Doug's Blog
The Risk of Not Risking

Risk taking is about creating new things, understanding what you’re made of, and feeling confident and alive. You lose these when you play it safe for too long, in essence losing the “life” in life. So you need to take risks. But even when you know that you need to take risks, fear can still…

Doug's Blog
Spend More Time With Your Customers

Sometimes the most powerful business advice is the simplest. Businesspeople give a lot of excuses for not spending enough time with customers. Being too busy is the most common one I hear. Whenever an executive tells me that she’d love to spend more time with her customers, but she’s too busy, I ask to see…

Doug at HBR
3 Reasons Your Strategy Meetings Irritate Your Team

Originally published on Harvard Business Review Used well, strategy meetings provide clarity and momentum. They align a team around key decisions and create positive energy. Used poorly, strategy meetings irritate people. They waste time and energy, or worse, strengthen entrenched points of view creating frustration and resignation. In my work with companies from large Fortune 500…

Doug's Blog
Bring Back the Joy In Life

There’s magic in youth. Unaware of the tensions, trade-offs, and struggles of adulthood, we’re lighter. We laugh more easily. We play more freely. We dream bigger. Then “real life” steps in. The first disappointment. The first failure. The first break up. We start to realize that life is pretty tough. These letdowns happen again and…

Doug's Blog
Stand Up And Start Walking

If we listen to the chatter in our heads long enough we hear signals. Steady beacons in a sea of whimsical, transient ideas. I should do this. I should build this. I should try this. They keep pulsing, simultaneously inspiring us and pissing us off because we’re not pursuing them. We get good at excusing…

Doug's Blog
Reframing Failure

When I was 24 years old, I fell into a position as the business development director at a small New York advertising agency. I had met the agency owner, Bill Markel, two weeks earlier at an advertising award show. I happened to be attending the event with a friend for the free food and drinks.…

Doug's Blog
Why You’re On The Planet

I watch Jerry Seinfeld’s web series Comedians in Cars Getting Coffee weekly. I love the behind-the-scenes banter of comedians talking about their personal histories. It’s a rare glimpse of show-person as real person. This week’s guest was Garry Shandling, a long-time and close friend of Seinfeld’s. Shot in LA, they visited The Comedy Story where…

Doug's Blog
Don’t Stand for B.S. Strategic Plans

At least once a week I read a strategic plan that feels like it was written by a random-corporate-buzzword generator. The lingo sounds fancy, but there’s no substance behind it. Give it a little push and it falls apart. Here are few recent offenders: We’re going to utilize a best-practice project management methodology to accelerate cost cutting.…