Annual Performance Reviews: Are They Still Worth Doing?

It’s fall, and companies are getting their year-end business in order. For many managers, that means it’s time to prepare for the dreaded ritual of annual employee performance reviews. My ...

Virtual Collaboration: Welcome to Our Tree House

When APQC’s headquarters was built back in the 1980s, our founder, Jack Grayson, insisted on an open office concept to enhance collaboration. With windows all around, the place is so ...

Climbing the Data Analytics Maturity Ladder

Organizational decision-makers have always depended on a combination of experience and guts to steer the ship in the right direction. But in today’s complex world, decisions are increasingly harder to ...

Editor's Choice

Quitting: The Lie You Tell Yourself

How often do you feel like quitting your job, your relationship, your ...

You’ll Be Delegated To Whom You Sound Like

As sales reps, there’s always a place or a level within our ...

Process Analytics: Ignore the Data Noise

At any given moment, any given manager has multiple problems to solve ...

Sabbatical: Why You Don’t Want to Be Indispensable

After 15 years at APQC, I recently took a six-week sabbatical. So ...

When Hiring Doesn’t Match Strategy

Most companies struggle to close the gap between what a company sets out to ...

The Fourth Industrial Revolution….in Las Vegas

To call this a fascinating moment in history under serves what’s happening ...

Taking Off The Armor

I’m thinking about my teenage daughters.  They’re going to be off to ...

Big Data Is Dead. Long Live, Artificial Intelligence.

Fifteen years of technology craziness and we’ve finally arrived squarely in the ...

Stop Vacation Email Overload

There’s nothing more revitalizing than a great vacation. We all need to ...

Latest News

I Just Opened My Garage Door from 33K Feet

Pay attention, for as much as we’ve talked about Internet of Things (IoT) for the past few years, it has finally arrived and it is truly amazing. Yes, I opened and closed my garage door from 33,000 feet up, while on United Flight 923 from LAX to London today. But even before the plane took […]

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Why Own Anything With Just One Purpose?

Kamarq is a Japanese company that just received $3.2M in funding to build furniture that plays sound. The flagship product will be the Sound Table, a connected, wooden table that plays whatever you can pipe to it from an app on a mobile device. I was confused. I thought, “Why would Venture Beat consider this an […]

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Escape the Email Vortex

Few things have revolutionized interpersonal communication like email. It lets us fire off a quick response to a question, or send a long explanation with documents attached. We can choose to subscribe to all kinds of things that are relevant to our careers and personal lives, and they appear in our inbox for us to […]

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Ignition of Big Data, Digitization and Globalization

Trends in isolation can look a lot like hype. Trends in combination are where the world changes.  The best example of this is found at the crossroads of big data, digitization and globalization and heard in the clamor about digital business. The impact of these three can’t be overstated: Big data has changed the way […]

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Pain In Practice Beats Blood In Battle

I have a friend and former coworker who spends quite a bit of time training (and retraining) sales people. I’m not sure if the retraining part has more to do with the complexity of sales or more to do with the attention deficit nature of the average sales rep. Either way, he has a great […]

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Hero Culture Part 3: Process Frameworks to the Rescue

In my most recent post, I explained how documenting process and organizational knowledge can help employees easily find the information they need to do their jobs, skipping much of the trial and error that often requires organizational heroes to come to the rescue. When organizations decide to tackle the hero culture problem by documenting their […]

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Big Data Is A Sexy Beast – And That’s The Problem

Humans have always loved information and there’s a cult of worship around being smart and even geeky. We refer to hard things as “rocket science,” perhaps the most expert of all expertise. Even below that lofty level, we have curiosity to know things and we have pride in knowing as well. The Guinness Book of […]

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Hero Culture Part 2: Process and Knowledge Save the Day

As I discussed in my last post – and as many of us have experienced in our own workplaces – a hero culture can be very destructive to an organization. My mother ran a receiving dock at an oil refinery for 40 years, keeping her job through at least 20 reorganizations and dozens of different […]

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Dinner At The Firehouse

Twenty years ago, when I was a sales rep, my #1 stress was my sales manager. I hated everything I had to do for him.  I especially hated our weekly team meetings. We’d start the week off by getting interrogated about our pipelines, our forecasts, our activity, and our “commits.”  It was more than a […]

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Hero Culture: Who Will Save You Now?

Some organizations are always putting out fires. And firefighters, are, of course, heroes. In organizations, being a hero can be a great thing. You’re the guy who stops what you’re doing because someone asks you to jump in and save a project that’s in trouble. When someone needs to swoop in and save the day, […]

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We Accept The Forecast We Think We Deserve

Forecasting is the most painful and error-prone part of selling anything. You might think selling is the most painful and where mistakes are made, but even before the act of progressing and closing business takes place, we ask sales representatives and their managers to predict what hasn’t happened yet. We ask them to make their “best guess” without consistent […]

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Seeing Star Wars In French Was Déjà Vu

SPOILER ALERT: Just in case you haven’t seen the latest episode of Star Wars, I grouped the spoilers at the end.  Last night I did the unthinkable…I was so eager to see the new Star Wars: The Force Awakens that I saw it on vacation in France…in French. The hype was just too great. The […]

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Big Data and Process: The Missing Link

Big Data is big, no doubt about it. Lots of companies are doing Big Data initiatives, which means that they have endless information streaming in, being collected, captured, analyzed, and reported. The marketing folks are thrilled, because suddenly they have no shortage of data about what customers are saying about them on Facebook and Twitter. […]

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Leadership Talent: Nature or Nurture?

In his book The Sports Gene, David Epstein examines the idea that there are some people who are just naturally gifted athletes, and others who aren’t but who do respond very well to training. While the naturally gifted athletes can simply walk onto a playing field and outshine everyone else with no training at all, […]

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