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Ling- English PBM

Whither the proverbial box out of which we think?

I am back from facilitating a workshop with a group of managers. One of the topics we discussed and worked on is out-of-the-box thinking; in other words, thinking differently about the work we do, about managing, and about the way we think.

In a side conversation one of the participants shared the following: “I’ll be more enthusiastic about encouraging thinking outside the box when there’s evidence of any thinking going on inside it”.

Hard to disagree.

 

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EME Ling- English Manage down Manage up Manage your team Manage yourself PBM

Let’s get rid of the performance review

Samuel Colbert says that

a one-side-accountable, boss-administered review is little more than a dysfunctional pretense. It’s a negative to corporate performance, an obstacle to straight-talk relationships, and a prime cause of low morale at work. Even the mere knowledge that such an event will take place damages daily communications and teamwork.

His solution? Performance previews:

reciprocally accountable discussions about how boss and employee are going to work together even more effectively than they did in the past. Previews weld fates together. The boss’s skin is now in the game.

In my experience,  the workplace is not that dialogical. I side with Lucy Kellaway at the FT: few managers talk or think like that. Yet. Among other things because they have to take part in the same process themselves.

 

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EME Ling- English Manage yourself PBM

The myth of multitasking

One study (…) found that workers took an average of twenty-five minutes to recover from interruptions such as phone calls or answering e-mail and return to their original task.

Estimated cost to the U.S. economy from loss of productivity: $650 billion annually.

[W]e are really talking about attention: the art of paying attention, the ability to shift our attention, and, more broadly, to exercise judgment about what objects are worthy of our attention. People who have achieved great things often credit for their success a finely honed skill for paying attention. When asked about his particular genius, Isaac Newton responded that if he had made any discoveries, it was “owing more to patient attention than to any other talent.” (the New Atlantis)

 

 

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EME Ling- English Manage your team PBM

Now that I have trained them, will they stay?

After an intensive four-week training period that compensates new employees with their full salary, Zappos presents the freshly trained group with something called The Offer: “If you quit today, we will pay you for the amount of time you’ve worked, plus we will offer you a $1,000 bonus.”  (source)