Ten Lessons of Start-ups for Established Businesses

The Berlin School of Creative Leadership is traveling this month to the Bay Area in Northern California for the second week of the U.S. residency of its Executive MBA program.  Among the key topics orienting the week are innovation, agile leadership, and effective, entrepreneurial and ethical teamwork.  Overall, for already experienced leaders of creative communications… Continue reading

The Stories We Tell

My first reaction upon viewing Martin Scorsese’s new film, The Wolf of Wall Street, was how closely it resembled Goodfellas, the director’s masterful account of mob informant Henry Hill’s life in organized crime.  Like that historical snapshot of the American Dream colorfully run off the rails, the new film tracks the wanton greed and excessive… Continue reading

The Dark Side to Leading Creative Teams: Preserving Authority while Avoiding Destructiveness

The latest issue of the Creativity and Innovation Management journal features an insightful study of team leadership, ‘Authenticity and Respect: Leading Creative Teams in the Performing Arts’.  In it, Dagmar Abfalter, a researcher at the Innsbruck University School of Management, analyzes how the leadership of teams of creatives is conducted in two theatre companies in… Continue reading

The Leader’s Guide to Building an Everyday Strategic Practice: Lafley and Martin’s ‘Playing to Win’

A.G. Lafley and Roger L. Martin, Playing to Win: How Strategy Really Works, Cambridge: Harvard Business Review Press, 2013. =============================================================== A.G. Lafley, CEO of Procter & Gamble from 2000-2009, is one of the most-respected and successful corporate leaders of the young twenty-first century.  Roger Martin, a long-time business consultant and currently Dean of the Rotman… Continue reading

Balancing Clarity and Uncertainty in Leading More Successful and Creative Teams

One of the most important trends in leadership, especially of creative organizations and tasks, over the last two decades, is arguably the shift in attention from firm-level to team-level or project-level design and management. About team leadership, especially, there has been a range of immensely valuable insights generated and best practices shared by the likes… Continue reading

Leadership and Luck: Fortune favors the hard-working (and decisive and flexible and trusting…)

In “More luck than judgment,” in today’s Financial Times, Morgan Witzel draws together a range of perspectives about luck and its place in business and leadership. Many of the varied voices in the piece circle around the familiar understanding that those who commit to hard work and preparation make their own luck. However, an important finer point involves… Continue reading

Warren Bennis on Leadership and Character … and A Key Insight about Reflection

Like so many, I’m an admirer of Warren Bennis’s thinking about leadership.  In his current Bloomberg Business Week blog posting, Bennis writes briefly on leadership and character: http://buswk.co/P6dOqc .  His question is whether business schools can teach character or, put even more basically, whether character can be taught to or learned by leaders.  A fascinating and provocative topic…. Continue reading

How Innovative Leaders Lead Innovative Organizations

The current issue of Forbes features a ranking of the world’s most innovative companies (http://www.forbes.com/sites/innovatorsdna/2012/09/05/how-innovative-leaders-maintain-their-edge/ ). The list itself is instructive and inspiring and refreshingly international. At least as important, though, are the issue’s introductory comments, which make clear that a crucial commonality among the innovative companies is the presence in them of innovative leaders.  That may… Continue reading

Challenge for the New Year: Innovate Management, Organizational Design, not just Products, Services or Teams

I’m a great fan of Gary Hamel’s work on management innovation. Through his research and writings, especially at Hack 2.0: The Management Innovation eXchange, he goes beyond much of the current thinking and modeling of how to foster innovative ideas, products, and services (www.managementexchange.com). Instead, though very much relatedly, his emphasis is on innovating management… Continue reading