I visit a local bakery every Friday afternoon to purchase Challa bread, a sweet egg bread that just seems to go well with just about every meal. I've been buying a loaf there, each week, for years. Unfortunately, of late, the quality just hasn't been there. We've noticed the bread is not as it should be — and oddly doughy at the center. It was such a surprise when this began to occur. We realized this was a sign that something was off-track.
The root of the problem began with a personnel change in the bakery — as a highly experienced baker left quite suddenly. With her, left all of the subtleties of the trade that were so important to continued excellence. Sadly, her legacy was lost.
This is an issue that organizations both large and small, must address. How do we effectively capture all of what our valued employees know — all of the strategies and nuances that set them apart as contributors? How do we ensure that this information can be shared going forward? How do we, as individuals, leave our own mark?
He was once regarded as one of the best business leaders in the world. At the end of his career, he was disgraced and, by some measures, considered one of the worst business leaders of all time.
Al Dunlap believed that the primary goal of a company was to make money for its shareholders. To that end, he would lead an organization to massive layoffs and plant closings. The short-term profits would soar, and so would the value of the company.
He led Scott Paper with that ruthless behavior. Thousands of employees lost their jobs. Plants were closed. But it seemed like he had the formula for success when he sold Scott Paper to Kimberly-Clark for $2.8 billion and walked away with his own $100 million golden parachute.
Over time, Dunlap’s true colors began to become clear. He would become CEO of Sunbeam in 1996. He took measures to make the company profitable at all costs, even if they were unethical or illegal. He eventually led the company to bankruptcy.
The cloud has taken on mythical proportions these days, which is causing huge frustration for IT pros. Why? They are often working in an environment in which business leaders, eager to move applications to the cloud, are making big decisions based on misconceptions and tidbits of information.
Jayson Boyers argues that behind every successful business, you are likely to find a leader who has mastered the skill of empathy. One of the hallmarks of a successful business is its ability to harness creativity to constantly push into new territory.
First published over a year ago, but never hurts to have a reminder....
“Diversity trumps ability” as a sufficiently diverse, large group of non-experts often outperforms a small group of experts,” found Future Perfect authorSteven Johnson. In our increasingly complex, disruptive world, we will face more situations where we’ll benefit from calling on the so-called wisdom of the crowd.
Stress is affecting your brain much more than you think. Sure, you've experienced the distraction, forgetfulness, negativity or anxiety that comes from stressful situations, but did you know it's also shrinking your brain? Hormones released in response to stress not only affect brain function, they also change the physical structure of your brain.
The stress hormone cortisol can kill, shrink, and stop the generation of new neurons in a portion of the brain called the hippocampus. The hippocampus is critical for learning, memory and emotional regulation, as well as shutting off the stress response after a stressful event is over: all much-needed processes in both our professional and personal lives.
“Critical thinking.” It’s a phrase as vague as “results-oriented individual” or “problem-solver.” Companies call for job applicants that are both worker bees and world-class innovators, prepared to paint outside the lines--but only in the brand’s monochromatic colors.
According to an American Management Association survey, 72% of employers feel that critical thinking is key to their organization’s success, but only half of those surveyed said their employees actually show this skill.
Great marketers have great guts. Leo Burnett didn’t need a legion of focus groups to come up with the Marlboro Man. Steve Jobs, arguably the greatest marketing mind ever, famously eschewed market research because he didn’t think customers knew what they wanted until he showed it to them.
Yet big data and technology are clearly revolutionizing marketing. Gartner predicts that CMO’s will soon be spending more on IT than CIO’s. VentureBeat recently reported that marketing technology companies have attracted a hefty $50 billion in investment.
At some point in our work lives, many of us will find ourselves in the wrong job. I hear of this quite often. Specific fault can be difficult (and futile) to assign. However, one day you might look around to find that your work life is dangerously out of sync. Nothing is more alarming than throwing yourself into your role — and realizing things have taken an obvious turn. The important element here? Identifying the problem for what it really is (in very short shrift), and acting to make changes. Poor matches do happen. Jobs morph. Great bosses move on. We grow and change. These all could serve as contributing accelerants.
So, make every attempt to let yourself off the hook and avoid a long-term “soul sucking” experience. Poor fit is a very common experience — and it is important to recognize its symptoms.
Building and maintaining trust is the essential ingredient in establishing a successful business in the sharing economy, but how can you pull it off? How can you build a product that convinces people that they can trust it?
Everyone agrees that it’s a smart practice to ask for feedback. Don’t walk through life with blinders on. Show them that you’re proactive. Assume that you always have room to grow. But how do we actually get up the gumption to ask for criticism when deep down, we don’t want to hear the answer [...]
Toxic people defy logic. Some are blissfully unaware of the negative impact that they have on those around them, and others seem to derive satisfaction from creating chaos and pushing other people’s buttons. Either way, they create unnecessary complexity, strife, and worst of all stress. Studies have long shown that stress [...]
HR directors and their CEOs are increasingly coming to terms with the fact that as many as one in four of the people they employ are either consciously or unconsciously undermining their organisations. Such is the power of disengagement at work..