Service + Leadership

Unsolicited Advice on Taking Your Customers’ Money

The low point of a service experience is often the part where we have to hand over our money.  Here are ten ways to make pricing less painful: Keep it simple, transparent and fair. Respect our humanity. We know one …

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The Five Stages of Strategic Grief

Silicon Valley’s been cracking with activity in the last few years — along with Melbourne, Australia and Santiago, Chile. According to the Global Entrepreneurship Monitor, there’s been a sharp uptick in …

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We’re back


Welcome! We’re thrilled to be restarting a less formal, more direct conversation with you about the challenges of service and leadership.  This is an extension of our previous blog, which we suspended for too many months to finish the Uncommon …

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If It Weren’t for Those Pesky Customers, Mr. Dell

In the NYT’s article this week about Dell’s recent decline, what struck me most was how far Dell had strayed from its original obsession with customers.  My sense had always been that Dell’s  low-cost fanaticism was in many ways similar …

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Imagining the Future of Leadership


HBS Publishing is now hosting a blog called Imagining the Future of Leadership, which includes a six-week series on how leadership might look in the future.  This week’s focus:  leaders for the future, where I posted on Suze Orman: Defying the Standards/Empathy Tradeoff.

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A Reason to Believe

In today’s column David Brooks tells a riveting story about rapid change in the culture and mindset of the U.S. Army, in response to bad news coming back from the Iraq War.  The story itself is fascinating — he chronicles …

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Organizational Insecurity

I was intrigued by a recent NYT interview with Omar Hamoui, founder and chief executive of the mobile advertising network AdMob.  Hamoui argued that organizational insecurity led to deep resistance to discussing problems: When people are insecure, they just tend to hide …

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Immigration Reform — Where Are the Business Leaders?

Solving our immigration problem feels like a classic public sector challenge – the issues at stake are things like border enforcement and protecting vulnerable populations (lower-skilled native workers, illegal migrants).  This is a job for pundits and policymakers.  Capitalists have …

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What’s a Good Business Book?

In response to our post on Youngme Moon’s Different, one of our readers asked, “what criteria do you use in determining the quality of a good business book?”  It’s a great question, and the answer is probably far more subjective than …

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Retention is Not the Same Thing as Satisfaction

Last year I posted about the research Dennis Campbell and I did in financial services where we found the surprising result that self-service can increase costs (the article was just published in Management Science.)  Dennis and I have been working …

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