September 2011 - Management





Recent Posts


CEO Compensation

09-30-2011 11:50 AM with no comments

Hewlett-Packard (HP) is a leading company in the market for personal computers and printers. Yet, there seems to be a lack of confidence in its leadership. HP has had four chief executives in the last six years.

The new chief executive is Meg Whitman, former CEO of eBay. She will get a base salary of $1 a year, along with nonqualified options to buy 1.9 million shares of H-P stock over the next eight years. She replaces former chief executive Léo Apotheker. He was HP CEO for 11 months and is getting a $7.2 million severance payment, along with $3.6 million in accelerated vested restricted stock, along with a bonus of $2.4 million. In addition, HP is giving him relocation expenses, free return airfare to Europe, up to $300,000 for any loss incurred on his California home, and up to 18 months of health insurance benefits.

(CEO compensation information is included in regulatory filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission.)

The AFL-CIO keeps track of CEO compensation at its Executive Paywatch site. At the site, you can find out what your paycheck would be like if it had grown at the same rate of increase as an average CEO's. According to the AFL-CIO, the 2010 average CEO compensation at S&P 500 companies was $11,358,445.  

  • What do you think about Meg Whitman's compensation?
  • What do you think about Léo Apotheker's compensation?
  • Do you think CEOs deserve their pay? Explain.

Posted by Gemmy Allen

Reebok and Deceptive Advertising

09-29-2011 10:37 PM with no comments

On September 28, 2011, the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) announced that Reebok agreed to pay $25 million in customer refunds to settle FTC charges of deceptive advertising of EasyTone and RunTone shoes. The advertising campaign claimed the shoes would measurably strengthen the legs and buttocks of those who wore them. The settlement order prohibits Reebok from making unsupported claims that 'Toning Shoes' strengthen and tone muscles.

Businesses must operate within a framework of governmental regulation and legislation. The Federal Trade Commission Act (1914) established the Federal Trade Commission to prevent unfair methods of competition in commerce, including misleading pricing, false advertising, and deceptive packaging. The FTC's Bureau of Consumer Protection works to protect consumers against unfair, deceptive, or fraudulent practices in the marketplace. The Bureau of Consumer Protection's Division of Advertising Practices protects consumers by enforcing the nation's truth-in-advertising laws, with particular emphasis on claims for food, over-the-counter drugs, dietary supplements, alcohol, and tobacco and on conduct related to high-tech products and the Internet, such as the dissemination of spyware.  

Reebok was not found guilty, and did not admit wrongdoing. The company chose to settle with the FTC in order to avoid a protracted legal battle. Read Reebok's response to the FTC

Consumers can reply for refunds at 

Reebok managers say the shoes encourage strength by engaging more of a user's muscles. FTC says that wearing the shoes does not measurably strengthen the legs and buttocks. What do you think? What did managers at Reebok misunderstand about the law?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Amazon Tablet

09-28-2011 5:41 PM with no comments

Amazon entered the tablet market with the Kindle Fire -- a 7-inch touch screen, weighing 14.6 ounces and priced at $199. CEO Jeff Bezos made the announcement on Wednesday morning, September 28, 2011.

The Kindle Fire's major competitor is the iPad, a new product created by Apple. Many companies have tried to enter the tablet market, but none have been as successful as Apple. The iPad is easy to use. Also, its cost has contributed to its success. The Kindle Fire is approximately one-half the size and less than half the cost of the iPad.

Did Amazon's management make a good decision. Will Amazon be successful in the tablet market? Or will the iPad continue to dominate the tablet market?


Posted by Gemmy Allen

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How to Find the Leader Within

09-28-2011 1:24 PM with no comments

The key function of the leader is to create a vision (mission or agenda) for the organization. The leader specifies the far-reaching goal as well as the strategy for goal attainment.

In this video, Deepak Chopra, author of "The Soul of Leadership," talks to BNET Editor-in-Chief Eric Schurenberg about finding the leader within.

