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  • Random Acts of Kindness Week February 10-16, 2014

    The Random Acts of Kindness Foundation (RAK) reminds us to celebrate kindness across the globe February 10 – 16. The goal is a physical exchange of kindness. Read the ideas for kindness at the office in the infographic above. Which one act of kindness would you like to receive? Which one would you like to give? How might offices change if everyone committed one act of kindness?
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  • State of the American Workplace

    State of the American Workplace by Gallup from Elizabeth Lupfer The manager is a key person in the organization. Gallup's State of the American Workplace, states , "The single biggest decision you make in your job — bigger than all of the rest — is who you name manager. When you name the wrong person manager, nothing fixes that bad decision. Not compensation, not benefits — nothing." In other words, the leading factor influencing employee engagement is an employee’s relationship with his or her own direct manager . What do you think about this statement?
  • Management is Top Major

    What do you want to be when you grow up? No kid ever says, "I want to be a manager." But, once in college, many students choose management as a major. The Princeton Review, the company known for creating standardized tests, published a Top 10 Majors list based on the intellectual challenge of each and the versatility of skills in the curriculum that will apply to many careers. Business Administration and Management/Commerce was the number one major on the list. Here is what the Princeton Review said. Think you're a born leader? You'll need stellar people skills-no room for wallflowers here-and talents in problem solving, number crunching, and decision making. And don't forget great communication skills! While studying business, you'll get a thorough grounding in the theories and principles of accounting, finance, marketing, economics, statistics, and human resources functions. You will be a whiz on how to budget, organize, plan, hire, direct, control, and manage various kinds of organizations -from entrepreneurial-type start-ups to multi-million-dollar corporations. This major will also get you thinking about issues such as diversity, ethics, politics, and other dynamics that play a role in every work environment. Make sure those competitive juices are flowing; the business world is all, well, business. Is a management degree a direct path to the top of the organization chart?
  • The Ideal Organization

    Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones identified the six most essential imperatives for creating an ideal work environment. Let people be themselves. Unleash the flow of information. Magnify people's strengths. Stand for more than shareholder value. Show how the daily work makes sense. Have rules people can believe in. How can a manager create a work environment with the above 6 elements? To get more ideas, look at the following statements created by Goffee and Jones . How close is your organization to the ideal? To find out, check off each statement that applies. The more check marks you have, the closer you are to the dream. Let Me Be Myself ☐ I'm the same person at home as I am at work. ☐ I feel comfortable being myself. ☐ We're all encouraged to express our differences. ☐ People who think differently from most do well here. ☐ Passion is encouraged, even when it leads to conflict. ☐ More than one type of person fits in here. Tell Me What's Really Going On ☐ We're all told the whole story. ☐ Information is not spun. ☐ It's not disloyal to say something negative. ☐ My manager wants to hear bad news. ☐ Top executives want to hear bad news. ☐ Many channels of communication are available to us. ☐ I feel comfortable signing my name to comments I make. Discover and Magnify My Strengths ☐ I am given the chance to develop. ☐ Every employee is given the chance to develop. ☐ The best people want to strut their stuff here. ☐ The weakest performers can see a path to improvement. ☐ Compensation is fairly distributed throughout the organization. ☐ We generate value for ourselves by adding value to others. Make Me Proud I Work Here ☐ I know what we stand for. ☐ I value what we stand for. ☐ I want to exceed my current duties. ☐ Profit is not our overriding goal. ☐ I am accomplishing something worthwhile. ☐ I like to tell people where I work. Make My Work Meaningful ☐ My job is meaningful to me. ☐ My duties make sense to me. ☐ My work gives me energy and pleasure. ☐ I understand how my job fits with everyone else's. ☐ Everyone's job is necessary. ☐ At work we share a common cause. Don't Hinder Me with Stupid Rules ☐ We keep things simple. ☐ The rules are clear and apply equally to everyone. ☐ I know what the rules are for. ☐ Everyone knows what the rules are for. ☐ We, as an organization, resist red tape. ☐ Authority is respected. How could the above statements help you in your job search?
  • The Org

