interview of Jeff. To read the complete interview, please click here.

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Morris: Before discussing Story-Based Selling, a few general questions. Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Bloomfield: Yes. Growing up on a farm, my Papaw was my mentor. He was an amazing storyteller and communicator. Unfortunately, he died of lung cancer when I was entering junior high. Through his example, I learned how to positively influence others through the power of story. I went on to get a degree and work in the field of bio-tech where I was fortunate enough to help launch a therapy for brain cancer. During that time, I poured over neuroscience articles and became absolutely fascinated with two things. One, my Papaw, with just an eight grade education, was a genius. He had an intuitive sense of how the human brain worked well before we had research to back it up.

Secondly, no one that I knew in corporate America really knew, let alone understood neuroscience as it pertains to sales and marketing. If we did, we wouldn’t be communicating with customers the way we do. It was that clear, summer day overlooking the San Francisco bay from my office that I knew I had to do something about the gap in the market. It was at that moment that I knew I would start a company that focused on teaching business professionals the neuroscience behind things like connection, trust and how we make buying decisions.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Bloomfield: I would say that the biggest thing my formal education taught me was the discipline of learning. I’m a fast thinking, day dreaming, idea guy and it’s hard for me to be pinned down to one idea, one subject. The education process taught me how to stay focused on learning one step at a time.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Bloomfield: I know that it’s not just about what you know and it’s not just about who you know…it’s about unique ideas, presented in creative ways that move people emotionally. It doesn’t matter if your selling tires or working in a factory. People are drawn to creative thinkers who can motivate and inspire. I believe all of us have that divine spark but the typical grind of a “job” and the distraction of simply doing task oriented work tends to prevent or at least inhibit that creative expression. If I had to do it all over again, I would have started my own company before I was thirty. I might have been broke for a few more years, but I would have loved every minute of it.

Morris: Of all the films that you have seen, which – in your opinion – best dramatizes important business principles? Please explain.

Bloomfield: This may not be your typical answer but to me Braveheart. Think about it. It’s about leadership, inspiration, motivation, teamwork, having a common goal and banning together to overcome the odds. Nearly every scene is chock full of metaphorical business application. Try watching it again through that lens and see if it doesn’t surprise you. On a lighter note, I highly recommend to all of our sales clients that they watch the movie Tommy Boy. Yes, it’s a bit slapstick and over the top but the sales principles around making a genuine connection, building trust and being an authentic communicator are everywhere in this hilarious comedy.

Morris: From which non-business book have you learned the most valuable lessons about business? Please explain.

Bloomfield: Without question the Bible. Regardless of your religious beliefs, the Bible is literally written as a book of stories to instruct one on how to live. The principles contained within from how to treat one another, to leadership to mobilizing large groups of people around a common cause of directly applicable to any company. In fact, most, if not all culture problems a company has today can be solved by simply following this timeless instruction book.

Morris: Here are several of my favorite quotations to which I ask you to respond. First, from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Bloomfield: This quote is all about “leading from behind.” Great leaders help inspire greatness in others and don’t need or desire the credit for success. It also touches on how leaders who understand this philosophy also learn the most from their team. They know they don’t have all the answers and understand that even if they did, giving the team the answers doesn’t help anyone grow and develop plus it robs the team from the feeling of accomplishment when they feel they’ve contributed.

Morris: From Howard Aiken: “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

Bloomfield: Great ideas are often met with stern resistance because they typically force people to change. Whether it’s changing your actual actions or simply your way of thinking, great ideas challenge us. I know I’ve come up with a great idea when my business partner tilts his head slightly to the right and says, “I’m not sure I understand that, let alone if it will work.”

Morris: From Richard Dawkins: “Yesterday’s dangerous idea is today’s orthodoxy and tomorrow’s cliché.”

