Our Thoughts

Ideas that change businesses, industries, and people

PowerPointers Episode 1 – Making Selections

Back in May I wrote about why you shouldn't blame PowerPoint for your bad presentations, so, in an effort to help you make your presentations better, I'm releasing Episode 1 of a ~6ish episode series I created with the intent of helping you unleash the power of...

Consulting Myths

“Oh, so you’re like the Bobs?” This is typically the first thing you hear from someone once you’ve told them you’re a consultant. Because even 18 years after “Office Space” debuted, that’s still the most culturally relevant image people have of consultants. And it’s a...

How to Make a Merger Work

It seems like every time you turn around companies are consolidating. Whether it’s an outright acquisition or a “merger of equals,” companies believe that they can create more value by joining forces than by moving forward alone. The latest attention-grabbing...

The Challenges With a Tech-Obsessed CEO

I caught up with one of my old friends last week who had taken a new CIO gig about a year ago. At his previous company, his bosses (first the CFO and then the CEO) were primarily focused on managing IT as a cost of doing business, but his new boss is a little...

Conducting Business

I recently enjoyed a concert (the 2017 Honors Junior Performance) at the famous Carnegie hall, and somewhere during one of the pieces I found myself concentrating intently and trying to discern the points at which specific instruments came into and out of the...

Six Factors for Making Change Stick

In today’s ever-changing environment, I think we can all agree that managing change is important. Change management is becoming a key part of most organizations, and we are seeing an increasing number of clients implementing dedicated change management functions...

Working Anywhere, Anytime… But Not ALL the Time

It's 4:30 PM on a balmy Wednesday in July. I'm sitting on a blanket in the grass by the corner of 9th and York Street, listening to the soft whir of traffic and a buzz of happy people lined up in front of and behind me. Those of you Denver people may know exactly what...

Some Thoughts on Doing Fewer Things Better

In my previous blog, I wrote about some of the warning signs that your HR function might need a jump start. One of my points was that as organizations go from a smaller (sometimes start-up) size to becoming more of a “grown up” company, they often experience role...

When Your HR Function Might Need a Jump Start

The Human Resources function has come a long way from the days when they largely focused on payroll, behavioral interviews, and being the people you “logged a complaint” with. In many cases, they are now less of a stand-alone organization and more of an embedded...

My 4 Year Old on Change Management

About a year ago, my company held our monthly Thought Meeting in my basement. In preparation, I enrolled my husband Eric to help me move the couches around to set up the room for the group discussion. My 4-year-old Gus watched this activity and grew quite agitated....

What Is Appendix X3 and Why Does It Matter to Your PMO?

I'm sure your mechanic is fantastic. He has probably repaired dozens of cars, of all makes and models. He knows just how long and how much any given repair will be, and most important of all, he is CERTIFIED! He has gone to some well-respected third party and...

Stop Blaming PowerPoint for Your Crappy Presentation

People hate PowerPoint. A lot. You even say the word “PowerPoint” to any random group of 10 people and at least 6 of them will get triggered while the other 4 will have an expression like they just drank spoiled milk. But not me, I love PowerPoint. That’s right, I...

Does Technology Reduce Our Social Capital?

Are technology and social media reducing our social capital? Is our way of life in peril as our youth and culture become subservient specters to the soul-destroying harbinger of the social and biological apocalypse: the smartphone? Short answer: no. First, what is...

Breaking News – Innovation Requires Breaking a Sweat

“Genius is one percent inspiration, ninety-nine percent perspiration.” – Thomas Edison I like to think of myself as an “outdoors” guy, and I have spent a lot of time in the sun over the years, running and riding my bike. As I’ve matured, I find myself more aware of...

How 3D Printing Didn’t Change My Life

At the end of last year my company, Thought Ensemble, decided to give each employee a technology bonus and encouraged us to use it to research an emerging technology of our choosing. Some folks decided to go the VR route, and some chose home automation, while others...

The Digital Downside to Well-Tuned IT Delivery Methods

IT organizations often embrace Agile software development as the holy grail that will guide them to the digital product promised land. What many companies don’t realize when they embark on this transformation is that their problem is much bigger than simply choosing...

Alexa Will Influence Much More Than Your Grocery List

Almost two years ago, during one of my catch-up conversations with Scott Manuel from Thomson Reuters, I first heard of Alexa, the intelligent personal assistant service of the Amazon Echo. Scott said, “Trust me, you’ve got to get one of these.” His job is to...

Who Builds Better Digital Products – IT or Product?

When we started Thought Ensemble in 2008, we did a lot of consulting work in industries like information services and publishing. At that time, these industries were at the height of their disruption. Digital products, from both longtime competitors and...

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