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Crowdfunding Phenom: Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler on Success, Copycats, and 'Broken Promises'

Crowdfunding Phenom:  Kickstarter CEO Yancey Strickler on Success, Copycats, and 'Broken Promises' | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

The crowdfunding model is now a mini-cottage industry, thanks to Kickstarter, and yes, he's been spoofed by 'South Park.'

Excerpts:

...When did the concept of crowdfunding first click for you?

In 2005. I had these artist and musician friends with day jobs that they hated, but they couldn’t afford to just do art or music. There’s a widespread assumption that creative things just magically happen, and they don’t. Creation requires funding.

    

....(order changed)  Today, millions of people use the site each day, adding up to a daily average of $1 million in pledges (some 70,000 campaigns have launched on the site). 

      

...Are there plans to grow the staff?

Actually, no. I think we’ll get to 100 people, but not much beyond that in the near future. Being a small company [means we are] light on costs, and I like the scrappiness of trying to accomplish a lot with a little. There’s far more shared ownership with a small team.
     
...Are you threatened by ...copycat competitors?

I’ve always known others would copy our idea, but to be honest, we’ve always been the strongest product. ....and for most of our measurements -- dollars pledged, site visitors, project supporters -- there’s a huge gulf between us and the rest of the field.

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

FOR THE WIN:  Spot on great ideas, carried to full implementation and sustained in good faith, with some bumps in the road. Overall good ideas, good will and smart business practices will win the day, says I.   As an consultant, there's a lot to like about Kickstarter, including my favorite value in the work world, "choice."  We have a lot that is industrial age about our still new, burgeoning information age.  Fortunately, Kickstarter the concept, and the reality, is not one of them.

I've also included crowdfunding and crowdsourcing as a community building, ownership trend that field of Organization Development (OD), among others, is ignoring in a digital chapter on its way to publication for Wiley for Practicing OD, 2015 edition.

 

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3 Innovative 2014 Leadership Trends featuring Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering, B Corporation leader

3 Innovative 2014 Leadership Trends featuring Fred Keller, CEO of Cascade Engineering, B Corporation leader | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

What innovative leadership methods are being taught in business schools and implemented by CEOs in 2014? Here are three: 1) unlocking hidden strengths, 2) giving second chances and 3) implementing democracy.
 

Excerpts:
 

1. Unlocking hidden strengths


A good example …is in the leadership style of Whole Foods co-CEO Walter Robb. "He draws on individuals' strengths in a way that is firm yet deferential and open," White says. "He's able to be collaborative but is also clear in his directions."



 _________________
   

… it hasn't been easy…{but] guess what? …it made our culture more positive throughout...

and it turns out to be good for business."
   

_________________

 

2. Giving second chances
 

Fred Keller, founder and CEO of Grand Rapids, Michigan-based plastics manufacturing company Cascade Engineering, has led his multimillion-dollar business based on a quote from 18th-century theologian and social reformer John Wesley: "Do all the good you can."
       

Cascade is the largest manufacturing business certified as a B Corporation, which means it has made a commitment to solving social and environmental problems and meets a lengthy set of performance, accountability, and transparency standards.

      

Keller and Cascade's signature program is "Welfare to Career," where the company brings aboard people who have been on government assistance for long periods. Keller says the program has saved the state of Michigan millions of dollars by getting people off the welfare rolls.

     

… it hasn't been easy…{but] guess what? …it made our culture more positive throughout for everyone. And it turns out to be good for business."



______________
   
….. our employees feel like they contribute more than they ever did at other companies and are a part of a big story."

    

______________



   

3. Implementing democracy


Avinoam Nowogrodski, CEO of project-management software company Clarizen, says the command-and-control style of leadership popular in decades past doesn't work for today's business environment. "People want a voice, people want to participate, and this requires democratic principles," he says.


….. our employees feel like they contribute more than they ever did at other companies and are a part of a big story."

