All Posts by Management & Policy Category

Management & Policy

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What Will Fast Company Write about Your Startup’s Culture?

Successful entrepreneurs like Tony Hsieh, CEO of Zappos, exhort startups to write down their core values on Day 1 and make company culture a first-order concern from the very beginning.

Have you tried it? The problem is that after you look at what you wrote, you’ll probably see a bunch of boring clichés. Many of your company values might sound suspiciously similar to Zappos’s and Nexflix’s. Your company couldn’t sound less exciting.


Leaders Get More Out of People When They Don’t Wear the Crown

“She said to me… ‘you might be president of PepsiCo, you might be on the Board of Directors, but when you enter this house you’re the wife, you’re the daughter, you’re the daughter-in-law, you’re the mother… so leave that damn crown in the garage.’ “
You have to admire the older generation. They will always speak their mind. When I read this, I thought of my parents and how their plain-spoken ability to cut through all the BS and hit the bullseye with their message.
The above statement was from Indra Nooyi’s mother in reaction to her daughter’s election to the Pepsi Board of Directors. The 58-year old Chairman and CEO of PepsiCo and mother of two daughters delivered some surprisingly frank and candid insights on work-life balance in an interview with David Bradley, owner of the Atlantic Media Company, at the Aspen Ideas Festival this week.

How to Cope When Colleagues Don’t Play Nice, Part 1: Confront Your Fears

Some midlevel and senior executives are perfectly comfortable holding their staff members accountable for their responsibilities, but they get flummoxed when a peer is unenthusiastic, uncooperative, or downright obstructionist. These execs may not perceive it as their job to correct or manage a colleague. They wonder, in disbelief, “Isn’t everyone supposed to know how to […]

How to Get Your Team to Deliver


Aimlessness is a tricky foe. It creeps in even when we have the best intentions, corroding motivation and meaningful progress, rearing its ugly head in stalled projects, avoided emails, the checked-out employee.

In the world of software development, aimlessness is public enemy number one. When it may take up to six months to a year to develop an idea into a usable application, it’s easy to lose sight of goals and your team loses steam.

If you have 83,000 lines of code, what does that mean? Where are you going? When coming into work starts to feel like Groundhog’s day, and focus dwindles, progress isn’t how many lines of code you’re writing.

Aimlessness Needs to Be Managed


Workplace Communications: Yes, Sometimes We Still Need to Talk

I’ve been picking up the phone and calling my most important clients,” he said. “You can’t stop because there’s no email.
This was a quote based on the outage of MS Outlook this past week. The Washington Post headline blared MS Outlook outage brings offices back to the 1980’s.
For the people who were working in corporate, this was an era when there was no email to speak of, and for that matter, no computers. I had an office on Sixth Avenue in New York at that time and all I had was a phone on my desk. That was it.

Afraid of being out of touch?

Crowdsourcing How to Re-Engage Fatigued Employees

image of origami birds gathering into a wholeRecognize This! – Kind commenters shared additional wisdom on how to re-engage fatigued employees.

Last week, I shared here on Recognize This! a summary of my SHRM 2014 annual conference presentationHow to Transform Employee Fatigue into Employee Engagement – and also shared it on my LinkedIn profile blog. That posting received several comments, which I appreciate greatly. A few of these comments in particular raised additional points that add tremendous value to my original post.


Employee Engagement: "There is no there there"

Employee engagement
There is a terrific amount of opinion, written and otherwise, about employee engagement. But it looks as though what Gertrude Stein said about her home town of Oakland, California, is also true of employee engagement: “there is no there there.”

If you can deal with the challenge, you’ll want to go through Rob Briner’s thought piece on employee engagement from the perspective of evidence-based decision making. It’s readable, straight-forward and solid. As Briner’s article states up-front, he intends to “stimulate deeper and more critical thinking about employee engagement from an evidence-based practice perspective.” Briner is Professor of Organizational Psychology at the University of Bath (UK) and a leader in the field of evidence-based management.


Salvation by Disruption

DsiruptionWow! Did the sparks fly when Harvard’s historian, Jill Lepore, took on Harvard’s Business professor, Clayton Christensen. He regularly writes in the Harvard Business Review and she, you may not know, regularly writes in the New Yorker. Just in case you also don’t happen to know, for the past 89 years, The New Yorker, may well be the most respected literary magazine in the world. In an occasionally elitist observation, I periodically comment that you can’t consider yourself an intelligent person unless you read the New York Times, the Economist—and The New Yorker. Feel perfectly free to give me the finger on that comment.


Should You Use Employee Net Promoter Scores?

Having done extensive workforce research work for clients over the last decade or so, many a times I have been asked about adapting the Net Promoter Score methodology to employee surveys. It is an interesting question, which deserves thoughtful consideration. So, when Foo Chek Wee, a smart HR professional from Singapore and HR blogger, asked me…

Cultivate An ‘Employee First’ Attitude: The New Business Model

“This is the most significant investment we’ve made in our partners since the introduction of Bean Stock.”

I read that statement with interest the other day. Starbucks staff, referred to as “partners,” will now be eligible to receive partial tuition for the first two years and full tuition for the final two years of college.

“We've always known that our partners work hard every day,” Cliff Burrows, president of Starbucks’ Americas region, said in a phone interview. “This is the best way we can serve them.
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