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Duane Dike

Duane Dike

Duane Dike is the manager of creative production for a large entertainment company in Southern California. He has a doctorate in management and organizational leadership and an MBA in management. He is a popular guest speaker for education and management groups on subjects related to innovation, leadership and thinking.

Why change? Why not?

21 May 2018

Change often fails because it is based on a plan/do model. We plan, and then expect people to do. But that ignores the exploration, thinking, mistaking, learning, testing and struggling that needs to come in between.

Leaders, go away!

02 May 2018

Too many bosses fail to understand that every individual thinks and works at different rates or that we all need to distinguish between important and not so important work to operate effectively.

Relaxing while flying

03 Apr 2018

Each time I get in a plane, I sit back and relax, because there not much else to do. What I’m getting to here is we have to learn to relax - and also learn how to separate work from non-work.

The theory thing

18 Dec 2017

Management theories are constantly changing because our business world is in a state of eternal flux. So if business leaders can’t change their ways of thinking, they risk being left behind by the march of history.


09 Nov 2017

What exactly is intelligence? Is it something measured by an IQ test? Or should we also consider more subtle traits like humor, the ability to figure things out or storytelling?

Old dogs, new ideas

25 Sep 2017

It's no surprise that beginners learn quickly. But the idea that you can’t teach an old dog new tricks is terribly wrong. The age of that old dog does not determine his or her ability to learn.

Leadership, innovation and the future

03 Aug 2017

Leaders are critical to innovative thinking. Great ideas don't emerge from companies whose leaders try to control and micromanage. Innovation only thrives in organizations whose members are free to think and express themselves.

Everyday leadership

10 Jul 2017

Over the years, I’ve lost count of the number of leadership theories and styles that I’ve studied, practiced and discarded. What all this has taught me is that leadership is a complicated puzzle - and that the best solution is to keep things simple.

A time for every season

24 May 2017

In too many organizations, older workers get written off ‘village idiots’. But that’s a big mistake - after all these are the people who know its history, remember how things used to be and know what works and what doesn’t.

Should we judge?

11 Apr 2017

Making assumptions about others is a risky business. We don’t know their lives. We don’t know their happiness or their loneliness. We don’t know how they confront their issues. So why not converse? Enjoy it while you can, then move on when the environment changes.

Taking time for leadership

07 Mar 2017

Reflection is an essential part of leadership. Leaders who don't pause to reflect run into trouble because off-the-cuff decisions are often irrational, people-less, system-ignorant choices. In contrast, reflection brings new alternatives, fresh perspectives and creative solutions.

The right way to brag

16 Feb 2017

When you’re a manager, bragging about others is good. But bragging about yourself is bad, especially when it involves taking the credit for things other people have done in order to get ahead.

Time for change

19 Dec 2016

Change is the basis of renewal. So even altering the way we approach some mundane task or activity can make life better and help us to think differently. A little change can make our world that much better.

So what went wrong?

01 Dec 2016

Even in the high inflation years of the early 1980s, jobs were relatively secure. Not any more. Now when things go wrong in a business, the axe almost always falls swiftly on the people who do the work, and very rarely on the executives who made bad decisions.

The accountability dilemma

17 Oct 2016

It’s all very well being held responsible and accountable as a manager, but that can only work if you’re also able to make real and meaningful decisions. Yet all too often, that decision-making lives with other people.

Feelings vs reasoning

26 Sep 2016

The older I get, the more I see that rather than ignoring people’s expressions of feeling, managers ought to welcome them as good for business and realize that results can improve when you listen and respond appropriately to them.

Learning to play together

17 Aug 2016

Even though we shared the same experiences, I think very different from my brothers. But that didn’t stop us learning to play together. So why screw up the little time we have on this earth with prejudices, hatred, and mistrust?

Focus on the positives

11 Jul 2016

Why do we feel the need to wallow in the negative? So many good things happen in our lives, but our work-world tends to drive toward the negative and the non-productive.

Truth, authenticity and leadership

13 Jun 2016

‘Authentic leadership’ is one of those phrases that gets tossed around so much that its real meaning is in danger of getting lost. So let’s take a look at ‘authentic’ in the context of leadership, music and tourism.

Names without faces

02 May 2016

'Recognition', in its most basic sense, means being able to put a name to a face. But in the business world, names without faces are all too common. And the larger a company grows, the more likely it is that bosses don’t know the names or faces of the people who do the work.

It's all about systems

19 Apr 2016

We humans operate in complicated structures called ‘systems’. And the ability to think critically about these systems is the root of all humor, creativity, drama and life.

Select your confidants carefully

07 Mar 2016

No-one operates effectively in isolation. That’s why we all need trusted compatriots to teach us how to think, help us to see things differently and to keep us out of trouble.

More from Duane

When evolutionary change needs a nudge

24 Feb 2016

For the most part, change is gradual and evolutionary. But sometimes it's best for us to push the evolutionary process and go for more rapid change. And that requires good, even transformational, leadership.

True leaders are human

21 Dec 2015

True leadership is the stuff of relationships. Being a leader is much more complicated than simply acting leader-like. True leadership is quality-based. Fake leadership is leader-like-sound-bites of things leaders might say.

Learning is a process, not a result

05 Oct 2015

None of us learn to read, ride a bike or pack a suitcase in a day. That's why learning, like change, is a process, not an event. And it's something leaders need to understand if they are to create learning cultures rather than environments of rote or blind faith.

Those darn performance appraisals

07 Sep 2015

Great performance is a product of happy people. And happy people are a product of good leadership, not of formal performance appraisals which treat people like children, create bad feeling and breed unproductivity.

Career planning 101: what I wish I'd known then

06 Jul 2015

The career advice I received when I was young was pretty unimaginative. What I wish I’d been told then is what I try to tell young people now. Make plans, but don’t box yourselves in. Be adventurous. Experiment. Think outwardly - and don’t be afraid take gambles.

You don’t know what’s going to happen tomorrow

08 Jun 2015

As I’ve recently been reminded, life has an end and it could come any time. That realization brings with it a renewed focus on the things that matter. And few things matter more than the happiness that dwells in the things you do for others.

The three legs of leadership

21 May 2015

Every move a leader makes affects someone and something else. So leadership effectiveness depends on three things: knowledge of the job, your place in the working environment and your ability to relate to others. Remove any of these and - like a stool - you're heading for a fall.

Leadership is a verb, not a noun

11 Feb 2015

Whichever way we look at workplace culture, critical elements such as productivity, job satisfaction and personal responsibility all boil down to one factor: boss behavior. Without knowledgeable and empathetic leaders, healthy cultures, work environments and systems can’t exist.

In praise of inconspicuous leadership

12 Jan 2015

Many so-called leaders have an unhealthy interest in the outward trappings of their position. But the problem with conspicuous leadership is that it’s usually only skin deep. Real leadership is inconspicuous - and it’s about far more than status or measurable achievements.

Morale: a moving target

08 Dec 2014

What we think we know about morale is probably wrong, especially the black and white notion that morale is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Like most human feelings, morale is a moving target, which is why being sensitive to its nuances is such a key skill for leaders.

Leadership: an evolutionary journey

10 Nov 2014

Have we learned anything new about leadership over the past few decades or are we just touting the same mantras over and over? To answer that, let’s take a journey through history.

What a difference a CEO can make!

06 Oct 2014

It might have been like something out of a TV soap opera, but the extraordinary saga of U.S. supermarket chain, Market Basket, is a powerful reminder of the difference that a CEO can make to a business and the value of mutual respect.