Only compromise will pull us from cliff’s edge

December 20, 2012 1 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

Have you ever been in a meeting where two executives face off, each on the opposite side of a critical issue? You watch the debate like you would a tennis match, with each participant knocking the issue back to the other side. As they volley back and forth, the debate picks up in intensity, and neither side will back down. Suddenly it’s no longer about the issue and what’s best for the business; each executive just wants to win. To hell with compromise—it’s all or nothing!

read more…

Lack of trust was the main ingredient in Hostess’ demise

December 03, 2012 0 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

It’s a sad day for me. Hostess Brands, the maker of Twinkies, Ho-Hos, and Ding Dongs, is going out of business. While my midsection may not look like it, I haven’t had a Twinkie—or any other Hostess product, for that matter—in more than 30 years. But I hate to see them go. Twinkies were a part of my childhood. Somehow, on occasion, we could convince my mother to pick up a box of those golden treats with absolutely zero nutritional value. That was no small feat! My mother refused to buy any form of sugared cereal, but every once in a while, we could coax her into buying a box of Twinkies.

read more…

The ultimate leadership challenge

November 07, 2012 2 COMMENTS

by Dan Oswald

The day after the 2012 presidential election, a colleague forwarded to me an interview with Michael Siegel, the author of The President as Leader. The interview was conducted by the Washington Post’s Tom Fox and centered around the top attributes of a great leader.

read more…

A New Era in Business?

May 22, 2009 0 COMMENTS

Those who know me best would not consider me a sentimental person. In fact, my wife would probably laugh out loud if someone suggested that I was indeed sentimental. But with my oldest graduating from high school in a couple of days, it has caused me to think about what work life might be like for him four or five (hopefully four!!!!) years down the road.

It seems to me that we’ve experienced another sea change in the way business is being conducted. During my career I’ve seen the concept of life-long employment with gold watches and generous pensions at retirement come to an end. I’ve lived through the “greed is good” days of the ’90s. I’ve watched as younger employees approach work as a strict trading of talent and time for dollars. I’ve seen the impact the Internet has had on companies and the way they conduct business, and the changes are startling. Then we had the Enron, WorldComm, and Tyco debacles.

read more…