Requisite Reading

Because you are the killer app.

Learn Decisional Due Date and Build Dynamic, Decision-Driven Organizations

Men of Fort Story operate an azimuth instrument, to measure the angle of splash in sea-target practice. 1942. (reversed)

Elliott Jaques is rightly praised for many things: first one to apply the ideas of social culture to the life inside organizations; identified and named the “mid-life crisis” (sorry Gail Sheehy!); led the longest on-site social research efforts at Glacier Metal Company, running some 25 years; and developing a method for building the requisite organizational structure for any managerial endeavor.

“Just make a decision!”

Oklahoma Land Rushm 1893 by William S Prettyman

Last time we heard from Danny Fleming, the banking executive, who said that his success was in a large part due to his ability to make decisions when others would dither.

This time I’m going to a Danny closer to home: my late father, “Danny” Christian.

I was reminded of his thinking on decision making recently when a relative told me how he used to throw up his arms when she ambilivated…

Top Key For Success: Make Decisions

Manhattan Bridge under construction-1909

Successful people — people who get things done and not just kiss asses — have on thing in common: they can make decisions.

You’d think it would be leadership or emotional intelligence or even financial acumen.

But it’s not.

It all comes down to getting things done. And if you want to get things done, you have to make decisions.

This was made obviously plain by some conversations…

Why Real Software People Don’t Fit In Your Corporation

(c) Amana stock photos

“He’s a real software developer,” I told her. “It’s not just that he’s ‘in a different league’”, I said. “He’s playing an entirely different game.”

I was sitting with a business lead who oversaw a large IT project. She and I were talking about the best people on the team. I mentioned that Ivan was clearly the best we had.

Rodika looked at me queer.

“Easton?” she asked. “The big guy wit…

Walmart Employees Couldn’t Tell Me Where It Was

New York-to-Paris automobile race: [Automobile stuck in snow]

I know that Walmart isn’t trying to be a customer service king. They compete entirely on price. I don’t enjoy being around that many people – Walmart is successful at always being crowded – so I haven’t been in one in awhile. I’m not one of those Walmart haters, either: in the past I’ve always considered Walmart the epitome of retail management expertise.

Now I’m not so…

Harris Teeter schools Walmart in Customer Service

Harris Teeter store in Apex, NC. Public Domain.

I used to think Walmart was the king of retail operations. Smaller operations like Harris Teeter could learn a lot about how to do things from them.

But after experiencing customer service in both recently, I know that Harris Teeter could take Walmart to school on basic customer service and loyalty.

Harris Teeter, for those not in North Carolina, is an upscale-ish grocery store that has a…

Your Work Life, Visually

Forrest's consulting bio, run through

Recently, we had all the Manasclerk Company folks’ CVs/resumes redone by a professional writer. Yes, I am well aware of the irony that a group of people who have all been paid to write had to hire someone else to write consulting bios. But that’s the way it is: a good writer seems to be flummoxed at his own tooting.

One of the team had the bright idea to run mine through Tagxedo, a wordle-ty…

Strategy vs. Execution: Managing Strategic Uncertainty

Box of chocolates. Licensed through

“Bill Gates has no strategy for Microsoft!”

This was the cry of the business and computing press in the late 1980s. It seemed absolutely accurate.

Except that it wasn’t.

Bill Gates knew something us idiots in the computing world didn’t. Here’s the story.

Does Executive Work Prevent Executives From Experiencing FLOW?

Flow, the psychological state of high-performance where one loses one’s self in the work one is doing, is something that we think people crave. Bioss International posits that when we have a job that challenges us just enough but not overwhelms — a job that “fits” — we experience flow.

But do we? Or more specifically, do the activities required of Executive Management prevent t…

Sometimes You Really Can’t Describe What You Do

Höckerschwan, White swan, Cygnus olor, Wild duck, Stockente, Anas platyrhynchos ginsheim-gustavsburg. (c) 2010 Vera Buhl, CC-BY-SA-3

I was really frustrated. I was trying to explain what a particular Work Swan — one of these people who are “hidden” high potentials, like Andersen’s “ugly duckling” — brought to the table and I just kept hitting a wall. I knew that this person brought a solid set of skills, but they were transformative. When you added him to a project, he changed the game. He didn’t deliver what you asked…

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