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Michael Couch and Richard Citrin recently published an important new book entitled Strategy-Driven Leadership:The Playbook for Developing Your Next Generation of Leaders. This book places business strategy first and maintains an emphasis on building leadership programs around what it will take to make the business successful as opposed to implementing a program in the hopes that it will benefit the strategy.

I spoke with Michael and Richard this month and asked them: “Given that most organizations spend significant resources on developing their leaders, why are most leadership-development efforts relatively ineffective in the long run?”

Here is their complete answer:

In Strategy-Driven Leadership, we cite several factors related to the ineffectiveness of most leadership development initiatives. Let’s discuss three of the most critical factors.

First of all, many approaches to leadership development ignore context. By this we mean that any development initiative must be built from a strong and clear strategic or business case. Designing effective development starts with the question, “Why exactly are we doing this?” -- so that the intended business impact of any investment in development is established at the get go. We call this “framing” the development.

Related to context, a second factor that is important to the effectiveness of leadership development is to have learners understand and focus on leadership competencies that are directly linked to the strategy of the business.  Strategies vary across organizations and the strategy of an individual business can change over time. For development to make a difference, strategy must be translated into the unique skills required of leaders to execute the strategy.

Third, organizations often take a one-size-fits-all approach to developing their leaders by buying an off-the-shelf program and requiring all leaders to attend the training. You’ll see this kind of program something like “these 5 factors are essential for every leader to possess.” This approach is seldom effective because it ignores the fact that the development needs of individual leaders vary greatly. There’s just no way that a single program can address those diverse needs. In addition, and probably more importantly, critical leadership competencies cannot be learned in a classroom. Real leadership skill-building occurs through navigating and learning from a challenging job or assignment. Our model for developing strategy-critical leadership skills, called Intentional Leadership Development, capitalizes on learning from experience so that development is built into everyday work and not bolted on as something extra to do.

What do you think of Michael and Richard's views on leadership development? Has leadership development been successful in your company?
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Many processes are linear. They occur with defined steps in a defined order. You would traditionally improve a linear process utilizing a process map, or value stream map, to map out the flow and then start taking the waste out. Quite a bit of continuous improvement has been achieved in

The post Working at the speed of collaboration and coordination  appeared first on JFlinch.

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The completed eBook version of Measures of Success: React Less, Lead Better, Improve More has been available for 18 months now. When I started writing it, the in-progress version was available through When the book was 100% completed, I made it available for purchase through the Amazon Kindle, Apple Books, and Google Play platforms. […]

The post “Measures of Success” is Now Free for Amazon Kindle Unlimited Members appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Wednesday, 25 March 2020, 5:42 PM
Retrieved from: Old Lean Dude
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If you’re like most folks I’ve talked to recently, you’re still be reeling from the immediate impacts COVID-19, both to your work and personal life. And the uncertainty of the future and isolation is maddening. You want to do something – but what?
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Click picture to enlarge as needed.   “As the coronavirus pandemic unfolds, people are dying around the world. But the trajectories of cases and deaths differ by country.” Source: The New York Times Michel Baudin‘s comments: On two prior occasions, I pointed out remarkable graphics in the New York Times: Sophisticated Graphics, on 8/24/2017 More […]

The post A Sobering But Remarkable Chart | Josh Katz and Margot Sanger-Katz | New York Times appeared first on Michel Baudin's Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Tuesday, 24 March 2020, 12:00 PM
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Amazon uses a pretty neat and nifty way to store its materials using robots. These are commonly known as Kivas, although Kiva is only the name of the company that originally invented them. Amazon calls them Amazon Robotics. In this post I will look in detail at both the design of their storage pods and … Continue reading Amazon Kiva Storage Strategies
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This blog post is a collaboration with a Lean healthcare consulting friend of mine, who heard another unfortunate story from his sister, an emergency room nurse. This was the first story, before things got crazy. This morning, I learned of an unfortunate event that occurred with nursing staff at a hospital in a major American […]

The post Is Your Hospital Punishing or Encouraging People’s Necessary Creativity During the Covid-19 Crisis? appeared first on Lean Blog.

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Recently, I hosted this… COVID-19 Quiz Time: Test Your Knowledge and Learn Even More March 24 from 1:00 – 2:00 ET Previously, we've hosted “Ask Us Anything” sessions where people submitted questions to doctors about coronavirus and COVID-19. In this webinar, live attendees played along and competed in an interactive “bar trivia” style quiz show. […]

The post Test Your Covid-19 Knowledge in a Live Quiz Show [Recording] appeared first on Lean Blog.

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by LSSU Admin - Monday, 23 March 2020, 3:00 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Thinking
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By Pascal Dennis (bio)

In our last post, I suggested that, in the age of Apple, Facebook and Google, Intellectual Capital was at least as important is financial & physical capital.

If you agree, then our annual People Plan is as important as our Financial Plan.

What's the nature & current condition of our IC?

Does our IC match the needs of our Strategy?

What are our 'hot spots' with respect to IC?

How do we, as a management team, develop a shared understanding of our IC hot spots?

How do we grow our people so as to address our hot spots?

Difficult questions, which take time & skill to pose, let alone understand.

The best companies intuit such questions, and actively manage IC.

(Lean thinkers will remember Toyota's cornerstone: Respect for People.)


But these trail-blazers are still a small minority. We need to extend their insights & practices in the years to come.

Why is it so important to manage Intellectual Capital?

Because only thus you can prosper in high cost economies like Europe, America, Canada, Australia, Singapore etc...

Only by investing wisely in your people can you compete with low-cost competitors.

We have enough data points. The best companies in Germany, Switzerland, Denmark, Sweden and such out-compete their low-cost rivals by a wide margin.

China has a massive trade deficit with, wait for it, Switzerland...

Managing Intellectual Capital will be an on-going theme here.



In case you missed our last few blogs... please feel free to have another look…

What is Intellectual Capital & Why Should You Care?
Value Stream Maps
What is a Key Thinker?
Macro Value Stream Kaizen – Zoology

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by LSSU Admin - Sunday, 22 March 2020, 5:16 PM
Retrieved from: Lean Blog
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I believe that leaders need to lead by example. This was true in my “Lean manufacturing” days when a good plant manager would make sure they always follow the rules that workers are required to follow. For example, the plant manager would always wear safety glasses and wouldn't make excuses. The same would be true […]

The post Leaders Need to Lead By Example, Especially in a Crisis appeared first on Lean Blog.