What questions should you answer to find your leadership potential? 

Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Delegate, Delegate, Delegate

09-26-2011 9:38 PM with no comments

On my first job out of college, my manager taught me a lot. He taught me about the type of manager I wanted to be, the type of manager I didn’t want to be, and he taught me what he felt was one of the most important things a successful manager needs to learn how to do...delegate, delegate, delegate!

Lots of managers are perfectionists and get nervous about handing over the reins to let others do tasks for which they are ultimately responsible. After all, whatever happens in the office, whether it is good or bad, is a direct reflection of the manager.

I don’t remember what happened that made my manager sit down and talk to me, but something happened early during the year that made him talk to me about delegation. Employees will make a certain number of human errors. Just be sure that they learn from them!

What I learned from this conversation is that you should take the time to train your employees. Let them know your expectations and standards. Encourage them to ask questions. If you do this, your employees will complete tasks, meeting and exceeding your expectations

Delegation of authority is a person-to-person relationship requiring trust, commitment, and contracting between the supervisor and the employee. How is delegation between the employee and the manager like a contract?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

No Layoffs

09-25-2011 11:38 AM with no comments

Most employment is based on mutual consent; both the employee and the organization have the right to terminate employment at will, with or without cause, at any time.

However, in the midst of a down economy, layoffs have become a common occurrence. But, some companies have promised no layoffs and have stuck to it. One such company is Marvin Windows & Doors in Warroad, Minnesota. Marvin’s business is based largely on the home building and remodeling business. The decline in home sales means fewer orders for Marvin. Managers have made decisions to reduce off-season hours, cancel overtime hours, and reduce benefits, like 401K.

Marvin’s plight is an example of external business forces out of the control of managers that go far beyond what's happening in Warroad, Minnesota. The recession is prompting layoffs at employers that avoided job cuts in previous downturns.

Is no layoff for any reason good for business? Are workplace norms that once shielded many employees from permanent job loss disappearing? Reflect on the advantages and disadvantages of no layoffs.


Posted by Gemmy Allen

New Patent Law

09-23-2011 12:07 PM with no comments

A patent protects an invention and gives a business a competitive edge. Since the patent is a property right, the business can charge others for using the patent. The America Invents Act of 2011 is the first significant change in patent law since 1952.

The committee on the judiciary wrote,

This year, for the first time, China is expected to become the world’s number one patent publisher, surpassing the U.S. and Japan in the total and basic number of patents. Our outdated patent system has become a barrier to innovation. We cannot expect America’s innovators and job creators to keep pace with the global marketplace with the patent system of the past. We need a system that ensures patent certainty, approves good patents quickly and weeds out bad patents effectively.

The hope is that the law will expedite the patent application process, encouraging innovation, job creation, and economic growth.

The U.S. Internal Revenue Code lists patents as intangible property. Intangible means that a patent cannot be seen, tasted, felt, heard, or smelled. New and useful inventions can be protected by a U.S. patent. A patent attorney is needed because patent procedures are detailed and technical. A patent search is performed to see if a patent currently exists on the same or nearly the same device and, if not, to make proper application with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office.

Watch the whole video on the Whitehouse blog of the Open for Questions on the America Invents Act event.

The America Invents Act is backed by firms such as Google and Apple. Some small-scale inventors argue that this law gives an advantage to large corporations. What do you think?



Posted by Gemmy Allen

The Management 2.0 M-Prize First Phase Winners

09-22-2011 10:18 AM with no comments

The Management 2.0 challenge is cosponsored by McKinsey, the Harvard Business Review, and Gary Hamel’s Management Innovation eXchange (MIX). In the first phase, entrants were asked, ‘How are Web 2.0 tools and technologies changing management? The contest found that Web 2.0 is improving communication among employees at all levels. Furthermore, “the winners share is a concern with ensuring that even employees on the front line can contribute to organizational strategy and innovation.”

Below are the topics of each winning entry.

