Requisite Reading

Because you are the killer app.

Read an extended exchange on Requisite Organization

Man refusing an offer of money. (Portrait of Edwin A. Finckel and Boyd Raeburn, Edwin A. Finckel's home, Greenwich Village, New York, N.Y., ca. July 1946, by William P. Gottlieb. From the William P. Gottlieb Collection [Library of Congress])

Almost a decade ago now, readers got into a discussion within the comments about Elliott Jaques’s Requisite Organization and management. Since the commenters included the illustrious Glenn Mehltretter of PeopleFit USA; my one-time writing partner, “APFG”, now an executive himself; and my long-time friends, “J” and “JmmJ” (then a plant manager and IT specialist, respectively; it’s not the usua…

A Decade of Requisite Organization: Celebrating 10 years of writing about the work of Elliott Jaques

Off shore oil rig by sunset (California). Via

In November 2013, I celebrated a decade of writing about Elliott Jaques. Let’s look back on the last ten years of articles, shifting ideas, and learning, and maybe see where things are going for the next decade.

In 2003, I lost what will likely be the most promising job I’ll ever have. It happened quickly, falling apart so that I couldn’t put it back together. I went looking for some answers…

WordPress Comments Out of Order: A Solution for Old Imported Posts

Analog Computing Machine in Fuel Systems Building Lewis Flight Propulsion Lab-NASA

When I started looking back over many of my older posts in my Wordpress site that I pulled in from the original sites, I noticed that the comments were often out of order. They weren’t reverse order, newest to oldest. They were simple in no order whatsoever.

Many people have had problems with the ordering due to a fault with the Reply To This Comment (or “threading”) feature. You had to go…

Top Reasons Why Your Resume Says “Career Stalled”

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

Have you ever considered that your career path is a lot like a movie? Film scholar Chris Simmons, a colleague of mine, lectured once on the massive blockbuster, Titanic. He showed how everything in its visual language spoonfed what the director wanted you to see, know and feel. The director made deliberate choices to make it easy for us as the audience to come along with his storytelling.

In Memory of George Reilly — colleague, therapist, management consultant, author and dearly esteemed colleague

Man in a storm sailing a small boat into the horizon

It was with great sadness that I learned that a dear colleague, George Reilly, had died at the beginning of November in his 75th year. He will be greatly missed: even though he received his biblical three score and ten, he leaves a hole. I wanted to take a moment to talk about his legacy in the management consulting, leadership development and psychotherapeutic counseling fields.

He also…

#1 Reason Why 360º Reviews are a Menace to Managers

Network hierarchy diagram.

360º review systems are often dissed by everyone except the people administering them. They’re so-called because they allow everyone in the organization around you — manager, boss’s boss, peers, subordinates and maybe even subordinates’ subordinates — to rate your performance.

And that’s the problem:

360º reviews get people to think of things you don’t do well, often for the first…

If Your Boss Doesn’t Want You Preventing Problems, What Is Ethical To Do?

Lighthouse at night, (c) 2009 Martin Belam. Via flickr. (CC BY SA 2.0)

Last time I recommended that if you are in an environment where the management rewards “firefighter” project managers rather than PMs who prevent them from ever occurring, you need to let some fires start. (“You Have To Let the Project Break So You Can Prove Yourself By Fixing It”) I wasnt saying start them on your own but simply don’t take the steps that the firm doesn’t reward to prevent them.

You Have To Let the Project Break So You Can Prove Yourself By Fixing It

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

Why do project managers have to create crises on projects to prove that the risk management steps you took are paying off? It’s very common in project environments. The project manager who scrambles to get things done, who stays late to get things fixed, who has problem after problem that gets the attention of management but who then gets things accomplished, albeit a bit late seems to get t…

Standard Process Kill Productivity Because Standardizing Destroys Local Knowledge

(c) 2010 Ardfern (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Most executives that implement a PeopleSoft or SAP are surprised that productivity takes such a dive in the departments that these systems were supposed to automate. Departments that are dependent on the data see some productivity increase as information becomes more available, but many tasks that used to take a moment (or could, if you were pal-ly with the clerks) now takes a long time. T…

Tasking, Trusting, Tending: Gillian Stamp’s Tripod of Work

Rose hip on trellis

Trust is hard. It’s the currency of everything social and, as the social capital people like Francis Fukuyama point out, it underpins everything necessary in a society. Some societies rely on

Gillian Stamp — Stamp is a longtime researcher and consultant to all types organizations. She created the Career Path Appreciation (CPA), co-author of several papers with Dr. Jaques, including key…

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