Bloomfield: This is basically the fulfillment of the ida from the Aiken quote. Once you’ve come up with a radical, crazy idea and you finally force feed it to the public, eventually it will be adopted and become almost passé. Take today’s automobile. To paraphrase Henry Ford, “If I had asked people what they wanted, they would have told me a faster horse.” But once they get over the shock of not riding horses anymore and realize just how incredible this new “idea” is, it becomes old hat…yesterday’s news. We are a “what’s next” type of world.

Morris: From Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s odd….’”

Bloomfield: There’s something invigorating and seemingly imprinted on our DNA that causes us to get more enjoyment out of pursuing that which we don’t understand versus what we think we’ve figured out. Eureka is fleeting. It’s a momentary pleasure but inevitably leads us to boredom with the very discovery. It goes right back to my previous comment. “What’s next.”

Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

Bloomfield: Yes, as human beings, we can certainly be extremely busy without actually being productive. For many of us, we flop into bed after a long day and lay there, staring up at the ceiling and wondering to ourselves, “what did I actually accomplish today?” The hamster and the wheel syndrome. It’s all about prioritizing the right things to work on both personally and professionally.

Morris: In one of Tom Davenport’s recent books, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer “an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision making and organizational performance”: organizational judgment. That is, “the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader’s direct control.” What do you think?

Bloomfield: To me, this speaks directly to the importance of teamwork. So many companies have silos these days and unfortunately, those silos don’t have bridges that connect to one another. The company’s that seem to be hitting it out of the park are the ones that understand how to develop processes around decision making that involves the best ideas from the brightest people and allows the accountability of the “team” to force greater and greater communication between stakeholder groups.

Morris: Here’s a brief excerpt from Paul Schoemaker’s latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: “The key question companies need to address is not ‘Should we make mistakes?’ but rather Which mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?’” Your response?

Bloomfield: I concur wholeheartedly. In business as well as life, you will make mistakes. Make them strategically and continue to “fail forward.” The greatest lessons in life are learned from the moments we realize we should have turned left instead of right. The key is to realize that mistake within the next mile and course correct. Those are great mistakes. It’s when you make a wrong turn and continue to travel in the incorrect direction due to either blind stupidity or stubbornness that sink companies and careers.

Morris: In your opinion, why do so many C-level executives seem to have such a difficult time delegating work to others?

Bloomfield: For many of us, we became known for our ability to “do” something extremely well. We get promoted through the ranks known for our ability to take action and get things done. Unfortunately, the old adage, “if you want something done, you have to do it yourself.” starts to become a leadership habit that many of us fail to recognize and correct. Ultimately, it comes down to fear. Whether it’s fear of losing control, fear of failure, fear of fill in the blank, it still comes down to fear. Great leaders delegate not because they necessarily want to, but because they know they need to.

Morris: The greatest leaders throughout history (with rare exception) were great storytellers. What do you make of that?

Bloomfield: Storytelling is simply in our DNA. Great leaders have an intuitive sense that storytelling influences others more effectively than ordering folks around. Leadership is simply about the ability to influence. The best way to influence is through trust. The quickest way to trust is through building a connection and the easiest way to connect with another human being is through a story. Period. End of “story.”
Morris: Most change initiatives either fail or fall far short of original (perhaps unrealistic) expectations. More often than not, resistance is cultural in nature, the result of what James O’Toole so aptly characterizes as “the ideology of comfort and the tyranny of custom.”

Here’s my question: How best to avoid or overcome such resistance?

Bloomfield: People seldom change until the pain of staying where they are becomes greater than the perceived pain of where they have been unwilling to go. This resistance is all about understanding what one can gain should they make the change. That gain has to be perceived as great enough for them to put forth the effort to change or they will not. If you are seventy five pounds overweight and don’t really care, you will never lose weight. However, after your first heart attack, the pain of staying overweight has now become greater than the pain of going to the gym. Hence, you change. It’s the same with any change we are faced with…personally or professionally.

Morris: Looking ahead (let’s say) 3-5 years, what do you think will be the greatest challenge that CEOs will face? Any Advice?

