John Butman: An interview by Bob Morris

First Friday Book Synopsis

and author of Breaking Out: How to Build Influence in a World of Competing Ideas (Harvard Business Review Press 2013). John Butman is founder and principal of the idea and content development firm Idea Platforms, Inc. He has worked with leading consultancies, CEOs, and senior executives of major companies including members of the Fortune 50, […].

Leading through Long Term Influence

Great Leadership By Dan

A leader needs to have people move quickly when the office is on fire or the plant has been exposed to dangerous chemicals. Guest post by Great Leadership regular contributor Beth Armknecht Miller: Webster’s Dictionary defines a “leader” as a person who has commanding authority or influence”.

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The Big Picture of Business – Achieving the Best by Preparing for the Worst: Lessons Learned from High-Profile Crises, part 4 of 4

Strategy Driven

My client (a different chemical company) later had a similar explosion. They can be turned from disasters into opportunities to project corporate strengths. Thinking Through the Strategies. Crisis management is so much more than handling of the media.

StrategyDriven White Paper Advises Leaders on Preventing Catastrophic Industrial Accidents

Strategy Driven

After the several recent catastrophic industrial accidents within the United States, including the devastating explosions at a Texas fertilizer plant and Louisiana chemical plant, StrategyDriven wanted to help industrial and utility leaders reduce the risk of similar accidents at their facilities.

When You Criticize Someone, You Make It Harder for that Person to Change

Harvard Business Review

That’s the circuit that keeps us working away at the small steps we need to take toward a larger goal – whether finishing a major project or a change in our own behavior. This brain circuitry — vital for working toward our goals — runs on dopamine, a feel-good brain chemical, along with endogenous opioids like endorphins, the “runner’s high” neurotransmitters. This chemical brew fuels drive and tags it with satisfying dollops of pleasure.

Why Large Companies Struggle With Business Model Innovation

Harvard Business Review

We developed dozens of new innovation ideas with managers in the company but the board, though initially enthusiastic, never took the time and energy to engage with the projects, directing their attention on day-to-day operational issues instead.

Six Classes Your Employer Wishes You Could Take

Harvard Business Review

Understanding the chemical and material properties of ingredients is, indeed, a science. Planning and successfully executing a complex meal is an exercise in project management. School is back amid growing controversy and cynicism.

Have a Real Impact; Keep Your Day Job

Harvard Business Review

James is using his expertise as a chemical engineer to develop new business models for base-of-the-pyramid consumers. Tor many people who want to solve pressing social and environmental problems, founding a social enterprise is the strategy of choice.

How One Family Business Found Its Sweet Spot

Harvard Business Review

The business—a regional construction company with a special expertise in building waste chemical and water treatment plants—has never lost money in its 30 year history, and it''s grown steadily. "So Launch several management initiatives, including the creation of a high performance culture, the establishment of targets for total customer satisfaction, and a re-vamp of the financial and project management systems.

COO 12

Your Brain Is Hooked on Being Right

Harvard Business Review

I'm sure it's happened to you: You're in a tense team meeting trying to defend your position on a big project and start to feel yourself losing ground.

What It Will Take to Fix HR

Harvard Business Review

At the same time, alternative approaches to accessing capital and funding projects proliferated, forcing financial decision-making to become increasingly sophisticated. Nearly 40 percent of the 312 CFOs and other executives participating in Deloitte’s 2013 Global Finance Talent Survey said they are either “barely able” or “unable” to meet the demand for the talent required to run their organizations.

CFO 12

Don’t Write Off the (Western) Focused Firm Yet

Harvard Business Review

In his article “ Why Conglomerates Thrive (Outside the U.S.) ” in the December 2013 issue of the Harvard Business Review , J. In such cases officials, investors and other parties put extraordinary trust in the people they know at the helm of the successful conglomerate, for example to realize their pet projects, invest their funds or set up a joint venture – and are willing to pay a premium for it.

The Comprehensive Business Case for Sustainability

Harvard Business Review

billion in mining projects since 2010. Facing strict regulation on chemical release and competition from flowers from Africa, the Dutch flower industry developed a closed-loop system that grows flowers hydroponically in greenhouses, lowering risk of infestation and reducing the use of fertilizers and pesticides. In 2013, GE had reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and water use by 45% compared to 2004 and 2006 baselines, respectively, resulting in $300 million in savings.