Related tools from Deb:

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

These three stories illustrate the changing nature of leadership from the last millennium.  Highly engineered, inflexible, bureaucratic systems are giving way to more systemic, humanistic systems with emphasis on strengths, community and national values, vs. the tunnel vision values of the profit focus of the last century.   ~  Deb

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, February 1, 12:16 AM

The largest B Corporation in the USA is Frank Keller's company, Cascade Engineering.

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First Ranking Of Top 30 CEOs On Social Media

First Ranking Of Top 30 CEOs On Social Media | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

This is the first global ranking of CEOs on social media - the pioneers and early adopters. Their impact is prompting other CEOs to rethink their position on social media.


The link includes a handy chart of the top social media savvy leaders including:


Rank, Twitter Username, Followers, LinkedIn Influencer followers, Klout Score, Number of Tweets and "Our Take (CEO of Xinfu, Host of BBC World of CEOs.com.)

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Included on the list:  

  • Rupert Murdock,  (media mogul)
  • Elon Musk (Tesla Motors CEO, also profiled in another of my ScoopIts regarding innovation & change) 
  • JeffImmelt, CEO of GE
  • Jack Welch (now at Jack Welch Management Institute), Angela Ahrendts, CEO of Burberry and 
  • Mark Bertolini, CEO of Aetna


 ~  Deb

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John Michel's curator insight, July 20, 2013 4:59 PM

It will be interesting to see how this picture changes over the next year. While Richard Branson is currently the undisputed CEO social champion nothing lasts forever on social media. He has a loyal following but even he sees wildly varying engagement levels depending on the quality of what he posts.

Manish Puranik's curator insight, July 21, 2013 1:20 AM

Our goal was to combine the best of both approaches, taking into account both quantitative and qualitative measures to determine the top 30 CEOs on social media.

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Solid Systems: A Michigan Muffin Mix's 21st Century Vision and Values

Solid Systems:  A Michigan Muffin Mix's 21st Century Vision and Values | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"A rare CEO personal phone call:  After making a customer complaint, I received a phone call from the CEO of Jiffy mix, the top producer of baking mixes in America."


While Jiffy competes by selling quality products at the lowest price (40 to 60 cents for corn muffins, for example), most American companies now try to sell their products by making people feel inadequate. 


Many of our best and brightest minds shuffle paper and money ...to earn big salaries, while the real creators of wealth — bakers, builders, farmers, inventors, teachers, designers, and doctors are loaded down by debt.

Jiffy mix is a welcome trend-breaker.

According to CEO Holmes, "Our staff puts more emphasis on internal and external relationships than we do on completing tasks. This is very different from most companies ... Our dedication to strong family business values, combined with real world professionalism has us uniquely situated for the 21st Century."


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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Michigan based Jiffy Mix will have to fend with GMO issues & carb reduction in the future.  Yet today they know where their core audience is and where they are going.  In the end, business is still all about sustainability, relationships and not just the short term bottom line. ~  Deb

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Las Vegas Points to Our Crumbling Past and a "Triumph of the Cities" Future

Las Vegas Points to Our Crumbling Past and a "Triumph of the Cities" Future | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

The first American city of the new century is a dazzling metaphor for our collapse & may point the way to a glittering triumph of the cities.

  

I thought I'd never want to visit Vegas.  EVER.  


Then it turns out I'm on the panel and a facilitator for an Open Space event at a global change practitioner's conference this past April.  With that, and a fabulous 5 days in Vegas in mind, this Atlantic article resonates change.  Perhaps it will for you as well.  ~ Deb

___________________________

  

"Vegas was the rest of the country, but with its foot on the gas," ~ Robert Lang, Brookings Mountain West at UNLV."

___________________________



Excerpted:

  

Recall the classic scene in Michael Lewis' "The Big Short" at a subprime mortgage conference at the Venetian hotel on the Las Vegas Strip. While being served by the very type of cocktail waitresses who had likely been given subprime loans they couldn't afford, Lewis's hero Steve Eisman discovers how insane Wall Street had gone in its love affair with subprime, and with collateralized debt obligations and credit default swaps.

