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Month: July 2010
There is one common workplace issue that has the most potential to lower employee morale, lower workplace productivity, waste hundreds of hours of person hours and drive managers and workmates to distraction. The issue is poorly performing staff that fail to meet the required work standards and they may be widely known as being this way, for years.
And while many poorly performing staff can be successfully turned around, there is little hope of success when a staff member's manager (or other managers in the chain) ignores the problem in the hope the staff member may eventually leave the organisation;
Some time ago I facilitated a workshop with, as I quickly discovered, a group of very unwilling participants. Their unwillingness made itself clear right at the beginning – they arrived late to the training room and some only got there because a colleague rounded them up; some, once in the room, left again, to have a quick smoke outside; and once the session got underway, most refused to contribute in any meaningful way. Despite all efforts to get some people to engage,
It's a bold claim but one I'm prepared to make. Large organisations have layers of management, numerous divisions and teams, countless individuals and policies and practices for Africa. Decision making tends to be slow, making changes even slower, productivity average and all in all, are places where individual creativity and passion is most likely to be eventually stifled because of the weight of the structure and the weight and complexity of its internal processes. They are sick places,
There is a world of difference between the symptom of a problem and a core problem and sometimes it's a challenge to know which is which. For example, a staff member may be experienced by colleagues as constantly obstructive. They may think the person is deliberately being difficult to annoy their colleagues or stop organisational change occurring. Yet, the obstructiveness may be symptomatic of different problems altogether, such as: the person may not have all the relevant information on some issues in order to make an informed decision;
The concept of fast failures is an interesting one. It is where an organisation, section or team has an operating norm that sees mistakes as an inevitable workplace practice. Then, when a mistake occurs, it is analysed by the people concerned, the learnings found from the experience, necessary changes are made where they need to be made, and everyone moves on. I like it. This approach enables the workplace to be a supportive, learning organisation and a place where calculated risks,