Best Practices in HR

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The Dark Side of Collaboration, And How to Fight Back

In the late 90’s, I watched a friend start a highly successful technology company.  Until she hired employees, headquarters was the kitchen of her Boston apartment. One day she apprised me of a big business decision.  With a flash of humor and smile, she reported “yes, well, my head of sales talked to my head of […]

10 Days and 34 Words to Better Relationships

Think about it:  unless you are a landscape painter, I’m pretty sure your work involves other people on a daily basis.  They accomplish the parts of your work that you don’t have the hours or talent to tackle yourself, or they buy what you sell. Those other people (whether direct reports, peers, clients, or prospective […]

Why do many leadership development programs fail?

Why are leadership development announcements frequently met with rolled eyes and furtive sidelong glances, rather than enthusiasm? It doesn’t have to be that way. According to McKinsey research, two-thirds of 500 executives recently surveyed cited “leadership development” as their #1 human-capital priority. US firms spend almost $14 billion annually trying to strengthen managerial chops. This lavish investment […]

Suspect Your New Hire Won’t Make It? 4 Mistakes to Avoid

Once upon a time, Chuck hired Jackie. Jackie had aced a grueling interview process with Chuck and 11 potential colleagues.  Everyone liked her immediately and thought she would be an excellent fit.  She had the perfect work experience & industry depth for Chuck’s new Product Manager opening.  Chuck enthusiastically offered Jackie the role. Jackie enthusiastically said “yes.” Fast forward four months. Chuck is concerned.  […]

Developing Leaders: Lessons from One of the Most Impressive Behavior Change Efforts Ever

What can a program to feed starving children possibly teach us about “leadership development?” In 1990, Jerry Sternin of Save the Children arrived in Vietnam to tackle the country’s severe problem with childhood malnutrition. He was a man with meager resources, a tiny staff, no Big Plan, and few theories.  He got a chilly reception by the […]