See our experts’ latest contributions on consulting, execution, growth, simplification and other key topics in today’s industry-leading blog posts.

10.16.13  Ron Ashkenas

How To Avoid The Post-Merger Blues -- Before You Sign The Deal

Are mergers and acquisitions part of your company’s growth plan? Odds are the answer is yes. In 2012, thousands of merger and acquisition deals were announced globally, worth more than $2.73 trillion. And this was a slow year.

Four Tips for Better Strategic Planning

No great strategy was born without careful thought. That’s why the process of planning a strategy itself is an important vehicle for setting priorities, making investment decisions, and laying out growth plans.

09.17.13  Ron Ashkenas

Let’s Hold Consultants Accountable for Results

When I recently asked a group of MBA students to define what it meant to them to be a consultant, they quickly rattled off phrases such as “trusted advisor,” “problem-solver,” “objective 3rd party,” and “subject matter expert.” What was interesting was that none of…

09.04.13  Ron Ashkenas

Let Your Customers Streamline Your Business

Customers appreciate simplicity. In fact, a number of recent studies have shown that it's key to their loyalty and satisfaction. CEB reported in HBR last year that the most important factor in creating customer "stickiness" was "decision simplicity," i.e. the ease …

08.12.13  Ron Ashkenas

Portfolio Management Is Not Just For Finance

Because so much organizational work is done in silos, we sometimes forget the common skills and approaches that can be leveraged across the enterprise. One such skill is portfolio management, the application of systematic tools for reducing risks and maximizing the…

08.08.13  Ron Ashkenas

Don't Let 'Learned Helplessness' Destroy Your Company

Here’s a cautionary tale of cultural disempowerment: A number of years ago, one of my colleagues was asked to help reduce bureaucracy and speed up decision-making in GE’s former nuclear business – but was told that nothing could be done because every procedure was …

08.06.13  Ron Ashkenas

Don't Make Decisions, Orchestrate Them

Is the role of the manager to make decisions, or to make sure that decisions get made? The answer, of course, is both – but many managers focus so much on the first role that they neglect the second.

08.01.13  Ron Ashkenas

Kill Your Business Model Before It Kills You

A few years ago, the U.S. Postal Service ran an ad campaign warning about the dangers of email and proposed paper-mail as a safer and more reliable alternative. When I saw this ad, I thought that I had accidentally switched to a comedy station. But it wasn’t a joke…

07.24.13  Ron Ashkenas

Why Continuous Improvement May Need To Be Discontinued

Is it possible to suggest that Six Sigma, Kaizen, Lean, and other variations on continuous improvement can be hazardous to your organization’s health? While it may be heresy to say this, recent evidence from Japan and elsewhere suggests that it’s time to question t…

How Cleveland Clinic Tackles EHR Implementation

Cleveland Clinic is internationally recognized as a leader in research, education and health information. They’ve been using EHRs for over a decade. As Director of Implementation for the Clinic’s My Practice Community and My Practice Healthcare Solutions teams, Kel…