Platforms! Why Now?

Many companies are concluding that classic operating-model interventions just won’t move the needle anymore. Rather than attempting yet again to optimize the matrix, they are looking for new solutions. The reasons include the need to drive digitization, build resilience, and win talent. These companies are turning to platforms.

How to Get Beyond Talk of “Culture Change” and Make It Happen

Experts outline their roadmap for intentionally changing the culture of businesses, social networks, and beyond.

Motivation Up, Attrition Down: Employee Engagement

Wharton’s Matthew Bidwell shares tips on how to elevate employee engagement and maximize the talent of your workforce.

Investing in middle managers pays off—literally

New research shows that having more top-performing middle managers leads to much better financial outcomes. Here are five actions that can set managers and their organizations up for success.

What Kind of Leader Are You? How Three Action Orientations Can Help You Meet the Moment

Executives who confront new challenges with old formulas often fail. The best leaders tailor their approach, recalibrating their “action orientation” to address the problem at hand, says Ryan Raffaelli. He details three action orientations and how leaders can harness them.

Creating the office of the future

In a remodeled world, it is vital for companies to reinvent ways of working.

Watch Out for These 3 Gender Biases in Performance Reviews

Three kinds of bias often creep into the performance-review process, in ways that disproportionately affect women, especially when they choose to take advantage of the flexibility offered by hybrid and remote work. These biases are experience bias, which leads reviewers to overvalue tasks that are easy to define; proximity bias, which leads them to think that people in their immediate orbit do the most important … [ Read more ]

Fear factor: Overcoming human barriers to innovation

Worries about failure, criticism, and career impact hold back many people from embracing innovation. Here’s how to create a culture that accounts for the human side of innovation.

How a “Pay-to-Quit” Strategy Can Reveal Your Most Motivated Employees

Companies often have a hard time determining how motivated or committed their employees are, because employees know it goes against their own interests to declare themselves unmotivated or uncommitted. The solution to this problem is for companies to put incentives in place that encourage employees to reveal how they actually feel. In this article, the author, a behavioral economist, describes an incentive plan that has … [ Read more ]

An Innovation Culture That Gets Results

This article presents some practical guidelines for executives seeking to design a high-impact innovation culture. It also outlines four areas of focus that offer a clear path for change, drawing on examples from leading innovators.

4 Types of Employee Complaints — and How to Respond

Complaining can have both positive and negative effects on organizational communication. Constructive complaining — or structured opportunities for employees to voice their concerns — offers valuable feedback to improve work processes, products, and services, and thus should be encouraged. Venting and chronic complaining have both advantages and disadvantages for the individual and the group and should be given the right space and time, rather than … [ Read more ]

The algorithmic trade-off between accuracy and ethics

In The Ethical Algorithm, two University of Pennsylvania professors explain how social values such as fairness and privacy can be designed into machines.

Lessons on motivation from the odd friendship of Maslow and Frankl

Recently I was surprised to discover that two men whose philosophies I’ve compared and contrasted for years to help explain modern motivation science had a relationship where they did the same thing during their lifetime. We can all benefit from the relationship between Abraham Maslow and Viktor Frankl.

Pay for Performance: When Does It Fail?

The consensus in social psychology is that monetary incentives for performance have a detrimental impact on individual performance. Yes, under certain specific and limited conditions, rewards can reduce performance. Yet pay for performance schemes are ubiquitous. How can we resolve this divergence between theoretical recommendations and observed practices? Nirmalya Kumar and Madan Pillutla recommend solving the problem by designing smarter incentives that avoid these detrimental … [ Read more ]

5 Habits To Maximize The Effect Of Recognition

Unlike pay and other financial rewards, being praised and recognized is an expression of care, and this—and not money—affects the hearts in people. Here are five habits leaders must develop in order to maximize the effect of recognition and thereby derive its greatest benefits.

Smart Rules: Six Ways to Get People to Solve Problems Without You

Companies clearly need a better way to manage complexity. In our work with clients and in our research, we believe, we’ve found a different and far more effective approach. It does not involve attempting to impose formal guidelines and processes on frontline employees; rather, it entails creating an environment in which employees can work with one another to develop creative solutions to complex challenges. This … [ Read more ]

Guide: Understand team effectiveness

Much of the work done at Google, and in many organizations, is done collaboratively by teams. The team is the molecular unit where real production happens, where innovative ideas are conceived and tested, and where employees experience most of their work. But it’s also where interpersonal issues, ill-suited skill sets, and unclear group goals can hinder productivity and cause friction.

Following the success of Google’s[ Read more ]

Design Your Organization to Match Your Strategy

An organization is nothing more than a living embodiment of a strategy. That means its “organizational hardware” (i.e., structures, processes, technologies, and governance) and its “organizational software” (i.e., values, norms, culture, leadership, and employee skills and aspirations) must be designed exclusively in the service of a specific strategy. Research suggests that only 10% of organizations are successful at aligning their strategy with their organization design. … [ Read more ]