Helping organizations, teams and individuals bridge gaps

Feb 23 2012

Co-Workers Change Places

Job Swaps Help Employees Stay Motivated and Identify Future Opportunities

Article in the WSJ this week by LAUREN WEBER and LESLIE KWOH, share their research how to keep your people engaged in today’s distracting corporate life and cultures.

“In organizations today there is more emphasis on adaptability, teamwork and learning agility. Companies have to be flexible about creating opportunities for employees to opt into projects,” says Caroline Paxman, president of the Americas for SHL, a talent-measurement firm.

A 2011 survey by the Society for Human Resource Management found that 43% of employers offer cross-training of some kind to help workers develop proficiencies not related to their current jobs.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052970204059804577229123891255472.html?mod=WSJ_mgmt_LeftTopNews

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Sep 27 2011

The Cure for Horrible Bosses

by Rosabeth Moss Kanter, HBR, October, 2011

A favorite author and professor at Harvard, Ms. Kanter is always dead-on as a Thought Leader.

Here she shares many salient points how to manage your sanity and performance while working for a lousy manager, which can be as much as 50% of the case and time in organizations today.

I share a few of her excellent cures:

The best cure for horrible bosses is alternative relationships and collaboration. Organizations that foster strong, multidimensional relationships among colleagues weaken the control of a single autocratic boss. They make it more likely that the sins of horrible bosses will be exposed to others who can stop them.

Groups caught in a horror show can end the misery by banding together to focus on goals and show compassion for one another. Jane Dutton of the University of Michigan, a leader in the positive psychology movement, has shown that simple gestures of caring can humanize the workplace and raise levels of performance.

Another good way to neutralize horrible bosses is to focus on the mission and help others around you succeed. A manager I’ll call Pierre was sent by his company to lead a turnaround, as COO, of a low-performing subsidiary in a developing country. The country CEO was imperialistic and antagonistic. He gave Pierre a basement office with no staff and proceeded to ignore him. Pierre’s corporate bosses told him to work it out. After a few days of feeling depressed, Pierre decided to move into the tiny office next to the CEO and find his own assistant from outside the company, someone with no history with or allegiance to the CEO.

Please read the full article not to miss anything.

http://hbr.org/2011/10/the-cure-for-horrible-bosses/ar/1

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Jul 26 2011

Special Report on Employee Engagement: Losing Lifeblood

By Garry Kranz

Cash-strapped companies haven’t paid much attention to employee engagement since the recession dawned. Some are now starting to feel the results of that neglect, experts say.

In a June report by LeadershipIQ, 69 percent of North American workers said they are either disengaged or “underengaged.” The results are based on responses from 102,311 employees and managers at 130 organizations, mostly in the U.S.

(Employee engagement is my passion and the resounding result in all my work, it is the key to greater effectiveness and is the most often overlooked detail, it is also the easiest to remedy).

http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/hr-management/special-report-employee-engagement-losing-lifeblood/index.php”>

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Jul 19 2011

Power Couple: Meet the Sister CEOs

Published by under Leadership

For the First Time, Two Sisters Will Run Big Public Companies: Writing Big Brother’s Review

By JOANN S. LUBLIN, WSJ, July 19, 2011

They are also among a surprising number of siblings with powerful corporate posts outside of family-controlled firms. About 20 sets of siblings hold or recently held executive spots at companies including MasterCard Inc., Lowe’s Cos., Terex Corp. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc.

http:

//online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424052702304223804576446173524792108.html?mod=djemCJ_h

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May 12 2011

Book Review: Social Media at Work

Published by under Leadership

A good source and window for this topic:

“While some people opine that the increased use of social media has had the negative consequence of significantly decreasing the importance of and the instances of one-on-one face-to-face communication, it’s hard to overlook how such tools also have increased our overall connectedness among more diverse communities of people with whom we may never have interacted with previously.

There are numerous advantages to organizations that embrace social media as a business strategy, too. Many of these advantages are highlighted in the book Social Media at Work: How Networking Tools Propel Organizational Performance (2010).”

http://www.shrm.org/hrdisciplines/orgempdev/articles/Pages/SocialMediaatWork.aspx

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Apr 13 2011

Why Women Rarely Leave Middle Management

Published by under Leadership

This is relevant information for many of us; the results of this WSJ sponsored conference given in conjunction with McKinsey and Company can be read in the link below, held April 4 – 6, 2011.

McKinsey & Co. presented a study showing that women’s share of corporate jobs is 53% at the entry level, but falls to 14% at the executive-committee level.

Discouraging odds, although 83% of mid-level women have a strong desire to move up to a higher level in their companies, their chances of landing a senior executive job are 60% those of men.

Read the full coverage below:

http://blogs.wsj.com/juggle/2011/04/10/why-women-rarely-leave-middle-management/#

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Mar 28 2011

‘Soft Skills’ Needed to Crack C-suite: Study

A recent article says ‘soft skills,’ such as leadership ability, cross-cultural competence and interpersonal expertise, are now essential for managers looking to climb the corporate ladder.

This is nothing new for anyone familiar with their EQ (emotional intelligence) and how to utilize it to create better engagement with co-workers and reports.

http://www.workforce.com/section/news/article/soft-skills-needed-crack-c-suite-study.php

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Mar 22 2011

Create a Great Place to Work in Four Easy (and Four Hard) Steps, by Kris Dunn

Published by under Leadership

Employees and candidates alike are skeptical of companies that spend money to chase the easy parts of the great place to work award without attempting the hard stuff.

By Kris Dunn, Workforce Management Research Center


1. Provide great health care benefits that require no employee contribution fily coverage.
2. Offer some killer benefits that look great but are hard to use.
3. Broaden your approach to time-off policies.
4. Invest in your workspace.

1. Transparency.
2. Two-way performance conversations.
3. Promotion of talent..
4. Portable capital investment in talent.

http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/hr-management/create-great-place-work-four-easy-%28and-four-hard%29/index.php

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Mar 15 2011

Beware of Your Leadership Blind Spots

Published by under Leadership

Robert Burns, “see ourselves as others see us”

Even under the best of circumstances, giving feedback on an organization’s effectiveness to those in higher positions can be difficult. Yet nonprofit leaders need to make sure they’re getting this feedback; without it, executives can overestimate their organizations’ capacity and neglect areas that need improvement. Data from the Bridgespan Group supports this and indicates that leaders’ blind spots about their organizations emerge in some areas more than in others.

http://www.bridgestar.org/Library/LeadershipBlindSpots.aspx

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Mar 10 2011

Companies Focus Their Attention on Flexibility

To limit contingent staffing, some companies are making permanent employees more agile.

By Ed Frauenheim for Workforce Management, March, 2011

After two recent assessments flexibility in work hours and working from home were right at the top of employees requests. Both were in organizations where salaries were frozen. If this keeps employees content and on the job, it is actually not costing employers more and perhaps less.

See full article:

http://www.workforce.com/archive/feature/hr-management/companies-focus-their-attention-flexibility/index.php

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