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Ted Harro
Ted Harro is founder of Noonday Ventures, a management consultancy that helps senior leaders of growing organizations answer three common questions: Where are we going? How can we be sure our leadership team will get us there? How do we translate our business strategy into a distinctive customer experience? Noonday's clients have included both established market leaders and hot startups.

Entries by Ted Harro

I Gave Up Criticism for Lent

(1) Comments | Posted March 18, 2016 | 9:57 AM

I gave up criticism for Lent.

This seemed like a good idea at the time. I've noticed how I reflexively see and point out flaws in those around me -- clients, colleagues, friends. And then there are my kids. And myself. There are so many flaws to point out and...

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Choose Joy

(0) Comments | Posted November 23, 2015 | 11:35 AM

I don't know about you, but some days I hate my job. I wake up to a calendar full of meetings - or worse yet, a day with few meetings at all and a deep sense of smallness as I wonder why no one wants to spend time with me....

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Are You Critical Thinkers... or Just Critical?

(0) Comments | Posted September 23, 2015 | 8:00 PM

You've probably been in a meeting where someone floats an idea that's imperfect, maybe even half-baked. They do it tentatively because they know the thought is emerging like a calf out of the womb, wobbly and likely to crash land onto the floor of the barn. It rests there, helpless,...

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Four Temptations of Teams Under Pressure

(0) Comments | Posted September 17, 2015 | 12:02 PM

You've been in this meeting: Your leadership team is facing a whole bunch of bad news. What seemed like a plausible plan just a few months ago now seems in jeopardy. Maybe worse, it seems like a pipe dream.

You look around the room. The team has the usual characters:...

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The Moments You Live For

(0) Comments | Posted September 8, 2015 | 6:27 PM

My friend Amy tells of a woman who runs a company that makes architectural stone. She has many moments during her days -- meetings, specification reviews, logistics strategy, customer visits. Those are all good moments, part of the joy and challenge of leading a company.

But they aren't the moment.

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Integrity Test

(1) Comments | Posted August 12, 2015 | 12:24 PM

I was in a meeting recently where a leadership team was grappling with their long-term direction. They're doing what many leadership teams must do -- trying to discern how to kick-start growth in their business. It complicates things that they work in the healthcare industry where there's enough upheaval to...

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Ditch the Talking Points, Make Listening Points

(0) Comments | Posted September 15, 2014 | 6:36 AM

You've been to this meeting. You and a bunch of peers are gathered to do some planning or training. Over lunch, a senior leader of the organization has been asked to come spend time with the gang. It's a great opportunity for both the leadership group and this senior leader...

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Smart vs. Good

(0) Comments | Posted June 27, 2014 | 11:14 AM

Jim Collins starts his classic, Good to Great, by saying "Good is the enemy of Great." I love Collins' books but I'd like to suggest a 2014 corollary to his comments. Today, Smart is often seen as the enemy of Good, as in Goodness. And personally I'd love to see...

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How to Provoke Change Without Alienating Your Peers

(0) Comments | Posted May 29, 2014 | 12:15 PM

Sara has a problem. She was recruited into an important role at a new company, one where her ability to succeed is directly affected by how well she can get tenured colleagues at this well-established company to change how they think and act. She comes from a company and industry...

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Three Marks of High Leverage Change Initiatives

(0) Comments | Posted April 16, 2014 | 9:12 AM

Dear Change Agent,

Let's say you just took over a major business unit of a well-known consumer services company. You were brought in from outside the industry because you had a stellar history of creating healthy growth in other consumer-oriented services companies. Recent results have been mediocre. New competitors lurk...

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Where to Start When You're a Change Agent

(0) Comments | Posted April 2, 2014 | 8:55 AM

Dear Change Agent,

Let's start with the bad news. If they hired you to be a "change agent," it means you automatically have a target on your back. Companies hire change agents and "thought leaders" when they're scared to death to do the hard stuff, unsure what to do, or...

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The Secret to a Hopeful Planning Session

(0) Comments | Posted February 24, 2014 | 8:19 AM

Here's the situation: You're sitting in a planning meeting. Your team has brain-dumped a list of great ideas that have been turned into the next wave of initiatives. They're inspiring. They're feasible. They've won the prioritization vote. And you leave the meeting feeling defeated, because you know none of these...

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Six Beliefs Of Hazardous Companies

(0) Comments | Posted February 11, 2014 | 8:54 AM


Some organizations should have a warning label: Caution, working here can be hazardous to your health. Complications could include high blood pressure, weight gain, insomnia, and bleeding ulcers.

Behind every hazardous work culture there's probably at least one dangerous leader who sets the...

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Lessons From A Redemptive Entrepreneur

(0) Comments | Posted December 4, 2013 | 8:43 AM

"Now that's a big idea!"

It was high praise from the former senior partner of a highly respected strategy consulting firm, a guy who deals in big ideas every day. I had just shared the concept behind one of my client's new ventures over lunch. While still in its early...

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Getting the Math Right

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 8:36 PM

Too many of us hate our jobs and live in fear. Even the super-successful. And it's our own doing.

I had lunch with a super-talented guy recently. He has a resume to die for - blue chip schools, top tier firms, big titles. Amid his success he had been bounced...

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Four Keys To A Successful Breakthrough

(0) Comments | Posted November 4, 2013 | 9:24 AM

"I'm worried about where you're going here!" It had taken the CFO a day and a half to finally burst. He had been watching our planning session proceed, only commenting when his financial expertise seemed relevant. But after the CEO's description of...

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Four Reasons I Hate Lists

(2) Comments | Posted October 23, 2013 | 9:49 AM

An executive I was coaching needed to dig his way out of a serious credibility problem with his boss. When he had joined the company 18 months before, he replaced the entire team while his boss smiled and nodded her approval. Now, there was a culture of infighting and it...

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Why A Lying Salesforce Should Scare Leaders To Death

(2) Comments | Posted October 17, 2013 | 8:25 AM

"Here's the truth: I lie."

It was a moment of startling honesty from a salesperson I met a while back. Her job was to cold call mid-level and senior executives to set up sales meetings for her company. That's a really tough job, so I had casually asked her how...

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Four Alternatives To A Shouting Match

(0) Comments | Posted September 26, 2013 | 10:35 AM

You've been here: You're working on a critical issue facing the organization in a cross-functional group. Maybe it's something important like the freaking future of the company. The work of this group matters not just to the participants, but to many people who weren't on the invitation list. And then...

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Four Fears To Make Microsoft Great Again

(0) Comments | Posted September 9, 2013 | 10:29 AM

In the wake of Steve Ballmer's exit from Microsoft and the announcement of their acquisition of Nokia's handset division, many have been talking about how Microsoft has lost its innovative edge because of a culture of fear.

I think fear rocks. If you're...

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