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

Facilitate Performance, Don’t Appraise It

Ah the annual performance appraisal! Let’s deconstruct this.  Annual means every year.  Performance means accomplishment. Appraisal means offering a judgment on the value of something or someone.  So the annual performance appraisal is a yearly judgment of another person’s value to the organization. Continue reading

Performance Appraisal: Pathway to Mistrust

Robert Galford’s HBR Blog Network article, “How to keep your cool during a performance review” suggest there is a widespread abhorrence and likely fear of the annual performance review.  To make what is often a not-so-good experience better Robert offers four tactics: relax; prepare yourself to hear one or more unexpected ‘somethings’; if you don’t agree with the feedback, don’t launch into a defense right away; and when it is over, say thank you, reflect on the overall message and don’t file it and forget it.   While these are no doubt helpful toward making lemonade out of a lemon, they don’t mitigate the overall effect of the annual performance appraisal process. Continue reading