Management Practices

Highlight your ‘positive deviants’

September 9, 2014
In 1991, Jerry Sternin headed to Vietnam. His goal: to fight child malnutrition in poor villages. Sternin isolated the few people who were modeling problem-solving behavior when most were following negative patterns. He thus dis­­covered what the “positive deviants” did to produce such superior results.

Rejiggering a 110-hour workweek

August 21, 2014
Pressed to the limits by his workload, Stephen Shapiro analyzed all the activities on his plate and found only a small percentage of them truly mattered. Within two weeks, he had re­­duced his weekly work hours from 110 to 20. What can be learned from this speaker and consultant’s example?

Use questions to teach vital skills

August 12, 2014
Just six days before the now-famous hijacking of the Maersk Alabama by Somali pirates, Captain Richard Phillips held a surprise security drill aboard his ship. He wanted to test his crew’s ability to defend against a pirate attack.

Unleash free flow of information

July 3, 2014

For many years, executives tended to control the flow of information in their organization. They would limit who had access to data and expend much effort ensuring that most employees did not know what senior management knew. Thankfully, that approach is changing.

Under fire? Opt for transparency

July 1, 2014
It took fewer than 60 days for Mary Barra, the new CEO of General Motors, to face a crisis.

At Zappos, it’s all fun and business

April 8, 2014
Most CEOs abide by social norms. Not Tony Hsieh of Zappos.

Calling the shots with some chutzpah

January 23, 2014
Typically, a CEO who seeks to impress an important client will defer to the client’s wishes. But Linda Kaplan Thaler isn’t a typical CEO. As chief executive of a big New York advertising agency, she recalls a 2001 meeting with Coldwell Banker Real Estate Corp.

Boost group effort by forming a scrum

January 23, 2014
Rugby teams try to harness the talent of each player at just the right time to clear a path downfield. Similarly, top business teams operate with speed, flexibility and autonomy.

Ford runs on hard data, not soft hunches

January 16, 2014
Many CEOs favor fact-based leadership. Rather than rely on their impressions or gut instinct, they tend to scrutinize facts and make decisions rooted in hard data. Alan Mulally, Ford Motor’s 68-year-old CEO, has stood out among leaders of American auto companies for his intense focus on numbers.

Passionate curiosity powers top CEOs

November 22, 2013
While top CEOs don’t necessarily know all the answers, they display passionate curiosity with almost everyone they meet. Their ability to ask questions and expand their horizons gives them a fuller understanding of complex issues.