"Draft Day," "Moneyball," and the rise of the sports management movie. There’s a new breed of sports movie in town, one that does away with all that pesky team building and ersatz democracy. These films celebrate the real heroes of sports, the real heroes of any workplace: the bosses.
Sean Blanda asks, "Do We Really Need Managers?
" He interviews one of the founders of Treehouse, a startup company which has transitioned to a structure with no one in a traditional management role. To show that such an approach can work in the long term, Blanda refers to Gore - managerless since 1958
. [more inside]
The Myth of the Visionary Leader.
"But just knowing that great leadership is not always going to look great, or even make us feel inspired, could help gird us against the power of big personality and encourage us to make more sober choices."
It hit me this morning that perhaps all of my endless toil and hard work has landed me here. I've transferred so much within the company that all paperwork on me has been long since misplaced. I exist only in a computer program that spits out a 4 digit paycheck to my bank account every other Thursday - just another tick on the underbelly of the corporate warthog. Too senior to be fired, too misunderstood to be bothered, I am truly the forgotten employee.
The African King With A Multi-Billion Dollar Empire RBH functions as a communitybased investment company whose primary investment aim is to generate the income required for the funding of sustainable projects. Income generated from RBH’s commercial interests is invested in infrastructural development, as well as in the members of the Nation itself. Over the past decade, more than R4 billion ($475 million) has been spent on roads, utilities, schools, clinics and other public amenities. This has benefited not only the Bafokeng, but other people living in the North West Province of South Africa, the area which the RBN calls home.
"We have little trouble recognizing that a chess grandmaster’s victory over a novice is skill, as well as assuming that Paul the octopus’s ability to predict World Cup games is due to chance. But what about everything else?" [Luck and Skill Untangled: The Science of Success
From the mid 40s to the mid 50s Coronet Instructional Films
were always ready to provide social guidance for teenagers on subjects as diverse as dating
, preparing for being drafted
, and shyness
, as well as to children on following the law
, the value of quietness in school
, and appreciating our parents
. They also provided education on topics such as the connection between attitudes and health
, what kind of people live in America
, how to keep a job
, supervising women workers
, the nature of capitalism
, and the plantation System in Southern life
. Inside is an annotated collection of all 86 of the complete Coronet films in the Prelinger Archives
as well as a few more. Its not like you had work to do or anything right? [more inside]
The Sponsor Effect: Breaking through the Last Glass Ceiling (pdf)
Women aren't making it to the top. Despite gains in middle and senior management, they hold just 3 percent of Fortune 500 CEO positions. In the C-suite, they're outnumbered four to one. What's keeping women under the glass ceiling? High-performing women simply don't have the sponsorship they need to reach the top.
The study found that women underestimate the role sponsorship plays in their advancement. And those who do grasp its importance fail to cultivate it. It's also a classic catch-22: a woman's personal choices, whatever they may be, brand her as not quite leadership material. What will it take to promote sponsorship?
In 2003, the BBC reported that a population explosion of Great Gerbils
had destroyed more than 4 million hectares of grasslands in China's north-western Xinjiang region
-- an area about the size of Switzerland. By 2005 the damage covered 5
million hectares, and the Xinjuang Regional Headquarters for Controlling Locusts and Rodents were reported to be breeding and attracting pairs of golden eagles to curb the gerbil population. So McSweeney's Joshuah Bearman was assigned to the story. His report: An Investigation Into Xinjiang's Growing Swarm of Great Gerbils, Which May or May Not be Locked in a Death-Struggle With the Golden Eagle, With Important Parallels and/or Implications Regarding Koala Bears, The Pied Piper, Spongmonkeys, Cane Toads, Black Death, [and] Text-Messaging.
The current system of corporate governance is bunk. Capitalist corporations are on the way to certain extinction. Replete with hierarchies that are exceedingly wasteful of human talent and energies, intertwined with toxic finance, co-dependent with political structures that are losing democratic legitimacy fast, a form of post-capitalist, decentralised corporation will, sooner or later, emerge.
An analysis of the management and organizational style of Valve Software
“Someone who is exceptional in their role is not just a little better than someone who is pretty good,” Mark Zuckerberg said recently. “They are 100 times better.” Bull hockey
, says Bill Taylor in the Harvard Business Review: great people are overrated. See also Great People are Overrated, II
and Malcolm Gladwell's 2002 take on the same theme, The Talent Myth
"Taylor always said that scientific management would usher in a "mental revolution," and it has. Modern life is Taylorized life, the Taylor biographer Robert Kanigel observed, a dozen years back. Above your desk, the clock is ticking; on the shop floor, the camera is rolling. Manage your time, waste no motion, multitask: your iPhone comes with a calendar, your car with a memo pad. "Who is Schmidt?" journalists wanted to know, a century ago. Vell, ve are." [The history of management consulting
No hierarchy, no supervisors, no managers, no bosses. How does the philosophy that "authoritarians cannot impose commitments, only commands" translate into a successful company? [more inside]
How to feed 9 billion people:
The global food supply is starting to get tight, with increasing sensitivity to droughts and floods causing price spikes and food shortages. The UK commissioned a report to examine how to feed a planet
with a population that is set to increase to 9 billion by 2050. [more inside]
Wondering at the route US
unemployment has taken, I found some clues here
, but the overriding factor seems to be the German model
and works councils
. [more inside]
This will be helpful
if crossing out to-do lists and calendars work for you when you want to get organized... [more inside]
How to Save a Dying Ocean
- "New England fishermen have mixed feelings about a programme designed to allow overfished species to recover. Mark Schrope reports on how catch shares
have scientists fishing for answers." (via
) [more inside]
(warning: mind-blowing photos inside) water collecting system in Kasukabe City, Japan is a massive underground silo network
(more photos) in the greater Tokyo area designed to control flooding
(note: this site is in Japanese with English tour link) from typhoons. [more inside]
A series of studies conducted at GE's Hawthorne Works in Cicero, Illinois in the 1920s remain some of the most important in social science, with a lasting impact on the working lives of almost everybody. Before the Hawthorne Experiments
, the approach to work was to treat humans like machines
, optimizing their movements and time. But the researchers in Cicero discovered that any change in the workplace, even dimming the lights, increased productivity, because the plant workers reacted to being studied. The "Hawthorne Effect
" launched a management revolution
, suggesting that worker's feelings and attitudes might actually be important. Except, according a new paper by the author of Freakonomics
, the results of the Hawthorne studies "proved to be entirely fictional."
