Anchor and Hope

I recently dined at a ‘west coast fish house’ in San Francisco called Anchor & Hope. It’s in a renovated turn of the century artist’s warehouse. The food and ambiance were terrific, but the name of the place is what keeps me remembering it. The name, Anchor & Hope, seems to be a really good metaphor for what we often spotlight in this blog – the challenge of breaking free from the weight of the past in order to pursue the possibility of a more valuable future. If we were truly honest with ourselves, many of us would admit that we’re bogged down by the security of the...

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A Building

Name the tallest building in New York City? For the past 10½ years it was the iconic Empire State Building. No more. As of last week, that honor belongs to the new One World Trade Center, now more simply known as 1WTC and previously known as Freedom Tower. It was a big news story here in New York. Did you hear about it? For me 1WTC is less about what it is — a building — than what it stands for — the commitment to building something bigger, better and bolder. Think about it. A building is static. The act of building is active. A building is about what is. Building is...

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The Significance of Shanghai

I recently had the good fortune of spending time in Shanghai, China through the lens of a new, US-based venture. We were afforded an insightful peek into China at work, China at play, new China, old China. It was a fascinating experience that offered a variety of learnings. Shanghai is second chances. Shanghai embodies the potential of China perhaps more than any other Chinese city. Shanghai is at once contemporary, connected, in tune, aware, open, willing, engaged, and hungry. This new reality is all the more remarkable when you consider what China...

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The Road to Value (Part 1)

Much is written about value. Even more is said about it. Value just might be the most overused word in business today. At the organization level, we hear about customer value, shareholder value, and enterprise value. At the department level, Product Management wants its products to be perceived as good value not high cost. Sales wants to sell from value rather than feature/functions. And, Marketing is measured on the value of leads and brand equity. Even support departments like Finance, IT and HR strive for value. Finance wants positive returns of value for capital deployed. IT must...

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Align for Success

Do you remember the popular book, Dress for Success? It sold millions of copies based on a simple concept:  If you want to get ahead you need to look the part. And that starts with what you wear. Wardrobes were updated everywhere. Dress for Success was itself a resounding success because it nailed the fundamentals. Its basic premise made sense — appearances matter. And, it was easy to execute. So, the individual had a playbook, albeit one book in the broader scheme of things, on how to increase their odds of success. Cool. What about the organization? Is there an equivalent playbook...

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