Featured Articles

How to Build Your Organization as a Highly Valuable, Sustainable Asset – Part 1

Written collaboratively by Michele Clay & Mark Kamin

rawpixel-com-558597-unsplash-250pxIn the ordinary everyday world of business there is a lot of lip service to building great places for employees to work and really serving customers and the community. However, in reality, almost always a business is organized – in the way the business runs – to take care of shareholder return …and then to take care of everything else. In other words, whether its obvious or not, the hidden context in which businesses seek to perform is to maintain shareholder return.

This paradigm is, in fact, detrimental to long-term shareholder value. The real asset of any organization is its people; and the way those people interface with the customer.

As a leader, if I do not put employee fulfillment as important as shareholder return, I guarantee that employees will not own the performance of the business.

Its undeniable that every CEO must make sure there is a fair shareholder return to investors, and it is equally important to generate a culture within which employees love to work and are committed to the future of the enterprise as their own personal future. Read more…


The Conspiracy to Call “Pretty Good” – “GREAT”

athlete-1840437_1280-250pxWritten collaboratively by Michele Clay & Mark Kamin

There is a conspiracy that you are unwittingly a part of…

That conspiracy is an unspoken agreement to be ordinary; to have ordinary performance and an ordinary life. This unspoken agreement is reinforced through having interactions with others be about “being nice” or “not being pushy” or some other version of that, rather than having interactions be about being effective. Being effective requires, among other things, extraordinary communication.

The conspiracy has us tolerate our submission to be ordinary by taking pleasure in things being “pretty good” – we even set it up where people congratulate us and acknowledge us for being “pretty good”. (He’s so nice, she’s so nice, they are so nice …they are working so hard, they have done everything and their business is still not working.)

Doing all of this puts comfort ahead of performance, which is exactly the nature of ordinary. The reality of ordinary is mediocrity. Said another way, ordinary is “not very good” at all. Read more…


How To Organize Your Brain for High Performance


Written collaboratively by Michele Clay & Mark Kamin

Why even discuss High Performance? Why does it matter?

The first thing you might think of when you hear the term High Performance is car racing or being able to do something more, better or faster, waste less time; in other words, improve on what you are already doing.

This is not what we mean by High Performance. What we mean by High Performance is in a context of real Excellence.

When you improve performance on the spectrum of “better”, obviously you are going to have to do something like “work harder, work smarter…” and that is fine, but you don’t get the quality of performance that goes with being a real champion, and it has no connection to the kind of performance that defies old limits and maps out new territory. Read more…


Michael C. Jensen on Integrity as a Competitive Advantage in Business

MJensen_Commencement2-300x230Integrity is the Foundation of a Great Life, Great Leadership, and a Great Organization

At Mark Kamin & Associates, we believe that defining integrity as honoring one’s word as oneself provides individuals and organizations with the ultimate competitive advantage. One example of an approach to organizational performance we endorse is the work of Michael C. Jensen, Harvard Business School, Jessie Isidor Strauss Professor Emeritus.

Mr. Jensen, along with Werner Erhard, spelled out this approach to organizational performance in the white paper titled “Integrity: A Positive Model that Incorporates the Normative Phenomena of Morality, Ethics, and Legality – Abridged” (found on SSRN), and in the commencement address at the McDonough School of Business, Georgetown University Commencement Ceremonies, May 21, 2011.  Read more