Management Week in Review for April 2, 2011

Note from Artevery week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. This week’s selections feature content on: moving forward, taking steps to ensure that your company will appeal to the best and brightest of the Facebook Generation and some thoughts on Enchantment with Guy Kawasaki along with some new productivity tools.  Enjoy!

From Rosabeth Moss Kanter writing at HBR Blogs, Four Reasons Any Action is Better than None.  The short translation…get up, get moving and don’t let anyone slow you down.  Professor Kanter offers some good encouragement for all of us to get it in gear. My only addition to her guidance is to beware of too much activity with no vector. I’ve seen as many struggling companies where everyone was moving at a frenetic pace in no particular direction, as I have companies where people were standing still.  Nonetheless, great encouragement.

From the post:Companies heading downhill have passive cultures. Unmade decisions pile up. Opportunities are lost. No one wants to risk making a mistake. It becomes easier to sit it out than get into the game.” And, “In contrast, in companies with high levels of innovation, people take initiative. They start new things. They don’t wait to be told.”

From Gary Hamel at Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 (WSJ): The Facebook Generation vs the Fortune 500. Must read guidance from my favorite “management innovation,” guru, on ensuring that your company and your practices appeal to the best and brightest of the Facebook generation.

From the post: “I compiled a list of 12 work-relevant characteristics of online life. These are the post-bureaucratic realities that tomorrow’s employees will use as yardsticks in determining whether your company is “with it” or “past it.”

At Work Smart w. Amber Mac: Enchantment with Guy Kawasaki (video): This is a new feature at Fast Company, offering some insights and product overviews in an appropriately fast fashion. This inaugural episode includes a one minute clip on some new e-mail social/productivity tools and two minutes with Kawasaki on Enchantment. (FYI, I love the book!).  An interesting use of 3-minutes of your time.

From the post:“In this inaugural edition of Work Smart 3, our series on productivity and streamlining your work life, host Amber Mac talks Enchantment with noted influencer Guy Kawasaki. But first, Mac shares another enchanting way to make your email life easier: Xobni, which is in-box spelled backwards.”

OK, that’s it for the week. Enjoy your weekend. I’ll be back next week with the latest Leadership Caffeine post and much more.

Art Petty coaches, trains and speaks on leadership development, high performance team development, feedback and decision-making. Drop Art a note to talk about a workshop program, speaking opportunity coaching need.

Management Week in Review for March 26, 2011

Note from Art: every week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. Fair warning: I take a broad view of management, so my selections will range from leadership to innovation to finance and personal development and beyond.

This week’s selections feature content on hard working CEOs, the importance of stories as tools for persuasion and the difficult choices people are facing in some toxic workplaces.  Enjoy!

From Steve Tobak writing for BNET at The Corner Office, CEOs are Just Like You -Without All the Whining. Tobak offers a rare defense of the many hard-working CEOs who frequently get bashed in our office water-cooler conversations. I’ll echo his advice: “Quit whining!”

From the post: “You’d think CEOs were born with the title, like royalty. Or they just fell right out of the sky into a cushy corner office chair. Nothing could be further from the truth. Many, if not most, CEOs started with nothing. But instead of whining, they took responsibility for their careers, worked their tails off, and made it.”

From John Baldoni writing at HBR Blogs, Using Stories to Persuade. We like to hear stories and we remember them.  John appropriately reminds us of the power of telling stories in our attempts to leave an impression or make a point.

From the post: “Effective storytelling can serve anyone in leadership who seeks to persuade others to his or her point of view. Opinion-based rhetoric is often more polarizing than persuasive, while statistics are often go in one ear and out the other. But a careful blending of rhetoric and facts, woven into the right story, can change minds.”

From Jennifer V. Miller writing at her blog, The People Equation, Flying Without a Net. This is the first time for Jennifer in my Weekly Review, and I look forward to making up for lost time.  Her insightful, positive and people-focused posts are must reading.  In this particular essay, she raises the challenging issue of workplace atmosphere, emotional well-being and the difficult choices some people feel compelled to make to retain physical and mental health.

From the post: “Have workplace conditions gotten so bad that people are willing to leave even when they don’t have the “safety” of a new job?  Just how bad does it have to get for someone to fly without a net? Is there anything human resource professionals can do about it?”

Enjoy your weekend. Back next week with more Leadership Caffeine!

Art Petty coaches, trains and speaks on leadership development, high performance team development, feedback and decision-making. Drop Art a note to talk about a workshop program, speaking need or coaching opportunity.

