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Book Review: The Heretics Guide to Management

Skip the hype cycle, recognise your biases and default position as well as other’s biases and default positions to look at problems in context of their changing conditions. This is the overriding message of The Heretics Guide to Management by Paul Culmsee and Kailash Awati. This book was recommended to me by a sage and savvy colleague and friend. It opened my eyes to just how attached I was to certain tools, processes, and practices — namely Design Thinking. This book challenged me to think about just how unproductive we can be when we don’t acknowledge our professional culture wars. If you hold on to traditional strategy methodologies, if you think the latest innovation model is the best way, if you think design thinking is the only way, read this book.

Bank of America to its 270,000 employees: Be nice

Bank of America sent a letter to each of its 270,000 employees with the simple message to “Be Nice”. This is after woeful customer satisfaction ratings. Is a letter enough? No, according to Customer Experience consultant Colin Shaw of Beyond Philosophy who stresses the need in the story for matching incentives and guidelines for how much time managers spend with customers and in branches. Apparently a more comprehensive plan to address customer satisfaction performance is to follow.

Letting people go: quick versus slow. Lessons from the Media Industry

Helen Kapalos was sacked by Channel Ten a fortnight ago.

When Eddie McGuire was forced to axe 100 staff from Channel Nine – barely a few months into his new role as CEO – he decided to give it to them straight.Unfortunately, his HR department had other plans.Instead of letting him sit down and talk with each unlucky worker, they made him read a scripted statement to them. He was also advised not to answer their questions. … “It was a disaster . . . the worst thing I did,” McGuire confessed to his Triple M listeners last week. “These HR people come in, they have their set plays – and they never work.”

Do incentives work? Autonomy, mastery, and the purpose (not profit) motive

Do incentives work? Well the answer is yes and no. They work for rudimentary mechanical tasks, but when you up the cognitive anti, incentives fail to motivate. Not only that, they can negatively impact performance. Pay people enough so they are not thinking about money and can instead be free to concentrate on their performance. Also relevant to management practice is the idea of giving people autonomy. Think autonomy, mastery, and the purpose motive. Watch the video to see how this plays out.