Imagine taking 1% of your annual profits and calling it "hunch money." Without discussion or debate, your company's most trusted leader essentially gambles that money on a private idea that may well not work, but just might lead to something novel and profitable. Truly off-the-wall ideas tend to die when they hit a group; there are always plenty of people willing to talk someone out of taking a big risk, but one person given a green light to work alone is free to think daringly. The long-term result would hopefully be no worse than break-even, with an outside shot at a big breakthrough—and at the very least an inspiring sense of "What if?"


Ask "Z"

Ask "Z"

Hold employee's feet to the fire

Q: I manage someone who’s so confident that he won’t admit what he doesn’t know. He says yes to every assignment, even if he has no idea what the task requires. He reassures me that he’ll figure it out, but then he lets me down. How should I respond?

Leadership Library: Weekly Feature

Leadership Library: Weekly Feature

You'll Love Working Here! 10 Steps to an Amazing Workplace Culture

These days, every workplace is an open book to the world. Social media and websites like Glassdoor allow people to instantly know which organizations are great places to work—and which should be avoided at all costs. How would your workplace rank? Could you benefit from a serious “culture adjustment” to improve recruitment?

Kevin Eikenberry

Remarkable Leadership with Kevin

What The Feedback You Give Says About You

I often say that the feedback you give says as much about you as it does the person you are giving it to, and when I do people look at me funny. After all, the feedback I give you is about something you did, it isn’t about me at all, is it? Not so fast, my friend.

Best of the Blogs

Best of the Blogs

Your itty-bitty committee

Any number of things can trigger that little voice inside your head that says you don’t matter or your contributions aren’t valued or that this whole thing is a grind and unfair.

Program on Negotiation at Harvard Law School

Negotiation Coach

Handling an abrasive mediator

Q. I work for a firm that distributes products in South America. We have been in a very heated conflict with a customer who claims we did not fill an order as specified by our five-year contract. My firm disagrees. I suggested to my boss that we try mediation, and the customer agreed. But the mediator we are working with seems rather abrasive and off-putting. We would like to resolve this conflict quickly or go the arbitration route. Any advice?

Marie McIntyre, Ph.D.

Ask the Workplace Coach

Deal with the well-meaning interrupter

Q: “You have previously said that cubicle conversations cannot be considered private because they take place in an open area. However, my situation is slightly different. Whenever someone comes to me with a question, the woman in the next cubicle yells out the answer before I have a chance to speak. I think it is very rude of her to butt in when someone has specifically asked for my opinion. How should I handle this?” Drowned Out

Tap bright outsiders for fresh ideas

Aug. 27, 2016

In the cosmetics business, the push for new products never ends. Consumers clamor for breakthroughs. As CEO of Sephora Americas, Calvin McDonald has made innovation a top priority. In March 2016, he launched the Sephora Innovation Lab. Based in San Francisco, the lab enables the French-owned cosmetics chain to conduct research with the help of outside partners. The goal is to create a space where employees can collaborate and test ideas without fear of failure.

3 not-so-common ways to hold meetings

Aug. 25, 2016

Sometimes, the best meetings follow an unconventional path. Rather than stick to an all-business agenda, some leaders experiment with different types of gatherings to encourage participants to loosen up.

You're their boss, not their friend

Aug. 25, 2016

A new Gallup poll reveals that millennials want a “holistic relationship” with their supervisors. Meaning they want the boss to ask about their weekends.

Key to success: Just 5% more

Aug. 24, 2016

Entrepreneur Michael Alden says the key to success is often just 5% more: putting in 5% more time and effort, giving 5% more to employees or being 5% more efficient.


Keep it open

Aug. 23, 2016