Why big companies can't change

There’s a very good TED Talk by Simon Sinek about how great leaders inspire companies by asking why?  I think it also goes a long way toward explaining why big companies don’t handle change well.  It’s not that they can’t ask why?, it’s that the answer doesn’t make sense at their scale, though it should.

The Dow 30 Industrials that make up that all-important stock average began in 1896 as the Dow 12 and of those original 12 only General Electric survives on the list today. None of the other 11 are on today’s list even under different names, though some of the companies do survive. Many of those former industry titans, though — […]

By |December 20th, 2011|2011|94 Comments

Plutonium is forever

I have been doing business in Japan for 20 years, consulting for big and small companies, speaking at conferences, writing for Japanese publications, and helping both American and Japanese companies do business with each other. For years I flew to Tokyo once a month, generally in my role as giver of bad news, which I could get away with as an American. Throughout those 20 years I have been astounded by the energy and discipline of Japanese industry, and by its turgid impenetrability. For a country known for advanced technology, Japan is astoundingly resistant to outside ideas, as the current earthquake and nuclear crisis show yet again.

You’d think they’d want our help, and they do […]

By |March 30th, 2011|2011|87 Comments