Why do business idols, both individuals and firms, develop feet of clay? For anybody who believes this cannot happen to their leader, or their organisation, or even to themselves, the best advice is ‘don’t be so sure’.
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Human resource management, like all aspects of business, is subject to fads and fashions which seem so important when they are launched but soon disappear into the fog. Among the most popular at present are coaching and mentoring, employee engagement and HR shared services provision.
When the CEO of the mighty Wal-Mart asks the UK government for protection from competition from Tesco, one fifth its size, it is clear something significant is going on. The rise of Tesco is not explained by its being better at dominating its home trade than Wal-Mart in the markets it serves in the US. Both benefit from enormous scale and purchasing power.
The corporate goal of every organisation is to survive, so goes the famous mantra from business guru Tom Peters.
Management and leadership alike obviously and entirely depend on the brain - the most complex organ in the human body and one that, even today, is not fully understood. The better leaders and managers do understand its workings, however, the better they are able to use this complexity – and improve their results.
Artifical barriers between leaders and led are only one obstacle to true teamwork.
Great coaches no doubt differ in their styles as much as great athletes. But the coaches must all have eone thing in common: they are great communicators. It isn't just a question of seeing what the athlete must do, but of persuading the athlete to do it.
People are the key to organisational success, and also the cause of corporate failure.
Management and numbers go together like Scylla and Charybdis.
The romantic image of the founder-millionaire wearing overalls. tinkering visibly with some mechanical marvel in workshop or lab, is often reality.
To achieve anything, you must have a direction, a purpose, an aim.
Top managers have never lost their fondness for declaring that people are the 'greatest asset' that their corporations possess. Like other popular maxims, this one doesn't survive close analysis.
Managers are constantly asked to behave like entrepreneurs.
All companies are management academies, good or bad. Very few concerns see themselves in this light. But companies of all sizes inculcate methods, judge managerial performance, seek to improve it, provide specific training, develop concepts - and, above all, provide an endless stream of real-life case studies.
Managers have become increasingly concerned with 'change management', and like it or not, that's moved from desirable skill to indispensable process.
Teamwork is one of the rallying cries of the new management.
All empires famously carry within them the seeds of their own decay.
Every senior manager makes a critical decision every day of his or her working life. Mostly, the decision is unconscious, but is no less vital for that. The issue is simply stated with three questions...
If you haven’t caught up with the extraordinary changes in the business/management world, it’s time you did.
The one subject on which all managers should have strong and well-informed opinions is management itself.
Everybody has had the miserable experience of working for or with a ‘bad manager’: and you would have to be desperately unlucky never to encounter a ‘good’ one. But what do ‘good’ and ‘bad’ mean in this context?
I’ve been reading with mounting horror a book called 'Rip Off' by David Craig. The cover justly describes it as, ‘the scandalous inside story of the management consulting money machine’. Craig was himself a blue chip consultant.
I get the feeling that in the constant struggle between leadership and management, leadership is getting the upper hand.
Here’s a stimulating enquiry from one of our readers, who wants the answer to questions that take me back to 1993, when I interviewed 20 European companies for a book on Total Quality Management. The enquiry goes to the heart of the matter.
The late Peter Drucker’s secrets of managing effectively: first, how good are you at the five functions of the manager?
1. setting objectives 2. organising the group 3. motivating and communicating 4. measuring performance 5. developing people