“Agile Working” and Office Design

Having spent last week in London, where every firm worthy of its PR news feed has at least mentioned “agile working,” it’s worth spending a few moments reflecting on what’s behind that shorthand. The phrase clearly embraces the notion of being able to work (well,...

Five Management Styles: Lessons from Silicon Valley

On a cross-country flight this week, I read most of Smarter Faster Better, by Charles Duhigg, currently on the NYT’s top 10 hardcover/nonfiction list of best-selling books. It’s fair to characterize the reviews it’s gotten as “mixed,” and...

Lessons from GE: Depth not Breadth

Though none of us can sanely claim to know what the future holds (I leave that to the fanatics), it’s abdicating your responsibility as a leader not to think about it. How do you go about that? In the most general terms: Creatively, deeply, and with a view to...

Lateral Partner Recruiting: Still Delusional?

When an especially provocative and ingenious piece is published analyzing a noteworthy aspect of the sea BigLaw swims in, one may feel an obligation to one’s readers to weigh in on the conversation. Particularly when the original piece was published under...

How the Mighty Fall: Part V

We now come to our fifth and final installment: Capitulation to Irrelevance or Death. “Irrelevance” is a subtle touch. It’s a fair bet that not too many readers of Adam Smith, Esq. see themselves as, or would be content to be, spending their working...

How the Mighty Fall: Part IV

We now come to Stage 4, Grasping for Salvation. Illustrative is the contrast between how HP and IBM responded in terms of choosing new CEOs when each company’s growth slowed dramatically in the 1990’s. HP first: It faced a choice as it sought to replace...
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