Category Archives: Business Strategy

Improving Trust for Leaders

Dr. Stewart L. Tubbs is a contributor to The Business Thinker magazine. He is the Darrell H. Cooper Professor of Leadership and Former Dean of the College of Business at Eastern Michigan University.

On April 10, 2010 Poland’s president Lech Kaczynski and 96 other top Polish officials were killed in a plane crash in Smolensk in western Russia. They were coming to commemorate the massacre of Polish military officers by the Russians in World War II. The massacre had been denied for decades byofficials in the former Soviet Union. The crash occurred in the thick fog, and despite strong warnings from the air traffic controllers not to land. Cockpit recordings confirmed that Gen. Andrzej Blasik, was in the cockpit with the door open. Although we may never know, there was speculation according to the Wall Street Journal and the New York Times,* that the Polish president ordered the pilot to land because he did not trust the Russians who had told the pilot to divert the landing to another airport.

In another case closer to home, the UAW elected Bob King as president to replace Ron Gettelfinger in June, 2010. According to the Detroit Free Press, one of the key issues facing King is to reduce 2,000 page labor agreements, which limit flexibility and retard productivity by spelling out every possible issue in great detail, and replacing them with briefer, more broad-based agreements. Tom Walsh, writes, “Trust and shared goals must replace adversarial relations. No other viable options remain.”

The common denominator in these two cases is that the lack of trust often leads to undesirable consequences. So what do we mean by trust? One definition from The Academy of Management Journal is, “A psychological state of individuals involving confident, positive expectations about the actions of another.”* Continue reading Improving Trust for Leaders

Systematic Innovation . . . an oxymoron?

David Verduyn is a guest writer for The Business Thinker magazine.
He is a principal of C2C Solutions Inc.,  a company that specializes in best practices for the front end of Product Development.


Are “systematic” and “innovation” two words that can’t coexist because they are mutually exclusive?  Isn’t it common knowledge that too much structure stifles innovation?  Can innovation be systematic?  OK, enough rhetorical questions.

I assume that anyone reading this either develops products or supplies a service and many of you do both.  In today’s global and competitive market, most will agree, innovation is a necessary element to thrive, and for some to simply survive.  Unfortunately, there are many forces working against innovation including the two common misconceptions listed below:

Note: a pdf version of this article can be attained by going to:

Continue reading Systematic Innovation . . . an oxymoron?


(Talk given at The President’s Forum, The College of Business, Eastern Michigan University)

During the past day and a half you have heard about a range of experiences and opportunities on the subject of entrepreneurism.

Naturally every entrepreneur wants his or her company to grow. Most of you here know, of course, that this process is not simply a matter of getting more business or accomplishing more sales every year. (I wish it were as simple as that!)

Management for growth is a complex process with many variables. It requires many changes – and much flexibility- along the way.

I can speak from personal experience as Chairman, President and Founder of J.P. Industries, Inc., which grew in just 10 years to become a Fortune 500 industrial company. Continue reading SUCCESSFULLY MANAGING THE SMALL BUSINESS ENTERPRISE