“He who rejects change is the architect of decay. The only human institution which rejects progress is the cemetery.” — Harold Wilson, former British prime minister
Successful businesses have always adapted readily to change, but at no time in living memory — and likely at no point in history — has adaptability been a more desirable business trait than it is today.
Given our recent economic difficulties, in combination with accelerating technological sophistication, change occurs almost daily — whether we want it to or not.
The greatest obstacle to necessary change is a reluctance to modify or abandon procedures that have become familiar and comforting. But a flexible, agile organization has no choice but to change in the face of reality. Read more…
There is one common management failing that causes businesses to stagnate and even fail. It’s the practice of tolerating mediocre performers.
It’s not the dishonest or undependable people who keep your business from excelling. No, we’re smart enough to cut our losses and fire those losers fast. It’s the mediocre, just-doing-enough-to-get-by people who keep us from building an exceptional, winning team that outperforms the competition.
Here are three of the most common reasons mediocrity is tolerated: Read more…
Imagine coming home every day from school and there in the kitchen were fresh-baked cookies or home-made pies.
Every day there was something different. My mother was a baker who believed that everything had to be made from “scratch,” using no boxed items of any kind.
The only boxed cookies allowed in the house were Nilla Wafers — and that was temporarily because they were destined for banana pudding.
My mother was on my mind this week because when I started working for Martha Stewart Living, she would jokingly tell me that she could out bake Martha on a bad day. As a matter of fact, she said all that advice that Martha gives is what she already knew and that she had been doing it for years. Read more…
Editor’s note: Weekly Wrap is stepping back and celebrating the life of Nelson Mandela today. We’ll be back with our regular format next Friday.
By Howard Mavity
After 30 years of seeing the worst of the workplace, I have few heroes left. This week, I lost my JFK or MLK.
I’ll remember where I was sitting when I learned that the lion who was Nelson Mandela, had roared his last. I choose to believe that’s how he went out. –as a lion of a man.
My 19 year-old son and I were in Soweto last June when everyone expected Nelson Mandela to die. It’s hard to describe our feelings as we sat in his church near his home. We pondered all that we had learned in South Africa in the preceding weeks. Read more…
Good people resist change for lots of reasons.
Perhaps they’re comfortable with the way things are. Perhaps they feel threatened. Perhaps they think the new way won’t work.
As a leader, how do you respond? If you try to “sell” change, your people will feel, well, sold. And if you simply demand change, you get reluctant participation at best.
So what’s the right answer when it comes to getting employees on board when its time for your organization to make big changes? Read more…
A recent study by Spherion, The 2013 Emerging Workforce, examines the 2013 workforce and the post-recession resurgence of the “emergent worker mentality,” characterized by the study as one which focuses on a free-agency style employment.
While the study provides data to support this point it is more than likely we have experienced the validity of this resurgence in our daily lives, perhaps witnessing friends or colleagues job-hopping more frequently, or seeing an increased social conscience in employees and new talent.
Whether we’ve confirmed suspicions that our current workforce is driven by a very different set of factors than previous generations or not, insights from this report can help to remind us of the importance of understanding this emergent worker mentality. Read more…
“People who love their jobs aren’t choosing jobs they love – they’re making jobs they love,” says Dr. Shane Lopez, Gallup senior scientist and author of Making Hope Happen.
Dr. Lopez interviewed thousands of workers to discover the attributes and behaviors shared by people who love their jobs and discovered that a beloved job rarely started out as a dream job.
Employees who loved their jobs found a good job, and then proactively shaped it into a job they could love. At the same time, they surrounded themselves with people in the workplace who cared about and encouraged their progress.
Dr. Lopez offers these additional insights for creating a job you’ll love: Read more…
“Success is to be measured not so much by the position that one has reached in life as by the obstacles which he has overcome.” — Booker T. Washington, educator and author.
In my upcoming book Execution IS the Strategy (Berrett-Koehler, March 2014), I emphasize the fact that, for all intents and purposes, leaders can no longer legislate strategic execution or plan too far into the future.
Rigid strategies quickly become stale in the current business arena, and binding our front-line team members to them may result in consistent failure.
A more effective solution? Empower individuals to take ownership of their jobs, so they can use whatever strategy works best in the moment to execute effectively and productively. Read more…
Chris Argyris passed away last month, at the age of 90.
This Harvard Business School professor earned 14 honorary doctorates, produced 30 books, and published over 150 articles. Anyone in the field of Human Resources should know of this man’s contributions to the field of understanding, as the frame a foundation for improving human performance.
Think about this: We make decisions every day. We go through a process to do so.
Argyris defined this process as the “ladder of inference.” He pointed out that we often skip steps in the thinking process, for example starting with assumptions rather than real data. Starting with assumptions, not only eliminates gathering facts, but also looking at the context surrounding the facts, and then interpreting the facts within the context. Read more…