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Sometimes you have to gamble everything

Max McKeown | 14 February 2011

Revolutionaries everywhere understand that sometimes incremental changes are not enough and you have to gamble everything to change the world. Hundreds of thousands of protesters in Egypt were prepared to do that – so perhaps you should, too.

Battle hymn of the tiger manager?

Max McKeown | 28 January 2011

Inspired by lively debate about parenting styles in the east and west, Max McKeown explores whether there is any evidence that managers in the West can learn anything from the 'Tiger Managers' who are leading China to greatness.

Reacting matters as much as planning

Max McKeown | 26 November 2010

Successful strategy is often about reacting to events. Planning only takes you so far because you can only guess what will happen in the future. The smart strategist allows strategy to be shaped by events. Good reactions can make great strategy. So being reactive is as important as being proactive.

Bully for you

Max McKeown | 24 February 2010

A sense of urgency is vital to an organization and sometimes it's impossible to get things done without jumping past politeness. That's why not all expressions of anger or impatience are examples of bullying - even if you're the British Prime Minister.

Strategy is fantasy, action is real

Max McKeown | 15 February 2010

Calling something "strategic" does not make it smarter. Which leads to two important questions: Why don't strategies work in the real world? And how can we make strategies work for real people doing real things in the ihe real world?

Open spaces, open minds

Max McKeown | 17 December 2009

I'm often appalled at the physical spaces and meeting formats in which people are meant to open their minds, solve problems and inspire progress. Desks are for filling in forms and filing papers – not for creating, thinking, making, learning, or collaborating.

Reinventing the wheel

Max McKeown | 23 October 2009

It's easy to think that something is so simple that you couldn't improve it or so low-tech your intellect would be wasted even thinking about it. But you'd be wrong. Because anything that is invented can - and often should - be reinvented.

The importance of being stylish

Max McKeown | 18 August 2009

It was Oscar Wilde who noted that "in all important matters style, not sincerity is the essential". For Trevor Phillips, beleaguered chairman of the UK's Equality & Human Rights Commission, Wilde's words are proving all too accurate.

Any fool can do either. Smart people learn to do both

Max McKeown | 08 May 2009

Innovation promises benefits without all of the costs. The aim is to have your cake and eat it – to deliver two benefits that contradict each other. But to come up with things that do this, you need to learn to think better.

Recession survival strategies

Max McKeown | 05 January 2009

Right now, you need to be thinking about how you will emerge and thrive from the recession ahead of your competition. But how? To point you in the right direction, here's Max McKeown's advice on dealing with the financial crisis.

A crisis is a terrible thing to waste

Max McKeown | 12 November 2008

Every now and then there will be a crisis. Look around and you might even conclude that there is always a crisis. Crises force a choice between inertia and innovation. So when faced with one, ask: How can we use this crisis to make thing better?

A bad beginning

Max McKeown | 19 September 2008

Carla has just started a senior government job to find herself with a deputy who was passed over for the same job. He is hurt, angry and causing trouble. Is there anything she can do salvage the situation? Max McKeown thinks there is.

Innovate your way out of recession

Max McKeown | 15 September 2008

The best way to deal with a recession is not to hide until the storm has passed, it's to innovate your way out of it. If you sit still, you'll get left behind. While your competitors are full of uncertainty and doubt, you can introduce innovations that others cannot easily imitate.

Meeting of minds not mindless meetings

Max McKeown | 17 June 2008

Many meetings are not dialogues. They do not invite contributions. Their style discourages openness. Their structure does little to capture collective and individual opinions. Here are some practical ways to get out of the meeting rut and have meetings them matter.

Bet small to win big

Max McKeown | 24 April 2008

Big companies want big products. They want big ideas. They place big bets on a big future. But what they're doing is putting all their eggs in one big basket. Or worse – putting all their faith in just one egg.

Measuring innovation

Max McKeown | 05 March 2008

Some people argue that innovation is impossible to measure. But if innovation is not measured it can't be managed and you end up relying on luck. The secret to measuring innovation is to keep it simple.

Idea fishing: put dinner on the table

Max McKeown | 15 January 2008

It just isn't possible for one organisation to realise the benefits of all its ideas. Which means that there any numbers of good ideas out there just waiting to be exploited. All it takes is someone to see their potential. Just ask Steve Jobs.

Power is originality's best friend

Max McKeown | 19 December 2007

Very few ideas succeed without powerful support. Because powerful people need ideas - and ideas need powerful people to facilitate, legitimise, popularise and even legislate for their adoption.

Chindogu: when useless is useful

Max McKeown | 07 November 2007

Chindogu – the Japanese art of the unusual – describes inventions that solve a problem but cause so many new problems that for most people, they are effectively useless. But far from being a joke, we could all benefit from the Chindôgu philosophy.

Every little difference can be magic

Max McKeown | 09 October 2007

If you're looking for that ground breaking, market changing new idea, you need to think big, right? Well, not necessarily. The biggest advances often come from focusing on the smallest things.

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