Gender Equality Is Within Our Reach

Harvard business - Fri, 09/27/2019 - 09:06

We’ve never had a chance like this before. Here’s how we seize it.

Categories: Blogs

Should New Grads Take Any Job or Wait for the Right One?

Harvard business - Fri, 09/27/2019 - 07:00

Look for opportunities that give you experience, credibility, or income.

Categories: Blogs

What California’s New Gig Work Law Gets Wrong About Gig Work

Harvard business - Fri, 09/27/2019 - 06:05

And what we need instead.

Categories: Blogs

Unlimited Time Off Programs: Don’t Force Employees to Lie About Their Whereabouts

Hr Bartender - Fri, 09/27/2019 - 02:57

(Editor’s Note: Today’s article is brought to you by our friends at Kronos, a leading provider of workforce management and human capital management cloud solutions. Kronos recently announced that, in less than a month’s span, it was named to four separate best workplaces lists by Great Place to Work in Canada, India, Mexico, and the United Kingdom. Many congratulations to them! Enjoy the article.)

As summer is coming to an end, I’m reminded that one of the best workplace trends to happen in business today is unlimited time off programs. Not because we can take a lot of time off, although that can be nice. It’s because we don’t need to lie about where we are.

Today’s Time Well Spent from our friends at Kronos took me back to a time when, if we wanted to enjoy a beach day, we would suddenly come down with some sort of illness (cough. cough.). Of course, that illness is the 24-hour type and it’s not one where we usually need to visit a doctor and get some sort of note. You know what I’m talking about.

With unlimited time off programs, when we want to get in our last beach day before pumpkin spice season, we simply work it into our schedule. We coordinate our plans with colleagues and the boss. And we take the day off guilt-free.

Unlimited time off programs allow employees to be honest about their time-off request. A founding principle in positive workplace cultures is trust. For employee engagement to happen, it requires trust. If we want to create and maintain trust in the workplace, then we can’t design employee programs that require a lie for employees to use them.

When employees can plan, their productivity increases. One of the biggest challenges when employees call off at the last minute is getting the work done. Everyone has to juggle schedules, and something always gets pushed to the side. Unlimited time off programs allow employees to have more control over their schedule, which means they can plan their work in advance. 

Managers don’t want to confront employees about this type of stuff. Don’t get me wrong, managers know that part of their job is to address behavioral issues. And they will do that when they need to. But managers also want to be cool. They don’t like being placed in a position where they have to nag employees about every little thing.

If you’re thinking to yourself that unlimited time off programs are a recipe for workplace anarchy, check out the article I wrote last year about how Kronos implemented an unlimited time off program and its results. Employees are using the program responsibly and the company is able to redirect the savings toward other benefit programs that employees have been asking for. That’s what is called a win-win.

Organizations are always focused on performance. We want to create programs that allow employees to perform at a high level. This doesn’t mean they can’t take a day (or two) off. It means letting them decide when to take those days off and holding them accountable for results.

The post Unlimited Time Off Programs: Don’t Force Employees to Lie About Their Whereabouts appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

The Missing Ingredient in Kraft Heinz’s Restructuring

Harvard business - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 09:00

As the company cut costs, its ability to innovate suffered.

Categories: Blogs

Why Even New Grads Need to Reskill for the Future

Harvard business - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 08:00

Having a degree doesn’t mean you’re done learning.

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How Being a Working Parent Changes as Children Grow Up

Harvard business - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 07:34

Supporting employees with children should be a long-term process.

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The Case for Hiring Older Workers

Harvard business - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 07:26

Many companies consider age a competitive disadvantage. Here’s why they’re wrong.

Categories: Blogs

Three Keys to Values-Aligned Experiences

Greatleaders hipbydan - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 06:27

Guest post from S. Chris Edmonds:
Being around values mis-aligned people lowers trust, discretionary energy, and performance. Our research suggests three key steps you can take to ensure values-aligned experiences:
1)    Be clear on your own values. Define the behaviors you will demonstrate when you are living your values, and take time regularly to reflect on how you’re doing with modeling those valued behaviors.2)    Observe the decisions and behaviors of others. It is not your responsibility to change their values, but it is up to you to insulate yourself from those whose values are inconsistent with your own.3)    Actively cherish and celebrate the people around you who DO share your values.

