Man thinking at typewriter. (c) everett225. Depositphoto.com

Let Them Eat Their Desks: IT’s New Contractors

E. Forrest Christian Managing Leave a Comment

“Hell, this is brilliant!” he said. “I wish I was still an executive so I could push this Task idea onto people.” I was surprised. My companion, an ex-executive for a large US corporation, normally took a dim view of Modern Human Resources. And the Internet economy. I had just mentioned ______’s ideas about going from role-based staffing to tasks-based. …

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

Walmart Employees Couldn’t Tell Me Where It Was

E. Forrest Christian Managing Leave a Comment

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 …

Harris Teeter store in Apex, NC. Public Domain.

Harris Teeter schools Walmart in Customer Service

E. Forrest Christian Managing 1 Comment

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 …

"Bessemer converter (iron into steel) Allegheny Ludlum Steel e Corp Brackenridge, Pa (LOC)" [crop]. Ca. 1940. Alfred T. Palmer via Library of Congress

Does Executive Work Prevent Executives From Experiencing FLOW?

E. Forrest Christian Managing 1 Comment

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 …

KODIAK, Alaska (Sept. 27, 2011) The Naval Research Laboratory tactical satellite IV (TacSat-4) lifts-off from the Alaskan Aerospace Corporation's Kodiak Launch Complex aboard a Minotaur IV+ launch vehicle. TacSat-4 will have a unique highly elliptical orbit which augments current geosynchronous satellite communications and will support to tactical handhelds. (U.S. Navy photo by John F. Williams/Released)

#1 Book That New Executives Must Read

E. Forrest Christian Careers, Managing, Reviews - Books 4 Comments

You just got promoted into the Executive suites. You’ve been a manager for awhile now, with ever-increasing managerial responsibilities. You know how to manage that smaller group. But now you’re going to be running a full line of business, your own PL. You know how to manage 100. How do you manage 2,000? Most business books have little to give …

Network hierarchy diagram.

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

E. Forrest Christian Managing Leave a Comment

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 time. …

Here’s what a great workplace looks like – high performance teams

E. Forrest Christian Managing, Motivation Leave a Comment

What does a great workplace look like? Walter Ulmer took a stab at defining it over 25 years ago. He saw that there was a big difference between regular teams and high performance teams, one where everyone took it to the next level. And what is the essence of a “supportive” climate that promotes esprit and gives birth to “high …

Marine Sgt. at New Orleans, La. By Howard R.Hollem. Library of Congress collection via Flickr.

Love in the Workplace Includes Demanding Performance

E. Forrest Christian Managing Leave a Comment

Can you love your direct reports? The guys of Manager Tools say “yes” and add that it has to include demands for performance. Here’s why. If you want to be a great manager and get high performance consistently out of your team, you must learn to balance to two sides of management: caring and demanding. It’s a tough one to …

Cup of Tea. By Mary Cassatt,1879-1880

What Is Real Executive Work? (That Executives Aren’t Doing)

E. Forrest Christian Managing 2 Comments

I got some strong comments regarding my post that executives are boobs. I probably should have said “worthless drags on shareholder value who ought to be golden parachuted into a live volcano that resembles the eternal hell they deserve for being lazy good-for-nothings.” But let’s not quibble. Let’s instead deal with what real executive work looks like. And, yes, I’ve …