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Ted Harro
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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

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

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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

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"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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Lessons From An Inferno

(0) Comments | Posted August 13, 2013 | 10:06 AM

Many of us read with sadness about the deaths of 19 members of the elite Granite Mountain Hotshots firefighting team earlier this summer. Despite their best efforts and extensive expertise, they died when they were over-run by a wildfire that even overcame their emergency shelters. Their loss reminded...

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Mandela: The Imperfect Nobility of a Great Leader

(5) Comments | Posted June 28, 2013 | 10:59 AM

Like those last bittersweet days before you send a child off to college knowing that family life will never be the same again, the world is coming to terms with saying goodbye to Nelson Mandela. Whether it's today or next week or next month, it appears we're in the final...

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Eleven Innovation Buzzkills

(0) Comments | Posted June 11, 2013 | 5:38 PM

Ask almost any executive what they want in their stocking for Christmas next year and they'll say, "Innovation!" That's why HBR and Fast Company and Inc. and every other business magazine trumpets the latest thinking about innovation. Ignore for a second the obvious reasons for this - that...

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The Simple Reason So Much Coaching Is a Waste of Time

(0) Comments | Posted June 3, 2013 | 6:08 PM

We all know that developing the talent in our organizations is a fundamental role of leaders. Yes, yes we know that we should be adding to the bench strength of our organization constantly since one key to long-term growth is having enough talented, switched-on people available to turn ideas into...

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Can't Find the Right People? Maybe Your Business Model Is Busted

(0) Comments | Posted May 24, 2013 | 2:59 PM

You're sitting around the conference room table with your fellow executive team members staring at a list of symptoms. Sales are flat or even falling. When you start to dig into root causes, you immediately notice that your company has promoted star salespeople to new areas of responsibility. Now those...

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Four Marks of Lasting Genius

(0) Comments | Posted May 7, 2013 | 5:32 PM

I recently wrote a eulogy to a remarkable black bear named Yellow Yellow. She was the unusually resourceful bear who beat virtually every bear canister in her efforts to mooch food from campers in the Adirondack mountains. She was so ingenious that bear canister companies used her as...

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Six Celebrated Character Flaws

(0) Comments | Posted April 25, 2013 | 6:08 PM

You know this person: He's the celebrated leader in his company and a darling of his industry. His organization is profiled as the next big thing. He's written up as a leader bursting with innovation and purpose and dreams. Money and talent flow to this guy as investors and resume-builders...

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