1.      Sharing common resources more efficiently

2.      Making self-management work at scale

3.      Reaching consensus on complicated issues

4.      Improving global training with local expertise

5.      Taking feedback from the front line to senior managers

6.      Building a better idea market

7.      Using communities of interest to manage globally

You can read the complete winning entries at the MIX site.

Which of the winning entry topics do you think are most important in making “management more adaptable, innovative, inspiring, and accountable”?



Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Google Plus

09-21-2011 12:28 PM with no comments

Facebook is the world’s largest social network, and Google is the world’s largest search engine. Search on Facebook has been increasing in popularity. So to compete, Google has added a social network. In fact, Google opened its social networking site today to anyone who wants to join at Google Plus started as an invitation-only social network in order to test it with a limited audience.

Watch the video:

What do you think? Will “Hangouts” – video chats with a group -- and “Hangouts on Air” – broadcast videos or view videos as spectators – be easily copied by Facebook? Or will Google Plus give Google a competitive advantage?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

Creating Efficiencies

09-20-2011 10:55 PM with no comments

As a manager, you always need to be thinking of ways to help your business become more efficient. One way to be more efficient is to save on controllable expenses. The United Parcel Service Inc. (UPS) is controlling expenses by helping delivery drivers become more efficient. Delivery drivers save time by not making left-hand turns, walking at a brisk 2.5 paces per second, and wearing a digital-remote fob on their belts, which turns on the ignition and unlocks the bulkhead door.

In this video, Bob Stoffel, senior Vice President of UPS, discusses why UPS drivers never turn left.

Watch the video at

What else are managers doing to help businesses become more efficient?



Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Peter Drucker

09-19-2011 11:56 AM with no comments

In 1954, Peter Drucker made the point that profit is not the primary goal of business in his book, The Practice of Management. "Profit is not the explanation, cause or rationale of business behavior and business decisions, but the test of their validity." Profits are an essential result of business success. The true purpose of business is the creation of customers: the efficient provision of products and services which people want to buy. Satisfy customers and profit will follow.

Business Week (BW) called Peter Drucker “The Man Who Invented Management” and featured him in a Business Week cover story (October 17, 2005).

BW's John Byrne often met or spoke to Peter Drucker in the course of reporting many business and management stories. In this podcast he tells us why Drucker's ideas still matter.

Listen to this Business Week (BW) Podcast at:

Do you agree? Do Drucker's ideas still matter? Why?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Dressing for the Interview

09-16-2011 1:52 PM with no comments

So, you recently graduated from college or you are looking for a new job; you get an interview, but, what do you wear? The answer is simple…WEAR A SUIT!


Men and women of all ages should wear a suit to any interview, no matter the position. It is better to be overdressed than underdressed. A suit tells the interviewer that you respect the company. Our society is becoming much more casual, so by wearing a suit, you are offering a much better first impression than you would if you were dressed more casually. Dressing the part also helps your potential employer see that you might be a good candidate for a higher position in the future.


A nice, reasonably priced suit in a neutral color (black, grey, brown, navy, or khaki) will give you a lot of use. You can wear the suit with all pieces together, and you can wear the suit pieces separately to get the ultimate use out of your purchase.


Stacy London and Clinton Kelly from TLC’s What Not to Wear have a great video describing the different ways to wear a suit – the video is geared towards women, but men can also use the tips.


Watch the video:


To summarize, the tips are:


1.     Purchase a neutral suit in navy blue or gray.

2.     Wear a neutral shirt (white or blue) with the suit – don’t be too bold.

3.     Accessorize with a great watch, earrings, necklace, or tie – this is where you can be bold. But, be careful with dangling or clanking jewelry – it can be distracting.


Hopefully, dressing the part will help you will hear those two sweet words…"You’re hired!"


