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Labor v. Talent Compensation

Many of us have unique talents that are in demand and not easily reproducible. This typically happens in relatively new areas, and businesses open positions that are not fillable as the people for them do not conventionally exist. This was the case over a decade ago in social media. People that were experts in social […]

Quality Management – It’s Not as Bad as You Think

Over my career, there have been many Quality Management mantras. We had Total Quality Management (TQM), various Continuous Quality improvements, Lean, and Six Sigma. Each had a slice of how to interpret and manage the quality of a business, taking a systems approach. These approaches to quality management also have a bad reputation when taken […]

Roadmaps Do’s & Don’ts

Everyone needs a map to get to where they’re going. Roadmaps are an essential strategic planning tool. It is a method to help coordinate ways, means, and ends in terms of time. The approach I favor, for most strategic efforts, is a diagram where there’s a single visionary end, and extending out is the concentric […]

When Second-Best is Best

It may seem counterintuitive, but there are situations where you don’t want everyone to be the best of the best. In portfolio management of a business, in particular, being second best is sometimes the optimal strategy. Particularly in high-growth situations where resources or time are scarce, and it’s not possible to maximize investment in all […]

Boss-splaining: How to Manage Up

Sarah Cooper recently wrote a useful article is the Financial Times: “A Guide to Letting Your Bosses Know they Haven’t Got Clue”. It presents several ways to for employees to manage up to their bosses. Managing up is an essential career skill. A common growth barrier for people starting their careers is a belief they […]

Power of Observation

Pop artist Roy Lichtenstein captures the moment of victory in his comic-inspired painting “WHAAM!” (1963). Everything before was to make the moment unambiguous: “I pressed the fire control… and ahead of me rockets blazed through the sky… WHAAM!” The power of decision (i.e., pressing the fire control), was the result of the power of observation.   […]

Creativity Depth

When we see a work of art, regardless of media, we are seeing the end-product of a deeper creative process. Many persons try to duplicate works, looking at the end result and fail to understand the depth of thought necessary in the making. A Celtic Knot, an Islamic Tile, or other patterns, was not free-drawn […]

Managing What People Know

I once got a call from a client where corporate knowledge was lost. The person calling me had found my number on a piece of equipment and wanted to know what the machine did. He was walking through a vacant floor of their office building, vacated after an extensive series of lay-offs, and discovered the […]

SWOT Analysis – The Right Way

It’s important to take a deep breath. To stop for a moment and reflect on your experience and make a decision of where you want to go next. If it’s for your business, you may find this moment before meeting with investors. If it’s for your team, you may find this moment at a project […]