Dealing with vs. Celebrating failure

There’s a meme that has been making the rounds through leadership circles for some time around celebrating failure. If you aren’t failing, you aren’t pushing the boundaries. The original premise of this line of thinking is that failure is not something to be feared. But there is a difference between using failure to learn well-earned lessons […]

The power of Clustering Illusion when managing image

As humans, we are predisposed to finding order out of otherwise random data. When we look at clouds or even a mountain ridge, we find shapes that are familiar to us. When we see data, we instinctively search for patterns to help make sense of what might appear to be random information. It might be […]

Conformity as an inhibitor to strategy

Early in life, we are all made acutely aware of the power of peer pressure. Most of us probably attribute it to a deep need for belonging. But what if that deep sense of belonging is less about social acceptance and more about how we are psychologically wired? In fact, the pursuit of conformity goes […]

Outcome bias and the psychology that prevents sustained success

In psychology, there is a phenomenon called Outcome Bias, which basically means that we tend to judge the efficacy of a decision based primarily on how things turn out. After a decision is made, we rarely examine the conditions that existed at the time of the decision, choosing instead to evaluate performance based solely (or […]

Theory of Constraints and common staffing mistakes

In many companies—both large and small—getting staffing right is a challenge. Critical teams are always starved for resources, and the common peanut butter approach to distributing headcount rarely maps to an explicit strategy. In fact, over time, some teams will grow disproportionately large, leaving other teams (system test, anyone?) struggling to keep pace. But why […]

On choice-supportive bias and the need for paranoid optimism

In cognitive science, choice-supportive bias is the tendency to view decisions you have made in the most favorable light. Essentially, we are all hardwired to subconsciously reinforce decisions we have made. We tend to retroactively ascribe positive characteristics to our selections, allowing us to actually strengthen our conviction after the point of decision. This is […]

Playing politics and self-defeating behavior

If you take an informal survey about the characteristics of dysfunctional organizations, you will probably hear the word politics rise to the top of most peoples’ lists. In fact, many large companies are portrayed as bumbling oafs perpetually weighed down by the weight of a giant political anchor that taxes every decision and every action. The […]

On building teams: experience or talent?

Obviously when you hire, you want to find a good mix of experience and talent. But a perfectly balanced straddle between the two is impossible. So when forced to choose between them, which do you choose: experience or talent? The case for experience The primary case for experience is risk mitigation. If you want to […]

[Plexxi Rewind] Don’t be the “We already” guy

For folks accustomed to the original blogs we post daily, our industry is in the throes of VMworld bliss, so we will be running the Best of Plexxi this week. Of course, if you haven’t read this one yet, it’s new for you! Stop by Booth 747 if you are in San Francisco this week, […]

On foxholes and corporate silos

The existence of silos in large companies is fairly common. Employees frequently bemoan the misalignment that exists across functional teams and organizational entities whose primary connection seems limited to the logo under which they exist. The larger the company, the looser the coupling of different silos. That said, large companies certainly do not have a […]

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