Monthly Archives: December 2007

Choosing not to consider others ultimately results in not being considered ourselves, which is fitting. And if the failures of massive institutions such as Arthur Anderson and Enron, if the billions of dollars of losses of Merrill Lynch and other Wall Street firms don’t teach us that karma happens, then what will? Continue reading

Posted in general business, personal development | 2 Comments

Assuming even a highly trained or long-experienced professional will not require training is also unfair. So much of learning to do a job well is learning the culture and practices of the company – and those things vary dramatically from organization to organization. Just learning the acronyms requires a pocket handbook that to my knowledge no company ever provides. Continue reading

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What does this have to do with business? A lot. When nearly 40% of the population has a different set of experiences and options than the other 60%, we create disparities in expectations, preparation, and motivation to work that are difficult to overcome once adults (or adolescents) reach the workforce. We are heading into strange economic times. The likelihood of a recession is looming. But what kind of a recession will it be? Economists never agree on these things, but we all do see one trend coming – the massive retirement of baby boomers leading to gaps in the workforce that subsequent generations are unable to fill based on sheer numbers alone. Add to this a strangely nationalistic time that has led to the strangling of immigration of even college educated and highly qualified individuals, and what do we have? Is it recession plus drastically low unemployment? Continue reading

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So, why do I have a growing opposition to the idea of the word idea? Because it’s a word for dilettantes. Anyone can have an idea, and from what I can tell, everyone does. My five-year-old has about 275 ideas each day. My teenagers have a lot of ideas too, though I assume I’m not hearing about most of them. Just last week I was spending time with my nephews Caleb and Owen, who are 4 and 1. Boy, do they have a lot of ideas, most of them funny. So is it the fact that just anyone can have ideas that turns me against the idea of ideas? Continue reading

Posted in general business, management and leadership, personal development | 2 Comments

So just where does a small business get the advantage? After all, the large corporations can employ legions of McKinsey and Mercer specialists who will show them how to flatten their hierarchies, increase lateral communication, deploy technology to effectively enable teams, and engage their employees in ever-shifting flexible organizations (can you count the buzzwords I just used in that paragraph?). Small businesses don’t have large consulting budgets. Heck, most small businesses don’t have any consulting budget. Continue reading

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So what are good work habits? An extremely important work habit to develop – which is frequently overlooked – is the ability to focus at the right level of detail. Some people only focus on the big picture, and don’t know when it’s time to get down to the nitty gritty. Other people latch onto some microscopic detail and distract the rest of the environment with their inappropriately applied zoom feature. Both types of people have bad work habits (or, perhaps, demonstrate good work habits only a small percentage of the time). If you want to contribute meaningfully to an organizational effort, you have to develop the ability to go from microscope to telescope, and you have to know when ordinary glasses are all that is required. Continue reading

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