A year ago it would have been difficult to imagine that remote work would become the rule rather than the exception for many of us. Going into our sixth month of the COVID-19 pandemic we are seeing those initially resistant to the idea now beginning to adapt to the inevitable. A transition that most likely would have taken another ten years happened in mere months. Now, instead of rushing to and from meetings, we are “Zoom”-ing into meetings. In fact, two months ago I attended a child adoption via web conference in a “virtual court”.

It sounds ridiculous now, but…

The haka ritual in the opening of a rugby game in New Zealand

Rituals are arguably a universal feature of human social existence: just as one cannot envision a society without language, one would be hard-pressed to imagine a society without ritual.

First, let us discuss what a ritual is not.

A ritual is not a habit. A habit is an unconscious pattern of behavior.

A ritual is not a routine. A routine provides structure and a logical sequence. It is the framework within which we live our lives and conduct our daily activities.

So what is a ritual? A ritual is a conscious and structured pattern of behaviour, containing symbolism and meaning…

Intent Driven Management™ is a methodology to build and scale any organization. It was inspired by a 200 year old military leadership philosophy called Commander’s Intent. I go into more detail about Commander’s Intent and its history in Decentralized Operations.

Intent Driven Management™ has 3 disciplines:

Clarified Intent — describing the Why and What of the business, its playbook, its strategy map and its scorecard.

Optimized Talent — using Behavioral Science to build and maintain high performance teams as described in Is Your Organization Behaviorally Balanced?

Disciplined Ritualsperformed to maintain organizational flow.

Intent Driven Management™ needs to be…

There is a significant difference between having a strategy, which suggests a plan (such as in a Strategic Plan) and acting strategically, which requires flexibility in response to events. This is why we utilize Strategic Intent rather than a Strategic Plan to communicate direction.

Strategic Intent allows strategy to be dynamic to engage with fast changing circumstances.

Strategy may need to be improvised under the pressure of urgent events, this is especially true during a crisis. In these scenarios intuition will play as important a role as deliberation. …

This is the story of a startup that found itself prepared to navigate the COVID-19 crisis without even knowing it.

Nanoramic Labs is a mid-stage startup based in Boston, MA. Among other things, it claims a breakthrough in energy storage technology that could reduce by 20% the cost of a KWh in a Li-ion battery. Nanoramic’s main operations consist of lab work to experiment with nanomaterials and small scale manufacturing to prove that its technologies are scalable.

Nanoramic, previously known as FastCAP Systems Corp, is not new to crisis. Ironically, the company started with funding that was the result of government stimulus during The Great Recession of 2008.

FastCAP faced its first crisis in 2014 when the oil price crashed

In an organization data is everywhere. It is to the point where we are practically drowning in data. Most organizations have become skilled at capturing information regarding their customers and prospects. Just take a moment to consider exactly how much customer data is collected. Marketing collects data from those who attend live or web events or download content. The sales department collects data about clients involved in the sales process. Customer support captures information regarding all verbal and written interactions. …

A true leader will walk the talk. Meaning each day you consistently stand up for the people you lead and the values of your organization. There is no substitute and no means of delegation which can achieve this. Instead of attempting to explain how to execute walking the talk, I prefer to rely on real-life examples that have inspired me.

One such leader is Gadi Eisenkot. On February 16th, 2015 Gadi became the 21st Chief of Staff (Ramatkal in Hebrew), the highest rank in the Israli Defence Forces. However, earlier in his career he was prematurely relieved from his command…

“Behavior drives People, People drive business”
— Unknown

Is Your Organization Behaviorally Balanced?

A.P. Møller-Maersk is a Danish conglomerate best known for its container shipping business, Maersk Line. It’s a family controlled business that began in 1904 in Svendborg, Denmark as Dampskibsselskabet Svendborg by Captain Peter Mærsk-Møller and his son Arnold Peter Møller.

By the summer of 2017, A.P. Moeller-Maersk A/S was the world’s biggest containership operator, operating in 130 countries and employing more than 76,000 people. …

“The tragedy of life doesn’t lie in not reaching your goal. The tragedy lies in having no goals to reach”

Benjamin E. Mays — American Civil Rights Leader

The generally accepted method to set targets is to set SMART goals. They need to be Specific, Measurable, Attainable, Results-Oriented, and Timely.

The issue that arises with SMART set targets is that you really just end up remaining in your comfort zone. The human mind desires certainty and is averse to ambiguity and the unknown. Psychologists refer to this as cognitive closure. A heightened sense of cognitive closure can cause a person…

An organization’s ability to learn, and translate that learning into action rapidly is the ultimate competitive advantage. — Jack Welch, former General Electric CEO

Organizational learning is the process of creating, retaining, and transferring knowledge within an organization. A scalable organization can only do that if it has formal process to create, collect, retain, and measure Organizational Learning.

A good example is the Center for Army Lessons Learned (CALL) as a way to institutionalize learning from experience. The center was created in recognition that U.S. Army units were repeating the same mistakes over and over again.

Even more important than…

Eric Kish

Practical CEO, Author and Speaker

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