  

WE ARE ALL VEGAS

  

...financial industry critics have taken to calling Wall Street a giant casino.   ...The Las Vegas economy remains a basket case, with an unemployment rate of 12 percent, plus clogged bankruptcy courts and a ravaged real estate market. The American economy isn't doing much better.


___________________________


And ...champagne of the good times had castor beans in it anyway.

___________________________

    

Wall Street and Vegas became locked in a lover's embrace that wasn't always healthy for either. ...MGM Resorts International has $12 billion in debt; Caesars Entertainment a staggering $23 billion.

   

"Vegas was the rest of the country, but with its foot on the gas," says Robert Lang, director of Brookings Mountain West at UNLV.


THE NEW VEGAS


This being America though ...Las Vegas might be coming back. There's a recognition among elites that the good old days aren't returning. (And ...champagne of the good times had castor beans in it anyway.)


Gov. Brian Sandoval, a Republican increasingly distinct from the national party's pre-New Deal orthodoxy, unveiled an economic plan earlier this year that leans heavily on education as a way to diversify the economy into potential growth sectors beyond tourism and gambling, including health care, information technology infrastructure, renewable energy, mining, transportation, aerospace and defense.

   

The governor's brain trust hopes the Nevada economy will look different in a couple decades, just as Denver and Dallas, the poster children of the excesses of the S&L debacle, have become innovative, prosperous and stable economies.


Tony Hsieh, the CEO of Zappos, the big online apparel company now owned by Amazon, struggled to find workers in the Bay Area who understood the customer service mission. So in 2004, the company moved to suburban Las Vegas, where it found cheap real estate and workers, schooled in casino culture, who were familiar with the customer service ethic and the 24 hour workday.


The company has thrived in Las Vegas, and now Hsieh ...a passionate urbanist, [is] given to handing out copies of Harvard economist Edward Glaeser's book, Triumph of the City, to anyone in shouting distance.  


___________________________

    

"Downtown Las Vegas is the four minute mile."

___________________________


Silicon Vegas? 


 GigaOM recently profiled five Vegas tech companies to watch, a development that would have been unheard of even two years ago. Hsieh has rented out 50 units of a downtown condo tower and turned it into a freewheeling tech and culture salon, like a college dorm for a Vegas Ted conference.

   

...Half of the world's population live in cities, and three-fourths will in our lifetimes, he notes.

   

"If you can make downtown Las Vegas the most community driven and learning-focused place in America, it's like the four minute mile.


Downtown Las Vegas is the four minute mile."


See the full article in The Atlantic here.


DN:  With the passage of the Detroit Institute of Arts millage by Metro Detroiters this past Tuesday keeping the museum open and accessible, Dan Gilbert's (Quicken Loans)  and others' support of Detroit, a Triumph of the Cities, may be possible in the USA.


   

    


Deb's mothership website, REVELN Consulting.


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Accessible Leadership: Why the CEO needs to drive communication & culture change to improve customer experience

Accessible Leadership: Why the CEO needs to drive communication & culture change to improve customer experience | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it
Leadership Required: Why the CEO needs to drive communication and culture change to improve customer experience.


A simple but not simplistic 3 point list of a leader's role in communicating with all hands in culture change. From Experience Required™


Excerpted:



The CEO’s role must be one of brand champion...[to] ensure that the company’s brand strategy is implemented, instead of becoming just another “thing” that everyone should do.


Here are three things leaders can start to do today to ensure greater success:


#1. Be visible.
Employees need to see you (literally) leading the effort ...[to] know that you truly believe in its value and its impact. Get out and develop relationships with your employees. ...[and] hear what’s really going on from those that directly interact with your customers.


#2. Give feedback regularly.
Recognize employees often with specific feedback on what they did well. Help them connect to the purpose and how their individual efforts fit in with the big picture.


Giving their work greater meaning helps them realize they’re working for a company they can be proud of. 


#3. Demonstrate quick wins.
Make it a point to regularly update employees on progress. Show them how their feedback led to actionable improvements in process, employee, and customer experiences.