Bloomfield: Maintaining a relational connected culture in an ever increasing transactional social media world. The advice I have is to remember that the next generation of workers is growing up in a very different world than we did, however, that doesn’t make them any different when it comes to the desire for connection. The entire rise of social media was simply born out of our desire to use technology to help us stay better connected. The problem is, without real human interaction and relationships, it will eventually lead to isolation, even if one has 5,000 Facebook friends or 10,000 twitter followers. You must continue to create a culture that fosters and encourages direct human contact. Without it, your workplace will become transactional and your customer base will become even more transactional leading to a death spiral of innovation and commoditization of nearly everything.

To read the complete interview, please click here.

* * *

Jeff cordially invites you to check out the resources at this <a href="https://braintrust101.com/“>website:

Tuesday, October 28, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Rod Pyle: Part 1 of an interview by Bob Morris

Pyle, RodRod Pyle is author of multiple best-selling books on space exploration and innovation for major publishers including Smithsonian, McGraw-Hill, HarperCollins, Prometheus/Random House, Sterling and Carlton. His most recent books are Innovation the NASA Way: Harnessing the Power of Your Organization for Breakthrough Success for McGraw Hill (March 2014), which the Library Journal called “A gripping history of NASA… riveting… [the] writing is superb,” and, Curiosity: An Inside Look at the Mars Rover Mission and the People Who Made It Happen, published by Prometheus/Random House. It is listed as a “Top Ten Science and Tech Book for July” by The Guardian. Rod wrote and co-created The Apollo Leadership Experience for NASA and The Conference Board, which he taught at the Johnson Space Center for C-suite executives from companies like Michelin, Conoco-Philips, Ebay and The Federal Reserve. He continues to give keynotes and seminars on innovation and leadership.

His 2012 Destination Mars (Prometheus) was heralded as “The best recent overview of Mars missions” by the Washington Post, and was selected for Scientific American’s book of the month club. Rod has produced and directed numerous documentaries for The History Channel and Discovery Communications, including “Modern Marvels: Apollo 11” and “Mars: 100 Years of Discovery.” Rod is a space journalist, writing frequent articles and creating videos for Space.com, LiveScience, Huffington Post, NBCNews Online, the Christian Science Monitor and the Daily Telegraph. He is a graduate of Stanford University and the Art Center College of Design, and taught communication studies at the University of La Verne for ten years.

Here is an excerpt from my interview of him. To read all of part 1, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Before discussing (in Part 2) Innovation the NASA Way, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Pyle: Honestly, the entire cadre of Gemini and Apollo astronauts. While my friends memorized states and collected cards for football and baseball players, I was studying NASA’s best. These guys were going to the moon, and I wanted to be with them! Alas, that was ultimately less likely even than my buddies joining the NFL…

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Pyle: There are so many, but Gene Kranz, the flight director for most of the Gemini and Apollo missions, was a major influence. His tough but fair approach to managing Mission Control teams, and his unashamedly “Gung Ho” attitude is inspiring. But I think the ultimate inspiration was the “Kranz Dictum,” as it came to be known; the speech he gave to his teams after the Apollo 1 fire. He was not even in charge the day of the fire, but it was Kranz who made the seminal speech, and it is posted all over Mission Control to this day. At its core is being “tough and competent,” and making Mission Control “perfect.” His people came as close to that demand as any organization can.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Pyle: Calculus! After encountering differential equations (with a less than stellar result), it occurred to me that astronomy at UCLA might not be my best option. My next choice was to tell science stories via visual and print media… and that’s turned out to be a lot of fun. Film and TV was my final undergrad major, and at Stanford I had a blast studying the more theoretical aspects of communication. Since then it’s been books, articles and TV work, and I hope to never stop.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Pyle: In the media business, excepting to some extent journalism, degrees don’t mean very much. In TV they mean nothing at all. So any progress I’ve made in those areas was fueled primarily by passion and tenacity. On the other hand, I did teach in various colleges for about twelve years and there, of course, the masters degree was everything. And I enjoyed teaching quite a lot.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Pyle: Success is as much about instincts, drive and dogged persistence as it is about brilliance or intellect. Determination to achieve a goal – often to the exclusion of anything else – seems to be critical. In NASA terms that equates to having the tenacity to sell a flight concept or a scientific goal, then pursue the accomplishment of that mission. We see it over and over again, how an individual voice makes all the difference in a project, science instrument or flight plan. And that’s great.

