Organization — Management

From the Culture Desk: When Startups Get Political

Posted by on Jul 1, 2015 | 0 comments

“It was great in the early days. Then things got political.” This is a common lament from my startup clients. When pressed to define “political,” the answers can get a bit fuzzy. Most find it hard to pinpoint, but, as Supreme Court Justice Potter Stewart said of obscenity, they “know it when [they] see it.” Asked to describe specific behaviors, one HR head talked about managers who push their own or their team’s agenda or compete for resources. A director client described others trying to make themselves look good to the CEO. Meanwhile, a CEO complained about employees who were indirect in...

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Follow Tina Fey’s Advice: Say Yes, And…..

Posted by on Aug 24, 2012 | 0 comments

There are a number of lessons I will take from Tina Fey’s memoir, Bossy Pants. Stay away from the paper cups in male writers’ offices at Saturday Night Live is one.** Another is that fame and fortune do not make women immune to the often agonizing trade-offs between career and parenting. But the lesson that is sticking with me the most is a lesson from the world of improvisational comedy:  Say “yes, and ….” Before joining Saturday Night Live, Fey, know best as the executive producer and star of the sitcom “30 Rock,”  and as the uncanny mimic of Sarah Palin on Saturday Night Live,...

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Making the Most of Your Offsite

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 | 0 comments

Three days of togetherness doesn’t make up of 362 days of overwork. And all the rah-rah “team building” in the world is no substitute for listening to and acknowledging your employees. To be effective, an off-site employee retreat must address the needs of the attendees, as well as the aspirations of management. Case in point: a project manager friend of mine just got back from her annual offsite feeling, in her words, “pissed off.” She and her team just completed a multi-million dollar project and have been stretched too thin and called upon to do more with...

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What’s the Use of Myers-Briggs™ (MBTI)?

Posted by on Jan 11, 2012 | 0 comments

What’s the Use of Myers-Briggs™ (MBTI)?

The Myers Briggs Type Indicator is one of the most widely used assessment tools in business and management settings, as well as in personal and career development. Its long history and use, including ongoing research and development, make it a remarkably reliable and valid instrument. But what good is it? Why should you care if you are an ENFP or an ISTJ? Why would you want this four-letter label? Learning your type is not just self-knowledge for its own sake; it has a real practical application (that’s why so many Fortune 500 companies use it). Knowing type will likely provide you...

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Thinking Like an Owner

Posted by on Oct 5, 2011 | 0 comments

My husband and I recently hosted a company party for the biotech startup where he works. When the CEO, who was picking up the tab for the event, offered to pay for carpet cleaning, I joked, “Thanks, but I don’t want to increase your burn rate.” He chuckled, “That’s good – you’re thinking like an owner.” Much has been written about the value of thinking like an owner, but how can leadership create an environment that encourages employees to think like owners? Some of the elements of “thinking like an owner” are: Manage cash flow like it’s your own. Value customers,...

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No More Mister Nice Guy?

Posted by on Aug 22, 2011 | 1 comment

Nice guys earn significantly lower salaries than less agreeable men (though still more than women, regardless of their agreeableness) reports a new study by Timothy A. Judge, Beth A. Livingston, and Charlice Hurst in the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology. Whether you are surprised or unsurprised, dismayed or vindicated, you may be wondering whether this information should lead you to try to change your workplace behavior or persona. Bottom line: if you want to get a raise, should you act like a jerk? No. Instead, the authors of the study recommend that we adopt a “flexible...

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