I’ve been very lucky throughout my career to be attracted to jobs and opportunities where I’ve worked with people who share my values and life principles. There have been times when I’ve engaged in project work with players who were clearly not values-aligned with me . . . and much learning resulted!
I have bragged about one of my best bosses, Jerry Nutter  (a long time executive with YMCAs in California) in previous posts. Jerry taught me to observe others’ behavior as “that will give you insights into their values” and to surround myself with values-aligned people. “Life is too short,” Nutter explained, “to do otherwise.”
Day-to-Day Decisions and Behavior Reveal a Person’s Values
You likely have seen these behaviors in the workplace during your career:
●     Engaging in gossip●     Withholding information from peers to make oneself look better/smarter/more productive●     Teasing and/or making fun (sometimes in the name of “teambuilding”)●     Complaining about someone’s behavior to a peer, team lead, or boss without going directly to that person to address the concern
These and dozens of other similar behaviors happen in organizations every day. If your organization has not intentionally defined their desired culture and values base, norms often evolve that tolerate (and even support) behaviors like these.
Decisions reveal values in the workplace, as well. If you’ve had a boss belittle a team member (in front of them or behind their back), take credit for work others have done, or promised to do “X” yet moments later did the exact opposite, you are seeing the values they embrace.
The Hole In One
I experienced an epiphany about values misalignment years ago on the golf course. A work colleague and I enjoyed golf and began playing together at a local course on Saturdays. This colleague (let’s call him Bill) had a reputation in the company for making fast decisions that served him and his team well . . . even if it meant stepping on toes. I’d seen Bill publicly belittle others more than once, so had that gnawing feeling in my gut about this gentleman’s values. Because of that, I was always on guard around Bill, even outside the workplace.
We approached the par 3 17th hole and Bill set up his tee shot. He pushed the ball into the greenside creek. He cursed up a storm while placing another ball on the tee. He swung and hit a very nice shot towards the pin. It took one bounce and dove into the cup!
I said, “Nice par!” Bill’s first ball in the water cost him a penalty stroke, so he was hitting his third stroke on the tee. Bill looked at me angrily and said, “I’m taking that as a hole in one!” I was not surprised at Bill’s self-serving stroke tallying . . . but realized at that moment that I was at fault by spending time on the golf course with someone whose values were very different than mine. I fixed that immediately – I preferred playing golf with strangers than with Bill.
The bottom line: Do the right thing for your sanity, productivity, and spirit.
S. Chris Edmonds is a sought-after speaker, author, and executive consultant. After a 15-year career leading successful teams, Chris founded his consulting company, The Purposeful Culture Group, in 1990. Chris has also served as a senior consultant with The Ken Blanchard Companies since 1995. He is the author or co-author of seven books, including Amazon best sellers The Culture Engine and Leading at a Higher Level with Ken Blanchard. Learn from his blog posts, podcasts, assessments, research, and videos at Get free resources plus weekly updates from Chris by subscribing here
Categories: Blogs

Boost Innovation by Strengthening the Organization’s Immune Systems

Greatleaders hipbydan - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 06:00

