Nambayo Kalaluka

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For Entrepreneurs, Failure Isn’t Always a Good Teacher

Much has been said about the virtues of failure — it’s a learning opportunity, it happens to everyone, it’s character-building. Failure is becoming some romanticized rite of passage, invoking images of young entrepreneurs burning the midnight oil and yelling “Eureka!” I can say from experience that …

What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care?

If you want to provoke a vigorous debate, start a conversation on organizational culture. While there is universal agreement that (1) it exists, and (2) that it plays a crucial role in shaping behavior in organizations, there is little consensus on what organizational culture actually is, never …

Define Your Organization’s Habits to Work More Efficiently

We don’t often think about the way we usually operate at work, whether we’re performing an informal five-step process for evaluating a new proposal, or setting priorities for managing our time. But our ability to improve the ways we do things depends on defining and shaping our daily habits of mind …

How to Create True Customer Advocates

Who sells your products or services? This may seem like a silly question, the answer being of course, the sales & marketing team. But increasingly, the most important person selling what you’re offering is — your customer.<p>More specifically, your customer <i>advocates</i>. And, as buyers increasingly expect …

Embrace the Business Model That Threatens You

If your company is already well established and has smart management, it is likely that it will become a <i>hybrid</i> in the next ten years, blending its legacy business with a new business model that is rising to threaten it. Take Walmart, for example. After suffering several years of Amazon’s online …

The Most Overlooked Leadership Skill

Even before I released the disc, I knew it was a long shot. And, unfortunately, it was a clumsy one too.<p>We were playing Ultimate Frisbee, a game similar to U.S. football, and we were tied 14-14 with a time cap. The next point would win the game.<p>I watched the disc fly over the heads of both teams. …

Idea Entrepreneur: The New 21st Century Career

There is a new player emerging on the cultural and business scene today: the idea entrepreneur. Perhaps you are one yourself — or would like to be. The idea entrepreneur is an individual, usually a content expert and often a maverick, whose main goal is to influence how other people think and …

Seven Strategies for Simplifying Your Organization

<i>This post is co-authored with Lisa Bodell.</i><p>Over the past several years we have heard hundreds of managers talk about the negative impact of complexity on both productivity and workplace morale. This message has been reinforced by the findings of major CEO surveys conducted by IBM and KPMG [PDF], …

Can You Really Improve Your Emotional Intelligence?

Who wouldn’t want a higher level of emotional intelligence? Studies have shown that a high emotional quotient (or EQ) boosts career success, entrepreneurial potential, leadership talent, health, relationship satisfaction, humor, and happiness. It is also the best antidote to work stress and it …

Win the Attention of Your Distracted Consumer

A guy walks into a store. No, it’s not the opening salvo for a bad joke. It’s a critical moment of truth for the in-store and brand marketer that, today, is complicated — even compromised — by the hyperconnected consumer. You know this person. He’s standing in the aisle striking the familiar pose: …

Why Men Work So Many Hours

How many employed American mothers work more than 50 hours a week? Go on, guess. I’ve been asking lots of people that question lately. Most guess around 50 percent.<p>The truth is 9 percent.<p>Nine percent of working moms clock more than 50 hours a week during the key years of career advancement: ages 25 …

Becoming an Idea Entrepreneur

Stop Work Overload By Setting These Boundaries

Why is it that when your friends, your significant other, and especially your mom tell you, <i>You need to stop working so much!</i> — you hesitate? On the one hand, you know they have a point. It’s unsustainable to pull 12- to 14-hour days on a consistent basis, and you feel burnt-out and cranky. But when …

Being an Entrepreneur When You’re Not Extroverted

“You really hate people,” said an ex to me during intermission at the theater, as we discussed our weekend plans. He, as always, wanted to get groups of friends together. I wanted, in contrast, a night to ourselves. “I do not hate people,” I said, angry and sad that it was <i>this</i> conversation again. …

The People You Need Working for Your Start-Up

Almost nowhere else in the world is the tech entrepreneur glamorized as much as in Silicon Valley.<p>The Valley is rife with smart, incredibly energetic, tremendously talented new entrepreneurs — instead of stars in their eyes, they have successful exits and Zuckerberg-like acclaim in their sights.<p>Yet …

