May 2020 – an amiable CEO, innovation takes a village, virtual v. face-to-face teams, and Joe Rogan getting ripped off

In the April issue, one of my blogposts on Finding humor amid the challenges of working from home seems to have caused some comic relief. Thanks for your comments.


  • A friendly reminder seems to have struck a chord. Lots of reactions on social media as well personal messages;
  • In Keep track of what really matters I encourage managers to keep a journal. No, not a “Dear Diary” type! More like a captain’s log of the goings-on aboard your ship;
  • I also reminded folks to be grateful to their mom on Mother’s Day and to thank a teacher during Teacher Appreciation Week. Saying thanks and giving positive feedback are similar in this: it’s not enough to just say “thanks!” or, in the case of feedback, “good job!” Be specific about what the person is good at and what exactly it is that you are grateful for.


  1. Interesting leadership profile of Sony CEO Kenichiro Yoseda. “When people first meet [him], they are often surprised that instead of an extrovert, effusive, globe-trotting chief executive of a tech company, they find an amiable and quizzical figure who devotes as much time and energy to listening to others as talking.”
  2. Forget the individual creative genius. Innovation doesn’t happen in a vacuum. Share ideas early and often, and surround yourself with people willing to help you take chances. The case of the IKEA design lab;
  3. We often say that decision-making should be rational and detached. Well, research shows that emotion and mood have great influence on the process. Whether you are cheerful, angry or you’re experiencing regret, all these impact the decision-making process. Be mindful of your mood!
  4. Available research suggests that virtual teams are generally less effective than face-to-face ones. Here are some findings (London School of Economics):
    • The more virtual a team, generally the less effective it is;
    • The less face-to-face communication, the less effective a team;
    • The more dispersed virtual teams both geographically and across time zones, the less effective they are;
    • It is even more important for a virtual team to have high levels of trust, social cohesion, information sharing and effective transactive memory systems (TMS), a form of knowledge that is embedded in a team’s collective memory that works like an indexing system that tells members who knows what.
  5. Speaking of which, working from home (WFH) is only the first step. Down the road is Work from anywhere.
  6. 4,000+ scholars from around the globe think that “human health and the care of the most vulnerable cannot be governed by market forces alone. [That] if we leave these things solely to the market, we run the risk of exacerbating inequalities to the point of forfeiting the very lives of the least advantaged. So, how to avoid this unacceptable situation? By involving employees in decisions relating to their lives and futures in the workplace. They have specific suggestions;
  7. “Healthy sales” and $1 billion in cash might not be enough to weather a storm when you carry $17 billion in debt – Hertz, Car Rental Pioneer, Files for Bankruptcy Protection;
  8. Joe Rogan is taking his podcast exclusively to Spotify in a licensing deal worth more than $100 million. Someone thinks Joe got ripped off.
  9. For decades, the Capital Asset Pricing Model (CAPM) has been used to gain valuable information on risk and price. However, research shows that it doesn’t give the right price of risk. And that poses a problem when you evaluate businesses with a view to buy them.
  10. Because the covid-19 crisis is not over yet and we still need to be mindful for our safety and that of others, here’s How the coronavirus spreads in those everyday places we visit.


Work: I’m still working on the book. Tentative title: Managing from the inside out.

Music: If you have any interest in the history of music firm the U.S. then you will enjoy the documentary Muscle Shoals [youtube, free] about FAME Studios and Muscle Shoals Sound Studio in Muscle Shoals, Alabama. It includes interviews with Percy Sledge, Wilson Pickett, Aretha Franklin, Etta James, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, Steve Winwood, Bono, Alicia Keys and many others.

Finished readingThe active life by Parker Palmer.

Started reading: An updated and annotated edition of the management classic The human side of enterprise by Douglas McGregor.

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