September 30, 2008

Innovation: Managing Today/Inventing Tomorrow

"Imagination is more important than knowledge. For knowledge is limited, whereas imagination embraces the entire world, stimulating progress, giving birth to evolution."

Albert Einstein

I agree. Imagination is the precursor to new knowledge; that which does not currently exist but soon will because someone was imaginative enough to invent something not yet known. But the trick is to balance time spent thinking about the future versus acting on what is already known and that's not easy to do. Because most feel comfortable dealing with what they know, management's job is to get them to venture out of their comfort zone to see what could be.

September 29, 2008

Risk Management: Stay or Go?

"We all have to decide how we are going to fail.. by not going far enough or by going too far."

Sumner Redstone

When it comes to risk assessment which is what this is about, the only thing I would change in Sumner's quote would be the substitution of "might" for "are going to". But that aside, his primary point is well taken. In today's economy not acting can be as risky as attempting something radically different.

September 28, 2008

Planning: Why You Do It

"The wise man bridges the gap by laying out the path by means of which he can get from where he is to where he wants to go."

Pierpont Morgan

In those 28 words JP Morgan summarized the role of planning. While all good plans describe what an organization will do their primary function is to show the path the company will follow to achieve its goals.

September 27, 2008

Management: No Time for Head in Sand

"When you confront a problem you begin to solve it."
Rudy Giuliani

In business as in life, the path of least resistance really isn't although many managers would like to believe otherwise. Organizations that teach their management to identify problems as a first step to solving them are way ahead of those that don't.

September 26, 2008

Management: Virtual Reality

"There are managers so preoccupied with their e-mail messages that they never look up from their screens to see what's happening in the non-digital world."
Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi, Professor of Psychology

No doubt about it the internet is one of the most enabling business tools ever, one with a dark side. 

Consciously or otherwise when managers act as though all they need to know will come from that monitor they face each day, their connection to reality is lost.