All posts in Uncategorized

  • 300 disruptive ideas

    This post collects all of my #10ideasaday notes from 2015.

    Some of these ideas are completely crazy, some are practical, and most sit somewhere in-between; i.e. focusing heavily on “undisruptable” airport retail was announced by Westfield this week as a key plank in their new corporate strategy.

    I’ve pulled out three of the ideas on each topic below (the original post with all 300ish ideas was nearly 10k words). On each of the topics you can click through to read the full post on Tumblr if you’re interested.

    – Steve

    10 ideas for WeWork corporate mashups

    WeWork was recently valued at $10bn with over 25,000 members – The company is set to be a big disrupter in the commercial property market over the next 10 years. Here’s 10 corporate mashups to generate some new business models and ideas for brand extensions:

    1. Meriton – For a workforce who’s increasingly freelance, the opportunity to rent a home based office / desk in the apartment building is attractive. It’s a study / library that starts by reimagining the old hotel business centre – that’s also revenue generating for Meriton on an ongoing basis

    2. Myer – Myer is already benefiting from moving to a concession model. But the next step is the store actually becomes a reseller and incubator for emerging fashion brands. Can resell logistics support, manufacturing facilities, websites and then even floor space to people trying to start up in the retail space. Myer has all the fixed cost investments, and then the brand founders go out and hustle for the marketing. Could even stack this up with an X-factor style model on top with a supporting TV series and equity stakes (say 40%) in performance of the brand if you’re featured in Myer main stores.

    3. Chandler Macleod – There’s big disincentives for small businesses in entering the property market, you’re working with much bigger partners, it takes just as long to negotiate 10 floors as one floor, and you’re up for big fixed costs like fitout. There’s a lot of similarities to the grad recruiting market – advertising, assessment centres, resume processing etc. So Chandler Macleod could aggregate / bundle companies together and run the grad recruiting program for a large array of medium sized businesses that couldn’t otherwise afford to participate in the space.

    Read more

  • 4 reasons leaders fail to scale up — and how to overcome them

    I recently penned this article for MYOB on some of the common patterns I’m seeing in SMEs that are scaling up. I’m linking here as I thought you might enjoy.

    “I spend a lot of time talking to CEOs of small, medium and larger businesses. It’s one of the best parts of my job. I love speaking to leaders at very different scales, but not just about what has worked.

    We also spend a lot of time talking about things that haven’t worked — places where problems have emerged as the organisation has grown. As anyone who has grown a small business knows, your role as a leader changes dramatically as the organisation grows. So what are some of the key reasons that leaders fail to make this transition?…”

    Click here to read the full article on MYOB

  • Weekly Newsletter: February 15

    I collect articles from around the web for this weekly newsletter. It includes all the interesting things that I’ve seen over the week in management, leadership and strategy (plus any blog posts).

    You can subscribe here.

    Mark Suster

    This week in Leadership

    This Google exec’s success shows how it pays off to invest in talent
    “Google is celebrated for its rigorously data-focused management and hiring culture. But the secret of one of its most successful executives, Sundar Pichai, lies in good old-fashioned team building.”

    All Work Has Meaning (Almost)
    “A great way to discover your work’s true meaning is to go deep with consumers with extreme behavior…. But companies routinely underestimate the meaning, purpose and significance because they don’t look hard enough at the diversity and depth of their consumers.”

    How an Olympic Gold Medalist Learned to Perform Under Pressure
    “It’s so easy and much more fun to work on your strengths. You get immediate positive feedback… But the thing you’re practicing, well, you were already good at it. So I think what you really need to work on is what you’re not good at. And I think that’s as true in business as it is in sport.”

    The Vulnerability Decision: Why CEO’s Need a Coach
    “In other words, [despite the benefits] most CEO’s frankly are concerned that their boards and key stakeholders will see it as a sign of weakness that they are in fact working with a coach.”

    Complex Times Call for Connective Leaders
    “The higher the technology in our world, the higher the human touch needed. The most sought-after leaders today are, by nature, connective. They become the glue that holds diverse people together.”

