Posts Tagged ‘Orange CEO’

Four Cool Stories Worth Reading:

October 10th, 2011

What will they come up with next? This link came from a high Green who found a story about an actual 3-D printer. But I think you’ll be blown away, even if you’re not high Green:


The Gold definition for shopping is getting a deal. There’s nothing better than finding that perfect something AND it’s on sale. So most Golds will love some new price comparison sites, including: (now purchased by Google) and All three specialize in clothing. But for Canadians, there is a very cool one for electronics, TVs and computers:

They’ll uncover some great deals. The site will compare huge numbers of retailers and give you the best prices right now. But it goes one better: Some also give you the odds of whether the price will go down or up. You’ll get a green or red light of whether it’s best to buy right now or to wait. (If you know a dot com that’s more broadly based – please share it below!)


Loyalty pays big dividends: A recent study found that loyalty and long-lasting bonds actually help us to live longer! The short article included long term relationships with a partner, and even friend, as well as longevity with an employer, as three of the major factors. These are lifelong values for most Golds, but now all of us know there’s also a huge payoff down the road.


In January I shared a story about Carol Bartz, the new and Orange CEO of Yahoo!

An Internet Company with an Orange CEO?

That was then – this is now, as Bartz was terminated via phone call from the Chairman of the Board. In an interview with Fortune, Bartz was pretty direct: Yahoo! F…d me over.

Maybe… but it was always going to be a significant challenge for her in arguably one of the highest Green cultures and industries. I would have bet that she was going to be wildly successful. I always bet on an Orange coming out a winner.

While Bartz had a prepared script from her lawyers as to what to say after her termination, you have to know that wasn’t going to work. She quickly went (further) off the script, as if her comment to Fortune wasn’t enough.

Well, Oranges are certainly direct, and have no hesitation in sharing what’s on their mind. Would you fade away quietly, or speak your mind? Would it influence your decision knowing she likely lost her $10 million severance because of a non-disparagement clause? Oranges love to make a lot of money – but not at all costs, and generally not at the cost of their reputation.

Feedback Sessions Don’t Have to Be a Nightmare

January 4th, 2011

Ask almost any manager about feedback sessions and you’ll get the response that they’re complaint meetings. Maybe – maybe not.

It’s true, that once they start, you can’t get the toothpaste back into the tube, or retroactively shut people up. And you really have no clue (just fears) what you’re starting, because there isn’t an agenda, mute button, or much control over what can unfold.

Each Color moderating a feedback session will have their own fears of what they may be instigating, and ways to respond. But these types of meetings can also be a huge success:

A number of years ago (I didn’t want to write about it until most people attending the session had forgotten), a large international company held their feedback session right after the Colors seminar. THAT, I wanted to stay for! Not to learn a bunch of company dirt, but to see how this CEO would handle the meeting, and how each Color would react.

Blues: About a third of them left the room when the first voices were raised, just to get away from any potential conflict. Those who did participate made sure that there was something positive included in their feedback or criticism. Their comments included a lot of humor to keep things light, and a number of them were very patient, awaiting their turn – some for over half an hour.

Golds: Their questions almost all related to how they could better get income information on the company site, and a number of structural questions. Almost all of them made sure their feedback and questions were in point form (first, second – no you didn’t cover that yet…) Oh, and some made sure to point out whose turn it was to talk!

Greens: While it’s hard to know what’s going on in their thinking process, it seemed clear they were somewhat amused at many ridiculous questions and mundane issues that seemed to set people off, or appeared to be a big deal to others. This bad form, or that procedure, is something to address in front of a hundred people? Give me a break, was likely their thinking.

Oranges: You could certainly tell their impatience with this whole thing. But many of them got smart and simply stood up to be noticed right away, instead of having their hands up. That meant that they got to talk first, then could leave, because – well…the questions from others probably weren’t that important…

The CEO who ran the session is an Orange/Blue. That made it easy to realize he must have hated that session, too. Neither Color is interested in negativity of any kind! Yet, from an outsider perspective, it went very well because of how he, in his Colors, allowed it to be light, almost fun, and actually very positive, considering the nature of the session.