What other tips can you share for dressing for success?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

Paul Allen and Bill Gates

09-15-2011 11:23 PM with no comments

Bill Gates started Microsoft with his high school friend, Paul Allen. At that time, in 1975, no one had a personal computer. Microsoft’s mission was “a computer in every home and on every desk.” This is a great example of a mission statement. It guided Microsoft’s decision making and kept employees focused. Also, it defined the customer. Microsoft makes software, not computers, but no one would buy software if they didn’t have a computer!

In his memoir, Idea Man, Allen describes Gate’s management style. He writes that Gates was a “tough, task master.”

Watch Lesley Stahl (on 60 Minutes) speak to Microsoft co-founder and billionaire Paul Allen in his first interview about his book and his Microsoft co-founder, Bill Gates.

Watch and read more:

How does the description of Gate’s management style differ from the ideal manager described in your textbook?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Lead by Example

09-14-2011 4:05 PM with no comments

As a manager, it is important that you lead by example at all times.  While everyone has personal issues and worries, it is important to leave those issues and worries at the door once you walk into your workplace. When co-workers, managers, or subordinates learn of your personal struggles, it can negatively affect their opinion of you.

For example, if you work with money, and your co-workers learn you are having personal money problems, they might begin to keep a close eye on you in order to prevent potential internal theft.

While you know you would never stoop to a low level and steal, it is, unfortunately, something that happens every day in every business. Therefore, your co-workers and manager would just be trying to protect the business by keeping a close eye on you. It is nothing personal, it is just business. 

Bringing personal issues into the workplace can also negatively affect you as a manager because it crosses the boundaries between superior and subordinate. Venting to employees about your personal issues allows the employees to know too much about you that they do not need to know. Once those lines are crossed, and a manager begins to fraternize with subordinates, the respect for the manager can be lost, and the subordinate might not think of the manager as a leader. Be friendly, not a friend, to subordinates. “It is lonely up at the top.”

Talking or thinking about personal issues at work negatively affects how you interact with customers. Customers should always receive the best customer service you can provide – they do not deserve to be treated poorly or disrespectfully because you are having personal issues. Customers keep you in business.

Although you spend the majority of your day with co-workers, managers, and subordinates, it is important not to let your guard down. Always remember to leave your personal issues at the door; this will help you be a more successful manager and will allow you to successfully lead your team. 

What are some ways managers lead by example?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

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Be Irresistible

09-13-2011 10:37 AM with no comments

A wise person once told me, “always be ready for new and better opportunities.” Therefore, it is important to know how to be irresistible to previous, current, and potential employers.

In an economy where many well-qualified individuals are looking for jobs, it is important to know how to stand out and stand apart from others applying for the same job.

  1. Do your homework. Before you go on an interview, research the company. Learn about the history, the founders, and risks taken by the company … learn as much as you can. By knowing more about the company, you will be able to answer and ask better questions during the interview, and the interviewer will know you did your research. By preparing before the interview, you will stand out from others.
  2. Show your value. You can “walk the walk,” but can you “talk the talk”? When interviewing, provide proof of how you increased sales, bring copies of your awards, bring pictures of displays you have merchandised, etc. Copies of these items can be professionally displayed in a leather portfolio to hand to the interviewer during your interview. OR if you have an electronic portfolio, you can invite the recruiter/interviewer to view your ePortfolio online. If you have several accomplishments, pick three that are geared specifically to the desired job. By providing proof of your accomplishments, you show employers that you can bring value to the company.
  3. Be excited! It’s all right to show the interviewer that you are excited and eager about the new job opportunity. Being enthusiastic shows potential employers that you are looking forward to the work. To show potential employers that you are excited about this opportunity, tell them! When asked if you have any more questions, tell the interviewer(s) that you want the job and why the job is a perfect fit for you. Also, ask about job expansion and job promotion. This lets the interviewer know that you are looking for a career with long-term potential.

By being irresistible, employers will want to work with you. A company takes risks when hiring new people, so it is important to prove that the risk taken on hiring you was worth it.

What other suggestions do you have for preparing for the interview?

Posted by Gemmy Allen

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