calibre is a free and open source e-book library management application developed by users of e-books for users of e-books. [more inside]
The Gervais Principle
, Or The Office According to “The Office”.
Warning: link may evoke baleful despair!
"The most important of the all-too-human functions of consultants is to sanctify and communicate opinion. Like ministers of information, consultants condense the message, smooth out the dissonances, unify the rhetoric, and then repeat and amplify it ad nauseam through the client's rank and file. The chief message to be communicated is that you will be expected to work much harder than you ever have before and your chances of losing your job are infinitely greater than you ever imagined."
If you've ever known a management consultant, this explains why they always seem to have that "outrageously unjustified level of self-confidence." A fascinating insider's look into the anthropology of business consulting -- Masters of Illusion: The Great Management Consultancy Swindle
On the role of MBA-based management culture in the current credit-crisis.
Downloadable audio and transcript of a radio show that presents some strong opinions on MBA oriented management culture. [more inside]
Where Is Bob?
We have a manager — Bob. Bob is incompetent, overweight, unattractive, uncouth, socially awkward, and generally, not a very nice person at all. For a while, we were convinced that Bob had no redeeming qualities whatsoever. But then, something happened — Bob stopped showing up for work on a regular basis. Sometimes he wouldn’t even bother explaining his absence, acting as if spontaneous five-day weekends were simply the norm. And that is how everyone came to wonder — where is Bob?
"Your anger just earned you a car wash, ma'am."
Gas prices in California are hovering around an upsetting $4.58 per gallon. One gas station
in the Bay Area is offering stress relief: a chance to dunk a Shell employee
and an Express Rant for an Express car wash. The owner, Bobak Bakhtiari, tells NPR: “Cashiers are trained to really encourage all forms of expression during the rant. Well, except for throwing a chair through the window.”
Life at Google - The Microsoftie Perspective
Microsoft Employee writes: "The following has been making the rounds on just about every internal email list I belong to in Microsoft. Here it is to share a little insight with the rest of the world. Microsoft is an amazingly transparent company. Google is not. Any peek is a good peek." Let the metavalanche begin
Stupid Management Tricks at Circuit City.
Is your retail electronics company losing money? Want to cut costs? Then how about firing some of your people? I know! How about singling out those store workers who are making too much -- 3,400 of them, and get them to reapply for the same job at a lower wage?
Boy chimp meets Girl chimp
boy chimp beats girl chimp to keep her from having sex with his buddies. New scientific study.
W. Edwards Deming:
, and proponent of total quality management
. The prevailing forces of destruction start early in life-grades in school from toddler on up through the university, gold stars for school athletics, merit system or annual appraisal on the job, incentive pay, work standards, MBO (rather, MBIR: Management by Imposition of Results), MBR (Management by Results). These forces of destruction must be replaced by leadership.... The transformation will restore the individual; will abolish grades in school on up through the university; will abolish the annual appraisal of people on the job, MBO, quotas for production, specified requirements that people work 57 minutes out of every hour, incentive pay, monthly or quarterly reports on business targets, competition between people, competition between divisions, and other forms of suboptimisation. Leadership will replace these bad practices, and will restore the individual.
John Hall of the University of Florida delivers a praiseworthy lecture. Part One
, Part Two
Time Management for Anarchists
is an idea long overdue...if you ask me.
Peter Drucker; the Prince of Management, dead at 95. He was a visionary leader
to many. I tried to look up some opposing views and could not readily find any. Peace out.
How Powerful Is Productivity?
TCS interviews Former Carter Staffer (and Democrat) William Lewis, who makes some interesting remarks about worker productivity: There were many disparaging comments made in the US and maybe even stronger abroad, (and especially in Japan) about how the US labor force was getting what it deserved because it was lazy, uneducated and maybe even dumb. And of course, the Japanese then showed -- the really capable, competent Japanese manufacturing companies -- showed that was wrong by coming here, building their own factories, managing American labor and taking a lot of other local inputs and coming within five percent of reproducing their home country productivity.
Do we need management consultancies?
A new book
written by "David Craig" - a nom-de-plume for an insider with 20 years of consultancy experience.
"What distressed me and many other consultants was how the greed of directors and partners put me into situations where we cheated,lied to and defrauded clients while our bosses became enormously rich through various tax avoidance schemes."
Of course John Birt
(BBC) and other consultants
tend to disagree.
The UK goverment spend on consultants is now £1.9 Billion per annum
(about $10 Million/day.)
Management methods, models, thoeries
Kick off 2005 sounding and/or being smarter than everyone else. Minds will spin given the amount of info available here.