“Episode 18: What would Albert Einstein Do? Karen Phelan from Operating Principals”
by Stacey Richter

Listen to the MP3 file directly by clicking here.

karen_phelanKaren Phelan is a business author, speaker, and co-founder of Operating Principals LLC, an organizational development consulting firm that uses simple and fun practices to effect change and develop people. Their latest product, “Act Like a Leader,” is an easy role-playing game that develops leadership skills. Her book, I’m Sorry I Broke Your Company, a humorous dissection of how some common management practices often go awry, was named one of the top ten business books of 2013 by the Toronto Globe and Mail and is an international bestseller, selling out its first edition in its first week in Japan.

Karen has been featured in Fortune online, Leadership Excellence magazine, the AMA Newsletter, as well various business blogs and radio shows and was a featured speaker at the national HR Summit of the Conference Board of Canada. She has over a dozen years of consulting experience at Gemini Consulting and Deloitte & Touche and has held several management positions at Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson. Karen started her career in a military think tank and holds a B.S and M.S. in engineering from MIT.


1:00 Karen talks about her two books, I’m Sorry I Broke Your Company and Who Moved My Holy Hand Grenade?
4:15 “Innovation is completely Illogical”
4:30 Innovation as responsive to its environment.
4:50 What inhibits creativity.
6:15 “What kind of environment are you creating?”
6:45 The “fads” of running the workplace.
8:50 Karen’s advice for companies who are limited by themselves.
10:30 Regarding the best patient outcome, “You really need to leverage the knowledge in the room.”
13:00 Karen’s career background.
14:15 The people side of the equation vs The tech side in healthcare.
16:35 Settling on a solution too soon.
17:30 How to “not anchor”–don’t attach yourself to a solution too quickly.
21:20 Karen talks ACA and her consulting company, Operating Principals LLC.
25:00 Possible symptoms of a lack of connection in health care provider systems that make patient care suffer.
27:00 Karen’s techniques when running her company and looking at success in a workforce and work leaders.
30:10 A great idea to help look at your ideas from a more objective perspective.
33:00 The dangers of the “groupthink” and making sure all your bases are covered.
36:35 “Are we subtracting or adding to individual knowledge?”
38:30 If you’re interested in learning more, check out operatingprincipals.com and karengphalen.com