Archive for September, 2002
ManagementSpeak: That would have to be a team decision. Translation: I’ve already told you how I want it done. Why are you still standing there? Our contributor’s desire to remain anonymous was, however, an individual decision.
In the end, technique can’t substitute for courage. Take, for example, brainstorming. By now, most of us in business have learned how to brainstorm properly. We sit at the table, politely waiting our turn while the facilitator asks for our ideas in strict rotation, writing them down verbatim while we all take great care to […]
ManagementSpeak: No, I’ve asked Bill to take the lead on this project. Translation: You need to take me golfing more often, George. This week’s anonymous contributor got published because he took me golfing. (No, not really.)
If you want to know why practitioners of the hard sciences sometimes sneer at social scientists, look no farther than the popular book Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman. In it, Goleman presents a groundbreaking discovery: People who are socially graceful enjoy more success than people who are intellectually brilliant but socially inept. This unexpected insight […]
ManagementSpeak: This merger will result in a synergy between our two companies which fully utilizes our combined infrastructure and strategic planning. Translation: All of you are out of jobs, but I donâ€™t care because I have a golden parachute. This weekâ€™s contributor, lacking his own golden parachute, remains anonymous.
When Hewlett Packard and Compaq first announced their plan to merge, one writer commented that both companies had spent several years searching for a strategy. Ain’t that pathetic? I picture Carly Fiorina wandering around the desert, looking under rocks and behind the occasional saguaro like some National Geographic photographer hoping to capture a rare, elusive […]
“The salary of the chief executive of a large corporation is not a market award for achievement. It is frequently in the nature of a warm personal gesture by the individual to himself.” – John Kenneth Galbraith
Leadership is easiest in a crisis. Crisis provides motivation and mutual trust, something leaders have to provide themselves in less urgent times. Crisis also provides alignment of purpose, allowing leaders the luxury of authoritarian decision-making. In less urgent times, leaders must consult with others, building alignment of purpose through the hard, delicate, necessary work of […]
“The first cup of coffee in the morning recapitulates phylogeny.” – Dr. Jerry Pournelle
Usually, I get the joke. I don’t always think it’s funny, but at least I get it. Not always, though — in a recent column I reported on the antics of a certain “Dr. Richard Paley, teacher of Divinity and Theobiology, Fellowship University,” who exposed all of us in IT as Darwinians, atheists and pagans. […]