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

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

E. Forrest Christian Decision-making Leave a Comment

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. …

Oklahoma Land Rushm 1893 by William S Prettyman

“Just make a decision!”

E. Forrest Christian Decision-making Leave a Comment

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 …

(c) Amana stock photos

Why Real Software People Don’t Fit In Your Corporation

E. Forrest Christian Computers/IT Leave a Comment

“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. …

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 …

Forrest's consulting bio, run through Tagxedo.com

Your Work Life, Visually

E. Forrest Christian Careers Leave a Comment

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. …

"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 …

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

Sometimes You Really Can’t Describe What You Do

E. Forrest Christian Careers Leave a Comment

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 …