Articles Tagged Management

Feb 14, 2011
Happy employees create happy shareholders

“…companies with high levels of engagement (65 percent or greater) outperformed the total stock market index and posted shareholder returns 19 percent higher than average in 2009. Still not convinced? Companies with disinterested employees (40 percent or less engagement) had a total shareholder return that was 44 percent lower than average.” COURTNEY RUBIN, (20 […]

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Jan 24, 2011
Meetings are horrible and we all hate them. Or do we?

“Is too much of your time spent in unnecessary or ineffective meetings? If so, you’re not alone. Most managers consider meeting fatigue and meeting failures as two of the most significant drains on their productivity. As a result, an entire industry has sprung up over the past twenty years focusing on “meeting management.” Every company […]

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Jan 03, 2011
Who is at the centre of your business – you, or your customer?

“If you pull out your smartphone and click the button that says “locate me” on your mapping application, you will see a small dot appear in the middle of your screen. That’s you. If you start walking down the street in any direction, the whole screen will move right along with you, no matter where […]

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Dec 28, 2010
Beware the goals you set for your organization in 2011

“What could be more valuable than having a goal? From our earliest days, teachers, coaches, and parents advise us to set goals and to work mightily to achieve them – and with good reason. Goals work. The academic literature shows that by helping us tune out distractions, goals can get us to try harder, work […]

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Dec 13, 2010
Here’s a strange word to bring into your workplace: kindness

“The signature of my first book, In Search of Excellence (written with Bob Waterman), was a six-word phrase: “Hard is soft. Soft is hard.” As Bob and I examined the problems besetting US corporations circa 1980, we believed they and their advisers had got things backwards. We said that in the end it was the […]

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Nov 08, 2010
Learning from the latest Fortune Global 500

The 2009 Fortune Global 500: 1. Wal-Mart Stores (US) 2. Royal Dutch Shell (Netherlands/UK) 3. Exxon Mobil (US) 4. BP (UK) 5. Toyota Motor (Japan) 6. Japan Post Holdings 7. Sinopec (China) 8. State Grid (China) 9. Axa (France) 10. China National Petroleum Fortune (August 2010) Fortune’s Global 500 List is usually worth a look […]

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Oct 25, 2010
Principal shareholders: learn from the woes of a football club

“The owners of the Boston Red Sox have completed a £300 million ($480.1 million) deal to buy Liverpool Football Club, bringing an end to a fractious fight for control of the storied English soccer franchise. New England Sports Ventures LLC, which owns the Red Sox, announced Friday it had completed its purchase of the Premier […]

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Oct 04, 2010
5 signs that it’s time to quit your job

“Do you get into the office without a plan of action for the day? Are you not being rewarded for your efforts? Does your boss often pull you down and embarrass you in front of colleagues? If any or all of these ring true, it might be time to shake things up.” PRERNA SODHI, India […]

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Sep 27, 2010
Your next health risk in your organisation: death by PowerPoint

“Does your organization have an overly complex presentation culture? If you’re not sure, ask yourself the following questions: How often are meetings dominated by long presentations with dozens of slides? How much time do people spend preparing, revising, and emailing different versions of slide decks? To what extent are managers assessed by the depth and […]

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Sep 13, 2010
Today’s cost-cutting may be tomorrow’s crisis

“I remember an illuminating conversation with a senior executive of a recently privatised water company. I was puzzled that so many companies seemed to be able to issue peremptory edicts to their managers to reduce costs, or headcount, and see these edicts fulfilled. Could it really be that there was so much inefficiency and, to […]

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Aug 30, 2010
Why are managers unable to make employees love their work?

“How would you feel about a physician who killed more patients than he helped? What about a police detective who committed more murders than he solved? Or a teacher whose students were more likely to get dumber than smarter as the school year progressed? And what if you discovered that these perverse outcomes were more […]

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Aug 22, 2010
Why non-profit organisations are setting the pace

It is almost an article of faith in Kenyan management that all the latest leading-edge techniques are practiced in the private sector by large corporates, whereas non-profit organisations are sleepy places wallowing in outmoded styles of leadership. So large corporations deploy the best technology and the latest management tools, generate the highest motivation levels, and […]

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Aug 16, 2010
When is it time to let go of your organisation?

“How do owner-managers know when and by how much to loosen the apron strings? And how do they choose who should take over responsibility for their precious offspring? Mayank Patel, founder of Currencies Direct, a UK-based foreign exchange and international payments business with turnover of £1.2bn ($1.8bn, €1.4bn), says he knew from the start in […]

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Aug 09, 2010
Do you suffer from the disease of speaking “professionalese?”