    I Almost Died. And So Can You.
    “Too busy for that morning jog? Too rushed for a homemade meal? I thought so, too–until I suffered a heart attack at age 43. Here’s what I’ve learned.”


    This week in Management

    I Filled a Job You Didn’t Know You Had
    “The Job Proposal Memo is a summary of what a candidate will accomplish in the first 30-60-90 days in a given role at a company. It is similar to a cover letter, but focused more on what you can and will accomplish in this role.”

    Why it’s more demanding to work for a company without a traditional hierarchy
    “Working without a manager might sound like a dream but the reality is that it’s often much more demanding. As companies like Zappos and Medium adopt self-governing structures, flat management is piquing the interest of myriad organizations—though it’s not entirely new.”

    The art of management
    “Small steps … I believe that good management is based on steady and structured small steps over a period of time, rather than happening in giant leaps. It takes time to build a set of values that your people will live by (beyond just having them posted in your vision statement), and with them the culture and acceptable behaviours that are necessary to support these.”

    16 Ways to Help Less
    “Help done poorly creates dependency… Over-helpful leaders frustrate teams. Help done well strengthens. Help done poorly weakens.”

    Stop “Fixing” Women and Start Fixing Managers
    “The shift in all this is that after a few decades of asking women to adapt to organizations, companies are starting to adapt their organizations to women. They are asking managers to learn new skills to manage a new more gender-balanced workforce and customer base.”

    Top talent walking out the door? Here’s how to get them to stay
    “Want to prevent future flight of your top talent? Don’t wait until it’s too late: conduct a “stay interview”… Stay interviews serve two purposes: to let employees know how valued they are and to proactively identify problems that may lead to a team member’s departure.”

    The Big Benefits You Can Get From Remaking Performance Reviews
    “In 2012, [Adobe] moved from yearly performance rankings to frequent ‘check-ins’ where managers provide employees targeted coaching and advice… The aim is to give people information when they need it rather than months after teachable moments have passed.”

    The complete guide to your insane working hours
    “Why are we working ridiculously long weeks? Because of the way we measure work, our cultural history, and how constantly connected we are. Here’s how we can finally break free.”

    Should office culture change to accommodate introverts?
    “In a world designed for extroverts, quiet types are misunderstood as unambitious. Should the introverts change, or should their environment?”

    Seeking Their Fortune: The Career Path for Top Executives in Big Companies
    “Leaders “shot to the top fastest at Google,” where it took only 14 years to rise from an entry level position to the executive suite, while it took 32 years at Hewlett-Packard and ConocoPhillips.”


    This week in Strategy

    The Crazy Story Of How An Impulse Trip To Sydney Sparked EBay’s $US50 Billion Turnaround
    “In a few minutes, Abraham and five of his coworkers from eBay would board a 14-hour flight to Sydney, Australia. Their plan was to spend the next two weeks re-inventing the eBay homepage… He had to move fast, he felt, because he feared that if he did not, eBay’s big-company processes and politics would suffocate his idea before it ever became a prototype.”

    Inside AT&T’s Special Ops Team
    “When the telecom behemoth opened two start-up style labs in Plano, it wasn’t just trying to change the way it does business with outsiders. It was trying to change its culture as well.”

    7 predictions for the future of work
    “We might not have holographic conference calls or teleporting commutes (yet), but corporate anthropology can give us a realistic glimpse of our futures in the workplace.”

    Company Culture Is Part of Your Business Model
    “I think leaders should think of their culture as the first and most important business model that they create.  It is the platform from which the more traditionally thought of business models emerge.”

    Develop Strategic Thinkers Throughout Your Organization
    “Provide information to your leaders on the market, the industry, customers, competitors and new technologies that influence your business. One of the key prerequisites of strategic leadership is having relevant and broad business information that helps leaders elevate their thinking beyond the day-to-day.”


    Management.Disrupted is a blog about management beyond the production line. Thoughts on better management, leadership and strategy for knowledge work from Steve Pell.

    Visit the website at or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.