Tackling a breakout project? Find a kedge anchor

We’ve all been in that meeting. You know, the one where you’re planning the upcoming year and, inevitably, the operating team wants to take on programs with the highest chance of return  — the low-hanging fruit. But as the senior leader in the room, your intuition is telling you to sponsor one of the projects […]

Continue Reading ·

How to Win When the Game Changes

As a young product manager in the mid-90’s, I was sipping champagne and enjoying company cafeteria cake in Finland with the executive team of a multinational cell phone company. We were celebrating their new cell phone, whose battery life was measured in weeks, not days. But as I sipped my champagne from a plastic cup, […]

Continue Reading ·

What “Top Tenners” Can do in 10 Days

Getting the Call I was on my normal early morning commute when my cell phone rang; it was the leader of an advanced technology task force for the government of a large Midwestern state. I had been collaborating with this team on securing a multi-million dollar national grant for their region. The promise of our […]

Continue Reading ·

Sometimes You Need to Hear “No” to Go Deeper

We slunk back to our conference room and stare at the walls and table littered with papers. Weeks of pulling data, drawing graphs, running complex simulations: REJECTED. Our team’s substantial capital request to increase raw material production capacity had been denied! If our forecasts were correct, we’d be unable to meet customer demand in 12 […]

Continue Reading ·

The Little Guy’s Secret Advantage

I believe that continuous innovation is the key to a vital firm. Yet in looking for areas to innovate, many business leaders steer clear of markets adjacent to large companies, worried that the big guys will crowd them out. In times of economic pressure, however, these markets can create very fertile ground for new growth […]

Continue Reading ·