Management Week in Review for March 18, 2011

Note from Art: every week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. Fair warning: I take a broad view of management, so my selections will range from leadership to innovation to finance and personal development and beyond.

This week’s selections feature content on why you need to know more about Baldrige, rethinking your ideas on measuring marketing ROI and the powerful impact of Social Business on your firm’s reputation and ultimate success.

-From Steve George at, Baldrige Benefits the U.S. While not the official website for Baldrige, Steve George has developed a remarkable treasure trove of information, services and helpful resources for this important and grossly under-marketed program.

In this time of remarkable challenge for businesses in the U.S. and around the world, Baldrige offers a powerful framework for planning, leading and managing your business. It’s not a silver bullet, but unless you’ve read the latest Criteria for Performance Excellence and looked at the free tools and studied how others are applying this program, you are ill informed, like much/most of the population. The piss-poor marketing of this program by our government actually makes me angry. (I’ve offered to help fix it.)  OK, off my soapbox on this one. Check out Steve’s site and check out the Criteria and other info at the official site.

From the post: “Interest in Baldrige has remained consistent for twenty years, with bumps in attention when healthcare and education criteria and awards were added, but it has never really caught on in executive suites and boardrooms across America. Those organizations that have integrated Baldrige know how well it works, but they remain a small minority in a country that could truly benefit from the Baldrige model.”

-From David Meerman Scott at WebInkNow, Marketing ROI and What You Should Measure. David just keeps cranking out remarkable and remarkably helpful material for all of us as we experiment with the many new tools of marketing. In this one, David suggests that it’s time to rethink our traditional approaches to measuring marketing performance. There’s a bit of Deming’s “unknown and unknowable” in his observations on why this is not as simple as counting followers or likes on Facebook. I always read David’s posts for the main course and then loop back for the comments with dessert.

From the post: “Now we can earn attention by creating and publishing online for free something interesting and valuable: a YouTube video, a blog, a research report, photos, a Twitter stream, an e-book, a Facebook page. But how should we measure the success of this new kind of marketing? The answer is that we need new metrics. I’m critical of applying old forms of offline measurement to online marketing.

From Bret L. Simmons at Positive Organizational Behavior: Ugly Customer Service is Bad Social Business. Bret is quickly becoming a major voice in the Social Business arena, and he’s someone I learn from daily. One of the things I love about many of his posts is his propensity to connect social media/social business with how we live, learn and choose. In the example here, Bret showcases how dumb-ass marketing and stupid comments from poorly trained representatives can turn into bad outcomes for the business at the speed of  a tweet…or at least a post.

From the post: “As I’ve said before, service providers will fail from time to time. I’m fine with that. But when a paying customer – especially a loyal one – gives you the opportunity to address what they think was a service failure, you better provide impressive service recovery. If you don’t recover in the eyes of the customer, you earned both the loss of their business and the bad word of mouth marketing they will spread about your business in their increasingly connected social networks. Ugly customer service is very bad for social business.”

Ok, that’s it for the week. I’ll be back on Monday with a new Leadership Caffeine to help you jump-start your week.

And I’m excited to be releasing my new Decision-Making workshop program next week. I’ve run the early versions with great success in association and organizational settings and I’m looking for teams and groups interested in improving performance immediately with this critical and often highly flawed process.  You can reach me on this or any other of my workshop, consulting or speaking offerings via e-mail. I look forward to helping!

Management Week in Review for March 12, 2011

Note from Art: every week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. Fair warning: I take a broad view of management, so my selections will range from leadership to innovation to finance and personal development and beyond.

This week’s selections feature content on the joy of work as a craft, responding to failure and exploring the latest thoughts from leading bloggers at the March Leadership Development Carnival.

A Special Note: This week’s catastrophe in Japan saddens us all. My thoughts are with the people of Japan and my friends and former colleagues in the Panasonic family.

From John Jantsch of Duct Tape Marketing fame: Work as Craft: The opportunity to meet John was one of my highlights of the past few years. If you’ve followed his work, you know him as one of the leading marketing voices of our day and an excellent and thought-provoking author. This post shows his thoughtfulness and passion for his work, and both the post and the incredible comment thread offer us all food for thought.

From the post: “Owning a business is a beautiful thing; a thing done quite often, not for riches, but to fulfill a dream or carry out a passion for doing something. Work viewed in this fashion embodies the qualities of a craft: skill, passion, knowledge, pride, and ownership.”

