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Freakonomics – The Movie

“Incentives are the cornerstone of life.” Remember that phrase? Many of you have read my posts, or heard me discuss the fascinating insights of Freakonomics, the best-selling book by Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner about the power of incentives and how often they produce unexpected and unwanted results. The sequel is called Super Freakonomics. For…

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Vol. 62: Strategic Finance Fundamentals: It’s time!

“If I am through learning, I am through.”– John Wooden Some of you will remember – back in the day – the E. F. Hutton commercials that intoned, “When E.F. Hutton speaks, people listen.” (Some of you are probably wondering – who is E.F. Hutton in the first place?) These days, the Sage of Omaha…

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Vol. 60: Creating a Responsible Culture

Last time, we discussed how to create a responsible culture where each individual accepts accountability for their actions and decisions. In our discussion of this subject, we’ve ranged from the baseline of personal accountability to a broader organizational culture, to the battle-tested power of after action reviews. So, if the power of an accountable organization…

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Accountability | What Does It Really Mean?

When does Accountability begin? “When is it no longer my responsibility to get people to complete their assignments … and where does their responsibility to perform begin?” a North Bay CEO asked me recently. “Your responsibility never ends … and neither does theirs,” I said. “Your job is to work tirelessly to build accountability into…

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The Value of Checklists

Checklists? Those lists I prepare each day and don’t help me get everything done – don’t really need to know more about them … or do you mean those checklists that airline pilots use to keep me from getting killed? Now, those I like. Some of you will remember an earlier post in the GTD…

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Accountability | Powerful After Action Reviews

Man with sack over his head

Many years ago when we lived in the Midwest, we became very good friends with a young couple down the street. He was a fellow fraternity brother, from another college, but I remember him as a very capable physician with a unique ability to describe complex medical subjects in layman’s language. After Action Reviews are…

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Taxachusetts? Not this time!

As you know, Scott Brown, a Republican, defeated the Democratic candidate to fill Sen. Ted Kennedy’s U.S. Senate seat, a stunning reversal of Massachusetts trends of the last 50 years, for a seat that the Dems thought they couldn’t lose. While there is certain to be a lot of political fallout and spin doctors massaging…

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Corporate Governance Sucks!

If you remember, the General Motors board gave CEO Rick Wagoner a 64 percent pay raise — to $15.7 million — in 2007, when the company lost $38.7 billion. The company went bankrupt two years later at a cost of $52 billion to shareholders and another $13.4 billion to all taxpayers. In Sword Tips, we’ve…

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