Morris: Of all the films that you have seen, which – in your opinion – best dramatizes important business principles? Please explain.

Pyle: There are a few classics that relate here… but Casablanca is one, in which personal passion and individual needs are secondary to duty and honor. Along the same lines, the original Star Trek TV show had some things to say about duty, persistence, honor and success, but always with a cost. I think that these apply to business success on a personal level, decisions that you live with long after the company has moved on to other concerns. Finally, Patton demonstrates the drive and brilliance often needed to succeed against great odds, and the personal costs that often come with it. As George C. Scott quoted “All glory is fleeting…”, a worthwhile sentiment to remember.

Morris: From which non-business book have you learned the most valuable lessons about business? Please explain.

Pyle: Steinbeck’s Cannery Row. Here is a man, Doc Ricketts, to whom business success, always elusive, was subsumed by, then buoyed by, the beauty in his personal existence. He maintained the former and grew the latter like a bloom. Together they made for a whole life, though marriage and the consummation of his inner desire for love remained somewhat elusive. But the longing within us often makes for a far greater motivator than achieving.

Morris: Here are several of my favorite quotations to which I ask you to respond. First, from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Pyle: Lao-tse was a smart man. I took a class at UCLA years ago in the Chinese mystics – this reminds me how insightful they could be. Human needs and behaviors have not changed much over time (anyone who has read Greek mythology knows that the core emotions discussed have not changed one iota). To the point: an inspired leader would do well to give his team a voice and a tangible stake in the process of building and succeeding. I address this in my innovation book and leadership seminars: give your team members a sense of ownership, a stake in the process of innovating and making that innovation into a success. I think it’s critical – in many cases, the passion of that person, or team, is the core force, the engine driving the process. Then, in a perfect world, the team shares the sense of accomplishment.

Morris: From Howard Aiken: “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

Pyle: I’ve always loved that one. Ask John Houbolt, a mid-level engineer in the Apollo program, who had to jump all the way to the top of NASA’s management chain to get his ideas about Lunar Orbit Rendezvous heard (it was the solution to the puzzle of how to land on the moon). Top minds like Wernher von Braun, who favored another method, finally saw the wisdom of LOR. This was certainly an example of one man forcing the organization to accept his excellent idea, despite much resistance at the top.

Morris: From Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s odd….’”

Pyle: Yes, or “That’s interesting…” or perhaps, as John Grotzinger, the Curiosity Mars rover’s chief scientist said when looking at some new and exciting data, “That’s one for the history books!” So often it is the surprises, the results that surpass our expectations, that foreshadow developments and discoveries far beyond what we had planned for. It’s a bit of scientific serendipity… the universe playing with us, deciding what to release at this moment, and providing discoveries beyond, or at least perpendicular to, our expectations. And since all great science is to a certain extent magical, that is often where the magic lies.

Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

Pyle: Yes, GM built the Chevy Cobalt with great efficiency just before they went BK. And while millions of those Spartan autos served people for years, I think we would have all been served better had the car never existed (if you ever drove one for any distance, you know what I mean). This is a very basic and prosaic example of a great thinker’s ideas placed onto the road, but it’s certainly an expression of this loftier thought.

* * *

To read all of part 1, please click here.

