Tag Archives: Employee Management

News You Can Use: 12/7/2016


  • Management Thought is Bankrupt

    We are seeing the dominance of measurement.  KPIs abound. Big Data everywhere. Your personality is tested and measured. As is your engagement. On an ongoing basis. Every project has thousands of targets, deadlines and measurable processes. Data, data, data. Numbers, numbers, numbers. Measure, measure, measure.

    Taylorism for the hi-tech generation. A model we know does not work and does not motivate, but one we’ve re-embraced anyway. And we wonder why there is no meaning or engagement at work.


  • Why Avoiding Office Politics Isn’t Always the Best for Your Career

    When it comes to office politics, Simosko warns, “There is no way around it. Once you start working with a team you are going to experience it. I am not a fan of politics, but I have learned that ignoring them can have negative consequences.” She insists that learning to deal with office politics is vital for leaders at any stage of their career. “It can determine whether you are successful in your career or not,” she said.


  • What everyone ought to know about Social Media (thanks JD!)

    How technology hijacks people’s minds

  • The tech that will feed the world

    Now computing capacity is cheap, and it’s possible to model all possible choices and their potential outcomes. A smartphone with Google Maps, for example, can evaluate every path from point A to point B to decide, based on the current traffic conditions, which will likely be the shortest or fastest route.

    Simulation and modeling also help from getting lost when it comes to growing crops. At the most basic level, plants need sunlight, water and nutrients at levels that vary during various stages of growth. It sounds simple, but at scale, optimizing each factor has a huge payoff.


  • Microsoft executive bonuses could soon be tied to diversity goals

    According to Gwen Houston, Microsoft’s General Manager for Global Diversity and Inclusion, Nadella is working on a plan that will make meeting diversity goals a major factor in deciding if executives receive their full bonus each year. “Diversity and inclusion is something you’ve got to ingrain,” Houston said. “That’s what Satya has been doing.” Still, Houston says the company has more to do. Layoffs from sale of Nokia assets severely hurt the company’s percentage of women and minority workers, and new hires haven’t made up the difference yet.


Photo: Vitaly Taranov

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News You Can Use: 10/5/2016


  • Here’s What It Takes For Your Company’s Culture To Survive An Acquisition

    Start small. Talk to your employees to identify their top concerns over an acquisition. Brainstorm some ways to keep the best aspects of both cultures intact, always looking for points of commonality. And over-communicate—every employee needs to understand what goes into an acquisition and what they should expect, and as those details change, team members need to know how and why.


  • Why healthcare needs to care about Google’s acquisition of Apigee

    Healthcare has been relatively slow to adopt open API standards. Unlike social media and e-commerce, healthcare is mostly a closed ecosystem of proprietary software, notably electronic health record (EHR) systems that do not permit the free exchange of data. This has been the subject of much discussion and debate and has drawn the attention of the Office of the National Coordinator of Healthcare IT (ONC). The ONC has been pushing for more open standards to unlock the value of digitized medical records sitting in proprietary systems that can unleash innovation in healthcare and positively impact costs, quality and experience (the triple aim) in healthcare.


  • How To Manage Technical Teams When You Don’t Share Their Credentials

    Whenever you lay out a plan that affects the work that technical team members will have to do, figure out what’s most important to you and do that first. You may find that the things others push back about aren’t especially critical to you, and that you can satisfy everyone’s interests without too much pain.

    But that means you need to distill whatever the ultimate goal is in your mind beforehand. Decide what’s absolutely crucial, and what’s negotiable will be come clearer. This way you can also give technical employees as much leeway as they need to figure out the “how,” which they’ll likely appreciate.


  • HPE Aruba Unveils Flexible Network Procurement Models Enabling Enterprises to Innovate at the Rapid Pace of Mobile and IoT

    To remove unpredictability in IT operations and spending, Aruba is taking a software-based approach with its Mobile First Platform, enabling IT organizations to quickly respond to new requirements as they emerge, minimize capital expenditures, and maintain a competitive edge. Customers benefit from customized options for obtaining and managing their networks with Aruba’s portfolio of programmable IT networking products for Wi-Fi, BLE, wired and wide area network (WAN) connectivity, and consulting, support and technology services from its key alliances.


  • How to Strengthen Your Personal and Executive Presence

    Here’s an example: Martha is the CIO of a large financial services firm. After discussing her personal brand and talking to some of her colleagues, boss and staff, it became clear she was respected by the people she worked with. However, her current executive presence wasn’t sufficient for her mandate to transform the way technology was implemented and used within the business.

    In short, Martha’s current brand was seen as being “a manager who effectively problem solves and is known for hands-on implementation.” Not a bad brand, but insufficient for the task entrusted to her.

    How did Martha change her brand?

    One of the projects involved a series of town hall meetings designed to get her team excited about the IT transformation and buy in to supporting it. In alignment with her goal, Martha created a fun and inclusive agenda for the meeting and a highly visual presentation — the opposite of the usual boring, text-oriented presentation staff were used to.