From Peter Bregman writing at the Harvard Business Review Blogs: The Right Way to Respond to Failure. Great guidance for both parenting and for leading. How we respond to failure ultimately determines how we succeed. How we respond to the failure of others goes a long way to helping them gain something positive from the experience.

From the post: “Typically, when people fail, we blame them. Or teach them. Or try to make them feel better. All of which, paradoxically, makes them feel worse. It also prompts defensiveness as an act of self-preservation. (If I’m not okay after a failure, I’d better figure out how to frame this thing so it’s not my failure.)”

From Dan McCarthy and a cast of thousands (OK, dozens) under the big top: The March Leadership Development Carnival. Dan works hard at Great Leadership to produce a nearly endless string of compelling leadership content. However, his public service endeavor as the owner and frequent host of The Leadership Development Carnival is over the top in support of the spread of ideas from writers far and wide. This monthly event is a great place to catch up with your favorites and find great new business and leadership thinkers.

From the post: “It’s March Madness, the ides of March, the March of Dimes, the March equinox, the March on Washington, Fredric March, National Frozen Food Day, National Woman’s History month, and Mardi Gras, all rolled into one big fat March Leadership Development Carnival!! I’m pleased to host this month’s collection of favorite leadership development submissions from a few of my favorite leadership blogging friends.”

That’s it for the week. Enjoy your weekend and I’ll be back next week with more Leadership Caffeine to help you get started and stay positively productive!

I’m always interested in working with you to support your development and the development of great leadership and management practices in your organization. Contact me to discuss your needs for coaching, speaking or training.

Management Week in Review for March 4, 2011

Note from Art: every week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. Fair warning: I take a broad view of management, so my selections will range from leadership to innovation to finance and personal development and beyond.

This week’s selections feature content on reinventing management, the strategic and practical implications of upgrade plans for consumer electronics products and some guidance on improving our decision-making by better utilizing outside advisors. Enjoy!

From Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 blog at the WSJ, “Inventing Management 2.0.” I’m making up for lost time by having missed this mid-February post. Dr. Hamel consistently beats the drums on the need for a revolution in the practice of management, and both his article and the comments here are guaranteed to get the blood of practitioners and students of management pumping a bit faster.

From the post: “Like millions of other would-be leaders around the world, you are being held hostage by Management 1.0—a dense matrix of bureaucratic practices that were invented to minimize variances from plan by maximizing adherence to policy. Despite a lot of high-minded rhetoric to the contrary (often found on laminated cards that begin with “Our Values”), the management model found in your organization most likely over-weights the views of senior executives, undervalues unconventional thinking, discourages full transparency, deters initiative, frustrates experimentation and encourages an entirely unwarranted reverence for precedence.”

From Joshua Gans at the HBR Blogs, “Best Buy’s Buy Back.” Who hasn’t felt the slight (or major) buyer’s remorse as your still new technology gadget is rendered obsolete by the market with a seemingly overnight feature upgrade. Of course, your device still works, and it still offers the same features that excited you when you purchased it in the first place. Enter an interesting discussion and a controversial approach on dealing with this, courtesy of the mega-retailer, Best Buy. And somehow, Apple figures into this mix as well. Good discussion with personal and corporate strategic implications.

From the post: “The strategic question is why Apple doesn’t solve this and work out a hard-headed way to buy hearts. Unlike Best Buy, who has to try their hand at high-priced insurance because they are operating in a highly competitive environment, Apple has some market power, particularly over serial upgraders. Why can’t I subscribe to a plan that allows me to have the latest iPhone? Or, perhaps a cleaner example (free of AT&T and Verizon contracts), to the latest iPad?”

At Fast Company Expert Blogs, Robert Sutton, Ph.D., offers: “Report: We are More Creative When We Help Others, Not Ourselves. Bob Sutton (Good Boss, Bad Boss) shares some of the findings from recent studies on decision-making and the power of outside advisors. An interesting reminder that by nature, we tend to over-estimate our own capabilities by a considerable margin, setting the stage for all sorts of follow-on problems.

From the post: “The implication of these diverse studies are quite instructive. If we want to make better decisions, make faster decisions, have a more realistic picture of our strengths and weaknesses, and now, apparently, be more creative, we need to ask others for their opinions and assistance. There is even a kind of weird implication that rather than working on our own problems, we should always be working on others.”

That’s it for this week’s update. Enjoy your reading and don’t forget to catch up on the latest Leadership Caffeine posts here at Management Excellence.

Art Petty coaches and trains emerging leaders and consults with B2B firms on strategy and marketing. You can reach Art via e-mail to discuss your needs for coaching, speaking or consulting.