Leaders Manage Dilemmas

Excerpt from Strategy & Leadership

Strategy & Leadership: Leaders Manage Dilemmas

“When Lou Gerstner took the reins at IBM in 1993, the business was in tatters and on its way to registering a record loss of $8.1 billion. Eight years later, the company had returned to its position as the industry gorilla, setting the pace in both hardware and services, and achieving a handsome profit of $7.7 billion. What happened to turn things around? In the years leading up to 1991, IBM had become…”

The leader’s dilemma agenda

Excerpt from Strategy & Leadership

“A critical task of leadership is recognizing, acknowledging and interpreting the enterprise’s core dilemmas in a timely and useful fashion. When leaders do this well, they bring meaning, coherence and alignment to organizational efforts. When they don’t, they open the door to the kind of confusion, aimlessness and self-doubt that eventually derails an organization and renders it ineffective. The best leaders are remembered for how they articulated a crucial issue that contained trade-offs and risk and then blazed a new path for their group or organization. Think of some the great leaders of history: Moses (faith, rebellion and freedom versus slavery and security)…”

No Problem

Chapter One of No Problem, AuthorHouse, 2007

“I had my first glimpse of a better way to solve problems almost thirty years ago as a graduate student when I was introduced to a creativity model called Synectics. Synectics breaks all the conventional rules of the scientific method, but it does so in a highly systematic and coherent way. As a student and then as an instructor, I witnessed the impact of a few clear, powerful and (in this case) plainly counterintuitive principles: define the problem and then redefine it, generate lots of ideas, many of them silly ones, build on the silliest ones, never ever criticize when you are sharing ideas, and have fun. In three years, not a single student or client left one of these sessions unsatisfied….”