How to Manage Performance for Creative Work

If performance management is all about driving continuous improvement in productivity and quality—and helping employees strike a balance toggling back and forth between speed and mindfulness—where does creative work fit into the puzzle? We know that creative work can be extremely valuable. But how can you possibly performance-manage creativity? How long should it take to…

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Soft Skills: Teaching Personal Responsibility

When it comes to teaching personal responsibility, the key is shifting someone’s focus to the factors that are within their own control. Most often, when an employee struggles with personal responsibility, it is because they are unable to see beyond the factors that are outside their control. Of course, those outside factors will always be…

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Geese in flight

Don’t Lose Your New Hire—Stay Top of Mind

As important as it is to be very selective when hiring, you also must do it fast! If you move too slowly, you will lose your new hire. The two watchwords of your selection process should be rigorous and fast. Even if you succeed in expediting your selection process, make a solid offer, and receive…

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Group of white paper planes moving in one direction, with a red paper plane pointing a different way.

How Managers Can Help Reskill Your Organization

We are on the brink of a reskilling revolution in the workforce, and it has already begun in organizations such as Amazon and Wal-Mart. The increasing pace of change has made it clear to workers of all ages that in order to remain competitive they must continually improve. Skills that were relevant a week ago…

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To Improve Your 1:1s, Don’t Forget the Follow Up

Most of the time, if someone wants to improve their 1:1s, they focus on what happens during the 1:1—what they talk about with each person, what questions they ask, what information they need to provide and what information they need to get. Of course, that is where all the action is. It’s easy for managers…

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When Managing Large Teams, Use Your Chain of Command_blog image

When Managing Large Teams, Use Your Chain of Command

Managerial spans of control have gotten wider and wider. As a result, most managers are responsible for too many people. Without a doubt, this has contributed to the undermanagement epidemic. Faced with managing a large team all most managers can do is throw up their hands in frustration. Often, they are thrust into this position…

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Woman sitting on cliff edge

Help! I Need an Employee to Go the Extra Mile

A lot of managers ask me, “What about the employee who does just enough work and does it just well enough and nothing else? How do you motivate that person to go the extra mile?” The first question managers should ask is: why does it matter? After all, if an employee is performing well enough…

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Make Your Management Concrete: Turn Company Values into Actions Employees Can Take

Building a strong culture, one that attracts and retains the best talent, is a huge undertaking for any organization. Undoubtedly the most difficult part is aligning the entire company on whatever values—old or new—constitute the core of the culture. Managers play a pivotal role in creating that alignment. Of course, it’s not easy. There is…

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Stick to the Basics: The Leadership Wisdom of Dave Christiansen

If asked to describe his leadership philosophy, Dave Christiansen may offer you this quote from Walter Lippmann: “The final test of a leader is that he leaves behind him in other men the conviction and the will to carry on. The genius of a good leader is to leave behind him a situation which common…

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Burned out employee

Employee Burnout? That Could Be a Sign of Undermanagement

Burnout has officially been recognized as more than just a cultural phenomenon. The condition is now recognized by the WHO, probably to some relief from the HR departments who have been trying to combat increasing levels of burnout for years now. According to some research, burnout is responsible for nearly 50% of workforce turnover. Anyone…

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