    The Org: The Under­lying Logic of the Office is a book by Ray Fisman, a professor at Columbia Business School, and Tim ­Sullivan, the editorial director of ­Harvard Business Review Press. The authors find that companies are the result of centuries of organizational evolution and their inherent dysfunction is actually a necessary part of work. Even though some people are not satisfied with their jobs, organizations really do function better than any quick-fix solution. "The authors tell us, that many of the things we all loathe about working for an org are there to stop making things even worse" (Butterworth, Trevor, "How to Fail in Business," The Wall Street Journal http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887324581504578235710908551732.html .) (Source of graphic: Grobart, Sam, " The Org Stands by the Status Quo for Business Management," BloombergBusiness Week at http://www.businessweek.com/articles/2013-01-08/em-the-org-em-stands-by-the-status-quo-for-business-management ) Read an excerpt from the book about the Baltimore Police at Slate at http://www.slate.com/articles/business/the_dismal_science/2013/01/baltimore_police_excerpt_from_the_org_by_ray_fisman_and_tim_sullivan.html . What can the Baltimore Police Department teach you about multitasking and incentives?
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  • Best Places to Work 2013

    Workplace Dynamics, an employee survey company, publishes a list of the Top 150 workplaces in America. The list was drawn from 30 major national newspaper contests and was based on the responses of more than 1 million employees at 872 companies with at least 1,000 employees. The top ten companies in the 2013 National Top Workplaces rankings: 1. Quicken Loans, Detroit, MI. 2. The Container Store, Coppell, TX 3. Anadarko Petroleum Corporation, The Woodlands, TX 4. Park Place Dealerships, Dallas, TX 5. EOG Resources, Inc., Houston, TX 6. Pioneer Natural Resources, Irving, TX. 7. Mattress Firm, Houston, TX 8. Coyote Logistics, Chicago, IL 9. Keller Williams Realty, Austin, TX 10. NuStar Energy L.P., San Antonio, TX Doug Claffey, Workplace Dynamics CEO, explained . "Too often, companies focus on perks such as free cappuccino, rock climbing walls, and nap rooms. While these employee benefits are nice-to-haves, they do not drive organizational health which really drives employee fulfillment. Our research shows that companies that set a clear direction for the future, execute well and bring real meaning to work are the healthiest. That makes them both Top Workplaces AND successful organizations." What do you think makes a "best place to work"?
  • Congratulations to the 2012 Baldrige Award Recipients

    The 2012 Baldrige Award recipients-listed with their category-are: Lockheed Martin Missiles and Fire Control , Grand Prairie, Texas (manufacturing) MESA Products Inc. , Tulsa, Okla. (small business) North Mississippi Health Services , Tupelo, Miss. (health care) City of Irving , Irving, Texas (nonprofit) The nation's highest award for innovation and performance excellence is the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award . It is a presidential honor, established by Congress in 1987 "to promote quality awareness, to recognize quality and business achievements of U.S. organizations, and to publicize and share these organizations' successful performance strategies." Past winners include Motorola, Xerox, and FedEx. The seven key areas of the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence are: leadership; strategic planning; customer focus; measurement, analysis, and knowledge management; workforce focus; operations focus; and results. "The Criteria are designed to help organizations improve their performance by focusing on two goals: delivering ever-improving value to customers and improving the organization's overall performance." Organizations submit an application detailing their achievements and improvements in those key areas. Many U.S. organizations have improved since the Baldrige Criteria for Performance Excellence were introduced. Baldrige Performance Excellence Program Strategy Map is attached. You can give feedback on the form at http://patapsco.nist.gov/BNQP_Feedback/SubmitFeedback.cfm .
  • Bankrupt but Business as Usual

    Braniff Airplane and Flight Attendants Last Tuesday, I received an email from American Airlines announcing that even though it had filed for bankruptcy, "it will be business as usual at American throughout our reorganization process." (See a copy of the email attached.) I live near the Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport. American Airlines is based here and is one of the largest employers in the area. So far, employees have kept their jobs and passengers have been served. It does seem like business as usual. Also, I lived here in 1982 when Braniff declared bankruptcy. Braniff used the slogan " When you've got it, flaunt it " in one advertising campaign. Many thought that saying rang true for Braniff. Management was known as innovative. The company was the first to have colorful airplanes and Pucci and Halston designed flight attendant uniforms. Immediately upon declaring bankruptcy, Braniff ceased operations, leaving about 10,000 employees out of work. Customers were stranded with worthless tickets and had to buy tickets on other airlines. Most employees could not find comparable work for many years, if ever. It was a painful time for employees, as well as the DFW area. Today, bankruptcy no longer means a company will cease to exist. Other airlines that have declared bankruptcy include America West, Continental, United, US Airways, Delta, and Northwest. Subsequently, US Airways merged with America West; Delta merged with Northwest; and United merged with Continental. Now, all are profitable. Bankruptcy should help American Airlines achieve competitive costs. But, the customer must be satisfied in order for American to become successful. As a customer, what kind of air travel experience do you want? What would you recommend to improve the customer's experience to American's management?