Guest post by Kris Oestergaard:
Today, every business is looking to find ways to streamline its innovative abilities. Those successful in establishing a culture of innovation have addressed their organization’s “immune systems.” Just as the body’s immune system keeps it healthy, stable and tolerant of change, an organization’s immune system must be strong in order to handle the task of innovating. 
But in a rapidly changing world, many of the defense mechanisms organizations utilize are no longer appropriate -- and can even put organizations’ innovation at risk. Too often, when innovation processes fall short, top managers make the impulsive diagnosis that it’s because their people are simply unwilling to change. This assumption is pervasive: A recent study revealed that 76 percent of managers believed their organizations didn’t have the capabilities needed to move into the future. 
But this conclusion is inexact. Every organization’s immune system is affected by an individual immune system, an organizational immune system and asocietal immune system. Organizational leaders need to address all three in order to transform into innovation champions.
1. Understanding individual’s resistance to change. Humans have different risk profiles. Some are thrill-seekers while others avoid exposure to risk at all costs. Knowing this, management needs to make a very compelling case if it wants to convince its staff to join in the organization’s innovation journey. Otherwise, the individual immune system kicks in and those with a low tolerance for risk, reluctant to change if the outcome is uncertain, won’t get on board. 
2. Assessing your organizational immune system. Transformation processes demand risk taking, the development of new staff capabilities and a strong focus on innovation. But very often, organizations attempt to kickstart a large transformation process without adapting their policies for measuring and rewarding employee behavior to the new reality they have set out to create. Key performance indicators (KPIs) and rewards systems make up a large part of the organizational immune system. Unless these are aligned with the organization’s strategic long-term goals, they aren’t supporting the motivation and attitudes needed to drive innovation efforts.
Grundfos, the Danish water pump manufacturer, is among the legacy organizations that have intentionally restructured their rewards systems to boost innovation. Grundfos evaluates employees on new parameters, including a willingness to help others and motivation to undertake a new digitization journey. Another example is Microsoft, which now includes sharing and building on the knowledge of others among its KPIs. These performance indicators help employees become aware of and work in a way that builds the desired innovation culture of the organization. 
3. Taking the temperature of the societal immune system.Organizational innovation efforts are subject to changes in the societal immune system as well. These can take the form of legislative inaction in regulating new industries. Consider Uber’s entry into the ride-hailing world, pushing the regulated taxi companies to the sidelines. Or, look at how the cryptocurrency Bitcoin has disrupted the regulated banking industry. Legislation can also serve to established industries by keeping new players out of the market and limiting innovation. But new business models can also seek out places where restrictions don’t apply. 
Longtime suppliers and customers represent another subset of the societal immune system. Both need ongoing education and encouragement to keep them well informed of and up to date on any new directions and developments you create. For example, helping clients stay up to speed with technological upgrades of products is critical to maintaining the organization’s market share.
It’s essential to understand the influence that individual, organizational and societal immune systems have on increasing an organization’s innovation capacity. Business leaders need to analyze and address each of the three immune systems to create the best possible foundation for their innovation strategy. 
Kris Oestergaard is a sought after speaker, facilitator, researcher and expert on innovation in legacy organizations, corporate cultures and exponential organizations. He is co-founder and Chief Learning and Innovation Officer at SingularityU Nordic, a collaborative venture with Singularity University in Silicon Valley. His new book is Transforming Legacy Organizations: Turn Your Established Business into an Innovation Champion to Win the Future (Wiley, June 10, 2019). Learn more at
Categories: Blogs

How to Plan for an Organizational Emergency

Hr Bartender - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 02:57

Whether you’re a freelancer or a large multinational organization, it’s important to have an emergency plan. It would be wonderful to say that we don’t need to plan because nothing bad is going to ever happen, but that’s just not very realistic.

No matter what type of business you operate, you’re going to occasionally have to deal with an emergency. It could be a natural disaster. Or maybe an accident. Possibly a scandal. Waiting until something unexpected occurs to put a plan in place doesn’t make sense and could actually cost the business more than the emergency created.

At WordCamp Orlando, one of the speakers gave us a good outline for an emergency response plan. They used it in the context of social media damage control, but I think the principles apply to any type of emergency.

  1. Plan! I love the pyramid image above to show the relationship between planning and response. A small amount of planning equates to a large amount of damage control. Want to reduce your exposure? Plan more.
  2. Detect. This reminds me of my “seeing the dirt” story. Employees at every level of the organization need to look for organizational vulnerabilities and report suspicious or detrimental activity for investigation.
  3. Verify. When an incident occurs, it’s important to verify what happened. In today’s 24-hour news cycle, it’s easy to get caught up in rumors and speculation. Take a moment to verify what took place. This doesn’t have to be a full-blown investigation but do make sure that what people say is going on…is really going on.
  4. Response. Identify in advance who the organization’s subject matter experts are. When an emergency happens, call in the specialists. They should be prepared to assist.
  5. Investigate. This step works in concert with #3 Verify. The verify step is to confirm there’s an emergency. In the investigation step, the organization needs to get details – who was involved, what happened to cause the incident, where did it take place, when did it happen, how did it happen, and finally why is it happening.
  6. Communicate. I cannot emphasize enough the value of giving the company’s spokespeople media skills training. When an emergency strikes, the community will want some sort of response. In addition, employees will want to know what’s going on. Being able to communicate effectively – internally and externally – is essential.
  7. Remediate. Once the emergency has subsided, the organization should conduct a debrief. Ask two questions: A) What went well? And don’t say nothing. There will be things the company does well. Even during a disaster. B) What could we do differently or better next time? Please note I didn’t say “wrong” because….
  8. Review. And update the plan accordingly. In the last bullet #7 Remediate, I mentioned doing things differently next time. It’s possible that the company didn’t do anything wrong. You followed your plan to perfection. But that doesn’t mean you won’t want to make your plan stronger for the next time. Because chances are…

There will be a next time.

Emergency and disaster planning can help us understand our organization. They can help employees prepare for the unexpected. And they can make our operations stronger. The time and resources we spend planning will help us at a future date. Make the investment. Your employees and your business will thank you for it.

