Jeff Melnyk

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Purpose Drives Profits And Confidence, According To Latest Study From Deloitte

“If you want to be successful over the long haul, you have to have a sense of purpose that is clearly articulated and embedded in your organization and processes, but you also have to live it. There can’t be two sets of rules.”–Punit Renjen, Chairman of the Board, Deloitte<p>I caught up with Deloitte …

The First Question to Ask of Any Strategy

The senior team of a large player in the global wealth management business recently asked me for my opinion on their strategy. They had worked long and hard at coming up with it. Their “Where to Play” choice was to target wealthy individuals who wanted and were willing to pay for comprehensive …

What Leaders Really Do

The article reprinted here stands on its own, of course, but it can also be seen as a crucial contribution to a debate that began in 1977, when Harvard Business School professor Abraham Zaleznik published an HBR article with the deceptively mild title “Managers and Leaders: Are They Different?” The …

Why Compassion Is a Better Managerial Tactic than Toughness

Stanford University neurosurgeon Dr. James Doty tells the story of performing surgery on a little boy’s brain tumor. In the middle of the procedure, the resident who is assisting him gets distracted and accidentally pierces a vein. With blood shedding everywhere, Doty is no longer able to see the …

To Grow, Companies Need Vision Not Value

For a company to have longevity, decisions should be driven by ideas instead of numbers, says Steven DuPuis.<p>Recently I attended a national auto show full of futuristic concept cars. Visitors were clearly elated by the cars—three-wheelers with cartoon-like tires, driverless pods, super-cars with …

Why Smart People Struggle with Strategy

Strategy is often seen as something really smart people do — those head-of-the-class folks with top-notch academic credentials. But just because these are the folks attracted to strategy doesn’t mean they will naturally excel at it.<p>The problem with smart people is that they are used to seeking and …

Why Strategy Execution Unravels—and What to Do About It

Since Michael Porter’s seminal work in the 1980s we have had a clear and widely accepted definition of what strategy is—but we know a lot less about translating a strategy into results. Books and articles on strategy outnumber those on execution by an order of magnitude. And what little has been …

The Authenticity Paradox

Authenticity has become the gold standard for leadership. But a simplistic understanding of what it means can hinder your growth and limit your impact.<p>Consider Cynthia, a general manager in a health care organization. Her promotion into that role increased her direct reports 10-fold and expanded …

Apple Is More Like a Band than a Company

You’d think by now more companies would have learned.<p>The tech industry still churns out beige boxes. The fashion industry, misshaped sack-shaped objects it calls “clothing” that make adult humans look suspiciously like overgrown toddlers. The food industry…who knows what’s really in the …

Why We Should Teach Entrepreneurship to Disadvantaged Students

Can we afford to shut the door on bright, motivated would-be entrepreneurs whose ideas could one day change the world? I don’t think so, but that’s exactly what’s happening all around the globe.<p>Young people with the potential to become business leaders are too often unable to get past the …

The Neurochemistry of Positive Conversations

Why do negative comments and conversations stick with us so much longer than positive ones?<p>A critique from a boss, a disagreement with a colleague, a fight with a friend – the sting from any of these can make you forget a month’s worth of praise or accord. If you’ve been called lazy, careless, or a …

Business Wisdom from the Commencement Speakers of 2014

Commencement speakers face an impossible challenge: to inspire, advise, and entertain, without overstaying their welcome. In the age of YouTube, there’s the added pressure to craft a speech that could go viral, and perhaps even inspire a book. And this year, those invited to take the podium were no …

3 Myths That Kill Strategic Planning

In its simplest form, strategic thinking is about deciding on which opportunities to focus your time, people, and money, and which opportunities to starve. One of history’s greatest strategic thinkers, Napoleon Bonaparte summed it up this way: “In order to concentrate superior strength in one …

The Best Lecture I’ve Ever Heard

Mr. Frost, my superb economics teacher in England, once shared the story of two people talking about a lecture given by the late Milton Friedman, the father of Monetarism. The first said, “Twenty years ago, I went to the worst lecture I’ve ever heard! Friedman gave it and I still remember how he …

The Future Of Business: 4 Ways Companies Will Change

While we may not have a crystal ball, current business trends point to a not-so-distant future that looks very different. Here are Dr. Dana Ardi’s predictions.<p>We’ve shifted to a business world where collaboration and connection are replacing hierarchy and bureaucracy. The outdated “alpha” notion of …

How Chipotle transformed itself by upending its approach to management

During a busy lunch rush at a typical Chipotle restaurant, there are 20 steaks on the grill, and workers preparing massive batches of guacamole and seamlessly swapping out pans of ingredients. Compared to most fast-food chains, Chipotle favors human skill over rules, robots, and timers. Every …

The Big Lie of Strategic Planning

All executives know that strategy is important. But almost all also find it scary, because it forces them to confront a future they can only guess at. Worse, actually choosing a strategy entails making decisions that explicitly cut off possibilities and options. An executive may well fear that …

Mindfulness in the Age of Complexity

Photography: Webb Chappell<p>Over nearly four decades, Ellen Langer’s research on mindfulness has greatly influenced thinking across a range of fields, from behavioral economics to positive psychology. It reveals that by paying attention to what’s going on around us, instead of operating on …

The Art of Crafting a 15-Word Strategy Statement

In the January issue of HBR, Roger Martin sets out some rules for avoiding common mistakes in strategy making. As he writes in “The Big Lie of Strategic Planning“, the first rule is “keep the strategy statement simple.” Rather than a long, often vague document, the company’s strategy should …

A Company Without Job Titles Will Still Have Hierarchies

Radically flat. That’s the management goal that Tony Hseih, founder of e-commerce giant Zappos, aims to achieve by the end of 2014. To get there, Hsieh plans to toss out the traditional corporate hierarchy by eliminating titles among his 1,500 employees that can lead to bottlenecks in …

Turning Content from 'Meh' to Wow With Storytelling

Opinions expressed by <i>Entrepreneur</i> contributors are their own.<p>If you have had your ear to the ground in the world of startups, you have probably heard the phrase "content is king." Indeed, many industry pros are pointing to content entering a golden age and companies are taking notice. Yahoo is …

Does Your Company Make You a Better Person?

When we hear people talk about struggling to maintain work-life balance, our hearts sink a little. As one executive in a high-performing company we have studied explained, “If work and life are separate things—if work is what keeps you from <i>living</i>—then we’ve got a serious problem.” In our research …