Business Design. Evolved.

Month: July 2016 (page 1 of 3)

On the Passing of Charlie Krone

In my bookcase are three unfinished manuscripts I lovingly refer to as the Tao of Krone.  That Charlie Krone – the father of Organization Effectiveness (and Development).  They represent over 8 years of notes while I was working with Charlie while he was mentoring the DuPont Nylon team (and subsequently DuPont Fibers).  I use many of these concepts to this day… the law of three, task cycle, singular integrated developmental organization (SIDBO), All in a Business Family, and the “Essence of Nylon” – a regenerative reframing of the nylon business.

If you really understood what Charlie was about you could not help but love him.  He genuinely cared about people and helping them reach their full potential.  This is not just talk as I know he could have written me off several times, as we would have highly agitated 1:1 discussions about what I often called his “inging” of the English language and “confusing people”.  He wouldn’t quite say it this way, but I was sloppy (my words) in my levels of thinking and had to relearn how to learn.  He would have suggested I was operating at level one unconscious thinking and needed to rise to a more conscious level of thinking.  Those of you who understand Krone will laugh as you read this.

Charlie was also known for his work at P&G and the development of participative management.  While it was highly successful, it was also threatening to the Ford-like industrial engineered work model and traditional management.  Often the participative management approach could create a “mystical aura” as folks who had been confined in their ability to contribute were liberated to work at their highest level and grow.

You rarely hear about organization development, participative management, and organization effectiveness and yet I often reflect that the millennials of today would readily embrace participative management.  However, being a regenerative vs. extractive company is still a struggle for some (VW for example).

His impact on DuPont was profound as we shifted from a company that truly embraced sustainable values and society as a stakeholder and put money behind our words, exiting deep wells, eliminating nitrous oxide emissions, and exiting businesses.  DuPont was a better place for his involvement and influence.

Yesterday, I decided to check on what Charlie had been up to… only to learn he died just before Christmas on December 17th.

Here is an excerpt about Charlie from his obituary…

As a young boy he helped the milkman with deliveries from his horse drawn carriage. His mother had a large garden, and he helped her with harvesting and canning the vegetables and fruit. He grew up loving to work and to help people, and these characteristics remained with him throughout his life. Charlie pioneered many of the founding concepts in the field of organization development, integrating several disciplines to formulate principles and processes for self- actualization, self-realization and systemic thinking. As a consultant he dedicated himself to making the world a better place through applying vision and creativity to developing organizations where people could simultaneously have a meaningful work life, contribute to the success of their business, and develop to their full professional and spiritual potential.

… He is survived by his wife, Bonnie Krone; his brother, Bill Krone; his 3 children, Pam, Keith and Brian; and his 3 grandchildren, Becky, Clayton and Jason. He wishes everyone a happy and fulfilling life. Please send any donations in his name to support the education of the orphaned children of Tibet at Joru Foundation ( or to support children’s equine therapy at Hope, Horses and Kids (”

Charlie – husband, father, friend, teacher, dreamer, business man, rancher, friend of the earth, we will miss You!

Charlie was my teacher, mentor, and in some ways a business father.  My life – and the path I was on – was dramatically changed by Charlie.  I will miss you.

Here is prior post on Charlie’s Four Premises about Growth from All in a Business Family.


From our friends over at Temken Group…

A Matter of Trust

Recently, a B2B client asked about the relationship between trust and customer experience and how to win back clients after a breaking trust “event” [Major foot-in-mouth disease].  Listen, it’s easy to laugh about it now, but I’ve been there more than I care to admit… say it again… “Think before you speak”…

Regardless, banks, and most enterprise B2B companies, want to be the “trusted advisor”, without REALLY understanding the mechanics of trust (and root causes of distrust).

The World Economic Forum published a paper that is one of the best I have read in the past few months on the topic.  In The Evolution of Trust in Business – From Delivery to Values the authors delve into such areas as the drivers of mistrust, why businesses often have a mismatch in the business’ contribution and the perception – good or bad – of that contribution.

The business case for trust really emerges in 5 areas, which the authors dive into:

  1. Better business terms, processes and conditions
  2. Enhanced innovation and entrepreneurship, which contributes to competitiveness
  3. More loyal, productive and engaged employee relationships
  4. Stronger external relationships up and down the value chain
  5. Greater resilience to withstand shocks and crises more effectively.

Finally the last sections of the paper provide insights into “A New Approach for Trust”…

Given the misalignment of some companies today, it’s a great read.



Leading from Why

Simon Sinek presents a simple but powerful model of how great companies and leaders inspire others to act {in this Ted talk], starting with a golden circle and the question “Why?” The video below demonstrates the power of how truly exceptional companies communicate:

A bit of fun…brilliant machines rock

We’ve all seen the boring, soaring, all about me B2B ads… and I was interested in who was driving more word of mouth… a possible winner…GE’s Brilliant Machines Rock:


I love a great ad… that connects at an EMOTIONAL level!

I recommend NPS about half the time as the key CX outcome metric (dealing with mainly SME companies), but there are about 8 other approaches/measurement systems I also recommend depending on the business model and organization CX maturity.  Having said that, I went back to this 2013 talk by Rob Markey and noted that starting around the 6:15 mark he goes beyond why NPS into a discussion of why many companies fail to get results from their CX spend.  Even if you are NPS agnostic – start there and listen to what he is saying from the perspective of answering, “How do I get greater return on CX spend…”



Money Can Buy Happiness – 8 Principles


OK. Normally I don’t think about the notion of “money can’t buy happiness” but I was doing some research on top level executives and “money motivation” and discovered this paper, “If Money Doesn’t Make You Happy, Then You Probably Are Not Spending It Right,” written by Elizabeth Dunn, Dan Gilbert, and Tim Wilson. While focused more on individuals I pondered how these same 8 principles might apply to executive pay and compensation:
1 Buy Experiences Instead of Things
2 Help Others Instead of Yourself
3 Buy Many Small Pleasures Instead of a Few Big Ones
4 Buy Less Insurance
5 Pay Now and Consume Later
6 Think About What You Are Not Thinking About
7 Beware of Comparison Shopping
8 Follow the Heard instead of the Head
Go figure…read the paper for more insight. Cheers! Rick

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