Best-Practices Leadership

Solving everyday problems

September 20, 2011
The wisdom of Eileen Gittins is that she keeps learning. In 2004, Gittins launched Blurb, where anybody can produce a pocket-size book for $2.95 or a coffee table book for about $200. Business is almost doubling every year.

Go where the lion hunts, not the zoo

September 19, 2011

Lately, Gianfranco Zaccai spends his time lying in a hospital bed. He’s not sick; he’s researching ideas for a health care client. As president at Continuum, Zaccai knows that he and his staff find the best ideas when they’re observing clients or putting them­­selves in clients’ shoes. He insists that staffers “go to where the lion is hunting, not the zoo.”

Keeping the short-termers at bay

September 16, 2011
Amazon founder and billionaire Jeff Bezos wants us to think long term. The company was founded in 1994, listed in 1997, but didn’t post profit until 2001. His company isn’t the only one to get off to a slow start:

Paul Allen: The run-up to innovation

September 14, 2011

Today, Paul Allen says that each of his big ideas—which now include aspects of brain science and aerospace—has begun with a development that sets the stage. In co-founding Microsoft, that development was the evolution of Intel’s early chips.

Leadership Tips: Vol. 911

September 1, 2011
Nobody has to tell Google co-founder Larry Page to look for the big picture. He loves the grand quest and will challenge an employee by saying, “You’re not thinking big enough.”

Got an idea? Light the fuse now

August 29, 2011
Media mogul Jim Dolan’s signal characteristics include becoming easily bored and getting a thrill from taking calculated risks. In fact, he took his company public in 2007, having long ago learned about timing investments—that lesson came when he was a little kid selling fireworks.

Collaborate like Edison

August 25, 2011
Author Sarah Miller Caldicott, great-grandniece of the inventor, is working on a second book about Thomas Edison’s collaboration methods. Edison believed in collaboration not only as a way of accelerating the innovation process, but to expand the solution set, Caldicott says. He liked to create diverse groups of people from diverse disciplines.

Give yourself one hour a week to think

August 23, 2011

Gaining creative insights doesn’t re­­quire taking off for an ashram, as Steve Jobs once famously did. But it does require preparation and application. Creativity guru Todd Henry recommends that executives set aside one hour a week to generate new ideas—“one hour, predictably scheduled, no exceptions and no violations.”

No need to toot your own horn

August 17, 2011

In one way, Ezra Newman is the opposite of Stephen Hawking, another genius physicist. Unlike Hawking, who is great at attracting attention, Newman is great at deflecting it. Newman is unassuming, but boy is he influential. Like the black holes he studies, he gets noticed through his effects on his surroundings.

Bringing Army efficiency to business: Lt. Gen. Pagonis

August 15, 2011
Allied Forces commander Gen. Norman Schwarzkopf once called Lt. Gen. William G. Pagonis the “logistical wizard” of the first Gulf War. Now Pagonis applies his wizardry to the business world. What the Army taught him about business: