Physician (Manager), Heal Thyself Too

You probably sit down at least annually with each of your staff to have a conversation about their growth and development in their current job and perhaps with an eye to future roles. You look at an array of possible learning vehicles, such as external courses, internally provided workshops, special assignments, job shadowing, coaching, mentoring, webinars and so forth. If you are serious about supporting them you schedule at least a quarterly check in as to what they have been learning and … [Read more...]

Performance Requires More than Motivation and Ability

People often think that for employees to perform well all they need are the appropriate ability and skills and the motivation to achieve great results. But there is a missing ingredient: opportunity. So says John Boudreau in a recent issue of Talent Management Magazine (p. 10). He is spot on. You can be well trained to build departmental sales and keen to get at it but if your boss, the Director of Sales, hogs all the promising clients and sales calls, you won't have the opportunity to apply … [Read more...]

Did You Ever Try to Climb a Lattice?

For at least 40 years we have had the idea of "lattice" organization as an alternative design to the traditional hierarchy which assumes employees all want to climb up the ladder. In lattice organizations (and, beyond W.L. Gore & Associates, there weren't many of them out there back then), you could go in any direction–up, sideways, and even down–to keep your learning, development, and capacity growing.   Well, the lattice concept is back with a vengeance. Deloitte includes the … [Read more...]

The Four Strategic HR Challenges for the Upcoming Decade

Boston Consulting Group, in conjunction with an association of people management associations worldwide, completed a comprehensive on-line + live interviews study on how they are approaching strategic human capital development for the next decade. It's called "Creating People Advantage 2010" and worth downloading if you are concerned with the strategic element of human resources in your organization. Among a wide-ranging group of topics, their results address how human resources challenges … [Read more...]

The Last 10%

Seth Godin recently wrote a blog post about how our true expertise and professionalism is reflected when we do what's needed to be one of the best, in that top 10% of people who do the work we do. But it doesn't come easy. As Seth says: The hard part is the last ten percent, sure, or even the last one percent, but it's the hard part because everyone is busy doing the easy part already. Studies by Jack Zenger and his crew reveal that managers above the 90th percentile in terms of leadership … [Read more...]

It Pays to Attend to Your Organization’s Talent

The Hackett Group completed last year a 3-year Talent Management Performance study that showed how Global 1000 level companies that invest in and develop more comprehensive talent management capabilities yield benefits in three areas. They call it the "triple payoff": Enhanced bottom line results Improved operational processes Better talent management processes Here are just a couple of highlights from their research. These Talent Management Maturity Leaders (TMML's), compared to … [Read more...]

A Gap in Your Senior Leadership Bench Strength

The baby boomer cohort (commonly accepted age range: 46-64) are the proverbial pig-in-the-python, demographically speaking. Economists raise the alarm of a looming shortage of workers when the "pig" has passed on through. But is this true for executive and senior leaders? There is no shortage of warm bodies to move up to the C suite. But, says a joint study by Pearson and Executive Development Associates, unless employers start to act now, there will be a shortage of people who are fully … [Read more...]

Book Review – Mindset: The New Psychology of Success

  By Carol S. Dweck Random House, 2006 ISBN #1-4000-6275-6 John McEnroe reached great heights in the world of professional tennis but, by his own admission, he did not fulfill his potential. Whenever he lost, it was not his fault. Even his defeat at the 1984 French Open he blamed on sound coming from the headset of a network cameraman. As a world class athlete, he felt he had the right to abuse others. In fact, the image of him screaming at umpires is burnished in the minds of a … [Read more...]

Article – A Lesson for Managers from the World of Sales

By far the single biggest concern I hear from managers I work with is, "How can I get my people to do more?" Their number one challenge is how to ensure their employees are motivated. For the answer to this question we turn to the sales professional. Superior salespeople do many things well but one thing stands out. They get into the head of their prospect/customer! They start where their customer is—cognitively, emotionally, even physically. How do they do this? By becoming curious—asking … [Read more...]

Book Review – The Set-Up-To-Fail Syndrome: How Good Managers Cause Great People to Fail

By Jean-François Manzoni & Jean-Louis Barsoux Harvard Business School Press, 2002 ISBN #0-87584-949-0 Does this cycle sound familiar to you? An employee misses a deadline or messes up in some way. You begin to have doubts about him (or her). Meaning well, you start closely managing him. The employee thinks you don't trust him, loses self-confidence and harbors resentment. The employee's performance slips and he minimizes contact with you. You see this as validating your … [Read more...]