The post How to Plan for an Organizational Emergency appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

How Your Bright Shiny Objects Derail Your Team — and Damage the Business

Leadershipnow - Thu, 09/26/2019 - 02:12

IN COACHING VISIONARY LEADERS, I hear a common pain point: Their team isn’t moving fast enough or focusing on the right things. As we dig deeper, however, we inevitably discover that their team isn’t the problem. Instead, it’s their own preoccupation with bright shiny objects — or what I call BSOs.

From madcap product ideas to mythic mergers, BSOs can run the gamut. All the same, they’re a challenge for visionary leaders. No doubt, their ability to bridge the gap between unlimited possibility and reality is a critical skill. But, when left unchecked, their attraction to BSOs often hurts their teams, usually by derailing their work with needless obstacles.

Even more critically, BSOs have the propensity to damage the business. How? By introducing ideas that should have never been considered in the first place. After all, just because something could be done doesn’t mean it should be done.

If you’re a visionary leader, and can admit to loving BSOs, you most likely need a process to better understand, manage, and vet them.

Ask yourself questions

Imagine a typical Monday morning huddle. Your team is busy discussing current or upcoming projects and priorities. Then, with unbridled exuberance, you storm in and say, “I’ve got an amazing idea.” Unbeknownst to you, it’s like you just lobbed a bomb onto the team. Now, to indulge your BSO, they lose their energy and focus.

So how can you tell when you’ve just lobbed a BSO onto your team? Stunned silence. Rolling eyes. Icy stares. Crossed arms. A barrage of questions. Those are only some of the signs. Plus, under their breath, people are probably muttering some kind of rebuke. “Are you kidding me?” “Oh, come on. Seriously?” “Here we go again.” “But what about…?” Et cetera.

To avoid such an experience — let alone not derail your team — make a habit of first asking yourself a few questions about your current BSO. Consider these five to start:

1. How does this align with the business’s current strategies and priorities?

2. How would doing this affect other, more important work?

3. What business concerns would this solve, and do we already have other, potentially better solutions in place?

4. If this is actually something we should do, what is the best timing — to do it now or to wait until some other business priorities have been met?

5. Who can I run this by before lobbing it onto my team?

Enlist a “voice of no”

At some point, most visionary leaders learn that they need a COO or other common-sense leader to counterbalance their BSOs. I call such a person a “voice of no.”

So, when a visionary leader brings up a BSO, her voice of no might say, “Here’s why we can’t do that right now” or “Here’s what must happen first.” In this way, a voice of no protects a leader’s team from creative mayhem while also not stifling the leader’s visionary proclivities.

In considering a COO or a voice of no, look for someone who clearly gets the importance of focus, continuity, and business priorities, and who seems to have a “less is more” mindset — preferring to do fewer things very well than to do many things ineffectively.

If you’re not in a position to bring in a COO or a voice of no, you can develop your team to take on the role. This, however, will require you to openly acknowledge your BSO inclinations, to have clear-cut business imperatives, to give people the authority and freedom to ‘gut check’ your ideas, and to make room in meetings for real, strategic conversations.

Have a vetting process

It took me years to recognize my own insatiable appetite for BSOs. The good news is I now have a simple process in place to properly vet my BSOs and, in doing so, to protect my team from any “incoming.”

To start vetting your own BSOs, I suggest these four steps:

1. Find a sounding board.

Seek out someone thoughtful and measured, inside or outside the business but not on your team, to serve as your sounding board. Look for someone who you can trust and feel comfortable with to casually bounce around ideas and, equally important, who is fully capable of being candid with you. For me, that’s my business partner and wife, Angela, who also acts as my voice of no. If she isn’t convinced, I know to let go of a BSO or at least put it on ice.

2. Put your idea in writing.

If your idea seems workable after bouncing it off your sounding board, put it in writing. This needn’t be pretty or take up much time. Just create a skeleton with your rough thoughts and some preliminary goals. The point here is to simply flesh out your idea enough to be easily articulated and understood.

3. Seek first-round feedback.

Once you’ve put your idea in writing, go back to your sounding board and one or two other people (but, again, no one on your team). Ask for feedback, both positive and negative, on your thought process and on the clarity and viability of your idea. Take this input to heart and then create a tighter, slightly more formal document.

4. Approach your team.

At this point, your idea has gone from being a BSO to something much more tangible and well thought out. So, finally, it’s time to go ahead and bring the idea to your team. I suggest giving them a few days or even a week to read and mull everything over, and also scheduling a meeting to discuss their feedback and, if appropriate, consider the way forward. Also, be sure to remind people that they have the authority and freedom to push back on your idea and even act as a voice of no.

