Millennials? You Still Manage Them as Individuals

Amy Gallo, in her recent Harvard Business Review blog post, addressed what she calls four essentially false beliefs about the Millennial generation in the workplace: They are completely different from what Boomers were at that age. They want more purpose at work than previous generations do/did. They seek more work/life balance too. They need special treatment at work.   She refers to several pieces of research that do not support beliefs #1, 2, and 4 and concur only … [Read more...]

TED Talks Videos Worth the Manager’s Eyeballs

If you haven't yet run across TED Talks, I heartily recommend you check them out. "TED" stands for technology, entertainment & design. The organization began way back in 1984 and calls itself "a nonprofit devoted to ideas worth spreading." It holds two main conferences each spring, plus a global conference in the summer, and licenses a number of smaller programs held around the world. Experts and thought leaders from many disciplines present at these conferences. They are filmed and then … [Read more...]

Your Dance Between Manager and Coach

The trend these days is clearly for managers to take on more of a coaching role. But they still need to be the manager! These are two different roles. As a manager, you have stewardship for results in your area of operation. You ensure that your people are performing at an acceptable level and are supporting the organization's larger strategy. As a coach, you help your employees achieve their required performance. You assist them, facilitate their thinking, and help them be more effective in … [Read more...]

Who Am I, Boss or Friend?

This is a huge issue, particularly at the supervisory level and especially when someone is pulled out of the work group and promoted to supervisor. It becomes confusing for all concerned, the new boss and the staff. How to act? What to expect from one another? Can we still be friends? How to set new boundaries? These questions reflect the confusion and uncertainty that typically ensues. At the front line, people have less experience dealing with the subtleties of human relations in an … [Read more...]

Traditionals, Boomers, X, and Y Are People Too

There is a debate raging as to whether all this talk about the different generations is evidence-based or mostly media-driven simplistic categorizing. A recent article in People & Strategy Journal reports on a thorough study done of the peer-reviewed literature on generational differences in two areas: Career Management and Organizational Loyalty Work-related Values and Attitudes Here is their conclusion: "In sum, our review of 26 peer-reviewed studies found few consistent … [Read more...]

We’ll Never Really "Solve" Organizational Life

In his newly revised book on change, Beyond the Wall of Resistance, my colleague Rick Maurer includes an interview with author/consultant Geoffrey Bellman. Bellman's response contains some wisdom that helps us all understand the truth about thriving in organizations (and, for that matter, in life). At the base of it all, we're all a bunch of naked human beings. Down underneath it all, in the game we never talk about–the primary game–we're all down there reaching, grasping, clinging, lifting, … [Read more...]

Cause, Not Blame, Produces Better Performance Feedback

I subscribe to Alan Weiss's thought provoking monthly email newsletter called Balancing Act. In his latest issue, he offers the following tip: Here’s a quick secret for getting along and playing nicely in the sandbox: When something goes amiss, don’t look for guilt, look for cause. Focus on correcting the situation and not blaming anyone. The former develops support, the latter enmity.While he mentions it in a more general context of human relations, it is a good reminder for managers whose … [Read more...]

Article: What to Do When Your Team Gets "Stuck": 7 Ways to Get It Moving Again

There is no question about it. A team can be a powerful vehicle for accomplishing a major project, guiding a unit to superior performance, or bringing together diverse perspectives to solve a pressing problem Have you ever been a member of a smooth functioning, high performing team? Those of you who have, no doubt, harbor fond memories of how energizing it is and how great that rush of pride feels when you achieve great things together. The best teams, including certainly that great team you … [Read more...]

TW 2010 Global Workforce Study-Comment #1

  It's that time of year again when TowersWatson (formerly TowersPerrin) publishes its always informative Global Workforce Study. The 2010 report, conducted between November/09 and January/10, covered 20,000 full time employees of large and midsize organizations in 22 markets around the globe. Over the next several blog posts I want to highlight and comment on some of their main findings. As always, my focus will be on what the learnings are for managers and leaders. Three main themes … [Read more...]

Book Review – Influencer: The Power To Change Anything

by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, David Maxfield, Ron McMillan & Gareth Jones McGraw-Hill, 2008 ISBN #978-0-07-148499-2 If you are like me, and like most of the managers we all know, you have a default strategy for influencing people around you. You TELL them what they should do! You SHARE your wisdom and advice, often drawn from experience in similar situations. Your SUGGESTIONS are frequently spot on and brilliant. There is only one problem, say the authors of this excellent … [Read more...]