Give Them Hope

In the movie, Enemy at the Gates, there is a scene in which Nikita Khrushchev, who later became the Premier of the Old Soviet Union, carpets the political officers for their ineffectiveness in motivating soldiers to fight for Mother Russia. So far as he and they know, everything has been tried. People have been threatened, sent…

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Whatever Happened to Employee Loyalty?

I was saw a Peanuts cartoon strip in which Lucy, Charlie Brown’s nemesis, told this bedtime story: “Once upon a time they all lived happily ever after.” It’s probably the shortest one of its kind on record. Just when you start to get into it, its over. The End. And once upon a time, employers and…

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Remember Everybody, Somebody, Anybody and Nobody?

I’m sure that you remember story of everybody, somebody, anybody, and nobody. Pick any task, job, or project you like. Here’s how it goes. Everybody thought that somebody would do it. It was something anybody could have done, but nobody did. When you think about your own organization, are there things that have fallen through…

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Best Practice Baloney

About 20 years ago, the now ubiquitous  term, best practice, emerged onto the management scene. It promised great things. It implied that there was a best way to do almost everything, that anybody could learn to do it, and when they had everyone would be the best they could be. It was happy, happy, happy. There…

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The Road Not Taken

In 1920, Robert Frost wrote a poem entitled “The Road Not Taken.” In it, he described a choice in life, whether to take one path or another; whether to go to the right or to the left. And his regret was in the fact that he could not travel along both, for each held its…

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Stockholder Value: The Biggest Con of Them All

Con men (and women) are an unusually talented group of people. They’ve developed the skill of getting something of value from you with nothing more than a promise of something else that you want. The big financial scandals of recent years – and those are the ones that we know about – are proof of…

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