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The Work Experience

The Heretics Guide to Management book review

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.

Here’s my review on Amazon:

A refreshing, humorous, and well researched take on the hype cycle of management and innovation frameworks and why no model is a substitute for understanding context and conditions when working through ambiguity. This book’s critique on management trends is underpinned by thoughtful discussion on how we think and how we react to ambiguity; the limits this brings to problem framing, management, and effective work. I came away from this with better critical skills to assess not only my work environment but also myself.

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The Work Experience

Top 10 traits of the perfect boss

Sylvia Pennington reports on the characteristics of the perfect boss. How does your boss stack up? Or if you’re the boss how do you stack up? The cheat sheet list is:

  1. Provides purpose
  2. Demonstrates vision
  3. Collaborates
  4. Sets clear expectations
  5. Provides a positive work environment
  6. Is even tempered and resilient
  7. Treats everyone fairly
  8. Provides recognition
  9. Are always learning
  10. Helps and mentors others

Read the full detail of the top 10 traits of the perfect boss here: http://www.smh.com.au/executive-style/management/top-10-traits-of-the-perfect-boss-20120815-248md.html

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Service design The Work Experience

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.

Via https://twitter.com/uxrat who has a pretty steady stream of interesting articles. And yes, he’s a mate of mine too.

Listen to the full story at http://www.marketplace.org/topics/business/bank-america-its-270000-employees-be-nice#

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The Work Experience

Best Companies to Work For 2012 – Fortune Magazine

The reasons these companies have been nominated as great places to work by those that work there are:

  1. Good rewards
    • incentives, profit sharing, bonuses, above average pay for industry
  2. Strong and clear company mission
  3. Benefits
    • health insurance, health programs, childcare facilities, generous leave, workplace flexibility, other perks
  4. Physical work environment
    • food, access to services like dry cleaning, even walking tracks
  5. People
    • considered recruitment efforts, long tenure of employees
  6. Culture
    • recognition of excellence, adherance to, and evaluation based on values, fun incentives, games and events, happiness commitees, herograms, “no jerk” culture
  7. Feedback
    • Staff suggestions implemented, feedback mechanisms and forums in place
  8. Visible leadership
    • Leaders touching base with employees regularly or based on high performance of teams
  9. No layoffs
    • The US has faced tough economic times recently. Many companies on this list avoided lay-offs
  10. Career paths
    • Progression plans, internal promotion, investment in training and education
  11.  Acknowledging role of families
    • Inclusion of families in company events, acknowlegement of their contribution supporting employees

To see all the company snapshots go to: http://money.cnn.com/magazines/fortune/best-companies/2012/snapshots/1.html

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The Work Experience

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

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.”

Letting people go is an unfortunately reality of work life. But how to do it? Clean break? Slow release? This article about the Australian media industry provides some examples of sackings and reactions by audiences and colleagues. Needless to say common decency and truth is encouraged over cold HR strategies.

Read all the gory details at smh.com.au

Categories
The Work Experience

The Employee-Motivation Checklist via Fast Company

Provide meaning to motivate (purpose), provide feedback, provide opportunities, be fair … you know the score and it all sounds like common sense but many organisations miss the mark. A tidy list to refresh your management sensibilities from fastcompany.com.