Tag Archives: management

Squirrel!: Welcome to the Ricky Bobby School of Management

BusinessPart two of a series.

Ricky Bobby is not a thinker…He is a doer. – Talladega Nights

In part one of this series, we talked about a new analysis that explains how important stupidity is to the modern corporation. Today we’re going to have a look at what this means for you.

In short, despite what you’ve been told your whole life, being smart may not be good for your career. Read more

One reason why you didn’t get the job you were perfect for: can we ask companies to stop the fake job Dog & Pony Show process?

Millions of Americans are looking for jobs, and they’re using a wide range of approaches: want ads, online job boards, headhunters and recruiters, networking, these are common approaches. But in an environment where there are far fewer jobs than candidates, none of them are working especially well.

Sometimes, though, you wonder how you missed out. In the past 10-15 years I have seen and applied for plenty of jobs. Some I was qualified for (based on the posted requisites, anyway). Some I was marginally qualified for, at best. And some I was perfect for. In a number of cases I was so perfect that it seemed like the only difference between the job posting and my résumé was my name and contact information at the top of the page. This may have happened to you, too.

But … you didn’t get the job. Read more

Business: when goals attack!

We can probably agree that it’s good to have goals. In business, especially, it’s good to know where you’re going and to have some mechanisms that help you chart and evaluate your progress.

Increasingly, though, we’re presented with more and more evidence suggesting that our goal-setting can easily go awry, and with dramatically counter-productive results. If you’ve read Steven Levitt and Stephen Dubner’s outstanding Freakonomics you probably recall their investigation of teacher-fueled cheating on standardized tests, for instance. While most of would agree in principle that our educational system should adhere to the highest standards possible, it’s clear that something went badly wrong in that system. If you know any teachers, you may also have heard (in tones ranging from quiet exasperation to unbridled rage) how goal-setting is failing in other places, as well, and for many of the same reasons. Read more

How the macro-succession crisis is going to hit the entrepreneurial sector

I’ve written recently about some generational issues facing companies – most notably the “macro-succession crisis” that I suspect very few corporations have even thought about in meaningful detail. In that post I examine how the coming Baby Boomer retirement explosion is going to engender all kinds of crisis, especially in larger legacy corporations that are so top-heavy with Boomer leaders that their Gen X successors are ill-prepared for the transition that must begin taking place in the next five years.

But if you’re a different kind of company – say an entrepreneurial outfit started and run by front-edge Xers (people now in their early to mid-40s) – you’re in good shape, right? Read more

Addressing the “praise deficit”: young workers putting a strain on organizations and organizations are responding inappropriately

I wrote a couple weeks ago over at Black Dog how companies across the US are flying headlong toward a massive macro-succession pile-up, and the collective personality of the Millennial Generation (born from ~1980-2000) is going to play a major part in mid-management breakdowns in the next few years.

If you’d like a glimpse of the stress the Millennials are already exerting on organizations, you’ll want to read a new analysis from the Wall Street Journal‘s CareerJournal.com site. In it, Jeffrey Zaslow chronicles how businesses are addressing the Mills’ excessive need for praise: (More at Black Dog Strategic…)