• A New Kind of Corporate Culture

    Corporate Culture Mindset
    Source: Corporate Culture Mindset

    Every organization has a culture. Culture includes the organization values, visions, norms, working language, systems, symbols, beliefs, and habits. It is the pattern of such collective behaviors and assumptions that are taught to new organizational members as a way of perceiving, and even thinking and feeling. The values and beliefs that everyone in the organization knows and understands are used to judge the decisions that employees make every day - both big and small. Organizational culture affects the way people and groups interact with each other, with clients, and with stakeholders.

    Using the graphic above, compare the organizational cultures of Pixar, Patagonia, and Google. Why do you think that these companies are referred to as "a new kind of corporate culture"?

  • Burger King's CEO is 33 Years Old

    How did Burger King end up with a 33-year-old CEO?

    What are your chances of being a CEO by 33?

    What do you need to do to become a top manager?

  • Is This the End of the 40-Hour Work Week?

    A study from Premiere Global Services, Inc. (PGi) found that 88% of workers work above and beyond the traditional 40 hours per week. The survey found that the "longer work week causes loss of productivity, dissatisfaction, stress, and decline in business growth." 

    Among the other findings:

    • 71% said they take work home at least one day per week.
    • 88% of survey respondents said they work more than 40 hours per week.
    • 71% said they work more than they prefer.
    • 63% eat lunch at their desks.
    • 61% commute more than 30 minutes each day, with nearly 25% clocking in at over an hour.

    The survey results prompted PGi to launch its #TakeBack60 campaign, "dedicated to providing productivity tips, technology resources, and work-life balance ideas to help workers reclaim 60 minutes from their overworked week." According to the survey results, people would use the 60 minutes for the following.

    • 64% said they would spend more time with family.
    • 64% said they would exercise.
    • 31% would pursue a hobby.
    • 24% would catch up on household chores.
    • 22% would learn or improve a skill.

    How many hours should people work per week?

    Do you think that the 9-to-5 work week is now a thing of the past?

    What would you do with 60 more minutes each week?

  • Think of Employees as Allies

    "Alliance" is the title of Reid Hoffman's new book. He is the co-founder and chairman of LinkedIn and wrote the book with Ben Casnocha and Chris Yeh. In the video above, Jeff Weiner discusses the book, The Alliance: Managing Talent in the Networked Age, with Hoffman and Casnocha. "The premise of the book is that the employer-employee relationship is broken. Managers face a seemingly impossible dilemma: You can't afford to offer lifetime employment. But you can't build a lasting, innovative business when everyone acts like a free agent. The solution: Stop thinking of employees as family or free agents, and start thinking of them as allies on a tour of duty." 

    An alliance is like a contract. What does an employer owe an employee? What does an employee owe an employer?

    How many companies do you think you will work for during your whole career?

    How will you keep adapting, gaining responsibilities, and expertise as you work for different companies?

  • Change the Lives of Just 10 People

    It is often said that change is the only constant in business today. We are reminded of this constant in the video above of the 2014 University of Texas commencement address by Naval Admiral William H. McRaven. Among other commands, he commanded the Navy SEALs raid on Osama bin Laden's compound in 2011. In the video, he shares ten lessons from basic Navy SEALs training.

    McRaven says, "If every one of you changed the lives of just 10 people -- and each one of those folks changed the lives of another 10 people -- just 10 -- then in five generations -- 125 years -- the class of 2014 will have changed the lives of 800 million people. If you think it's hard to change the lives of 10 people -- change their lives forever -- you're wrong."

    How can you, as a manager, change the lives of 10 employees?

  • Microsoft Plans to Layoff 18,000

    Microsoft just announced plans to layoff 18,000 employees over the next year. Microsoft CEO, Satya Nadella, sent an email to employees, and Stephen Elop, the former Nokia CEO and now Microsoft executive, sent an email to employees. Microsoft and Nokia merged last year, and many of the employees have overlapping jobs. Nadella wrote, “We plan to have fewer layers of management, both top down and sideways, to accelerate the flow of information and decision making. This includes flattening organizations and increasing the span of control of people managers.” He goes on to say, “Every team across Microsoft must find ways to simplify and move faster, more efficiently. Culture change means we will do things differently. Often people think that means everyone other than them. In reality, it means all of us taking a new approach and working together to make Microsoft better.”

    View a video.

    If you were working at Microsoft, how would you know that you were going to lose your job?

    Joann S. Lublin of The Wall Street Journal identified "six subtle signs you're about to lose your job."

    1. Your boss refuses to discuss your long-term projects.
    2. Rumors fly about a hunt for your successor.
    3. Colleagues shun you.
    4. You're assigned an executive coach to fix your flaws.
    5. You must justify your job.
    6. Your supervisor suddenly interferes with your employees.

    Why does Microsoft need to layoff employees?

    Will Microsoft or Nokia employees lose their jobs?

  • Appreciating Each Generation

    For the first time in history there are four generations at work. The infographic above by Michael C. Fina identifies the four generations by years of birth.

    • Traditionalists (1922-1945)
    • Baby Boomers (1946-1964)
    • Generation X workers (1965-1978)
    • Generation Y workers (1979-1997)

    Identify your generation.

    Do you agree with the motivators identified in the infographic?

    What are those things that are most important to you when it comes to getting a job done? What tactics work best for you?

