“Super School” Project Challenge: Seven Steps to Re-Inventing High School
The Huffington Post reported recently that Laurene Powell Jobs has pledged $50 million to crowdsource designs for the next American high school. The campaign website, XQ: The Super School Project, makes the case that public high schools have been “frozen in time for the last hundred years while America has gone from the Model T to […]
Four Reasons Why Annual Performance Reviews Fail and What To Do About It
Teague Hopkins on my advisory board flagged this Washington Post story about Accenture throwing out most of its current process for doing annual performance reviews (APRs) and rankings for employees. With 330,000 employees, Accenture figured that since the process wasn’t actually improving performance and it was costing huge amounts of time and money, it was time […]
What One Horse and an Open Sleigh Taught Me About Change Management
Too many managers seem to think that people ought to let them drive the corporate strategy based on what really amounts to blind trust. “I know what I’m doing. I have a vision. Just focus on the future and where we are heading. Trust me.” I learned the painful consequences of this approach early in life from […]
Transparency is a Great Way to Start Growing a Company Culture, But It’s Only a Start
What does transparency mean in the context of growing a company culture? A high degree of transparency means that how the company operates is visible to all employees and in some cases to customers and stakeholders. Transparency means that not only can people see our results, but how they were achieved. They can “see through” the surface […]
Five Secrets to Briefing Stakeholders, Senior Management, or the Board Effectively
Does your job require you to brief senior management, the board, or other stakeholder groups? People who have a stake in your business, organization, or program want to know what’s going on so they can give you good guidance. If the group you are briefing has a governance role, they want to be well-informed so […]
What Do You Do If Your Boss Manages Straight Up?
An effective manager has to manage tasks and relationships in all directions. Even if the organizational structure is relatively flat, good managers manage up, down, and across the organization. They develop good working relationships with their own staff, their boss(es), and their peers. Most managers have difficulty finding the right balance. So sooner or later […]
Don’t Accept the Defaults! What Are You Doing to Customize Your Life?
Most technology is designed to be “feature rich.” This means that there are multiple menus and multiple ways to do everything. In short, it means you won’t use 80% of the capabilities and it would take forever to figure them out anyway. The way most designers deal with the “feature rich” problem is that they […]
Do Me a Favor? See Whether the Ben Franklin Effect Makes Sense to You?
If you have worked in a large complex organization, you have probably discovered that getting things done depends on figuring out who can actually do something you need to have done even if they aren’t the persons who are technically responsible. Sometimes these folks are long serving people in junior positions who have seen it […]
Nine Things You Don’t Want to Hear from Customer Service
Our guest blogger this week is Teresa Tidwell * The trending definition of “Customer Service” is “figure it out yourself” or “customer self-service.” You may get your problem solved if you are lucky and persistent enough to gather the information you need from the maze of reps. Then, maybe you can piece together the solution […]
How Students Taught Me the Best Strategy for Changing the Game
It was 1973 and I was sitting in the faculty lounge at a New England boarding school listening to the veteran teachers bemoan the state of “students today.” The consensus seemed to be that students were unmotivated, unengaged, poorly prepared, and lazy. “They never speak up in class and just sit there like bumps on […]