    So… a “fun” meeting got the job done? No.

Photo: Finn Hackshaw

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News You Can Use: 4/27/2016

sn_mushroom_Aaron Burden

  • Stop Treating Your Employees Like Mushrooms
    What is a “mushroom”?

    You’ve probably heard the expression “feeling like a mushroom,” which is to say feeling kept in the dark, left uninformed and fed a bunch of sh–. Think shittake mushrooms.

    Why is it bad:

    1. 1 in 4 employees surveyed has quit, or knows someone who has quit, due to a lack of transparency and communication in the workplace
    2. Only 10 percent of employees surveyed were aware of their company’s progress in real time.
    3. More than 4 out of 5 employees surveyed wanted to hear more frequently from their bosses about how their company was doing.
    4. More than 90 percent of employees surveyed said they would rather hear bad news than no news.


  • Apple’s organizational cross roads

    Apple employs what is known as a “unitary organizational form” — U-form for short — which is also known as a “functional organization.” In broad strokes, a U-form organization is organized around expertise, not products: in the case of Apple, that means design is one group (under Ive), product marketing is another (under Schiller), and operations a third (under Williams, who is also Chief Operating Officer). Other areas of expertise represented by the members of Apple’s executive team include Software Engineering (Craig Federighi), Hardware Engineering (Dan Riccio), and Hardware Technologies (Johny Srouji).

    What is most striking about that list is what it does not include: the words iPhone, iPad, Mac, orWatch. Apple’s products instead cut across the organization in a way that enforces coordination amongst the various teams.


  • Future trends of procurement every customer-centric industry should know

    2) Adopt a Nimble Approach to Strategic Decision Making

    The past complexities of supply chain management resulted in rigid contracts and raised the cost of switching vendors. This concept needs to be replaced with a flexible yet dependable sourcing model that focuses on reducing supplier proximity for enhanced visibility. This less extended approach will condense the product lifecycle and bring the vendors closer to the companies.


  • Your Office Has Its Own Microbiome, And It Comes From Your Coworkers’ Skin

    The people who inhabit an office have some influence, too. Across all nine offices, human skin bacterial communities “were the largest identifiable source” in the samples. About 25% to 30% of office microbes come from human skin. Even grosser? “The human nasal microbiome also appeared to be a small but consistent source of office surface microbial communities.” (Memo to staff: Stop picking your nose.)


  • 4 ways to apply SLAs to shadow IT

    By creating specific SLAs for shadow IT and including these non-IT delivered capabilities in operating level standards, IT can align overall goals and targets with shared objectives, such as 100 percent compliance with change and release management procedures. “For external functions (to the extent possible) align SLAs within underpinning contracts to defined outcomes compatible with SLAs,” advises Wright. “And where SLAs are non-negotiable establish responsibilities and supporting organization objectives or OLAs for shadow and core IT to provide an effective bridge from the non-negotiable SLA to the required outcome.”


  • 6 Prophetic Supply Chain Quotable Quotes

    “If you had to wait a week for Google to respond, would you use it?” Dominic Thomas, VP Business Consulting, Kinaxis and Supply & Demand Chain Executive magazine 2016 Provider ‘Pro to Know’

    I was fortunate enough to hear Dominic present and when this line came out I committed it to memory. My immediate thought was the supply chain planning community is either extremely patient or has surrendered to Excel and legacy planning systems. This gets back to starting your supply chain conversation. Today asking a supply chain question like, ‘what’s the impact of a 20% demand increase?’ could mean another meeting while those who have to answer try and piece the response together. I didn’t include it as one of the quotes but I once heard a supply chain executive say, “It takes me three weeks to get the wrong answer.” Future supply chain planning processes should no longer include ‘waiting’ as one of the squares on the Visio flowchart.


  • How Do Con Artists Fool People? They Listen.

    We tend to think con artists are smooth talkers and persuasive sellers, but listening is their most essential quality, says Maria Konnikova, who has written a new book on con artistry. Here she discusses the case of Victor Lustig, a Frenchman who sold the Eiffel Tower twice for scrap metal to two different buyers. Too embarrassed at being taken in, the buyers never reported Lustig.

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News You Can Use: 3/30/2016

sn_leaves_Scott Webb

  • Design for the Supply Chain Pt 5: Understandable

    I think it’s obvious to all of us that supply chains are continuing to become more and more complex. This is due in part to the ever changing number of nodes/links in the supply chain as companies become more global. That in turn impacts processes (internal and external), interactions with suppliers and customers, focus on metrics and risk analysis, etc. The volume of data necessary to manage these interactions from end-to-end is staggering. We generally create all kinds of reports and applications to sit on top of databases, ERP systems, and spreadsheets to capture the data. The challenge though is not so much how to capture the data but how to get our arms around it in a meaningful way. The goal is to help the supply chain professional understand the situation quicker so they can make better decisions.


  • Is It Okay to Cry at Work?

