Saturday, July 26, 2008

Perks, China, Top 10 Management Challenges, Asking Better Questions, and a Crazy Boss

I'll be on vacation for a week, so here's a week's worth of reading to tide you over. Be sure to check back next Saturday, for the next Leadership Development Carnival. I've got my work cut out for me - I've received over 40 submissions this time around, from some of the best leadership bloggers around!

So while I'm lying on the beach, be sure to keep coming back to Great Leadership. Don't try to read these all at once, it's way too much to absorb in one sitting, your head may explode.

'Don't Touch My Perks': Companies that Eliminate Them Risk Employee Backlash
Published: July 23, 2008 in Knowledge@Wharton.

Earlier this summer, when employees first learned of a Google plan to upgrade and dramatically raise the price of its day care program, they wept. According to Wharton faculty and compensation experts, that reaction shouldn't come as a big surprise. Trying to eliminate any perk, they say, can cause feelings of betrayal and even retaliation against the company on the part of employees. With the current economic slump, more 'de-perking' could be on the way. Here's the full article.

How to Nurture Managerial Talent in China
Generally speaking, finding talent for a business is a bit easier than finding capital or innovative ideas. But if you do business in China the opposite is true, according to McKinsey Quarterly in a new report.

Today's Top 10 Talent-Management Challenges
Posted by Tammy Erickson on June 19, 2008, Harvard

I had the pleasure last week of moderating a panel of senior talent development officers representing three very different industries and diverse geographies: Deb Wheelock of Mercer (a high-end professional services firm, recruiting highly educated knowledge workers), Pamela Stroko of The Gap (a retailer faced with the classic industry challenges of creating a differentiating employee proposition and enhancing retention of its large workforce), and Sujaya Banerjee of the Essar Group (a diversified India-based enterprise participating in a variety of industrial sectors, including steel, energy, and communications).

Interestingly, even with this diversity of perspectives, we found our views on today’s top talent challenges to be surprisingly aligned. I thought you might like to see our list – and would love to hear your thoughts on things you’re wrestling with that we missed.

Here goes:

1. Attracting and retaining enough employees at all levels to meet the needs of organic and inorganic growth. All three companies are facing a talent crunch. Essar, for example, has grown from 20 thousand employees to a staggering 60 thousand in the past 3 years. Fifty-five percent of their employees have less than two years of tenure.

2. Creating a value proposition that appeals to multiple generations. With four generations in today’s workplace, most companies are struggling to create an employee experience that appeals to individuals with diverse needs, preferences and assumptions. The Gap, for example, has 153,000 people in its workforce. The stores have a high percentage of Gen Y employees, while corporate roles and leadership ranks are primarily made up of Gen X’ers and Boomers. How does one create a compelling employee value proposition for the organization?

Go here for the rest.

Asking Powerful Questions How better questions lead to better solutions
From CCL's July Leading Effectively Newsletter

Faced with too much information and not enough time, today's managers are pressed to make quick decisions. The downside to honing this skill, says CCL's Chuck Palus, is that people typically spend about 90 percent of their time solving a problem and only about 10 percent examining the problem and its context. "Often this means that they end up solving the wrong problem."
People take "mental shortcuts," acting on what we expect to see, says Palus, coauthor of The Leader's Edge: Six Creative Competencies for Navigating Complex Challenges. But we can learn to see past the fa├žade or assumptions of an issue to examine the underlying situation. One way to do this is to become a master of asking powerful questions.

Read the rest.


OK, it's Friday, take a break. Here's Will Ferrell's classic SNL Crazy Boss. Warning: not for the squeamish. It's a lesson on how not to manage.

No comments: