Strategic Thinking vs. Best Practices

Every business system is subject to change. After all, continual development of the system’s capability and capacity increases complexity and thereby the chance of internal friction and conflict. In addition, businesses operate in dynamic environments, with ever changing consumer preferences, and competing value propositions. The CEO is uniquely responsible for adjusting and changing the system―to …

You Cannot Lead What You Don’t Understand

obstacle to leadership - CEO Adventure Book

Back in 2010, IBM conducted face-to-face interviews with 1,541 CEOs, general managers and senior public sector leaders from around the world. Seventy-nine percent of all participants said they were anticipating a rapid escalation in their business’s levels of complexity―in addition to uncertainty and volatility. More than half of these leaders doubted their own ability to …

Military Grand Strategy for Business Leaders

critical thinking - CEO Adventure Book

My pet peeve is with management consultants and leadership coaches who regurgitate the K.I.S.S. principle at nauseam, advocating to keep things simple. Simple sounds good―as opposed to complex, difficult, or hard. However, the solutions they propose for solving systemic problems tend to be unrealistically simple, or simplistic. The following quote, attributed to Albert Einstein, says …

Reject, Dismiss, then Ridicule . . . . .

thought patterns - CEO Adventure Book

Do you recognize the following pattern? Employees are expected to be creative, think outside the box, in order to innovate products and services, including the very business processes that create and deliver those value propositions. Yet, their ideas are judged on the existence of scientific–peer-reviewed–evidence, or on what thought-leaders have to say on the topic, …

Psychotherapy for Better Business Performance

Question:   Why are systemic problems seemingly without solution? Answer:   Because of the decision maker’s insistence to adhere to specific familiar beliefs, rules, theories, best-practices, or the use of specific and generally preferred resources, thereby effectively maintaining the status-quo. Consequently, the obstacle to finding an appropriate solution in a timely manner is not due to a …

Routine vs. Change

Two thirds of all executive leaders participating in IBM’s worldwide study Capitalizing on Complexity admitted to being bewildered and befuddled by complexity. Being perplexed by the complexly interconnected nature of the business processes for which they assumed ultimate responsibility foreshadows their ineffectiveness at leading change initiatives to resolve systemic problems, and to steer the company …

Zen and the Art of Executive Leadership

Oftentimes, knowledge comes from unexpected sources! Discovery of those nuggets depends on one’s ability to associate and read between the lines. This requires a curious and alert mind. Because it is not unusual to find all kind of solutions, participants, and choice opportunities when we’re not experiencing any problems to which they can be attached, …