August 1, 2013 / Design Thinking / Creativity / Innovation / Mariposa Articles

Leader as Designer

Learn how to utilize Design Thinking in your role as a leader.  This essay, Leader as Designer, by Mariposa Leadership CEO Sue Bethanis, opens up Design Thinking to different applications and audiences that goes beyond product development. She offers a clear 4 step process to easily move from idea-to-innovation. The results: successful services,  new experiences, and novel solutions to old problems.




January 15, 2013 / HR / Talent Management / News / Strategy / Wise Talk

The Passion Behind Your Business Strategy


There are several key factors that go into a winning business – a great idea, a great team, great passion, and great leadership. All are important, but great passion can be the fire that helps fuel the success. Consequently, it can also destroy the business when it is misguided.

Like all fires, passion can spark other flames and become contagious, igniting the passion of investors, business partners, and customers, as well as employees. If left uncontrolled, passion can consume, destroy, and leave a business with an empty dream. However, when controlled, directed, and focused, it can boost a business’ chance for success.

Here at Mariposa, we’re fired up about strategy! It being our leadership theme for 2013, we’re excited to start off this year by peeking into one of the more popular classes at Harvard Business School, a strategy course taught by professor Cynthia Montgomery. This class is also the basis of Montgomery’s book, The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs. In it, Montgomery identifies that an effective purpose and the passion behind it are what initiate value creation and capture.

Join us Thursday, January 24th at 1pm PT, on Wise Talk as Mariposa Leadership, Inc. CEO Sue Bethanis talks with HBS professor Cynthia Montgomery on how to transform sparks into strategic fire!

Topics for the interactive discussion will include:

• What’s your definition of a strategist?

• How do strategists keep a competitive edge?

• What is a common mistake you have seen executives make when it comes to strategy?

We welcome you to join Wise Talk, our free monthly teleconference and submit your own questions for discussion. Sign up and be entered to win a copy of this month’s leadership resource, The Strategist: Be the Leader Your Business Needs.
One winning listener will be announced at the end of the talk!

January 8, 2013 / Blog / Book Reviews / HR / Talent Management / Strategy / Wise Talk

Book Review: The Strategist

The Strategist Book CoverThe Strategist:
Be The Leader Your Business Needs
By: Cynthia Montgomery

Head: (4.5 of 5)
Heart: (3.5 of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4.5 of 5)

The Strategist is more like attending a month long Harvard Business Strategy course than a book. Cynthia Montgomery really takes you inside one of her legendary courses (complete with slides), giving insights into several different company’s success’ and failures, igniting in her readers the passion and purpose behind what it takes to be a strategic business leader.

Strategy begins with purpose and The Strategist reminds us that an effective purpose is one that stems from a desire to create meaning, to be unique, and to inspire. But above all, an effective purpose initiates value creation and capture. Your purpose must be so powerful that it not only generates positive economic outcome, but it does so because your customers feel like they are part of something bigger just by using your products or services. Montgomery goes into ways you can make a difference in your company, how you can create and capture lasting value, and how to do so while strengthening your bottom line.

Like a business course, The Strategist offers a variety of tools and practices throughout the text, using graphs and other visual stimuli to illustrate the objectives. You are challenged to define and then redefine your purpose, develop your system of value creation, create your own strategy wheel, and then pull it all into perspective to set you on a forward path. Then, when you least expect it, Montgomery turns the tables, disrupts your thinking, and lights a fire under you in order to push your edges and inspire you to come up with even more ideas.

In addition to all of the applicable tools, one of the great values of this book is the extensive frequently asked questions section in the back. It’s like you’re sitting in class and questions come up that were not covered in the material or you’re missing applicability to your personal situation and as if you raise your hand to ask a question, Professor Montgomery is there to answer.

So, are you ready to become a strategist? Are you ready to step into a strategic leadership role with confidence and purpose? If you are ready to energize your leadership skills, this Harvard Business Strategy course in a book is for you.

Click here to learn more or join our January Wise Talk with author Cynthia Montgomery and submit your questions.

After sign up, you will receive the call in information and be entered to win a copy of this month’s leadership resource, The Strategist. One lucky listener will be announced at the end of the talk!

We welcome your thoughts in the comments section below.

January 3, 2013 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management / Strategy / Wise Talk

The Value of Strategic Leadership

strategic leadership

Every year Mariposa Leadership aims to engage you in a new leadership theme. Last year it was Design Thinking and we feel very fortunate to have shared the wisdom and resources of several well known innovators via our free monthly teleconference Wise Talk. Our 2012 guests included Roger Martin, Bill Burnett, Teresa Amabile, Saul Kaplan, and Jeanne Liedtka, just to name a few…

In 2013, our Mariposa Leadership theme is Strategy, and we look forward to sharing Wise Talk discussions with you and some of the finest strategic leaders and authors in the business!

This month we focus on introducing you to yourself as a strategist. Whether you run a global enterprise or a small business, we wish to present to you the strategic tools to not only outwit your competitors but offer you, as a leader, the means to shape your organization decisively.

Combining the best of ideas about strategy and leadership and giving you the tools and confidence to step into the role, our January Wise Talk guest and author of The Strategist, Cynthia Montgomery, will not only help you reinvent yourself but also your business and the world around you.

In her July 2012 McKinsey Quarterly article, Montgomery explains how strategists lead. Central to her case is a simple observation: it is the strategist who must make the necessary choices that determine a company’s identity. It is the strategic leader who says, “This is our purpose, not that. This is who we will be. This is why our customers and clients will prefer a world with us rather than one without us.” She defines the strategist as meaning maker, as voice of reason, as operator, and expands on these giving examples of each, concluding that maintaining strategic momentum is a never ending task, however profoundly rewarding.

cynthia-montgomery-thumbWe are very excited to welcome Cynthia Montgomery on this month’s Wise Talk. Join her and Mariposa Leadership’s CEO Sue Bethanis on Thursday, January 24th from 1-2pm PT as they discuss how to be the strategist your company needs.

To sign up for our free monthly teleconference Wise Talk and submit your questions for discussion, please visit:

After sign up, you will receive the call in information and be entered to win a copy of this month’s leadership resource, The Strategist. One lucky listener will be announced at the end of the talk!