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Moving Up the Food Chain!

November 27, 2019
Moving Up the Food Chain!

Equal Opportunity Destroyer: Rani Molla, a Visual Journalist at The Wall Street Journal, recently published an article in Vox that caught my eye. In that article, she made the statement that “‘Knowledge workers’ could be the most impacted by future automation.” Conventional wisdom has been suggesting that only the “blue-collar workers” were going to be […]

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Consensus = Mediocrity

November 20, 2019
Consensus = Mediocrity

Surprised: Often, when I’m asked, I might suggest that a decision made by the team was a “reasonable compromise.” I made a similar statement recently but found myself modifying it to be “unfortunately, we reached a compromise.” I was surprised by what I said. It just slipped out that way. The person asking the question […]

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Strategy Team

November 13, 2019
Strategy Team

Who’s On The Team? Recently, I was having a conversation with a colleague about hiring a Chief Financial Officer (CFO). We were discussing the attributes of such a hire. After my usual statement that what was critical was to hire a person who shared the corporate values, I added that they needed to be a […]

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An Envelope of Trust

November 6, 2019
An Envelope of Trust

Being Heard: For many of us, the employees we hire are often referred to as “knowledge workers.” The most common definition of that term I’ve come across is, “Knowledge workers are workers whose main capital is knowledge.” In other words, we hire knowledge workers and pay them to think. We hope that they are smarter […]

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Coach Only the Coachable

October 30, 2019
Coach Only the Coachable

Smartest Person in the Room: Carol Dweck discusses “Fixed Mindset” versus “Growth Mindset” in her book Mindset: the new psychology of success. I find her definitions and description of the people who have one or the other mindset to be very useful in my professional and personal life. As usual, things with human beings are […]

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No Gap

October 23, 2019
No Gap

Radical Truthfulness: Allowing employees to speak openly about what they are thinking about the performance of managers, colleagues and employees, ideas, projects, and policies is both scary and challenging. It is also critical to making sure that the best ideas win rather than a compromise or consensus idea. We hire people, especially knowledge-workers, to think, […]

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Heads Held High

October 9, 2019
Heads Held High

Saving Face: During my time working with colleagues at a Japanese owned company, I learned how important it was to make sure people left any kind of public or group encounter with their pride intact. I’m pretty sure I knew that was appropriate before joining the company, but it was emphasized within that culture. At […]

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Shaming

September 18, 2019
Shaming

Question: I had an interesting question from a student in a recent guest lecture I gave at a local university. To paraphrase, the student asked, “Why do we say it’s best to criticize in private? I played competitive sports. The coach criticized us in public all the time. The shame caused us to redouble our […]

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Generosity of Resources

September 11, 2019
Generosity of Resources

Time, Connections, Knowledge: Leaders and managers are tasked with developing other leaders in the organization. Therefore, they must, of necessity, share the resources they have with their fellow employees. That is no easy task, if only because the press of day-to-day business tends to keep us all focused on tactical transactions. Time Perhaps the most […]

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Strategy Under Siege

September 4, 2019
Strategy Under Siege

Culture Challenge: Peter Drucker famously noted that “Culture eats strategy for breakfast.” My experience is that Drucker is correct. One of the more straightforward ways I’ve observed that phenomenon is when a large change initiative is launched by management. For example, installing a new, complex, Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) system. While leadership and employees may […]

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