We see evidence of status all over the work place. The boss in the corner office; larger, more comfortable chairs for management; and cubicles by the window for people with more seniority.
There are companies who try to remove the haughty symbols of status in attempts to make everyone equal. I heard of a company once who, when redesigning their office space, made all of the offices the same size. That way, the CEO and the low-level manager had the same sized office. No status there. Except that the higher someone’s level in the company, the larger his or her office plant was.
I remember an old cartoon of a reporter asking a famous star, “How do you account for your overnight success?” To which the star responded, “Twenty years of hard work.”
In our current, reality-TV world, there are people who become household names in a very short time. I have found, though, that that type of fame is often short-lived.
Overnight success in the business world is rare. You might argue that there are people like Mark Cuban. He created a website, sold it for billions and is now owner of the Dallas Mavericks basketball team. He’s also a “shark” on the popular TV show Shark Tank.
While Cuban has become a poster child for internet success, his wasn’t overnight. He putting himself through business school at Indiana University. Then he worked as a bartender and a software salesman. After being fired from the software company, he started his own company. Seven years later, he sold the company, for which he made about $2 million. He started another company, Audionet in 1995, which became Broadcast.com. His company grew throughout the dot-com craze in the late 90s. He then sold it in 1999 to Yahoo for $5.7 billion. Continue reading The Best Route to Success – Incremental Gains→
We work in an environment of nearly constant change. Technology has not only changed the way we do virtually everything, the rate of change increases at a more rapid rate every day.
For those who work in technology, the job market is pretty good these days. Despite what are considered high unemployment numbers for the nation as a whole, if you work in technology, you’re most likely in high demand.
There is an age-old debate about how the toilet paper should roll for most efficient dispensing. One school of thought says the paper should roll up from the bottom while the other says it should roll down from the top.
I intentionally ignore how the roll is configured when I replace it. Theoretically, I get it from the top 50% of the time and from the bottom the same amount of time. I have never once had trouble unrolling this bathroom essential, regardless from where it unrolls. Continue reading Management Flexibility: That’s Not How I’d Do It→
Suppose you hire a local landscaping firm to care for your lawn. During a backyard party, if a guest comments that your bushes are overgrown and the grass is cut unevenly, you might respond that it’s that darn service you contracted with.
If the same guest commented how beautiful your lawn looks, you might be just as likely to say “Thank you” and avoid the confusion of explaining to him that you hire a firm to handle it. You were, after all, responsible for hiring the landscapers, right? Continue reading The Thick Skin of a Consultant→
Kodak was once a dominant player in the photography industry leading all players in the film and camera market by a seemingly insurmountable lead. As digital photography – which they invented – took over film, Kodak had difficulty developing a profitable strategy to compete. As a result, they now find themselves in bankruptcy on the brink of failure.
Similarly, Borders Books operated 256 retail superstores as recently as 1999. Strategic missteps and inability to respond to online competitors resulted in their liquidation in 2011.
I’ve worked in very few organizations that didn’t have a jerk or two walking around. Over the years I’ve learned to deal with them.
In the one situation where the jerk was my boss, I worked for several years – too long – to deal with it, and eventually moved on. Life is too short to work that closely for a jerk for any length of time.
We often hear that the only thing that stays constant is change. But if that’s so, why are people so averse to change? Just listen to the nervous gossip that begins to swirl around when a group gets a new boss or some other leadership change occurs within a company.
Getting in a routine
Human beings are creatures of habit. We get our routines down and take the same route to work, stop at the same coffee shop or have lunch with the same people every day. We get comfortable with the predictable. Continue reading Consulting: Embracing the Change→