What to Do When an Employee Cries at Work

There are lots of reasons someone might be upset at work, from the personal (divorce, illness, kid troubles) to the professional (a failed project, bad review, or nasty colleague). Given how much time we spend in the office, it seems inevitable that people will occasionally get emotional. But how …

Making Management as Simple as Frisbee

Complexity is not a new condition. While it’s true that many aspects of life have become more densely connected and unpredictable, the fact is that our world is inherently complex. Most of the environments we move in and tasks we perform require us to deal with interdependent and dynamic …

Can You Overdo People Skills?

In our work with leaders on overplayed strengths, people sometimes object to the idea that every strength can be taken too far. For instance, an academic journal editor once held up publication of a research article stating flatly that “it is impossible for a leader to be too supportive, caring, …

Exit an Unprofitable Line of Business

The Real Reasons Chinese Firms Have Weak Branding

In a recent column for the New York Times, David Brooks posited that the U.S. has one clear advantage over Chinese competition: branding. He notes that U.S. firms are powered by “eccentric failed novelists” (presumably from agencies and consulting firms that are gifted at brand positioning and …

A Technique to Bridge the Gap Between Marketing and IT

Quick: when someone says “IT,” what comes to mind? Usually, people think of the systems they use as employees inside organizations — not customers. Here’s a familiar story: Marketing conducts research (“Big Data“! “Analytics“!) and uncovers new customer insights; it then turns to operations to …

Don’t Just Create Value; Capture It

In my recent HBR article, <i>The New Dynamics of Competition</i>, I present a new analytical tool called Value Network Maps, which I explain below.<p>These Maps are an outgrowth of exciting new work by strategy scholars developing a mathematical model of firm strategy that I refer to as the Value Capture …

What Anonymous Feedback Will (and Won’t) Tell You

A survey evaluating a team’s performance can be a powerful tool for making that team more effective. And the first message that consultants and HR professionals often communicate on these surveys is: “To ensure that the team gets the best data and feels protected, we will make sure responses are …

Focus Your Strategy By Assessing Others’

There’s a well-known anecdote about Gil Amelio, the CEO of Apple Computer just before Steve Jobs’ return in the late 1990s. In a conversation with a reporter, Amelio compared Apple to a ship loaded with treasure, but with a hole in the bottom, leaking water. “My job is to get everyone to row in the …

Pricing Strategies People Love

An interview with <b>Sandeep Baliga</b> and <b>Jeff Ely</b>, professors at the Kellogg School of Management and Northwestern University. For more, see The Power of Purple Pricing.<p>SARAH GREEN: Welcome to the HBR IdeaCast from Harvard Business Review. I’m Sarah Green. I’m talking today with Sandeep Baliga and Jeff …

Why Successful Companies Stop Growing

We’ve all seen examples of unstoppable companies that suddenly hit the wall. Growth slows down, stock prices start to decline, shareholders get nervous, and the press starts to speculate that something is wrong. In some cases, like P&G and Starbucks, the board brings back a former CEO who can …

Boosting Creativity Through Constraints

Conventional wisdom holds that the best way to boost a team’s creativity is to unshackle them from constraints. The less they have to worry about, the more open they’ll be with their ideas, the theory goes. Budget? Unlimited! Ideas from outside? Bring ’em on! Different business model? Consider it …

How to Reduce ‘Infant Entrepreneur Mortality’

Ever since the 2008 financial crisis, intellectuals have had to ask themselves, ‘Does Capitalism Still Work?’<p>I have explored this question for several years now, beginning with a seminal column I wrote for Forbes: Capitalism’s Fundamental Flaw. Two particular problems stand out. First, Capitalism …

What Kind of Innovative Does Apple Have to Be?

Who’s the target audience for the new iTunes Radio? Me. My family and I have a bunch of Apple devices, a WiFi network built around an Apple Time Machine, and not enough technological savvy (or time) to figure out workarounds. I signed up for Spotify a while ago, and like it. But I can’t figure out …