Beyond The Bottom Line

Until business becomes the means for people to actualize their potential as human beings and not just the means for the wealthy to accumulate more wealth, there will forever be a downward push against labor.  The notion that if we can get people to work for less then we can be far more profitable seems to be the guiding principle. Continue reading

Corporate Overlords

The testimony of the CEOs from America’s five leading oil companies before congress revealed their belief that the unit of survival is (solely) their organization.  That is, the center of the universe is (literally) their corporation and industry and correspondingly that their importance both personally and corporately must not be questioned—they stand above it all. Continue reading

Making Quality in America

In his New York Times column, Paul Krugman, spoke of a hint of the return of American manufacturing.  In this column Mr. Krugman mentioned that Michigan which had an unemployment rate of 14.1% in August 2009 is now experiencing the improved rate of 10.3%, and as Krugman noted “still above the national average, but nonetheless a huge improvement.”  Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #25

A New York Times interview with Dominic Orr, president and CEO of Aruba Networks, highlights the importance for a leader to understand the organization as a system and to relate to its’ employees as people.  Together these two principles are essential for creating a workplace culture that affords high levels of performance. Continue reading

Lean Understanding

It is estimated that about 70% of organizations initiating lean programs don’t realize the promised or anticipated success.  So it would seem that either lean is a bad idea or lean is not properly understood.  Given Toyota’s notable success, I think we’ll go with the latter!   Continue reading

Replace Performance Reviews with Leadership for Quality

A recent issue of Knowledge@Wharton indicates, that while 91% of companies worldwide have performance appraisals only 35% to 40% do performance reviews well.  The question remains, what does doing them well mean?  What are the criteria for the performance of performance reviews?  Can performance reviews (as we’ve come to know and love them) really be done well?  Should they be done at all?  If not what should be put in their place? Continue reading