Blogs

Solutions to Your Business Challenges

Even Good Employees Hoard Great Ideas

Even Good Employees Hoard Great Ideas

One of the most heated debates involving innovation revolves around how to best incentivize people to develop and implement new ideas. Research on this issue offers a wide range of conclusions. For example, one recent research report suggested that offering financial incentives only raised the number of mediocre ideas and had little impact on breakthrough innovation. On the other hand, an MIT study concluded that group incentives and long-term rewards do have a positive impact on innovation. And still another survey of 20 companies from different industries found that 90% of the respondents thought that incentivizing and rewarding innovation was ...


Why Managers Lose Their Best And Brightest

Why Managers Lose Their Best And Brightest

To retain high-potential employees, the conventional wisdom is deceptively simple: Identify, develop, and nurture them. By paying special attention to the very best people, they will stay with the firm and eventually emerge as key leaders.

But translating this into action is much more difficult. As the former head of executive development at GE used to tell me, “There’s a difference between doing it and really doing it.” Many firms have trouble keeping their best people, despite their investments in talent management. In fact, a 2010 study by the Corporate Executive Board indicated that “25% of employer-identified, high-potential employees ...


Senior Managers Won’t Always Get Along

Senior Managers Won’t Always Get Along

It’s virtually impossible to like everyone you meet. It’s even more unlikely that you will get along with everyone at work. People have different personalities, biases, values, ambitions, and interests, all of which affect the chemistry of their relationships. And if you throw in the pressures of the workplace, it’s hardly surprising that tensions arise between colleagues and co-workers. But when members of a senior management team don’t get along, the negative impacts can cascade through an organization. Those conflicts have the potential to reduce productivity and morale for dozens or hundreds of people.

Let’s ...


How To Reduce Complexity In Seven Simple Steps

How To Reduce Complexity In Seven Simple Steps

This post is co-authored with Lisa Bodell.

Over the past several years we have heard hundreds of managers talk about the negative impact of complexity on both productivity and workplace morale. This message has been reinforced by the findings of major CEO surveys conducted by IBM and KPMG, both of which identified complexity as a key business challenge.

Agreeing on complexity as a problem is one thing, but doing something about it is quite another – particularly for managers who are already over-worked, stressed, and can barely keep up with their current workload. In fact, the Catch-22 of complexity is that ...


Two Ways to Reduce “Hurry Up and Wait” Syndrome

Two Ways to Reduce “Hurry Up and Wait” Syndrome

Have you ever been asked to drop everything to complete a seemingly urgent task, and then found that the task wasn’t so urgent after all?

Not long ago, one of our clients gave us three days to put together a proposal to help with a very large and complex reorganization. Although we had been talking about the possibility of working on this project for months, the client suddenly felt that it was time to get started. We didn’t want to miss the opportunity, so we put in some late nights and did what was needed to craft a ...


Don't Move Up The Hierarchy – Move Across It

Don't Move Up The Hierarchy – Move Across It

Like it or not, most of us think about career success in terms of moving up the hierarchy. Let me illustrate with a story:

I once worked with the new CEO of a well-known global firm that was barely breaking even. The CEO’s mandate from the board was to improve profitability. To do this, he planned to institute global manufacturing platforms so that product “families” would have the same core design no matter where in the world they were sold. The reduced-cost savings would be in the tens of millions of dollars.

This initiative would take a couple years ...


Why We Like Being Overloaded – And What To Do About It

Why We Like Being Overloaded – And What To Do About It

While most managers complain about being overloaded with responsibilities, very few are willing to give up any of them. It’s one of the great contradictions of organizational life: People are great at starting new things – projects, meetings, initiatives, task forces – but have a much harder time stopping the ones that already exist.

Take this example: The CEO of a large consumer products company was concerned that the organization was becoming too complex and unwieldy – which was adding to costs and slowing down decisions. After a long discussion with her senior team, everyone agreed to identify committees, projects, and studies ...


Stop Pretending That You Can’t Give Candid Feedback

Stop Pretending That You Can’t Give Candid Feedback

We’ve all heard the famous bromide that “honesty is the best policy.” But when it comes to performance feedback, honesty often falls by the wayside.  Many managers hide behind performance management checklists or water down their feedback with generalizations. And on the other side of the equation, employees tend to position themselves in the most favorable light possible in their self-assessments, and avoid giving constructive feedback to the boss, even when it’s requested.  The result is a lack of candid dialogue between boss and subordinate – which not only prevents the organization from improving, but also stymies individual development ...


Basecamp’s Strategy Offers a Useful Reminder: Less Is More

Basecamp’s Strategy Offers a Useful Reminder: Less Is More

Unless you follow tech companies, you might have missed the startling announcement by collaboration and communications software maker 37signals that it has decided to refocus the entire company on a single core product.

“Refocusing” might be an understatement.  37signals has developed a dozen different products and services since its founding in 1999. They will now be a “one product company” focused on Basecamp, its popular project management software.  To emphasize the point, the company is also changing its name to Basecamp.  So instead of following the conventional wisdom about growth through diversification, CEO and founder Jason Fried is doubling down ...


You Can't Outsource Change Management

You Can't Outsource Change Management

As a recognized discipline, change management has been in existence for over half a century. Yet despite the huge investment that companies have made in tools, training, and thousands of books (over 83,000 on Amazon), most studies still show a 60-70% failure rate for organizational change projects – a statistic that has stayed constant from the 1970′s to the present.

Given this evidence, is it possible that everything we know about change management is wrong and that we need to go back to the drawing board? Should we abandon Kotter’s eight success factors, Blanchard’s , and everything else ...


Page 1 of 48 1 2 3 46 47 48 »