And last but not least, remember that your team is only as effective and successful as your leadership. By learning to understand, manage, and vet your BSOs, you’ll help your team to move fast — and focus on the right things.

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Charlie Gilkey is an author, entrepreneur, philosopher, Army veteran, and renowned productivity expert. Founder of Productive Flourishing, Gilkey helps professional creatives, leaders, and changemakers take meaningful action on work that matters. His new book is Start Finishing: How to Go from Idea to Done. Learn more at

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Categories: Blogs

The 5 Ways You Intimidate People Without Directly Threatening Them...

Hr Capitalis - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 10:20
I know - that post title feels ugly, dirty and any other identifier you want to put on it. But yet here we are - in the workplace, trying to do things the right way but under siege by the... Kris Dunn
Categories: Blogs

Are You Developing Skills That Won’t Be Automated?

Harvard business - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 09:00

The jobs of the future will depend on emotion and context.

Categories: Blogs

7 Lessons from the U.S. Women’s Soccer Team’s Fight for Equal Pay

Harvard business - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 08:11

Employees facing discrimination can follow their example.

Categories: Blogs

Introducing Season 4

Harvard business - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 08:07

A sneak peak of the new season of Azeem Azhar’s Exponential View podcast. This is the show that bridges the gap between two cultures: technology & science on the one hand, and business & society on the other. Azeem’s conversations help you better understand how the tech revolution is changing our world. Season launch: Wednesday, October 2, 2019.

Categories: Blogs

Why New Leaders Should Make Decisions Slowly

Harvard business - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 07:00

Focus on the first year, not the first week.

Categories: Blogs

How to Create an Online Community That People Will Pay For

Harvard business - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 06:05

And how to make sure it lasts.

Categories: Blogs

A Prescription for Eliminating 4th Quarter Panic

Eblingroup - Wed, 09/25/2019 - 05:30

Yesterday, I was starting a call with a long-time client I hadn’t talked with in a few months. In a somewhat breathless tone of voice, the first words she said after hello were, “I can’t believe it’s already the end of September! Where has this year gone?”

That’s a question that I and, probably, most of us in the corporate world could have easily asked. Back in January, we and our teams set out goals and objectives for the year. It all seemed so promising back then, didn’t it? Time was plentiful and the list was long. Hopefully, you’ve accomplished a lot so far but the impending beginning of the 4th quarter can create a sense of panic.

If you’re feeling stressed by all that’s left to do this year, know you’re not alone. Know too, though, that the stress you’re feeling is creating a state of chronic fight or flight that is counterproductive to making good decisions. Get yourself out of fight or flight and into a productive frame of mind by taking some deep breaths, stepping back and applying this four-step prescription for eliminating 4th quarter panic.

Review – Start by reviewing your goals and objectives from the beginning of the year. Give yourself credit for all that you and your team have accomplished. That includes the objectives you’ve completely checked off your list as well as the progress you’ve made toward other goals.

Reset – Next, reset the board by considering what’s left on your list.  Get your team or trusted advisors together to take a realistic look at where you are now and what you can realistically accomplish in the next 90 days. Apply the “Will this make a difference?” test to what you’re considering keeping on your list. What can you drop for good or defer to next year? Negotiate or reset stakeholder expectations where needed. Focus on how you can use what’s left on your list to set yourself up with strong momentum to move into next year.

Take Account – Now that you’ve got a tighter and shorter list, take account of the resources you’re going to need to move forward. Consider the time and talents of your team along with your budget and deploy your resources accordingly. Perhaps some targeted investments will give you the push you need to complete the big priorities this year. Or, maybe there are investments that will help you build a foundation that carries into next year. If you have budget resources that are limited to this year, consider the best ways to invest them to sustain progress well into 2020.

Take Action – This last step is pretty straightforward. Use the focused plan you’ve developed for the next 90 days and take the actions that will move things forward. Start by sharing your plan with your team, stakeholders and internal and external partners and asking for their help.

Here’s the thing – most of life and business isn’t like a football game. For most of the things we do, there isn’t a clock running down to 0:00. Sure, there are financial and other metrics that close out on December 31, but most everything else just rolls over. The calendar is a construct for measuring and managing time. Don’t let it freak you out. Stay calm and keep taking steps forward. You’ll get there and arrive without the stress effects of 4th quarter panic.

If you liked what you read here, subscribe here to get my latest ideas on how to lead and live at your best.

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