Former editor of Fast Company; executive editor Time, Fortune. Strategic advisor. Public speaker. Family man.
Four years ago today, I sat down with Barack Obama to talk about how technology could improve government. These are different days, with optimism about bringing citizens together less apparent. Yet the prospects for progress are still strong, if we have the strength to embrace decisions and actions that reinforce a more just, equitable world. That day was the 2nd time I’d met Obama. He was warm, funny (he teased me about it being my birthday) and approachable. He was also thoughtful, knowing that the words he used would have echoing impact - on me personally, my readers, and the broader community. He took that responsibility seriously. It’s an attribute that leaders on both sides of the aisle and in executive offices around the world would be wise to emulate. The stories we tell, the language we use, these extend into action and motivation, into strategy and legacy. Today is another milestone in my life, but every day is a milestone of sorts. There is no better time to begin to do better, to be better, than right now. We all have a role to play. Embrace yours.
We instinctively want to learn from — to model — the winning ways of icons, whether that is Apple, Netflix, Spotify, etc. What this article about the NBA’s Houston Rocket demonstrates so deftly is how each enterprise needs a unique model that maximizes the culture, talent and mission of that organization. One-size-fits-all may be appealing, but the road to excellence is bespoke.
Mall vs big-box is the wrong differentiator, to me (though easier to measure). Amazon has raised the bar: why go out to a store if you can just click to buy? Those who answer that question compellingly win.