The Truth About Paying for Performance

One of the great myths of corporate life is that incentive pay leads to better performance.  Corporate leaders often speak with great moral conviction of creating pay for performance cultures that only reward people when they meet performance expectations.  The logic suggests that if organizations provide a big enough carrot, people will work harder to … More The Truth About Paying for Performance

Stop Hiding Behind Jargon

One of the surest signs that change leaders don’t know what they are doing is the excessive use of jargon.  It’s easy to spot.  Just listen for words like strategic, alignment, partnering, values, sustained, vision, execution, branding, methodology, governance, scalable, global, integrated, empowerment, enablement, or any other intelligent-sounding, yet empty clichés that assume speakers have … More Stop Hiding Behind Jargon

Context is Everything

At 7:51 am on January 12, 2007, a man wearing a baseball cap, T-shirt and faded jeans entered L’Enfant Plaza in Washington D.C. amid the morning rush of commuters and quietly removed his violin from its case. The violin was the rare Gibson ex-Huberman handcrafted in 1713 by Antonio Stradivari during the Italian master’s “golden … More Context is Everything

Read the Instructions

“When all else fails, read the instructions.” That simple, seven-word warning ought to appear on the instruction manual for everything that comes unassembled.  It should appear in bold face, large font letters on every purchase from Ikea, every home theater system, every backyard play set, and every brightly-colored, multi-part plastic child’s toy packaged in an … More Read the Instructions

The Assumption of Interdependence

My view of organization effectiveness starts with two important assumptions: We are interdependent, and as a result We need to collaborate. Interdependence implies that people need to cooperate in order to accomplish what they want.  In the workplace, managers need employees to accomplish results that lead to department or organization success.  Likewise, employees need managers … More The Assumption of Interdependence

A Unified Vision of Change?

Change, transformation, re-engineering, BPR, Kaizen, Six Sigma, reinvention, lean, optimization, globalization, standardization, integration, turnaround, downsizing, rightsizing, reductions-in-force, outsourcing, in-sourcing, self-managed teams, learning organizations, and the list goes on. Maybe these employees have the right idea about change.