Organizational

Grading on a Curve Undermines Performance

Posted by on Jul 18, 2012 | 0 comments

Microsoft offers a lesson on how not to conduct performance reviews. Its evaluation process, called “stack ranking” — essentially grading on a curve — has had a disastrous effect on morale, performance, and innovation, reports Kurt Eichenwald in “How Microsoft Lost Its Mojo.” His article in the August Vanity Fair describes a system in which managers are permitted to give only a few employees top reviews, while the majority receive mediocre reviews, and a few receive poor ratings. This structure sets up a competition among employees and fosters an...

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Men Don’t Have It All, Either

Posted by on Jun 25, 2012 | 1 comment

Anne-Marie Slaughter’s heavily Tweeted cover story in the current issue of the Atlantic Monthly, “Why Women Still Can’t Have It All” publicly and very personally acknowledges what most women in the corporate trenches already know: it is incredibly difficult to climb the professional ladder and be a hands-on mother.  I agree. What I take issue with is not her contention that women can’t have it all, but the implication that men can. Yes, women are wildly under-represented in the corridors of power and over-represented on the carpool circuit. But don’t make the mistake of thinking that the men...

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Mentoring Others Pays Off

Posted by on Jun 15, 2012 | 0 comments

Mentoring and coaching others turns out to be more than just good Karma. A recent study of high-potential employees, Leaders Pay it Forward, found that those who mentored or coached less experienced colleagues advanced their careers and earned more than their peers who did not invest in developing others’ talent. Unsurprisingly, having received help or sponsorship makes managers more likely to do the same for others. And it turns out that women are more inclined than men to invest in helping others. Sixty-five percent of women who received career development support are now developing...

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Making the Most of Your Offsite

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 | 0 comments

Three days of togetherness doesn’t make up of 362 days of overwork. And all the rah-rah “team building” in the world is no substitute for listening to and acknowledging your employees. To be effective, an off-site employee retreat must address the needs of the attendees, as well as the aspirations of management. Case in point: a project manager friend of mine just got back from her annual offsite feeling, in her words, “pissed off.” She and her team just completed a multi-million dollar project and have been stretched too thin and called upon to do more with...

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What’s the Use of Myers-Briggs™ (MBTI)?

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 | 0 comments

What’s the Use of Myers-Briggs™ (MBTI)?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most widely used assessment tools in business and management settings, as well as in personal and career development. Its long history and use, including ongoing research and development, make it a remarkably reliable and valid instrument. But what good is it? Why should you care if you are an ENFP or an ISTJ? Why would you want this four-letter label? Learning your type is not just self-knowledge for its own sake; it has a real practical application (that’s why so many Fortune 500 companies use it). Knowing type will likely provide you...

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Conflict Avoidance is a Warning Signal

Posted by on Dec 24, 2011 | 0 comments

The absence of conflict may be a sign that something is wrong with your team. This may sound counter-intuitive at first, but it’s true. In The Five Dysfunctions of a Team, author Patrick Lencioni sets up a pyramid of indicators of team dysfunction read more…

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