Purpose and mastery: Howard Schultz and Starbucks

By William Seidman Howard  Schultz’s efforts to revitalize and improve two cultures – the Starbucks corporate culture and our country’s culture – have earned him Fortune Magazine’s 2011 “Businessperson of the Year” award. Schultz is cited for vastly improving the Starbucks culture and, also, for tackling some of our country’s problems: job creation, specifically. I think […]

How not to introduce something new: learning from Netflix’s mistake

By William Seidman Is there anyone left who doesn’t know about Netflix’s  recent disastrous move? Netflix announced it was separating its DVD business from its (much smaller) video streaming business. 880,000 subscribers (10 percent) dropped Netflix and that doesn’t include customers like me who downgraded their services. Netflix shares fell 72% between July 2011 and a few days ago. Ouch. I talk about […]

The science of change management 2

  Until  recently, there wasn’t really any reason to think about a distinction between a craft view of change and a scientific model of change. Change management had for so long consisted of a set of conventional “craft” wisdoms that few questioned the approach, even if the accepted wisdoms were minimally effective. Now, recent advances […]

The retiring knowledge worker problem and the loss of critical knowledge 3

By William Seidman Are a lot of your company’s best people approaching retirement? The prospect of losing expertise at a high rate can be more than a little frightening. We get numerous inquiries about this. Not many organizations take this seriously enough to fund programs or change daily routine sufficiently to prepare for this. Why? […]

New behaviors take more than 6 weeks to “stick”

By RG Bill Seidman and I were working with IT people inside a large corporation. The told us upfront that IT had a bad reputation in the company and was held in poor regard by the business units. How to solve this? Background: the IT department’s policy was to implement the company’s proscribed changes and […]

When is organizational change sustainable?

By William Seidman We get asked if our solution is “sustainable.” Organizational change is sustainable if the people in the organization are committed to taking responsibility for their success. That commitment to change has incredible energy in it. Wisdom transfer isn’t magic – it takes hard work and a degree of diligence. Sustaining the changes […]

Keeping the big picture in mind when you’re swamped by the daily pressures 2

By William Seidman I’m in Malaysia now, working with a great team that’s under incredible pressure. Each member recognizes that they should be thinking bigger and longer-term, but need someone – a catalyst if not a leader – to make it all happen. As Michael Gerber wrote in his now-classic book ( the updated version […]

Neuroscience and change in Malaysia, Hong Kong, Japan

By William Seidman Can the science we use to effect organizational change be used in other cultures and in other languages? Do differences in negotiating styles, teams and hierarchies, and verbal and nonverbal ways of communicating influence a company’s ability to do things differently, and have the changes “stick”? I’m working on a change initiative […]

Sharing expertise within organizations 2

By William Seidman How can you find expertise and, then, assure that it will be shared? Alden Hayashi’s “The World Might be Small, But Not for Everyone” describes research by a team led by Morten Hansen from INSEAD. Are the results surprising or could you have guessed what tends to happen? Significant groups within an […]

About this blog

Welcome to Cerebyte’s Blog, our ” Wisdom Journal.” This site was created to provide a source of web-based information and conversation on current ideas on organizational and personal change. How does it happen? What makes it so difficult? The hard parts, the fun parts – it’s all grist for our mill. Have you had an […]