You have to walk the talk and show you’re prepared to make changes that improve the experience. Once your employees realize their input is valued, they’ll open up more and be more motivated to follow your example.

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Young CEOs: Are They Up to the Job?

Young CEOs: Are They Up to the Job? | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

It's creativity vs. experience as a new flock of leaders take their companies to public markets.

Management theorist Vivek Wadhwa argued in a recent essay that Silicon Valley's obsession with youth may help explain the venture industry's recent rash of poor returns. He drew that conclusion after studying more than 500 technology and engineering companies that had more than $1 million in sales and at least five employees.

How young is too young to be a CEO? WSJ's Dennis Berman and Mean Street host Evan Newmark discuss. Photo: Getty Images.

Mr. Wadhwa found that the average age of the founders of those successful companies was 39, and that twice as many founders were older than 50 as were younger than 25. Experience, he concluded, trumps youth more often than many believe. "Age provides a distinct advantage," he wrote.

Ben Horowitz of the venture firm Andreessen & Horowitz laid out the counterargument in a long post in 2010 on his firm's website. In it, he explained that he would prefer to bet on companies led by founders, who tend to be younger, because they are better at finding innovative products. They are worse than experienced CEOs at squeezing money out of those products, he conceded, but he argued that skill is easier to teach.

James W. Breyer, a director of Facebook who works closely with Mr. Zuckerberg, said age matters less and less. "Skills, passion, intense curiosity and extremely high IQ are more important," he added.

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Women CEOs and the Glass Precipice: New Research on Why

Women CEOs and the Glass Precipice:  New Research on Why | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Carly Fiorina, forced out. A MERE 5% of the chief executives of the world’s biggest companies are women. And they are more likely to be sacked than their more numerous male colleagues: 38% of the female CEOs who left their jobs over the past ten years were forced to go, compared with 27% of the men. 
     
In the Strategy& study, the clumsy new name for Booz & Company, 35% of female CEOs are hired from outside the company, compared with just 22% of male ones.

  • Outsiders generally have a higher chance of being kicked out, 
  • Generate lower returns to shareholders
  • Outsiders are less likely to have a support network of friends who can rally around when times get tough. 
         

Carly Fiorina, dropped as HP’s boss in 2005, made things worse by inviting such publicity. But the same is not true of, say, Ginni Rometty, the lower-profile boss of IBM (promoted from within the company in 2012), who is under fire over the firm’s performance.


Related tools & posts by Deb:


  • Stay in touch with Best of the Best news, taken from Deb's  NINE multi-gold award winning curation streams from @Deb Nystrom, REVELN delivered once a month via email, available for free here,via REVELN Tools.


                   

              


Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

The change leader implication, as described in the article, is the call to action on 1) developing the leadership pipeline for female future CEOs,  2) helping diminish raiding due to scarce supply, which tends to be counterproductive for women's careers anyway, and 3) increasing success by having more women available to promote from within.  ~ Deb


Also posted to Careers and Self-Aware Strength.

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Deb Nystrom, REVELN's curator insight, May 6, 9:11 AM

This is a useful gender perspective on leadership development and, as the article concludes, a call to action on 1) developing the leadership pipeline for female future CEOs,  2) helping to prevent raiding because of scarce supply, (and it's counterproductive anyway, the research suggests) and 3) increasing success by having more women to promote from within.  ~  Deb

Tamkin Amin's curator insight, May 15, 5:03 PM

hmmm... I find this interesting.

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Why GM’s Mary Barra Got the CEO Job

Why GM’s Mary Barra Got the CEO Job | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Barra will become GM’s fifth CEO in less than five years. She now has the opportunity to prove that a GM-lifer can indeed force radical and lasting changes at the automaker. If she can push departments to revamp and think progressively, she will surely be labeled as a transformational CEO.

She has experience in every facet of the organization including European operations and successful product launches including the Cadillac ATS, CTS, and Chevrolet’s Stingray and Malibu.

