Training Article

Multiple Authors
By: Vip Vyas, Diego Nannicini

Is your enterprise dominated by passive thinking and prescribed routines? Or is it one that generates fresh thinking and unlocks insights into the future?

The viral popularity of TED Talks—with more than a billion views to date—highlights the innate hunger we have for discovering breakthrough ideas.

When it comes to making that high-stakes decision or tackling the most pressing challenges facing your firm, whose experience, inspiration, and insights do you seek? Just as important, why do you look up to those particular individuals or organizations? What do they possess that draws your attention?

What if this wisdom and intelligence resided in your own organization? What does it take to become a thought leader within one's firm?

One thing for sure is that thought leadership is not created by accident. It flows from intention and focus. The top thought leaders deal with cutting-edge issues in their field of expertise. They use high-visibility platforms, including keynote presentations and conferences, as well as relevant pro-bono work, as opportunities to amplify their ideas and develop a dedicated fan base eager to road-test their insights.

William A. Levinson’s picture

By: William A. Levinson

Anthony Chirico1 describes how narrow-limit gauging (NLG, aka compressed limit plans) can reduce enormously the required sample size, and therefore the inspection cost, of a traditional attribute sampling plan. The procedure consists of moving acceptance limits t standard deviations inside the engineering specifications, which increases the acceptable quality level (AQL) and therefore reduces the sample size necessary to detect an increase in the nonconforming fraction.

Multiple Authors
By: Chris Woolston, Knowable Magazine

More than a decade has passed, but Mary Mawritz can still hear metal-tipped tassels flapping against leather loafers—the signature sound of her boss roaming the halls of his real estate company.

“Whenever I heard that jingling, I would get sick to my stomach because I knew he was approaching,” she says. Her boss had another characteristic sound: Yelling, and a lot of it. He would berate her in front of the whole office and threaten to fire her immediately if she didn’t keep up with his never-ending barrage of deadlines and demands.

Mawritz would go home at night with a splitting headache and a lot of questions: Why did he act like that? Why did he think it was OK to treat people that way?

Lots of workers have asked themselves similar questions, but Mawritz has made a career of it. Now a business management researcher at Drexel University’s LeBow College of Business in Philadelphia, she’s one of many experts who are using insights from psychology and business management to tackle the phenomenon of bad bosses, a stubbornly persistent problem that continues to drive people out of promising careers, hurt companies’ bottom lines, and ruin a lot of otherwise decent days.

Tara García Mathewson’s picture

By: Tara García Mathewson

Once students learn how to sound out words, reading is easy. They can speak the words they see. But whether they understand them is a different question entirely. Reading comprehension is complicated. Teachers, though, can help students learn concrete skills to become better readers. One way is by teaching them how to think as they read.

Marianne Stewart teaches eighth grade English at Lexington Junior High near Anaheim, California. She recently asked her students to gather in groups to discuss books where characters face difficulties. Students could choose from 11 different books, but in each group one student took on the role of “discussion director,” whose task was to create questions for the group to discuss together. Stewart created prompts to help them come up with questions that require deep reading.

This process of questioning while reading is one of a number of “cognitive strategies” Stewart teaches her students. The strategies focus on what research has shown to be the thought processes of good readers. Others include planning and goal-setting, tapping prior knowledge, making connections, visualizing, and forming interpretations. By mastering these strategies explicitly, students learn that reading is an active process, not one in which they simply sound out words in their heads.

Manfred Kets de Vries’s picture

By: Manfred Kets de Vries

Recently, I was listening to the CFO of a large industrial firm who complained nonstop about her CEO. At the start of his tenure, the CEO regularly interacted with his top team but now seemed to spend most of his time brooding in his office. In meetings, he would often lose focus, have fits of anger, and harass people.

The CEO’s mercurial style was affecting morale and, increasingly, sales. Some subordinates wondered whether their CEO was falling apart in front of their eyes.

