The Healthy Organization

When the topic of a healthy organization comes up, it often sparks thoughts of workplace wellness programs. While I am all for health and wellness promotion, my work efforts are dedicated to a different concept of a healthy organization. What if going to work was energizing, and created visible progress toward worthwhile objectives? What if […]
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Four Steps to Optimizing HR

When we sit down with HR departments to design their organization, we ask them to imagine that they are an independent company and ask why clients should give them their business. The purpose of this exercise is to frame the work of HR in terms of creating optimal value. All too often, internal functions get […]
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Raison D’être

The foundation of an organization is its reason for existence, its raison d’être. Since an organization consists of people working together for a common purpose, without purpose, there is no organization. And yet there are those who disparage efforts at crafting an inspiring statement of organizational mission as fluffy stuff. Yet others will ensure there […]
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Filthy Profit

Twitter was all abuzz following a recent BBC interview with the noted economist, Russell Brand, because of his declaration that, “Profit is a filthy word”.  Check that – Russell Brand is a wealthy celebrity, not a noted economist. Why wealthy celebrities so often seem passionately opposed to profit has long seemed paradoxically puzzling to me, […]
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Mark Twain’s Bad Boss

Recently, I reread Mark Twain’s Life on the Mississippi, and it got me thinking about management best practices. He recounts his experiences as a pilot’s apprentice, learning how to safely navigate the Mississippi River in a steamboat. He was Samuel...

Ready, Fire, Aim!

OK, so it’s not original, but “ready, fire, aim” captures the essence of busyness that is so endemic in today’s business world. When everyone is so busy they don’t have time to think, there is often no one left to say, “Wait a...

Who’s in Charge of Your Attitude?

When something needs to be done, you do it yourself or have someone else do it for you. To get something done through someone else, you must somehow influence that person or people to do it, and to do that you must wield power. That doesn’t necessarily mean hierarchical power, as in “You’ll do it because I’m […]
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Who Are The Wise Guys

You have worked your way up the corporate ladder to now reside in one of the C-suites; maybe you should be forgiven for feeling smarter, better looking, and all-around more capable than everybody south of your line on the org chart. Hopefully, your humbling will be mercifully humane and happen soon.  Those who miss out […]
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Accountability? What’s That?

Accountability must be one of the most misunderstood terms in business.  It is talked about and bragged about in every which way by all and sundry, yet accountability seems to be forever missing in action.  Part of the problem is how we often think of accountability as an assignment, as in “I’m holding you accountable […]
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The Pain of Change

Change is unavoidably disruptive.  You do something the same way for so long that its performance is habitual, almost automatic.  It can be done while thinking of something else: “Look at me.  I’m multitasking!”  That’s all fine until—BOOM!—now you are supposed to do it differently.  Now it’s harder and not going as well because you’re […]
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Excuses Instead of Deliverables are OK, Right?

Excuses Instead of Deliverables are OK, Right?

What is the value of an excuse?  Sometimes it can deflect blame or punishment, but that’s about it.  To what extent are our scarce resources of time, talent, and management attention devoted to the creation and processing of this limited value called an excuse?  Sorry to say, I have no quantitative answer, but qualitatively?  Way […]
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