Automotive sales are continuing to rebound and hit levels that we haven’t seen since 2007 but competition is stiff. Product is king and Barra’s latest post proves she has the chops to propel GM forward.


Related posts & tools by Deb:



Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

How will it work out for a new leader?   Time will tell, quickly, if JCPenny is any indication.  A gender-less look at revamping a hide-bound traditional organization could be useful.  GM was the learning lab for the legendary late Peter Drucker.  He knew was was and wasn't working in multi-national corporations back in the day.  ~  D

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‘Queen Bee’ CEOs get scrutiny and flak while ‘King Wasps’ get a free pass

‘Queen Bee’ CEOs get scrutiny and flak while ‘King Wasps’ get a free pass | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it
When a female CEO outlaws telework, a firestorm ensues. A male CEO does so — and goes unnoticed.


Joly, the new chief executive officer of Best Buy, announced recently that he was ending the innovative, flexible work style the company pioneered — Results Only Work Environment, or ROWE.

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

Actually, I've Scooped Joly and ROWE earlier on Change Leadership Watch, alongside Yahoo's changes.  It's significant it's in the news again from  gender perspective, to help us notice our blind spots and gender bias.  


Perhaps I'll need to add "King Wasps" to my Queen Bee posts on Reveln.com tho' it really depends on the longer term view.  A companion article about success at Costco seems to argue against what Joly has decided to do.  ~  D

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15 Of The Sharpest Up And Coming CEOs In Silicon Valley

15 Of The Sharpest Up And Coming CEOs In Silicon Valley | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Here's the Tech CEO best of the best list via Business Insider. Tech startups CEOs give a great view of what's next.


Here's two from the full list that were quite fetching in ingenuity and business style.  It's also an easy to browse, via click, article. ~  Deb


Excerpts:


Jamie Wong speaks multiple languages and has spent her life traveling the world. Now she's building a startup that makes it much easier for everyone to do the same.]


Vayable basically shortens the process of planning a vacation from 30 hours down to about 5 minutes. It makes it easy to plan "experiences," like touring the Louvre with a French student instead of riding a tour bus around town.


Patrick Collison's Stripe has become the go-to provider for accepting payments online. It makes it dead simple to add a way to pay for things on just about any app.


That's great for other founders, because payments are typically the most tricky part of building an application, and can take months to finally get off the ground. With Stripe, it's just a few lines of code.


Read more: http://www.businessinsider.com/25-hot-ceos-of-silicon-valley-startups-you-cant-afford-to-ignore-2012-8?op=1#ixzz258nSrsMH

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IBM's CEO report: Collaboration Tools are a Means of Business Success, Face-to-Face Shift to Virtual

IBM's CEO report: Collaboration Tools are a Means of Business Success, Face-to-Face Shift to Virtual | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

"To lead in unfamiliar territory amid constant change, CEOs will need to learn from their own networks."


Photo caption:  Preparing for the Google+ Hangout with the UN Secretary-General.


Where One Door Closes:  I'm doing a Google+ hangout today to discuss setting up a blogging circle with friends nearby and in another time zone.  I maintain several relationships using Skype, Google+ hangout, Facebook and Pinterest.  


The doors are opening to new methods not as bound by silos and other traditional organizational boundaries.  In business, conversational tools and collaborative tools, like PowerNoodle, a collaboration idea sharing tool, are becoming mainstream.


_____________________


There’s irony in an IBM report of how CEO’s are seeing their businesses changing, based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,700 chief executive officers in 64 countries...
_____________________


It's little wonder that CEO's are seeing the value of screen-time, even thought this well researched IBM study was conducted face-to-face.  The article from Formtek Blog has a title that is not as neutral:  ...Eroding the need for Face-to-Face in Business.   Yet it is hopeful.


Some excerpts:


There’s irony in the IBM report as the first page — contains only the words: “This study is based on face-to-face conversations with more than 1,700 chief executive officers in 64 countries.”


_____________________


Collaboration tools allows all disciplines within the company to work more closely together.

