“Maniacal Operations” and Other Sad but True Tales

When it comes to management and organizational dysfunction, there’s little that surprises me anymore. Asking a colleague about work, I got this description of the company’s new president: “I know all about his first marriage, his second marriage, his grandchildren, etc., but he doesn’t know anything about me. He dominates executive meetings with his talking 

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Engaging Workplace Wisdom — Tips on What Works to Engage Others

While I typically speak about employee/volunteer engagement with people currently active in the workforce, the prospect of being with an audience of retirees was too good to pass up. My recent session for Penn State Lehigh Valley’s SAGE Lecture Series was designed with a dual purpose: 1) share the current state of workplace engagement and 2) tap into 

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Who is Actually Responsible for Workplace Engagement?

Need to create an engaged workplace? While workshops, webinars, and articles abound on the subject, it takes more than just buying into the value and practice of engagement to be effective. It’s also important to understand who is actually responsible for engagement in the workplace. Engagement is a responsibility shared by both employees and employers: Employees are 

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Can You Treat Customers Like Employees and Employees Like Customers?

Curiosity. A hunger to explore what works and what doesn’t. Respectively challenging others’ ideas. These are among the many reasons I enjoy speaking with groups of young adults preparing for leadership roles. I recall one such gathering that involved an open discussion on marketing. We talked about dealing with difficult customers (it’s OK to terminate a 

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What Employees Want Most from Internal Communications Channels

[Note: This guest post is courtesy of Alison Davis, founder and CEO of Davis & Company, an award-winning employee communication firm that for 30 years has helped leading companies – such as Johnson & Johnson, Motorola Solutions, Nestle, Roche and Rogers Communications – increase employee engagement. Alison sets the strategic direction for the firm, consults with 

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“Protect People From Too Much Organization”

The yellowing, decades-old piece of paper I found in my files featured this striking advice from Zoltan Merszei, former executive at Occidental Petroleum Corporation and Dow Chemical Company. Merszei wrote it “as a reminder that we need to protect people from too much organization, while never destroying the organization itself.” His message is still relevant: Always 

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Can You Afford to Fuel Employee Burnout?

[Note: This post first appeared on myHR Blog and is shared with permission from Tina Hamilton, PHR, founder of myHRPartner, an HR outsourcing firm. Tina is a well-respected business professional who is frequently quoted in the national media on HR-related issues in the workplace, and I’m proud to know her as a colleague and friend. To learn 

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A Business Consultant’s Rant

I love working with my clients, and yet I get so frustrated sometimes — not at them, but for them. I get frustrated on their behalf because of the organizational absurdity they have to deal with. For example: A management team focuses on improving employee and customer engagement despite inconsistent or no corporate support. An executive director 

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What’s the Problem with the Next New Management Trend?

The answer depends on management’s attention span. No matter how well intentioned, executives who are unable to keep their focus on doing what it takes to make a new approach work will move on when the initiative fails and go after for the next best thing — frustrating their employees in the process. In this 

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