People Don’t Actually Know Themselves Very Well

Chances are, your coworkers are better at rating some parts of your personality than you are.

Scott Belsky

Bureaucracy was born out of the human desire for complete assurance before taking action.

The Power of a Free Popsicle

A new book shows the value of memorable defining moments on customer and employee experiences.

Khalid Halim

The double-edged truth of the fast-scaling startup: If the company grows as it should, it will outgrow many of its people.

Khalid Halim

The law of startup physics: humans grow linearly, companies grow exponentially.

Khalid Halim

I started noticing patterns in startups — which I’ve validated with executives and VCs over the years — that how companies scale and break matches military groupings. So, the most efficient group in the military is a group of three, then a group of eight, and then three groups of eight, so 24. Look across companies and you’ll see that around 24 people, someone speaks … [ Read more ]

How to Make Corporate Hierarchy More Likable

People clearly prefer flatter organizations, with less power distance between the tip and the base of the pyramid.

There Are Only 3 Types Of Companies In The World. Which One Are You?

What kind of company do you run, and why does it matter? The key to answering this questions is positioning, which is an articulation of your overall business strategy as it relates to the customer in a way that reflects your company culture. I advocate for DNA-based positioning, which defines a company as a customer-centric Mother, a product-focused Mechanic, or a concept-oriented Missionary. That’s it: … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

[Books often] say that you have a limited period to achieve full productivity as a leader and that if you don’t make it in time, you are doomed. The evidence doesn’t support these claims: 92 percent of external and 72 percent of internal hires take far more than 90 days to reach full productivity.14 Sixty-two percent of external and 25 percent of internal hires admit … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

Every leader should mount a transition in two equally important stages: first take stock and then take action by asking questions about five basic dimensions of leadership—the strategy and operation of the business or function, the corporate culture, the team, the leader herself or himself, and other stakeholders that need to be managed. Beware of generic answers because every leader’s starting point is different. For … [ Read more ]

Scott Keller, Mary Meaney

Organizations most often try to help newly appointed leaders by supplying them with mentors or informal “buddy” networks. Yet only 47 percent of external hires and 29 percent of internal ones find these helpful. Standard orientation programs are the second most common approach, but only 19 percent of externally and 11 percent of internally recruited executives consider them effective. Some methods—for instance, tailored executive coaching … [ Read more ]

How To Take the ‘Outside View’

It may be easier than you think to debias your decisions and make better forecasts by building the “outside view.”

Is Employee Engagement Just a Reflection of Personality?

A great deal of research has been devoted to identifying the key determinants of engagement. Why is it that some people are more engaged — excited, moved, energized by their jobs — than others? Traditionally, this research has focused on the contextual or external drivers of engagement, such as the characteristics of the job, the culture of the organization, or the quality of its leaders. … [ Read more ]

The 4-Letter Word That Makes My Blood Boil

“JUST” is one of the worst four-letter words I know. Whenever I catch myself using it, I stop and apologize. And when I hear it, I hold up my hand and stop the person speaking. If you use the words “just” or “simply,” you might have forgotten how hard the technical details can be.

How Fearless Organizations Succeed

Amy Edmondson describes three steps leaders can take to create psychological safety, the prerequisite for greater innovation and growth.

Making Work Meaningful: A Leader’s Guide

People who find meaning at work are happier, more productive, and more engaged. Four practical interventions can help make the search more likely to succeed.

Melissa Daimler

There are three elements to a culture: behaviors, systems, and practices, all guided by an overarching set of values. A great culture is what you get when all three of these are aligned, and line up with the organization’s espoused values. When gaps start to appear, that’s when you start to see problems — and see great employees leave.

Matt Abrahams

When it comes to communicating, we tend to fall victim to two tendencies: We suffer from the “curse of knowledge,” and we explain things in ways that work best for us, not our audience.

When Cultural Values Lead to Groupthink, the Company Loses

As a business shapes its public reputation, hidden conflicts can undermine its effectiveness.

Todd Davis

Begin with the end in mind. I start each conversation with that saying. What is the result that we all want? If they don’t agree on that, then we’ve got bigger problems. But usually they will agree with that, it’s just that they have different approaches. If we can start an open, respectful dialogue, you usually can get to a resolution. There’s a great quote … [ Read more ]