Discovering the Best Business Ideas (with Andy Boynton, INC.)

Here's an interview with Andy and I for INC magazine. One question in particular captured, for me, the spirit of the conversation:

Inc: What do you hope people take away from this book?
Bill Fischer: The smartest guys in the room are not necessarily the smartest guys in the room. It's that habits and behavior
are more important than sheer brain power, in terms of being effective and working with ideas.

Read the entire interview

"Fast" Starts With You As The Leader (Slovenia Times)

Q: Please, give 5 tips for business leaders to cope with the digital leadership challenges.

At the root of all of this is the need to create more innovative organizations:

a) I believe that you must make innovation a verb not a noun. It must become a statement about the way we work, rather than who is responsible for change.

b) In this spirit, I think that you need to become more digital in your own behaviors; organizations need to periodically reinvent themselves, and so do we!

c) Digital leaders must think about how “fast” their organization works, and what it would take to move faster: fast starts with you as the leader! What are you doing to have faster conversations? The Chinese white-goods leader Haier has taken months off of its commercialization time by having parallel conversations in order to be faster.

d) Digital means “connected”: what does your own personal connectivity look like? Who’s in your personal idea-sourcing network? Who do you learn from? How many “strange” partners do you rely upon for new insights?

e) Sharing is also a characteristic of the digital life-style. Why not start sharing your ideas? Your notes? Try prototyping new ideas before you spring them on others.

Read more from an interview in The Slovenia Times by Tonja Blatnik (Business section) 20 Oct 2015 

De-Haierising (Financial Times)

Haier is re­inventing itself again as a set of open “entrepreneurial platforms”, serving — and served by — hundreds of “micro­enterprises”. This article by Andrew Hill examines the evolving leadership philosophy of Mr. Zhang Ruimin. Read more

The Importance of Tacit Knowledge & a Secure-Base (Forbes)

In our work understanding how Haier has succeeded, we often point out that "they've created big change out of small moves." One reason that this has been so successful is that it never asks the employees to take-on all of the risk of change, without any security. Maintaining as much of the familiar in a world where everything else is changing is what my good friend and IMD colleague George Kohlrieser has called a secure base. Such built-in security makes it less threatening to take big chances. Relying on tacit knowledge is often central to such security, even though tacit knowlege is often informal and possibly ethereal, as a result.

In search of such a tacit-knowledge-oriented secure-base, one of the things that Toyota knew and yet forgot was that one must, in the words of Paul Ingrassia, the author of Crash Course,  “never build … a new product in a new factory with a new workforce.”  Read more

When Is a Company Too Big To Manage? (Financial Times)

Is it possible that modern, complex organizations are too large to manage properly? Is HSBC CEO Stuart Gulliver correct when he opines “Can I know what everyone of 257,000 employees is doing? Clearly, I can’t.” Andrew Hill writes about this dilemma in the FT (February 27, 2015). My advice is to “trust and verify.” Read more: http://www.ft.com/intl/cms/s/0/87395500-bdd2-11e4-8cf3-00144feab7de.html#axzz40ylLZK3j