    Personal opinion: Nope nope nope
  • Rewiring the Supply Chain to Improve Results

    Alignment plagues the functional organization with large gaps between operations and commercial teams. Closing this gap is paramount to start the journey for supply chain excellence. As long as we hire consultants that advocate harvesting the “low-hanging fruit” in operations and driving growth in commercial teams, we perpetuate the gap. Instead, we must build operational competency cross-functionally with a focus on market sensing, shaping and customer satisfaction. The supply chain needs to be redefined outside-in with a focus on the customer. Pitting operations and commercial teams against each other is detrimental to driving business results.


  • Four Things To Do When Your Team Is Smarter Than You
    I would think any manager would WANT this…

    Throughout his 21-year career, Siegel has managed teams that were filled with smart people. Recently, he managed a computer engineering team from Israel who were working to complete high-level systems architecture programming for ZipRecruiter. “Many had come out of the Israeli military and were beyond elite,” he says. “They had been writing code to save lives. They were the best of the best—off-the-charts smart.”

    Instead of being intimidated, Siegel tapped into their motivation and changed the way he delivered his tasks. “I would start each project with the mission,” he says. “I would say, ‘This is the goal. This is the strategy. This is what success looks like.’”


  • Why Dropbox dropped Amazon’s cloud

    Not every company has the scale Dropbox operates at. And most companies would not see a huge benefit from customizing infrastructure to tailor it to their specific needs, Gupta says. Dropbox’s journey took two and a half years and required investments in personnel to figure out how infrastructure should be customized and other workers to manage their data centers.


  • People Want Power Because They Want Autonomy

    That people would value autonomy over influence jives with self-determination theory, a psychological theory that suggests autonomy is one of humans’ basic psychological needs, along with relatedness and competence. Influence is not aneed under this theory. Another study suggests that while striving for power lowers people’s well-being, once they have power, they really are happier, because they feel more authentic—the power makes them feel like the circumstances of their lives are more in line with who they feel they are inside. That may be because the power gives them the freedom to make their own decisions, and their sense of well-being grows when they do what they want.


  • Why Your Next Procurement Vehicle Should Be a Bus

    In San Francisco, under our Startup In Residence program, we’re experimenting with how to remove the friction associated with RFPs for both government staff and startups. For government staff, that means publishing an RFP in days, not months. For startups, it means responding to an RFP in hours not weeks.

    So what did we learn from our experience with the airport? We combined 17 RFPs into one; utilized general “challenge statements” in place of highly detailed project specifications; leveraged modern technology; and created a simple guide to navigating the process.

    Copy of the procurement guide:

Photo: Scott Web

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News You Can Use: 3/9/2016

  • ‘CEOs’ to build on $2B in acquisition savings

    Rung named 11 category managers on Feb. 25 to bring 10 commodity buying areas under better control by conducting spend analysis, market research, financial and supply chain risk analysis, and using this information to develop strategic plans specific to the category with clear metrics and outcomes.


  • How to Advance In Your Career Without Becoming A Workaholic

    Getting involved in projects doesn’t mean you have to say yes to everything. “Successful professionals often fear saying no or not being seen as a team player,” says Sherwin. But the key to getting ahead is actually setting boundaries and being strategic about the things you say yes to. Saying yes to a project that may give you a leadership role, for example, may help you to hone your leadership skills that you don’t get a chance to use in your current role.


  • A Beginner’s Guide to Post-Merger Integration Sourcing

    Given time and resource limitations within the procurement organization, it is often preferable to phase sourcing efforts. Starting with Indirect initiatives can yield some quick wins. Requirements in this space tend to be similar across companies, and generally involve fewer constraints, simpler specs and qualification procedures, and greater opportunities from increased volumes. Indirect categories typically provide shorter time to realization, to the satisfaction of the c-suite and shareholders. This is why categories such as professional services, travel, or IT and telecom should be prioritized.


  • Don’t let perfection be the enemy of the good…
  • Talk Isn’t Cheap: 8 Questions to Ask When You’re Booked as a Speaker

    Finally, the most important question is: What do the organizers want out of this? Are you there to solve a problem that you’re unaware of? It’s really important that they set the stage for you, so you can kill it on stage. You don’t have to change up your whole talk to cater to a specific audience. You can make tiny little tweaks that make your remarks feel more customized to the audience, and to the goals of the conference coordinator.


  • 6 Ways to Encourage Autonomy With Your Employees

    The freedom of choice is a key element to autonomy, but too much choice can be detrimental. That’s why those who think autonomy means there are no boundaries are in error. In fact, firm boundaries — and a system to hold people accountable for results — are essential for autonomy to flourish. Within clear boundaries, people are empowered to determine how they will accomplish the tasks they are given.


  • The Simple Thing That Can Totally Transform Time-Suck Meetings

    First and foremost, identify your objective, says Neal Hartman, management senior lecturer at the MIT Sloan School of Management. “Be critical about paring your agenda,” he says. “List key items that need discussion, a vote, or whatever other action is appropriate.”


Photo: Daria Nepriakhina

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