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Archive for March, 2010

Mar
29

Oh wait – People Really ARE Our most Important Asset

I was just on a call this morning with the whole Proteus team – we have these calls once a month, to stay in touch, share what's happening with the business, keep each other in the loop about important topics.

At one point we were discussing what we've seen in the marketplace over the past few months: how our existing and potential clients are operating the same or differently as they come out of the recession, business trends we're seeing, etc.

One thing we all seemed to agree on: senior leaders are starting to behave as though hiring good people and providing the support they need in order to be most productive, challenged and satisfied, is a critical success factor for business.  In our experience, business leaders have been mouthing the people-are-our-most-important-asset mantra for years.  But over the past few months, we've seen a much larger proportion of people who seem willing to operationalize that sentiment by putting actual resources into finding out what their best people are looking for from the organization, and trying to give it to them: skill and knowledge development; clearer organizational vision and strategy, and how it translates into goals for their job; better performance management and career pathing; a culture that supports fresh thinking about products and processes; fewer organizational impediments to getting good results.

I'm not clear on the connection between the two: why companies should be more people-focused, post-recession.  I just know this what we're seeing.

What are you seeing?  And if it's similar to what we're describing, why do you think it's happening?

Posted in News

Mar
21

Spring

It's the official first day of Spring, and it's absolutely gorgeous. The daffodil shoots are inches higher than IMG_0096 they were just hours ago. And here's photographic proof: when we got to the house on Friday evening, the tree in this picture – I swear I am not making this up – had not yet begun to leaf out. 

Spring captures me every single time. Everything coming back to life, bursting free, struggling up to sun and air.  Patrick and I spent most of the day outside yesterday, preparing the garden beds, clearing away last fall's debris, deciding where to plant the seeds acquired over the winter. I love it.

I love designing things so they'll work beautifully. I love giving things the conditions they need to grow. I love watching things come to fruition. For me, the deepest satisfactions come from envisioning and then moving toward a hoped-for future.  So – how lucky am I?  I get to do that at home and I get to do it every day at work.

And Spring, my favorite season, is when the whole world madly and joyously clarifies-and-moves-toward-its-hoped-for-future!

Posted in News

Mar
12

Three Star Leadership Blog: What Women Want (at Work)

Three Star Leadership Blog: What Women Want (at Work).

A great post by my friend Wally Bock. I knew he was smart and insightful – I didn't know he was also an ardent feminist, in the best possible sense of the word.

I suspect having had a mother who was in business in the fifties and sixties might have been a major factor in his evolution in this regard.

He talks about the ways in which the playing field is still not level, and references some excellent blogs that focus on women's issues.

Posted in Current Affairs

Mar
10

Painful Politics

Scarred by office politics, how do we move on? | Office-Politics.

If you're not familiar with Office-Politics, Franke James' wonderful website, I'd recommend it highly.  People write in (and have been writing in for almost 8 years) with their office politics dilemmas, and Franke or one of her group of advisors offer supportive and clarifying responses.

I'm honored to be part of Franke's advisor posse; this link is to a letter she had me answer a few weeks ago.  I thought you might find it useful – it's focused on how to recover and create a new, more productive and positive work environment after leaving a politically toxic one.

Franke is also the author of Dear Office Politics: The Game Everyone Plays.  It's fun + useful + realistic — one of my favorite combinations.

Posted in News

Mar
9

A Great Excuse

Couples negril I'm posting this picture as the best possible rationale for not having posted to my blog for the past 10 days.  This is the resort in Jamaica where Patrick and I spent my birthday week. It was, by a huge margin, the best birthday present I've ever gotten.

We missed the worst of the storm of '10, as well. Good all around.

I'll write an actual post tomorrow, mon.

Posted in News