“I’M LIKE THE FIRE PATROL,” says Jacob, a thirty-five-year-old production manager for a midsized European food manufacturer. “I run from one corner to the other to fix things, just to keep producing.”1 To step up to a bigger leadership role in his organization, Jacob knows he needs to get out from under all the operational details that are keeping him from thinking about important strategic issues his unit faces. He should be focused on issues such as how best to continue to expand the business, how to increase cross-enterprise collaboration, and how to anticipate the fast-changing market. His solution? He tries to set aside two hours of uninterrupted thinking time every ...

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