Danger in the Power Grid – of Leadership

Would you stay silent if you knew your boss was making a decision that would have terrible consequences? If you were a South Korean co-pilot in 1997, you just might. In fact, you might even go down with the plane rather than question your captain. Power is often unequally distributed in societies and also within…

After-Action Review – Final Presentation

There is a discrepancy between what we experience and what we remember from an experience. According to the Peak-End Rule, conceived by Nobel-prize winning psychologist Daniel Kahneman1 and his collaborator Amos Tversky, “people judge an experience largely based on how they felt at its peak (i.e., its most intense point) and at its end…”2 rather…

Busyness Can Be Bad For Business

The urge to stay constantly busy and “on” is a logical reaction to a work-world that seems to value productivity above all else. We want to be seen taking action and doing something – anything other than doing nothing. But this bias for action is frequently misguided; research into elite soccer players has shown that…

Business Simulations as Leadership Observation Labs

A quote often attributed to Plato states, “You can discover more about a person in an hour of play than in a year of conversation.” And when the play takes place within the serious gaming of business simulations, the discoveries and insights can be extremely useful in leadership development. Business simulations provide a fast-moving backdrop…

What? You also want PROFITS with that Innovation?

Being an innovative company is pretty exhilarating. But so are profits, and if you’re the CEO of a public company you’d better figure out how to balance both – or risk losing your job. A recent Forbes article presents a cautionary tale of harmonizing the two using GE as a case study. Customers want new…

Wall Scorecards

According to Covey’s The 4 Disciplines of Execution, the third discipline of business plan execution is KEEP A COMPELLING SCOREBOARD. From page 13 of their book, “Discipline 3 is the discipline of engagement. In principle, the highest level of performance always comes from people who are emotionally engaged and the highest level of engagement comes…

Best Buy is Still In Business. How is That Even Possible?

The last decade was brutal to the U.S. consumer electronics retailing industry. Several well-known companies failed, including Circuit City, Radio Shack, and Brookstone. And with the entrance of giant discounters CostCo and WalMart together with Amazon into the market space, success in the industry has become even more difficult to achieve. Yet against all odds,…

Fake News? Generational Differences in Business

Ever feel like you don’t fit neatly into your assigned Gen X/Boomer/Millennial generational cohort? Rather than forcing people into their generational boxes, some researchers are now saying the boxes should just be thrown away. Identifying generational attributes and statistically validating them has turned out to be very difficult, with reliable data sets either scarce or…

10K Analysis of a Real Company

Finance, the language of business, can be confusing and intimidating. We have found that exposing participants to a complex financial exercise through a business simulation enables them to become comfortable speaking this language. In addition to the simulation exercise a simple 10K analysis helps to solidify the financial concepts practiced during a business simulation. These…

Migrating Financial Metrics

Financial reporting and analysis can sometimes seem static and inflexible. But in reality, the field does change and evolve – even if slowly. For example, General Motors recently announced that it would no longer report monthly auto sales, an age-old financial metric in the auto industry. Saying the measure no longer tracks a meaningful aspect…