The phrase “It’s lonely at the top” is a cliché, but for many top executives, it’s also a harsh reality. A CEO’s responsibilities tend to come with sleepless nights and constant worry about having made the right decisions. The psychological pressure can inflict an emotional strain that most employees will never experience. Outwardly, this may present as aloofness, which in turn makes it even harder for a CEO to remain effective.

In the absence of a support system, burnout becomes a real threat. Men in particular tend to let their personal relationships with friends and family take a back seat to their professional ambitions. They may find themselves with nobody to rely on during difficult times and then turn to extramarital affairs or alcohol and drugs.

Stuart Hearn’s picture

By: Stuart Hearn

Managers have a profound effect on employee engagement. This is something we have known for quite a few years. According to a 2015 Gallup poll, managers account for at least a 70-percent variance in employee engagement scores. When employees and managers have a healthy, respectful, and honest relationship, employees feel more supported and better able to perform the function of their job.

Knowing this, it’s rather unfortunate that more than half of employees claim not to trust their managers. Along with motivation, commitment, and loyalty, trust is a core component of employee engagement. Without faith in their managers, employees aren’t able to achieve their full potential—meaning that your company can’t, either. Managers need to inspire trust, motivate great performance, and provide employees with a stable working environment to create a workforce that will help take your business to greater heights.

Multiple Authors
By: Claire Harbour-Lyell, Antoine Tirard

Born to a Dalit family, Megha was raised in Southwest India and learned English at her convent school. As a child, she aspired to be a fashion designer or a cardiologist, but her parents insisted that she become an IT engineer. After four years of higher education, Megha found a job in the booming technology sector.

During the next six years, she worked as a technical engineer and consultant on various projects. She recalls: “I tried to fit into the normal life of an engineer; however, something inside me was saying that I was not in the place where I was meant to be. I was dissatisfied and hungry.”

While exploring new career options, Megha grew interested in the business side of the fashion industry. She saw it as a natural progression since she had a strong foundation in management. In 2011, she heard about an MBA in international luxury-brand management in Paris and applied for it. When the letter of acceptance came, Megha knew she was ready to move to the City of Light, even though she did not speak French.

Jesse Lyn Stoner’s picture

By: Jesse Lyn Stoner

I had the pleasure of interviewing Whitney Johnson, author of the book, Build an A Team: Play to Their Strengths and Lead Them Up the Learning Curve (Harvard Business Review Press, 2018). Whitney has done ground-breaking work in the arena of personal disruption—applying these concepts to individuals, not just organizations.

I read Build an A Team with interest because it’s a natural progression of the work Whitney has been doing with personal disruption and career disruption. In her last two books, she showed how disruption applies to individuals and in their careers. Her new book shows how managers can use these ideas to develop their team.

Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest’s picture

By: Laurel Thoennes @ Quality Digest

Compliance to U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) regulations has come a long way in the past 30 years. Here are the main changes. Have they affected your business?

1988: Food and Drug Administration Act
Officially establishes the FDA as an agency of the Department of Health and Human Services and broadly spells out the responsibilities for research, enforcement, education, and information

1988: The Prescription Drug Marketing Act
Requires drug wholesalers to be licensed by the states; restricts reimportation from other countries; and bans sale, trade, or purchase of drug samples, and traffic or counterfeiting of redeemable drug coupons

Multiple Authors
By: Henrik Bresman, Deborah Ancona

A leading supermarket chain in an eastern European Union country feared an 8-percent drop in sales as discounting giant Lidl was about to enter its market. So, in collaboration with researchers, it decided to run a randomized controlled experiment. The goal was to reduce its costly personnel turnover problem in a bid to improve quality and operational efficiency.

Selected store managers received a letter from top management, encouraging them to do something about the 90-percent yearly staff turnover. It worked: During the next three quarters, the monthly quit rate fell by 20 to 30 percent. However, surprisingly, this vast improvement led to no discernible effect on the predefined performance metrics (sales and value of perished food). In interviews, the researchers found the explanation. As store managers focused more on HR issues, they spent less time interacting with customers (to increase sales) and dealing with the flow of goods (to reduce food wastage).

Syndicate content