It needed to be done, it was very worthwhile, and sure didn’t hurt that he was flexible, humorous, and had no problem admitting to a screw up here and there, taking accountability, and handling many issues, instead of blowing them off or stalling.

What are your feedback sessions like? Or, even bigger-picture than that, how do you handle getting or giving feedback that you might not want to hear or lay on someone else? Our four Colors certainly say it and receive it in VERY different ways.

Add a comment or feedback

An Internet Company with an Orange CEO?

January 4th, 2011

Yahoo has certainly had its share of problems over the past decade, especially in the intense competition from Google. After rejecting a buyout offer from Microsoft last year, high Green co-founder Jerry Yang needed a new approach, and a new CEO.

When Yang first talked to Carol Bartz (the retired CEO of software maker Autodesk) she really didn’t have any interest in the position. But she did agree to meet with Yang, and asked him to draw an organizational chart for Yahoo. When lines went in every direction, everywhere, even Bartz couldn’t visualize any of it, and told Yang: You need a manager!

But is a typical Green culture company like Yahoo ready for a huge shakeup from an Orange CEO? What are the Orange clues about Bartz?

-At a meeting with investors she bluntly stated that she uses Google maps, not her own Yahoo product, because it’s better

-She absolutely thrives under pressure

-Bartz took up the challenge of Yahoo CEO, as she was getting bored in retirement, and missed the thrill and stress of the job

-She is a self-admitted crisis junkie

-At her instance, new software and applications only get developed based on customer feedback

-Bartz told employees she would “drop-kick to f*&%% Mars” anyone who leaked information

-She personally goes out to solicit direct customer feedback

With her knowledge of the tech field, her love of science and math, her computer science degree, and her programming, sales, and marketing work at 3M, it would be a fair guess that Bartz is Orange/Green. It may be an uphill fight, but don’t bet against any Orange that wants his or her way, and to become successful. Right now, I would just love to be in on some of her management meetings with (likely) a ton of Greens. It’s the right now vs. right – period.

Starbucks 2.0? A New Orange Challenge

March 9th, 2010

High Orange Howard Schultz is the founder and CEO of Starbucks. Since his first six stores in 1987, Schultz has relied on instinct, and his marketing and sales abilities. His focus was on the experience and authenticity, rather than the details and numbers stuff, and he constantly talked about the soul of the coffee house, making the world a better place, and controlling your own destiny.

But with the recession, 800 store closings, and 4,000 layoffs, even a great Orange entrepreneur had to change. Yet Schultz wonders if his company will become just another soulless corporation, which he hates. “I’ve had to change my own mentality and thinking,” says Schultz. “It’s always a fragile balance between creativity and discipline.” But that doesn’t mean he has to like it, or fully embrace it, according to a feature article in Business Week.

Schultz detests abstract customer surveys, and would rather visit a store and ask his customers directly. “I despise research. I think it’s a crutch. (But) I’ve gone along,” says a reluctant Schultz. He still visits 25 stores a week. What? You thought an Orange CEO would just be sitting in his or her office? Advertising was never going to happen. Today, there’s a lot of it, along with analytical reports and real-time data from stores. These days, it’s about efficiencies, information, reports, cost-cutting, and standard practices from the world of Greens and Golds.

At the same time, however, could Orange Schultz be working on a Starbucks 2.0? He recently asked some employees to re-invent a coffee house from scratch. He gave them the money and left them alone to go build it. This past summer, it opened in Seattle as 15th Ave. Coffee & Tea, and Schultz was blown away by the creativity and feel. To Schultz it felt like the first days of Starbucks, and his excitement was noticeable. Two more are on the way, and you have to believe that this Orange CEO is just as excited about the new concept store, than his existing 16,000 Starbucks.