Stepping Back Can Help You Step Forward

I was in Kuala Lumpur over the weekend and a friend who is a graphic designer there told me about another designer who recently went to New York for an 8-month internship. The odd thing about it was that, rather than being a student, this particular designer had been working for an advertising firm for […]

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Newton Did Not Work in an Open Office

Isaac Newton did not sit in an open-air cubicle design, sharing documents in the cloud and participating in global group discussions on his iPad by Apple. Instead, he sat under a tree and looked at the clouds, and an apple fell on his head. Sometimes, knowledge workers need the solitude to think. We have a […]

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Hanging On To New Hires

We talked the other day about holding on to long-time employees, but try not to let your new ones get away, either. When you hire new employees, you need to remember that they have been in job-hunting mode for a while, and just because they have started a new job does not mean they’ve flipped […]

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Longevity is NOT Overrated

These days we have accepted the idea that employees will move from job to job pretty casually. This is especially true in certain industries, like finance, and it’s also very common in countries with low unemployment, like Singapore and Thailand. The days of lifetime employment seem to be gone, particularly within creative fields where the […]

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Everybody Gets a Voice, One Person Gets a Vote

When I was a nuclear officer in the US Air Force, I adopted a leadership technique called the Two-Objection Policy. It was a way for my crew partner and I to make decisions in a fast-paced environment, and it ensured that not only did a decision get made but also that there was a chance […]

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Lessons From the Gym: Starting the Change Process

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Anyone who knows me knows I am a big fan of taking lessons from personal fitness and bringing them into the workplace (I even wrote a book about it). This is one reason I encourage firms to design a wellness program and help their employees maintain a healthy work-life integration. Not only do you have […]

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Learning Beyond the Walls

As you demand greater innovation and collaboration from your employees, you may be putting a lot of time and money into their professional development. That’s great; building up their functional knowledge and their “soft skills” can help you take full advantage of what they can offer. But what if there was a place besides work […]

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Control What You Can Control

A few years ago a friend and I were taking a trip from the US to Lisbon. The day before leaving I happened to check our itinerary and found that one of our flights had been cancelled and the airline’s response was to move us to a flight that would give us a 5-minute connection […]

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Watching for the Off Ramps

I served in Iraq with the US military during 2004-2005 and had the opportunity to be there during their first election and participate in the planning to make sure it went off as safely as possible. That planning went pretty slowly, as it was hard to get the Iraqis to make decisions; instead, they wanted […]

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Blanket Parties

Far be it from me to advocate violence in the workplace. But… There was a time when it was not uncommon in the US military (in fact, it probably was not uncommon in the Roman legions 2000 years ago) to have a blanket party. Generally speaking, it was employed when a member of a unit […]

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