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Tag: Leadership

Engage in Small Talk to Reach an Easier Agreement

Engage in Small Talk to Reach an Easier Agreement

It is a common practice to build rapport before entering into a deeper conversation (Coupland, 2003). Often referred to as “small talk,” it is an opportunity for the parties to get to know each other on a personal level before getting down to a substantive discussion.  It seems that many people engage in this practice automatically as a cultural norm and to get over the initial anxiety of beginning a new conversation. In a negotiation or other business dialogue, it…

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Strategies for Increasing Message Retention

Strategies for Increasing Message Retention

I know that it is troublesome that everyone else, “but us,” have such a terrible memory and inability to remember details. However, there is more going on when we dig into this commonplace challenge. Humans develop mental models, cognitive maps, frames, internal scripts, and other processing methods to understand the environment and situational context albeit with frequent misunderstanding and imprecise perceptions (Tversky, 1993). Even with these accuracy challenges, the automatic use of mental shortcuts is a power element of our…

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Sustaining Competitive Advantages with Synergistic Combinations

Sustaining Competitive Advantages with Synergistic Combinations

Long-term survival in today’s market is always questionable as many of the hottest businesses today will eventually fade away. Firms continually reinvent themselves to stay relevant and competitive (Voelpel, Leibold, & Tekie, 2004, pp. 259-276). Today, many of the old-guard technology firms are moving as quickly as they can to the Cloud. Intel and Microsoft announced less than stellar earnings this week and cited their ongoing efforts in moving their focus to the Cloud. These tech behemoths are confronting enormous…

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Does a Bad Culture Create Bad Business Processes or Is It the Other Way Around?

Does a Bad Culture Create Bad Business Processes or Is It the Other Way Around?

It is a circular debate – does bad culture lead to bad processes or do bad processes corrupt a good culture? The answer is more complex as these two issues do not work in isolation. Recent news headlines and blog posts have raised the issue of weak corporate culture encourages dangerous business practices. Harvard Business Review recently published an article that raises the counter argument. Executive leaders shared with the authors of the HBR article that fixing the broken business…

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