Some Thoughts on Sutton and Rao’s “Scaling Up Excellence”

I’ve written before about my general cynicism toward most business books. But one business book that I greatly admire – not only for its eye-catching title, but also for its sensible and forthright attitude – is Bob Sutton’s The No-Asshole Rule, which should be required reading for anyone involved in any aspect of hiring. Recently Bob offered “active influencers” preview copies of Scaling Up Excellence, the new book he has co-authored with his colleague Huggy Rao. When I saw the offer on Twitter, I thought, (more…)

Adios, Amigo: More Problems at Library and Archives Canada

The Canadian media have been very busy in the last few days trying to keep up with the story about members of Canada’s Senate making suspicious expense claims. However, at the same time, another dispute involving governmental expenses has been largely overlooked – the one involving Daniel Caron, the head of Library and Archives Canada (LAC). This past week, he stepped down when it was discovered (more…)

Stuck + Out of Date = Successful

One of the messages in many theories of organizations – and in a lot of business media  – is that to be successful, an organization has to continually change. If your organization isn’t doing new things first, and if you’re not using cutting-edge methodology, you are doomed (usually followed by dire references to things like buggy whips and telex machines).

Ironically, a lot of this nonsense comes from people and institutions that preach the importance of adaptability, flexibility, and quick response, but who haven’t changed their own tune even after events like the 2008 financial meltdown. That catastrophe should have shown that growth and innovation just because that’s what organizations are supposed to do is neither sensible or infinitely sustainable. So as my little counter-response to this ongoing carnival of hype, let me draw your attention to two articles in this week’s New York Times magazine which illustrate quite beautifully how organizations who deliberately choose not to change can survive and succeed. (more…)