“One night last month, a Virgin Atlantic flight left Heathrow Airport bound for Newark, New Jersey. As the plane neared the Eastern Seaboard, bad weather forced the flight to divert to Hartford, Connecticut, some 106 miles north of its destination. The plane sat on the runway there for four hours – without air-conditioning, food or […]

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Aug 02, 2010
Recruit rogues at your own peril

“Somebody once said that in looking for people to hire, you look for three qualities: integrity, intelligence, and energy. And if they don’t have the first, the other two will kill you. You think about it; it’s true. If you hire somebody without the first, you really want them to be dumb and lazy. ” […]

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Jun 14, 2010
An open-plan office: a modern necessity?

“The topography of most large organizations – where finance occupies one floor, for example, and marketing another – reinforces the functional fiefdoms that arise naturally among colleagues who read the same professional journals, speak the same jargon, and crunch the same numbers. Geographic dispersion of operations often frustrates executives attempts to foster a shared world-view. An […]

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May 24, 2010
How to make new employees productive quickly

“There are many theories on how to correctly “onboard” someone to an organization or a team. Most focus on how to provide the new hire with the information and skills she needs to succeed. But that can only take her so far. She will need connections and an understanding of the inner workings and culture […]

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Apr 19, 2010
Why do people still hate their IT departments?

“You may think that hate is too strong of a word for feelings toward a corporate department. I don’t. Yesterday, I was interviewing an executive on his perceptions of IT and he couldn’t spit his frustration out fast enough. He said, “In the quest of getting things organized, they are introducing a bunch of bureaucracy […]

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Apr 18, 2010
Why do we seem to attract the world’s second-raters?

I walked into an Italian restaurant in Mombasa recently, and first impressions were favourable. The ambience was pleasantly rustic, and we were greeted with smiles by a waiter, which makes a change. The Italian proprietor was hovering around benignly. But there was an immediate warning sign. During the middle of lunch hour, a worker was […]

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Mar 22, 2010
What would happen if you shut down your corporate HQ tomorrow?

“One day I would love to conduct an experiment by replacing the entire board of directors of a major corporation with shop dummies and see how well things go. I’m confident most organisations would carry on regardless – and quite a few would unquestionably perform better. Out would go mad strategic initiatives, doomed takeovers, suicidal […]

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Mar 15, 2010
A potential corporate scandal is lurking in your company

“Ten years ago this month, for the Spring 2000 edition of Directors & Boards, I ran a photo on the cover of Dennis Kozlowski, then the high-flying chief of high-flyer Tyco International. It is not something I am ashamed of, nor is it something that I am particularly happy to be reminded of.  Those were certainly […]

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Mar 07, 2010
We have a long way to go in product quality

The other day I reached for a box of tissues. As I pulled a tissue out, another five came out of the box. I had not encountered this recently, and wondered what the problem was. It turned out my household has been using imported tissues for a while, which are soft and detach easily. Those […]

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Feb 22, 2010
Why this culture of layoffs hurts good business

“Companies have always cut back on workers during economic downturns, but over the last two decades layoffs have become an increasingly common part of corporate life – in good times as well as bad. Companies now routinely cut workers even when profits are rising. Some troubled industries seem to be in perpetual downsizing mode… …But […]

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Feb 08, 2010
Toyota’s communication lapses are compounding its woes

“When Toyota told the world of the recall of its cars in January, one of its first public statements was made by a Japanese executive who faced television cameras wearing a surgical mask. Masks are common during Japan’s cold season. However, crisis management experts are seizing on the image as a metaphor for a company […]

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Jan 11, 2010
Are managers motivated mainly by money? Think again

“Companies around the world are cutting back their financial-incentive programs, but few have used other ways of inspiring talent. We think they should. Numerous studies have concluded that for people with satisfactory salaries, some nonfinancial motivators are more effective than extra cash in building long-term employee engagement in most sectors, job functions, and business contexts. […]

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Dec 14, 2009
The 5 signs of a dysfunctional Kenyan organisation

“Sign No. 1: Conspicuously posted vision or value statements are filled with vague but important-sounding words like “excellence” and “quality.” Sign No. 2: Bringing up a problem is considered as evidence of a personality defect rather than as an observation of reality. Sign No. 3: If by chance there are problems, the usual solution is […]

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Dec 07, 2009
Are we all faking it in the office?

“…by far the biggest workplace taboo is the truth – or at least any truth that punctures the self-importance of work. A friend tells me that she was recently on a global conference call and each person in turn introduced themselves and said where they were. One person said she was in a meeting room […]

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Nov 16, 2009
Would your organisation have employed Mandela?

“The current job market reminds me of a story about a church committee assigned to hire a new pastor. Numerous well-qualified candidates applied, but none seemed to meet the committee’s requirements. Frustrated with this perfectionism, one of the committee’s members submitted an anonymous résumé with the accomplishments of a certain priest who had lived and […]

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