Customer Surveys Are No Substitute for Actually Talking to Customers

Customer Surveys Are No Substitute for Actually Talking to Customers

Summary.   Surveys are a pain to complete and, as a result, most people don’t invest much thought in filling them in, which means the information they give is low-quality and unlikely to provide strategic insight.  Talking to customers and asking open-ended questions yields better results and in most cases your managers will not need to conduct…

How Timeboxing Works and Why It Will Make You More Productive

How Timeboxing Works and Why It Will Make You More Productive

Summary.   In a recent survey of 100 productivity hacks, timeboxing — migrating to-do lists into calendars — was ranked the most useful. Timeboxing can give you a much greater sense of control over your workday. You decide what to do and when to do it, block out all distractions for that timeboxed period, and get it…

Every Leader Needs to Navigate These 7 Tensions

Every Leader Needs to Navigate These 7 Tensions

Summary: In decades past, executives were usually taught to practice command-and-control leadership. Today they’re often advised to be more nimble, more adaptive, and less controlling. The truth is that most executives need to be able to move back and forth between those two leadership styles. This article looks at seven tensions that executives need to…

What Really Makes Toyota’s Production System Resilient

What Really Makes Toyota’s Production System Resilient

Summary.   Toyota has fared better than many of its competitors in riding out the supply chain disruptions of recent years. But focusing on how Toyota had stockpiled semiconductors and the problems of other manufacturers, some observers jumped to the conclusion that the era of the vaunted Toyota Production System was over. Not the case, say Toyota…

In a Volatile World, Your Strategy Must Be Flexible

In a Volatile World, Your Strategy Must Be Flexible

Summary. Although it sounds cliché, the world really is a more volatile place than it used to be. That’s because the drivers of uncertainty are more intense — there are more and more change vectors affecting outcomes and these vectors are more and more inter-related. The range of likely outcomes five and 10 years has…

How to Design an Agenda for an Effective Meeting

How to Design an Agenda for an Effective Meeting

Summary.   To prevent holding a meeting in which participants are unprepared, veer off-track, or waste the team’s time, you should create an effective meeting agenda that sets clear expectations for what needs to occur before and during the meeting. Seek input from your team members to ensure the agenda reflects their needs and keeps them engaged….