Excellence! That’s So Twentieth Century

The words we use shape the way we think. I gotta say, the words we’re using in business today aren’t helping much when it comes to thinking about the challenges of the century we’re in.

What’s wrong with “Excellence” you might ask? Well, you can hear from Mr. Burns of the Simpsons here, or go to the dictionary which, I can’t make this stuff up, says excellence is “The quality of being outstanding or really damn good.” O.k. I made up the “really damn good” bit, but you still get the general idea. It’s a state of being.
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The Essence of Partnership

The Essence of Partnership GraphicIf finance is the head of every successful business, then teamwork is its heart. Whether sellers and buyers, leaders and followers, or capital and labor, it is when we come together that the magic of business happens. It is our partnership and collaboration that turns the staid worlds of currency and manufacture and work into something desirable, compelling and even transcendent. Continue reading

Partnership, Power and Equality

We, in the American workplace, are just all a twitter about the innovative power of collaboration. Perhaps it’s that fresh millennial wind of social engagement blowing through the cube farm. Maybe it’s that next wave of technologically induced productivity with new tools and network bandwidth for sharing pumping down the aisles. Or maybe it’s just the powerful realizing the limits of their power in this increasingly fluid, rapidly evolving world we live in. Indeed, given the realities of corporate America, the cynical among us might suggest that all this partnership talk is a way for the powerful to give up just enough power to shift effort and risk to someone else while retaining the lion’s share of the benefits of action.

In any case, it is a rare situation in the workplace that raw unilateral power is sufficient to realize the full potential of our actions. Like it or not, the most seasoned CEO or rawest new recruit is usually in a situation of needing to get things done through other people, either by direction or request. And there is no greater attenuator of power than the need to pass it through others. So partnership’s stock is rising in the workplace.
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