_____________________


Several major findings:


  • CEO’s are seeing less value in face-to-face encounters and are increasingly pursuing social media and collaboration technologies for interacting with others.
.
  • Over 50% [of the CEO's interviewed] expect social channels to be a primary way of engaging customers within five years.”

.

  • 20% of CEO’s said that social media already is one of their most important forms of interaction with others

.

  • 57% thought that within another 3-5 years social media would become important.

.

  • Currently 80% see face-to-face interactions as very important today, that’s expected to slip to just 67 percent who will feel that way in 3-5 years.




CEO’s are seeing collaboration increasingly as a tool that can be used to bring about team building and cooperation, allowing executives within the organization to work cross-functionally.


Collaboration tools allows all disciplines within the company to work more closely together.


_____________________


CEOs will need to learn from their own networks. They will need to assemble those networks like portfolios.

_____________________


Bridget van Kralingen, vice president of IBM Global Business Services, commented, ”Rather than ...de-personalising human relationships, this view leans heavily in favour of deepening them, and using dynamic social networks to harness collective intelligence to unlock new models of collaboration.”


Pierre Morin a partner at IBM Global Business Services, said that “...they want people across the organization to feel comfortable reaching out to the CEO to share ideas or engage a discussion. Social media is a mechanism to do that.”


The IBM report concludes that


“To lead in unfamiliar territory amid constant change, CEOs will need to learn from their own networks.


They will need to assemble those networks like portfolios—with generational, geographic, institutional diversity. Then, they’ll need to help their organizations do the same.”


Read the full post here.

Photo credit:  Flickr, cc, by specialoperations

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Russell Goldsmith of City National, on Storytelling’s Power in a Powerful, Positive Culture

Russell Goldsmith of City National, on Storytelling’s Power in a Powerful, Positive Culture | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

The power of a story to teach, reinforce culture, and reward behavior, is central for how this bank executive leads at City National Bank in Los Angeles.


This reminds me of the power of the story by consulting colleague, Dr. Rick Fenwick, of Fenwick-Koller Associates.  We recently completed another round of Team Concept training for the UAW workers at GM Powertrain.  Our 4 day session is nuanced by story, Rick's colorful examples as well as stories shared by team members, learning about managing team experiences, including tools to help.


Goldsmith's example below embeds recognition and reward of the story into the culture of City National Bank.



Excerpt:

Russell Goldsmith is chairman and chief executive of City National Bank in Los Angeles. In its “Story Idol” competition, he says, employees talk about “what they did that promoted teamwork or helped a client by going the extra mile.”


_____________________________


We [taught] people how to share stories [including] something called “Story Idol,” and every quarter there’s a competition...

_____________________________



...we have a lot of great stories to tell. If you look up City National, one of the stories you will see is the story of Frank Sinatra’s son who was kidnapped. The first C.E.O., Al Hart, was a real friend of Frank Sinatra’s and famously opened the vault on a Saturday and got the ransom money. That happened in the early ’60s, but people are still telling that story. It’s a source of pride.


We brought in consultants to teach people how to share stories in a more organized way that underscored the culture. We do something called “Story Idol,” and every quarter there’s a competition among our 79 offices.


It’s a way to give colleagues a pat on the back and a moment in the sun for doing the right thing, and it democratizes and decentralizes positive reinforcement.


_____________________________


...what matters most is the recognition, and the respect from your peers as you stand on the stage in front of 300 people.

_____________________________


The people who submit the winning stories [Story Idol competition] all get iPads. The winners themselves ...get significant cash awards. But what matters most is the recognition, and the respect from your peers as you stand on the stage in front of 300 people.


Read the full post via the New York Times by author ADAM BRYANT here.


===


Thanks to my change colleague, Liz Guthridge, @LizGuthridge, for the heads up. If you have a change leader that merits a look via this curation stream, let me know via DebNystrom@Reveln.com or suggest it as a curation post in ScoopIt.


More about us, on the Fenwick Koller Associates team with Reveln Consulting is here.

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