Blog

See our experts’ latest contributions on consulting, execution, growth, simplification and other key topics in today’s industry-leading blog posts.

01.02.14  Ron Ashkenas

Make The New Year A Springboard For Change

The turning of the calendar is a time for reflection and resolution – when we think about what we learned in the past year and want to do differently in the next. It’s a healthy process for each of us as individuals, and also as managers and stewards of organizatio…

12.23.13  Ron Ashkenas

To Use Technology Effectively, Ask the Tough Questions

Over the years I’ve talked with hundreds of managers about the reasons for complexity in their organizations – and in almost all cases they cite “technology” as one of the main culprits. But in the next breath, they also acknowledge that technology has revolutioniz…

12.17.13  Ron Ashkenas

Why Accountability Is So Muddled – And How To Un-Muddle It

One of the most sacred tenets of management is the need for clear accountability. As such, organizations spend enormous amounts of time and energy defining jobs, roles, and goals – and then figure out who to reward or punish when things go well or poorly.

12.10.13  Ron Ashkenas

When It’s Hard to Celebrate Your Colleague’s Success

How do you feel when one of your sales colleagues closes a big deal? Or when a fellow manager is recognized for leading one of the best projects in the company? Or when a co-worker is selected for a special assignment or training program?

12.09.13  Ron Ashkenas

Three Ways To Preserve Institutional Knowledge

I was recently perplexed when I received a request to speak to a group of senior managers about reducing complexity – mostly because I had worked with their company fifteen years earlier on the same subject; and they had since developed a reputation for being good …

11.27.13  Ron Ashkenas

For Thanksgiving – Make It A Habit To Give Thanks

Thanksgiving is a good reminder that “thankfulness” and “appreciation” are important managerial behaviors in effective organizations – behaviors that need to be fostered throughout the year, not just when there’s a holiday.

11.21.13  Ron Ashkenas

Would You Work for a Tobacco Company?

I recently had the opportunity to talk with a class of second year MBA’s, and one of the most outstanding questions students raised was whether they should take jobs with companies that they considered to be socially irresponsible.

11.18.13  Ron Ashkenas

For Successful Change, Start With The Last Mile

One problem that constantly recurs in changing organizations is what we might call the last mile dilemma. The term comes from the telecommunications industry, which struggled for many years with how to efficiently extend their networks the “last mile,” or into indi…

How Simplicity Principles Could Fix Obamacare

As everyone now knows, Healthcare.gov – the $394 million website that was supposed to enable millions of Americans to shop for health insurance – is experiencing some initial technical failures. Critiquing the troubled rollout is easy, but not helpful considering t…

10.29.13  Ron Ashkenas

The Dangers of Denial

Great leaders tell it like it is. In other words, they focus on reality, no matter how painful or unpleasant it might be, and then figure out what to do about it. In contrast, less effective leaders sometimes avoid hard truths, argue with the data, and delay tough …

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