Rod cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

His website link

His LinkedIn link

His Amazon link

Huffington Post link

Wednesday, October 22, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Robert Sher: Part 1 of an interview by Bob Morris

SherRob Sher is founding principal of CEO to CEO, a consulting firm of former chief executives that improves the leadership infrastructure of midsized companies seeking to accelerate their performance. He has published extensively on the successful leadership traits of CEOs of mid-market companies. His first book, published in 2007, is The Feel of the Deal: How I Built a Business Through Acquisitions. His latest book, Mighty Midsized Companies: How Leaders Overcome 7 Silent Growth Killers, was recently published by Bibliomotion in 2014. Rob is also a regular columnist for the online version of Forbes and CFO Magazine and recently published a seven part series on HBR online.

He and his partners act as consulting CEOs who help client companies’ CEOs and their top teams to navigate difficult passages. Running a company is a series of judgment calls, each of which can have major consequences. They often help make those judgment calls, drawing on deep experience as CEOs and by helping their clients think through situations. Some people call him a CEO coach. Others call him a CEO mentor. And some think of him as their own “Chairman of the Board.”

Here is an excerpt from Part 1 of my interview of Rob. To read all of it, please click here.

* * *

Morris: Before discussing Mighty Midsized Companies, a few general questions. First, who has had the greatest influence on your personal growth? How so?

Sher: Warren Bennis, the author of On Becoming a Leader and so many other groundbreaking books on leadership, really made me a better leader. It was an incredible awakening. I started reading his books as they came out in the mid 1980’s, and at that time I was on a personal development binge, reading (and listening to) Wayne Dyer, Brian Tracy, Tony Robbins and Earl Nightingale. I was so honored when Warren Bennis agreed to endorse my newest book, as it turned out just a few weeks before his passing.

Morris: The greatest impact on your professional development? How so?

Sher: In 1996 I joined a peer group of CEOs called The Alliance of Chief Executives, in northern California. Sitting with peer CEOs every month and learning from their wisdom (and their mistakes) was a quantum jump in my learning. I still actively participate in Alliance groups. You see, when you run just one business, there is a limit on how many things—good or bad—can happen to you that turn into lessons. In a group of 12, the process is accelerated. Similar groups exist everywhere in the country. Vistage and YPO are two of the largest.

Morris: Years ago, was there a turning point (if not an epiphany) that set you on the career course you continue to follow? Please explain.

Sher: In 2004 I was sitting in my CEO group and shared some frustrations (for the umpteenth time) about some seemingly intractable frustrations that were holding me back from leading my company to the next level. The group (which had known me for years) hammered mercilessly on me for over an hour (we CEOs are hard headed and often need a drubbing to take notice). Their point was that I needed to affirmatively find a solid long-term solution or to move on with my career. That day I went back to my office and triggered a series of events that led to my exit, and to the founding of my consulting firm in 2007. I’ve never looked back. Interestingly, we often play this role for clients, who need a push, plus a little confidence and guidance to make courageous changes that help them break free from their past and pursue a brighter future.

Morris: To what extent has your formal education been invaluable to what you have accomplished in life thus far?

Sher: It has been very important. It gave me a solid understanding of the basics of business, like accounting and marketing. It seemed slow and laborious at the time, but from every class, I drew nuggets. Realize that I worked while going to school, leading what was then a small business. So I had every chance to practice what I learned. I got my graduate degree when I was 27 in an executive program, and I realized, to my surprise, that I was truly an executive. Too often, small and middle market business leaders exist in an isolated world. They really don’t know what they’re made of, how they really stack up. That certainly was true of me, and my confidence took a big step up from the experience.

That, and Michael Porter’s teachings! I also learned how to learn, and today, many years later, what I learned in a class has given way to what I now learn on my own. I can become an expert in many things if I devote some time and focus to it. My formal education also includes teaching at the MBA level, and assembling my curriculum. I learned a lot by having to organize my thoughts and deliver them effectively in a classroom.

Morris: What do you know now about the business world that you wish you knew when you when to work full-time for the first time? Why?

Sher: Building a strong, deep, wide network. I grew up being taught about hard work, but teamwork and friends were not emphasized at all. I got a long way with hard work and good insights. It wasn’t until way later that I learned that who you know (and who you’ve helped along the way) is a powerful factor for success. And helping people is gratifying as well!

