Sacred cows: How to herd ’em out

October 31, 2011

Sacred cows are roaming your hallways. They’re grazing on profits, productivity and patience. To round them up and put them out to pasture, you need to be a constant cow hunter. And you need to get your entire team excited about tumbling those herds.

How the Container Store organizes

October 3, 2011
After the Container Store opened its first store in Houston, chief executive Kip Tindell unveiled the company’s “Foundation Principles.” Tindell dipped into a file of “best thoughts” he’d been gathering for years, searching for the ones that best defined his ideal of doing business. Lesson: Lay down your own foundation principles to help employees act as a unit working toward the same ends.

Encourage staff to share what they know

August 31, 2011
A study published in the Journal of Organizational Behavior points out that companies investing in knowledge-transfer software aren’t seeing much improvement in their information flow. One reason: Employees simply won’t share what they know. Keep information flowing in your corridors with these tactics:

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.

NASCAR’s take on teamwork

August 8, 2011

The 2001 Daytona 500 stands out as an important date for NASCAR fans because it marked the death of Dale Earnhardt Sr., “The Intimidator,” in the black-and-red No. 3 car. But that race also introduced an important new twist to NASCAR: working together by locking the team’s three cars up front.

6 ways to unleash problem-solvers

July 11, 2011

Bright ideas to jump-start the team: 1. Open up thinking time. 2. Play games. 3. Learn from mistakes. 4. Shut off the self-mockery. 5. Reduce the fear level. 6. Don’t forget the carrots.

Disruptive player a game-changer

June 16, 2011

Under Brad Brinegar’s tenure as chairman and CEO, McKinney has had one of the best new-business records in the advertising agency industry. Before coming to McKinney in 2002, Brinegar served as CEO of Leo Burnett USA, the world’s second largest advertising agency office. We asked Brinegar: What is the importance and the role of innovation in today’s global economic environment?

Team-building, live and unscripted

June 14, 2011

For those who fear public speaking, here’s an even more terrifying prospect: doing improv in front of a crowd. Yet that’s exactly what CEO Mark Fuller encourages employees to do through an improv class. “Improv, if properly taught, is really about listening to the other person, because there’s no script,” he says.

Give freedom plus responsibility

June 2, 2011
T.A. McCann, vice president of research and development at Research in Motion, advises letting your people run their own show. He recommends: 1. Making everyone CEOs. 2. Holding them accountable. 3. Keeping teams small and agile.

Teamwork on the moon

May 25, 2011
It took Apollo 12 astronauts Alan Bean and Pete Conrad exactly two tries to figure out the equation for teamwork on the lunar surface. Lesson: Teamwork takes practice. Don’t expect it to go perfectly the first time.