Seven characteristics of remarkable businesses

Andy Hanselman | 21 Feb 2020

What makes a business remarkable? What gets people talking about it and recommending it to others? The simple answer is that they are dramatically and demonstrably different.

There’s nothing soft about the heart

Wayne Turmel

Every animal depends on its heart for its existence. And exactly the same is true of an organization, except that rather than a multi-chambered muscle, an organization relies on leadership, managers and flows of information.

Learning is a process, not a result

Duane Dike

None of us learn to read, ride a bike or pack a suitcase in a day. So understanding that learning is a process, not an event is fundamental to creating learning cultures rather than environments based on rote or blind faith.

It's not what you know, it's how fast you learn

Rod Collins

The secret to market success in a rapidly-changing world has less to do with what you know and much more to do with how fast you learn.

You may be a workplace hero without realising it

Nadav Klein

Heroes come in all shapes and sizes, whether in life or in the workplace. But they all have one thing in common: they don’t see themselves as heroes.

Financial wellbeing: the next target for workplace disruption?

David Fairhurst

Several years ago, I warned about a looming 'workforce cliff' as demand for workers outstrips supply. Now that employers are thinking differently about the experience they are creating, one area which seems ripe for innovation is pay.

Is paranoia widespread in your firm? You're not alone

Manfred Kets De Vries

Trust is a rare commodity in most workplaces. Yet high-trust organisations are more productive, have higher morale and perform better financially. So what can management do to build a more trusting culture?

From the archive

Morale: a moving target

Duane Dike

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.

Edward de Bono

New ideas needed

Edward de Bono

The majority organisations do not feel they need new ideas because things are going very well. They could be right. But there are plenty of scenarios where new ideas are vital.

Janet Howd

Flat is the new rotund

Janet Howd

When I seriously started considering how a flattening global society could possibly work, it dawned on me that mankind has always defined and shared knowledge on a horizontal plane.

Peter Vajda

Surviving the holidays

Peter Vajda

For many people, the holiday season is a mental, physical and emotional ordeal, not a time of joy and happiness. So I'd like to share some perspectives to support you to create a nurturing holiday experience resulting in peace in body, mind, and spirit.

Dan Bobinski

Say "no thanks" to new farm rules

Dan Bobinski

Too often, the well-intended efforts of government agencies are vulnerable to the law of unintended consequences. And those include many negative ripple-effects, particularly when safety is concerned..

Earlier opinion

Embracing the paradoxes of leadership

Ella Miron-Spektor

In today’s organisations, demands, goals and expectations are dynamic, complex and interconnected. That’s why we need to move from an ‘either/or’ to a ‘both/and’ view of priorities.

How artificial intelligence will transform human thinking

Rod Collins

Will AI benefit mankind or could it lead to the end of the human race? A better understanding of the relationship between human thinking and AI may shed some light on this great uncertainty.

Why business strategy needs to be more than perfume

Daniel Deneffe

Many ‘grand’ business strategies are well-packaged and smell great. But what ultimately determines the success of a business isn’t strategy but something much more simple: the choices that customers make to buy or not to buy.

How to tell if you're mansplaining

David Livermore

Are mansplaining and its close cousin, whitesplaining, real things or are they just more pop psychology terms? David Livermore interviews Dr Amy Heaton to find out.

Getting feedback from a virtual audience

Wayne Turmel

Speaking to large groups on-line can be deeply disconcerting. Why? Because even in a lecture-type presentation, you get all kinds of feedback. But doing it virtually feels like you’re talking into a void.

The new rules for how business works

Rod Collins

Whether we like it or not, the digital revolution has completely rewritten the rules of how the world works. And even more disconcertingly for those who want to hold onto the old rules, this revolution is only just getting started.

Three inconvenient truths about corruption

Marc Le Menestrel

Any definition of corruption that does not include your own actions is a self-protective fantasy. So having honest, adult conversations about corruption requires accepting that none of us is ethically pure.

Faith, trust and teamwork

Wayne Turmel

Having faith is a wonderful thing. But today's project and functional teams need to run on trust. Why? Because unlike faith, trust is evidence-based, built on measurable results and can be restored through hard work.

The powerful drivers and blockers of leadership

Ian C. Woodward

Exploring the hidden forces that motivate and hinder you can make you a better leader. And when it comes to self-development, the first challenge anyone faces is deepening their self-awareness.

Opening the Johari Window

James M. Kerr

The Johari Window is a technique that can be used to expose an individual’s blind spots and increase self-discovery. It’s also a useful way to improve team performance and encourage breakthrough thinking.

Leading organisations as ecosystems (rather than elephants)

Sharon Olivier

The world isn't predictable, uniform or controllable. So trying to run organisations via planned, top-down programmes dictated by senior leaders is doomed to failure. Instead, we need to start viewing organisations as living eco systems, rather than some sort of machine.

Vital lessons from an eight year old

Wayne Turmel

The most important business lesson I ever learned, I learned at eight years old. And it’s something that is as relevant to all of us today as it was to me as a kid back then.