Tetsu Suzuki: What Brings You Most Alive?

I consider myself fortunate to know Tetsu Suzuki, a senior project management superhero at Genentech. I have a few suspicions about what makes Tetsu so skillful in managing complex, uncertain projects. He’s organized, responsive, and does everything you need to be an outstanding project manager. He also brings so much more: he is authentic, agile, and embraces collaboration in a way that seems to bring out the best in everyone around him. Tetsu’s response to our question, “What brings you most […]

Practicing for the Emergent

Watch this video of former Dodger shortstop, Rafael Furcal, dive to catch this ball and throw the runner out from his back. Even if you’re not a baseball fan, you can appreciate the amazing athleticism on this play. Here’s the interesting thing about it. It wasn’t luck, and it wasn’t purely talent, either. Furcal practices this play. All professional shortstops do. They know that over the course of a 162-game season, plays like that are likely to happen, and so […]

Ahmad Mansur: What Brings You Most Alive?

Last year, we decided to launch a series of short video blogs on our superheroes: friends, colleagues, and clients whom we admire, who are doing heroic work in their own little corner of the world, whether it be as humble as aspiring to be a great mom or as audacious as trying to change global consciousness. We’ve been asking friends and colleagues, “What brings you most alive?” Our first video clip is with Ahmad Mansur, a good friend and an […]

The Secret Life of Groups

In the early 90’s, when I was first starting out as an organizational development consultant, I worked with a man who seemed to have X-ray vision. When it came to working with groups, he was able to see things that no one else could see. He saw patterns in their interactions, he could predict what was going to happen, and he knew how to help them become more effective. His name was David Kantor. An original thinker and contributor to […]

Gut Check on Working Strategically

About a year ago, Stanford Business School professor Bob Sutton, blogged one of my favorite rants. He wrote: Big hairy goals don’t mean much without thousands of small wins. My colleague Jeff Pfeffer and I have argued for years that implementation, not strategy, is what usually separates winners from losers in most industries, and generally explains the difference between success and failure in most organizational change efforts, sales campaigns and so on. Atul Gawande drives this point home even further in his remarkable book on […]