  • 10 Tips for the Perfect LinkedIn Profile

    "Recruiters and employers that I talk to routinely do online background searches on their candidates to learn more about them, as well as to filter out candidates with little or negative information about them," says Chris Perry, the founder of Career Rocketeer (careerrocketeer.com), a Web site that provides career-development advice.
    Above are some tips to make your LinkedIn profile outstanding.
    • Do you have a LinkedIn profile? 
    • If you have one, how will you change it?
  • Make Smarter Decisions for Future You

    Daniel Goldstein studies decision making and in this TED talk, "The battle between your present and future self," shares tools to help you imagine yourself over time. 

    How can you make smarter decisions today that will have good consequences for you in the future?

    How will making smarter decisions make you a better manager?

  • The ABC's of Collaboration

    Don Pontefract, author of Flat Army: Creating a Connected and Engaged Organization, defines collaboration as follows: “The unfettered allowance and encouragement of employees to both contribute and consume knowledge, insight or ideas with any direct relationship via professional or personal networks to achieve an outcome." He elaborates on the definition by providing the graphic above.

    In short, collaborative relationships are those defined by mutual learning and shared creation. Collaboration is important for work teams so that they can accomplish their objectives.

    Which of Pontefract's ABC's have you found most helpful when working with others?

    Which one(s) will you start using? Why?

  • A Majority of CEOs Believe College Graduates Lack Job Skills Critical for Success

    The results from a recent Northeastern study (see attached file) indicated 87% of CEOs believe college graduates lack job skills critical for success. (See top 10 skills below.) 

    Top 10 Skills

    • Communication / Communication skills
    • Inter-personal skills / networking / socialization / ability to work in teams
    • Adaptability / flexibility
    • Strong work ethic
    • Ability to learn / listen / being trainable
    • Willingness to work / learn
    • Experience (i.e. trainings, internships)
    • Critical thinking
    • Technology / Computer skills / knowledge
    • Drive / desire

    89% of CEOs believe universities should incorporate more entrepreneurship education, and 97% say universities should provide experiential learning.But, if you are going to college full-time, how are you going to get experience? Mashable suggests the following 4 ways to get experience this summer.

    1. Take an internship in an unfamiliar field.
    2. Practice public speaking.
    3. Turn a hobby into a business.
    4. Seek international opportunities.

    Have you had an internship? What about job shadowing? How might you find your own internship?

    Where might you speak in public?

    What are your hobbies?

    Have you ever traveled to a foreign country? How did it differ from the United States?

  • Be a "Now-ist"

    In the video above, Joi Ito, the head of the MIT Media Lab, shares a new approach to innovation. It is a bottom-up approach that starts, he says, with being open and alert to what’s going on around you right now. Don’t be a futurist, be a now-ist. Create in the moment by building quickly and improving constantly, without waiting for permission.

    Managers are taught to scan the environment to find opportunities. Does being a "now-ist" conflict with scanning the environment? How can managers do both?

  • The Power of the Underdog

    In the TED video above, Malcolm Gladwell, author of "David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants" discusses the unlikely victory.

    Anderson Cooper interviews Malcolm Gladwell, and Gladwell says that what we think of as a disadvantage can actually be a strength. Underdogs win more often than we think because their limitations can force them to be creative.

    Issie Lapowsky of Inc. asked Gladwell, "Why should entrepreneurs read this book?" Gladwell answered. "Because this book is fundamentally about the weapons of the spirit. It's about how the things that are in your heart or your soul or your imagination are every bit the equal of the material advantages that you've been given. Unless [your start-up] is some kind of special case, you don't have material advantages. What you have are your ideas, your motivation, your perseverance, your excitement, your faith. This book is an attempt to appreciate those gifts for what they are, and I think that's something that every entrepreneur would be interested in."

    What is the link between adversity and innovation?

    How might reading the book make you think differently about what it takes to be innovative?

    Tell us about a time that you turned a disadvantage into a strength.

  • What's the most American brand?

    Businesses spend a lot of money on their brands. Since the USA just finished the World Cup and Independence Day is Friday, Adweek asked, "What's the most American brand?" In addition, respondents were asked about the importance of buying American products, what shoppers are really looking for, and what the difference is when buying domestic vs. imported.

    Which of the brands mentioned in the Adweek video are American? Which aren't?

    Which brands might be wasting money creating advertising that doesn't build or refresh relevant memory structures?

    What is your favorite American brand?

    Do you buy American brands?

    What is the difference in buying domestic vs. imported brands?

  • New York Court Rules Large Sugary Drinks Ban Illegal

    Managers scan the internal and external environments as part of the strategic planning process. The legal environment is one element in the external environment and consists of the laws and regulations that have been passed to prevent unethical business activities from occurring. Ongoing analysis of the external environment (and the internal environment) leads the organization to develop strategic plans, which determine the future of the company.

    Two of the questions, which managers should ask, include the following.

    What is legal today that might be illegal in the future?

    What is illegal today that might be legal in the future?

    Buying large, sugary drinks is not illegal. But in New York City, the local health board approved a regulation, which was former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's plan to limit the sale of sugary drinks, larger than 16 ounces. They believe that large, sugary drinks contribute to obesity. But, managers of the soft drink, restaurant, and movie theater industries challenged the law. They believe that customers want large, sugary drinks. In the CNN video above, New York's Court of Appeals ruled that New York City's ban on large sugary drinks is illegal. 

    What is the relationship between ethics and this regulation?

    Why do the claims and interests of consumers, government, and businesses sometimes con´Čéict?