Morris: Here are several of my favorite quotations to which I ask you to respond. First, from Lao-tse’s Tao Te Ching:

“Learn from the people
Plan with the people
Begin with what they have
Build on what they know
Of the best leaders
When the task is accomplished
The people will remark
We have done it ourselves.”

Sher: The more leaders you can harness in pursuit of your vision, the more quickly it will become a reality. Even employees at the bottom of the org chart can feel a bit like leaders if they have some latitude, and are allowed to participate in decision-making. Understand where your people are, and work to help them get better, if only in small increments. An incremental approach to greatness is what works best, and the people will indeed feel like they have ownership of the success. As the top leader, sometimes it can feel a little unfair that little credit is given—yet offsetting that is an amazing team that will continue to perform at high levels.

Morris: From Howard Aiken: “Don’t worry about people stealing your ideas. If your ideas are any good, you’ll have to ram them down people’s throats.”

Sher: From the CEO’s seat, I advocate planting the seeds of my ideas within my team and letting them grow there. Then, hopefully (!) my team will take ownership of an idea, and it will blossom. But that’s not stealing my ideas, that’s nurturing them. I believe that in midsized companies, there must be a process for evaluating ideas, so that the best ones will eventually become “obvious” and eagerly adopted, not “forced down people’s throats.”

Morris: From Richard Dawkins: “Yesterday’s dangerous idea is today’s orthodoxy and tomorrow’s cliché.”

Sher: I’m probably not deep enough to really appreciate this, but from my perspective, in business, it’s a reminder that the best and most profitable growth comes when you are innovating to find scalable opportunities and then growing them before everyone else jumps in.

Morris: From Isaac Asimov: “The most exciting phrase to hear in science, the one that heralds the most discoveries, is not “Eureka!” (I found it!) but ‘That’s odd….’”

Sher: Our ears are more powerful than our mouths. Too many of us fail to listen, to observe with care and to think and deliberate. While we may love our ideas the moment they pop into our heads, most of them require research and observation before they are worthy of acclaim.

Morris: Finally, from Peter Drucker: “There is surely nothing quite so useless as doing with great efficiency what should not be done at all.”

Sher: Being clear about why we are doing something, why it is essential, and how it ties into our most important strategies is a great place to start before diving into any business project.

Morris: In one of Tom Davenport’s recent books, Judgment Calls, he and co-author Brooke Manville offer “an antidote for the Great Man theory of decision making and organizational performance”: organizational judgment. That is, “the collective capacity to make good calls and wise moves when the need for them exceeds the scope of any single leader’s direct control.” What do you think?

Sher: There is never, ever a substitute for a great leader. The best leaders create and maintain the conditions for great teams to make great decisions. In most cases, the leader won’t have to make the decision, because they have a great team doing so. Is a great leader a great man? I think so, but not because of their individual contribution or personal judgment. Likewise, I would point out the vast difference between a tyrant with “direct control” and a “single leader” of a great team. Approach is everything.

Morris: Here’s a brief excerpt from Paul Schoemaker’s latest book, Brilliant Mistakes: “The key question companies need to address is not ‘Should we make mistakes?’ but rather Which mistakes should we make in order to test our deeply held assumptions?’” Your response?

Sher: Of course we must test things, and many ideals will fail. My big point is that failing on a small scale makes sense, but there’s no excuse for failing big without de-risking first on a small scale. Too many midsized firms make reckless attempts at growth, blowing big money. That’s foolish, a stupid mistake. Nothing brilliant about that whatsoever.

* * *

To read all of Part 1, please click here.

Rob cordially invites you to check out the resources at these websites:

All about Mighty Midsized Companies link

Free assessments and other tools link

Rob’s consulting firm, CEO to CEO, website link

Sunday, October 19, 2014 Posted by | Bob's blog entries | , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

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