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I'm not one of those professors whose office is encased floor to ceiling with books. By the way, I think academics do this to intimidate their visitors.
An uplifting sense of purpose is more than an impetus for individual accomplishment, it is also a necessary insurance policy against expediency and impropriety.
What's true for churches is true for other institutions: the older and more organized they get, the less adaptable they become. That's why the most resilient things in our world biological life, stock markets, the Internet are loosely organized.
In most companies, the formal hierarchy is a matter of public record it's easy to discover who's in charge of what. By contrast, natural leaders don't appear on any organization chart.
At the pinnacle of great design are products so gorgeous and lust worthy that you want to lick them: a Porsche 911, Samsung's Luxia TV, an Eames lounge chair or anything by Loro Piana.
You have to train people how to be business innovators. If you don't train them, the quality of the ideas that you get in an innovation marketplace is not likely to be high.
I live a half mile from the San Andreas fault a fact that bubbles up into my consciousness every time some other part of the world experiences an earthquake. I sometimes wonder whether this subterranean sense of impending disaster is at least partly responsible for Silicon Valley's feverish, get it done yesterday work norms.
While one should never underestimate the ability of risk besotted financiers to wreak havoc, the real threat to capitalism isn't unfettered financial cunning. It is, instead, the unwillingness of executives to confront the changing expectations of their stakeholders.
If organized religion has become less relevant, it's not because churches have held fast to their creedal beliefs it's because they've held fast to their conventional structures, programs, roles and routines.
At the heart of every faith system is a bargain: on one side there is the comfort that comes from a narrative that suggests human life has cosmic significance, and on the other a duty to yield to moral commands that can, in the moment, seem rather inconvenient.
In most languages, 'control' is the first synonym for the word 'manage.' Control is about spotting and correcting deviations from pre defined standards; thus to control, one must first constrain.
A titled leader relies heavily on positional power to get things done; a natural leader is able to mobilize others without the whip of formal authority.
It's not just that individuals have lost faith in the integrity of their leaders, it's that they no longer believe society's most powerful institutions are acting in their interests.
Truth be told, there are lots of companies that provide exemplary phone support. DirecTV, Virgin America and Apple are a few that regularly exceed my expectations.
Most companies don't have the luxury of focusing exclusively on innovation. They have to innovate while stamping out zillions of widgets or processing billions of transactions.
If corporate leaders and their acolytes are not slaves to some meritorious social purpose, they run the risk of being enslaved by their own ignoble appetites.