Bondage

When you provide your employees with professional development opportunities, you want to try to hold onto them afterwards, rather than having them run off to your competitors with skills and training for which you have paid. This makes sense. But try not to overdo it. When I was in the military, they paid for all […]

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Meetings Can Be Good (Or At Least, Not Bad)

We’ve written here a few times before about the costs of unnecessary meetings, some ways to avoid them, and ideas for making the meetings that you DO need more productive. A few years ago I stumbled across a very useful article that suggests some ways to increase the effectiveness of your meetings when you have […]

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Link Employee Objectives to the Mission

You want to get the most out of your employees, and they want to develop their skills while doing something meaningful. If you think about it, those are pretty complementary ambitions, so you should find a tool that satisfies them both. Setting objectives for your employees that are tied to your organization’s mission helps them […]

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Extrinsic Demotivation

Authors from Plato to Daniel Pink (well, maybe not Plato) have talked about the importance of intrinsic motivation among your employees, that is, being motivated by their own interest in their work rather than by external factors like compensation and pats on the head. You get your best work from people, they say, when those […]

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Angry Learning

I have a dark, ugly secret to reveal: I still play Angry Birds. Yes, it’s more than half a decade old, which is like 3,007,903 years in technology terms. And yes, it has been supplanted by so much more, even in just the last few months. But while everyone else is hunting Pokemon, I am […]

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Here, There, and Everywhere

Whether you are talking about Uber drivers and the gig economy, or the broader notion of free agents and the movement by many to work for themselves, there are many people who can be working for you who may not be working for you full-time. In these cases, do you have their full attention? There […]

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Be Well

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Healthy employees are more likely to be happy employees, and if nothing else, healthy employees are more likely to actually show up for work. Many folks try to stay healthy in the short-term — look at all the people you see wearing masks on public transit — but a long-term approach to health can not […]

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Hanging Up

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In Bangkok, you find signs in the Skytrain stations urging you to look up rather than down at your phone. Go down into the Hong Kong MTR and you hear announcements asking you to be careful on the escalators and “please do not be looking only at your phone.” Walk down the streets of Seoul […]

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Poor Leadership is Offensive

We made the point last month that good leadership is a choice. It follows, then, that poor leadership can be a choice, too. I don’t think of bad leadership as “unfortunate” or “just a fact of life.” I think it’s offensive. Is that too strong of a word?? Why does it bother me that much? […]

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Going Beyond the Basics

A few years ago I had a chance to visit the offices and studios of National Public Radio in Washington DC. In addition to catching a glimpse of some of the announcers whose voices I knew but whose faces I had never seen, I saw something I didn’t expect: the NPR laboratory. Now, this is […]

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