Author Archives: John.Myrna

What business leaders can learn from PhD candidates

I went to graduate school at Montana State University (MSU) in Bozeman, Montana. Uncle Sam drafted me into the Army before I could finish my PhD program, but my heart remains a lover of the Big Sky Country. One of … Continue reading

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The challenge of changing the status quo

I believe that one of the reasons people resist changing the status quo is because every change creates winners and losers. (See my “Why do people resist change?” blog entry.) This insight is not new; in fact, one of the … Continue reading

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Is the capital you need hiding in plain sight?

On a recent flight, I was sitting next to a Southwest Airlines pilot and asked him about the “things” on the end of the plane’s wings that weren’t there a few years ago. He told me that the airline was able … Continue reading

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Why does he want to be a manager?

“Where do you want to be in five years?” I asked Burt, the grandson of one of my oldest friends. Burt had just graduated college and was in the midst of job hunting. Burt answered: “I’d like to have my … Continue reading

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Leave a trail of breadcrumbs

My one-time boss and long-time friend Dan was sharing his work experiences at Westinghouse and IBM. Over a dinner of succulent lobster and locally grown corn, he contrasted the two company’s staffing strategies. When Dan was at Westinghouse, they promoted a … Continue reading

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Beware hiring a “Charles Ponzi” to lead your sales or IT team

“How strong is our sales pipeline for next year?” Bob, the CEO of Creative Analytics asked in the annual strategy planning meeting. “Great!” replied Pat, the sales VP. “I’ve got a dozen projects lined up, at least half are a … Continue reading

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Implementing accountability: lessons from Brazil

We facilitated a strategic planning meeting in southern Brazil. While there, we had the opportunity to visit IguaçuFalls, one of the great sites on the World Heritage List. IguaçuFalls has a flow capacity equal to three times that of Niagara … Continue reading

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It isn’t enough to tell people what you want

In 1979, Ted Kennedy, brother of the assassinated President John Kennedy, was asked this straightforward question during an interview with CBS Newsman Roger Mudd. “Why do you want to be President?” Kennedy couldn’t come up with a straightforward answer. He … Continue reading

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“Plans are nothing… Planning is everything.”

“Plans are nothing… Planning is everything.” Dwight D. Eisenhower Maria Birkhead, Senior Facilitator at Myrna Associates, discussed this famous quote with a client’s executive team during a recent review meeting. She noted that Eisenhower’s quote is an amazing statement, coming … Continue reading

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Wide hallways, no elevators, open doors

Bell Labs was legendary for innovation. When asked what the secret of their success was, President Mervin Kelly said it was as simple as long, wide hallways, no elevators, and an open door policy. Long hallways forced people to walk between … Continue reading

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