If We Cared About Our Development

A recent HBR article (Why companies are so bad at treating employees like people) by Herminia Ibarra speaks to the need to re-invent the workplace if there is to be human development at work. As Ibarra characterizes it, this re-invention requires “reimagining complex organizations so that they are more human and agile.” The implication seems to be that making organizations more human and agile involves solving the “thorny problem of developing people.” Continue reading

Join the Race

 

With the race to become more productive, more competitive and more profitable having the answer to the question that continues to challenge business managers, how do you motivate people, can be the ticket to winning. Even though Frederick Hertzberg offered a direct and complete answer give them something motivating to do, the question for the majority of business managers remains unanswered.  Further, not understanding the depth of Hertzberg’s answer, we’ve even advanced another classification of management—management can’t do it but leadership can—in hopes of meeting the challenge.  Yet whether you are labeled a manager or a leader the challenge goes largely unmet.

 

What could be the root of the problem and the difficulty in dissolving it? Continue reading

Redesign for Capability Not Flatness

In an HBR Blog Network essay by Ron Ashkenas titled “More direct reports make life easier”, the case is made for increasing the span of control so that it becomes “possible to compress the number of hierarchical layers or levels.”  Why do this? Continue reading

Challenging The Chain of Command

If management can control things then management can be effective and efficient in realizing the desired results and sustaining the business. You will find very few who would disagree with this if-then thinking.  This thinking is so common that it is rarely, if ever challenged—until now. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #29

In a New York Times interview Andrew M. Thompson, co-founder and C.E.O of Proteus, spoke about how he advances the capability of his company by creating and maintaining what he calls “ a leadership culture as opposed to a management culture.”  As Andrew noted, “culture in our company is a really big deal, and we have a values system built around quality, teamwork and leadership.” Continue reading

Mistaken Solution

A story told by Jay Goltz to illustrate his strategy for learning from mistakes highlights common errors that many business managers and owners commit.  Though Jay’s story takes place in one of his small businesses these errors are indeed common and committed regularly by managers in both  small and large companies. Continue reading

Hidden Lessons in Leadership #23

With technology begetting more technology, innovation appears to be increasing at an increasing rate.   Consequently in many industries, if a business is not cutting edge, it may not be too long before it fails to make the cut.  Accordingly business managers/leaders have a corresponding need to foster creativity within the organization toward realizing more innovation of product and service just to sustain a favorable image and position in the market—current and future.  Doing so is not so much a skill or technique as it is an attitude or mindset about people that is evident in the leadership one exhibits. Continue reading

Growing Out of Capability

As a business enterprise grows the more people it employs and correspondingly it comprises greater diversity in skill and knowledge. In short, the enterprise becomes more complex.  Unfortunately all too often as it grows a shift in the businesses’ purpose-in-practice occurs, especially if it becomes a publically traded business.  Yes of course Wall Street adds its requirements! The resultant organization will be quite different from the entrepreneurial enterprise from which it grew. Continue reading