MBO 2.0: Making Management by Objectives Work for Today

Since its heyday in the 1960s and ’70s, management by objectives (MBO) has declined in popularity—and hipness. First Balanced Scorecard came along in the 1990s, presenting itself as a more sophisticated approach to corporate performance management. Now, we’re seeing the … Read More

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7 Old Timey Quotes About Running a Business That Still Apply Today

The American business magnates of the nineteenth century—the so-called robber barons—were fond of grand pronouncements. Some of their famous quotes sound like the words of exploitative tycoons, like the time railroad developer Jay Gould (b. 1836) supposedly claimed he could … Read More

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How to Overcome Organizational Friction

In his classic text On War, first published in 1832, the Prussian general Carl von Clausewitz explores the complexities of large-scale military engagements. The book spends a whole chapter on the concept of “friction”—the accumulated difficulties of the battlefield that, as Clausewitz … Read More

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How Two-Way Transparency Keeps Your Team on the Same Page

The best leaders understand that “transparency” isn’t just a buzzword. As corporate structures evolve and the world speeds up, internal information-sharing and visibility isn’t nice to have. It’s required. However, the common understanding of organizational transparency—that the CEO and top leadership team will hand down relevant information … Read More

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Manage the Future, Not the Past

If the company is the bus and its leader is the driver, as Jim Collins’s famous analogy states, then it stands to reason that when the bus is moving, the driver should mostly be looking out the windshield (toward the future) rather … Read More

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Likelihood and Quality: The Two Metrics at the Heart of Khorus

In the mid-2000s, I was running NetQoS, the network management software firm I cofounded with my wife in 1999. I was years into my CEO journey, and I’d gotten a pretty good feel for the unique challenges of the role. … Read More

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The Best Definition of Entrepreneurship I’ve Heard So Far

If you had to explain to someone who was learning English what an entrepreneur is, what would you say? Maybe it seems like a simple question, but the meaning of the word can get slippery. Howard Stevenson, a longtime professor … Read More

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3 Steps to Take Your Operations Meetings from Wasteful to Winning

If you’re like me—or pretty much anyone else in corporate America—you’ve endured your share of long, pointless meetings. Many of us treat them like Dilbert jokes. (Haha, off to another meeting! Man, my day is nothing but meetings!) But when you’re the CEO, … Read More

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Employees Love Feedback, Hate Employee Reviews. Wait. What?

Check out any blog, book or article about why employees quit their jobs, and you’ll find lack of feedback among the top reasons.  (Often even before salary.) This may make you think that employee reviews are an important retention tool. You’d … Read More

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Continuous Feedback Is Essential—for Bodies and Business

What if you never felt pain? At first it sounds great. I twisted my ankle and it hurts right now. I wish it didn’t. But, pain plays an important role in preventing humans from hurting ourselves or ignoring serious medical … Read More

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