Thursday, October 18, 2012

Important Business Lesson from Blue Man Group

Here's a quick post based on another Fortune article: "How Blue Man Group learned to see green."

The brief article provides an interesting overview of the accidental national theater group that was generated by brought to you by the color blue, but there's at least one bit of advice worth considering, from co-founder Chris Wink:
If you can be a good collaborator, it's like having a superpower because you can connect your gifts with that of someone else. The point is to get the work done and not look out for your own celebrity or money. I stopped trying to have my own career, found some friends, and worked with them.
Since I was talking with a client last week about the power of collaboration, I thought this was worth sharing on our blog.

Monday, October 15, 2012

Another Wall St. Journal Article Validates Cyberattack Prediction

This is a trend prediction we hate to be right about, but in our set of predictions published on Feb. 2, 2012, "Ongoing stories we’ll see covered in the media," we included:
"Cyberwarfare: the act of attacking one’s enemies by hacking. It’s happening on both sides in the Israeli-Palestinian conflict and the US media has reported that China is using cyberwarfare against the US, including corporate espionage, so expect it to spread elsewhere."
Unfortunately, we've seen a spate of articles covering cyberwarfare, including this one from the Wall St. Journal (but the story appeared elsewhere, too): "Iran Blamed for Cyberattacks; U.S. Officials Say Iranian Hackers Behind Electronic Assaults on U.S. Banks, Foreign Energy Firms."
Here's the New York Times' take: "U.S. Suspects Iran Was Behind a Wave of

We can add Iran to the list of countries conducting cyberwarfare.

We think coverage of cyberattacks will continue because the number of cyberattacks will continue.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

3 Lessons from Great Fortune Article about IBM's CEO Ginni Rometty

As compared with Forbes, which is more focused on investment opportunities, Fortune has staked out management as its focus.

Jessi Hempel wrote a terrific profile of IBM's Ginni Rometty in the current "Most Powerful Women" issue. What made the article, "IBM's Ginni Rometty looks ahead" so worth reading is that Hempel not just the insight into Rometty's personality and career achievements. It's that the article contains at least three pieces of business insight that all of us can use.

Here are the three lessons I learned from the article:
  • "Whatever business you're in -- it doesn't matter -- it's going to commoditize over time. It's going to devalue. You've got to keep moving it to a higher value." We should all look at where we can improve the value of our services and products.
  • "IBM's most senior executives have long served on three teams -- operating, technology, and strategy -- to help guide the company. Rometty created a fourth leadership team, the Client Experience Team, which she chairs. There are no senior executives on the team. Rather, she appointed a series of client-facing executives to meet with her once a month."
  •  To open new markets, sometimes you need to find new problems to solve for new internal customers.  For Rometty growth comes not just from inventing new technologies to sell to her existing clients. "Growth at IBM's scale also means creating new markets...Now Rometty is making a similar pitch to marketing executives, promising that technology will change the way they do their jobs. It won't be an easy sell: Marketers are less apt than bureaucrats to be wowed by a charismatic CEO or statistics about petabytes. Many are accustomed to seeing computing as a tool to support their creative endeavors, not the starting point."
Some good business lessons from a terrific article.