How Organizational Change Disrupts Our Sense of Self

5.4.2021 – In a recent workshop, we assembled a group of managers involved in large-scale digital transformation initiatives in their various organizations. As part of the discussion, we first asked them how they would describe their roles in those change initiatives.

When a Leader Like Bezos Steps Down, Can Innovation Keep Up?

2.25.2021 – When the founder CEO of one of the world’s most valuable — and innovative — companies steps down, it’s bound to raise questions about the future of the business. Jeff Bezos’s decision to step back from day-to-day operations at Amazon provokes particular concern because the company has been an unbelievable innovator under his […]

Questions are the answer for businesses looking to turn the page

1.21.2021 – As we dare to peek ahead at the possibilities of a business world without the shackles of Covid-19, it can be tempting to think we can simply push the reset button. It is comforting to picture our lives and our businesses picking up the pieces and carrying on, as if the last year […]

The Secret to Asking Better Questions

May 9, 2019 // Most bosses think they have all the answers. But the best bosses know what to ask to encourage fresh thinking. Here are six ways to build that skill. It is often said that the definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over, and expecting a different outcome. Well, […]

Melinda Gates, Consummate Questioner

May 3, 2019 // Melinda Gates’s new book, The Moment of Lift, is a great collection of stories about women she has met through her work at the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation—from Pia Cayetano, a senator in the Philippines, to Ruchi, a community health worker in Uttar Pradesh. But it also spends a little time […]

How Departing Leaders Can Pass Along Their Wisdom to Employees

April 17, 2019 // Earlier this spring I had the chance to witness two of the “farewell talks” that Ed Catmull gave to the people of Pixar. Catmull, the company’s cofounder and long-time leader (and also president of Disney Animation Studios since the Disney acquisition of Pixar over a decade ago) had announced his retirement in late […]

To Find a Better Solution, Ask a Better Question

November 19, 2018 // Stuck on a hard problem? The director of MIT’s Leadership Center says you might just need to reframe it. Trace the origin story of any creative breakthrough and it is possible to find the point where someone changed the question. I have seen this as a longtime student of innovation; the […]

Digital Transformation Opens New Questions — and New Problems to Solve

August 28, 2018 // When leaders view technology as merely a source of answers and solutions, they miss opportunities to innovate in bigger, bolder ways. In a recent conversation, John Donahoe, the former CEO of eBay who currently runs ServiceNow, told me about the most important phase in a company’s digital transformation: the part where […]

How to Cultivate Leadership That Is Honed to Solve Problems

Spring 2018 // In the aftermath of the Boston Marathon bombing in 2013, the terrorists responsible for that act took the life of a police officer, Sean Collier, who worked at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT). Those who knew and loved him at MIT resolved to commemorate his memory. J. Meejin Yoon, head of […]