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Align People
How you can improve focus in organizations and align for success
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McDonald’s Puts Latinos on the Promotion Track

McDonald’s Puts Latinos on the Promotion Track | Align People | Scoop.it
An innovative workforce training progam is giving nonnative English speakers the skills they need to advance.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

What are your barriers to alignment?   Could one be language?


Here is an example of a great education initiative for latino employees recognized as having potentialbut language is a barrier


There are two perspectives of this initiative


1.  This is an employee benefit


You can view this from the employees perspective and think "great opportunity."   Developing personal skills is always good and the skill carries into other jobs or life situations.  A win for the employee.


2.  This is a corporate tactic to achieve alignment


However, you can also view this from the perspective of McDonalds and think "Great opportunity!"   If you are a strategic alignment thinker, you know that the future for the United States holds a large Latino - Spanish mother tounge - population.  However, the corporate and national "integrating" language is English.  You know you will need Latino leaders - answer?  Identify high potentials early and remove  barriers that could derail their progression.  While they are developing skills they are also providing execllent supervisory leadership training.  McDonalds is doing that.  It makes good business sense.


That's called a "win-win".



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Consumer Health Experts Attack "Calcified Hairball" System of Care - Forbes

Consumer Health Experts Attack "Calcified Hairball" System of Care - Forbes | Align People | Scoop.it
Consumer Health Experts Attack "Calcified Hairball" System of Care
Forbes
There's often limited alignment between a patient's real-life, heartfelt goals, and the goals as distilled in a traditional medical model (Dr.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

What's your experience with healthcare?   Do you find the system aligned to your goals?   Studying the healthcare as a system is a great way to understand the importance and complexity of alignment.  



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'You don't win a war with a defensive strategy' | Flanders Today

'You don't win a war with a defensive strategy' | Flanders Today | Align People | Scoop.it
Billy R Bennett's insight:

A Great Article


...too bad you are only getting the English language condensed version.    There is a European leadership segment  that values both innovation and long term growth.  While it has taken a hit in recent years the long term view of the world is still very much alive and well.  During the recession years European companies have swallowed a number of non-european companies with this same eye to long term growth. 


How does this help in aligning people?


When aligning people, they benefit from knowing that values for the long journey and demand for innovation and growth clearly guide actions.  And yes, defense is great but "You don't win a war with a defensive strategy"


By the way... The original De Tijd headline....  "We no longer live from the sweat of people"




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Microsoft Study: Employees More Productive With Social Tools Yet Companies Still Block Them (Infographic)

Microsoft Study: Employees More Productive With Social Tools Yet Companies Still Block Them (Infographic) | Align People | Scoop.it
II’ve been thinking lately of corporate America’s social lobotomy. Its disconnect between the wants and the want-nots. According to a recentMicrosoft survey conducted by research firm Ipsos, nearly 50% of employees believe social tools make them more productive while more than 30% of companies restrict the use or undervalue them. For me, this is a form of social malpractice perpetuated by the cold, hard but secure hand of command and control management..

Via Alex Butler, lauryn burkhalter
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Social technology must become an integral part of aligning people - Yes, I understand the argument and fear - however, this is one fear we must learn to conquer as we learn how to allow social tools to become a part of our work process not an evil to be avoided.  The winners of the future will win by mastering a social tools as a part of the workplace

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SEKAR VK's comment, May 28, 2013 8:58 AM
Good One
Kenneth Peterson's curator insight, June 19, 2013 2:06 PM

We have the challenge of how to use social media productively with our students and teachers and limit the distraction part of their use

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When technology meets creativity, innovative design is ingrained in the DNA of ... - Digitimes

When technology meets creativity, innovative design is ingrained in the DNA of ... - Digitimes | Align People | Scoop.it
When technology meets creativity, innovative design is ingrained in the DNA of ...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Here is an Asian view of creating a culture of innovation...


"Chenbro has also been actively working to nourish the design and cultural elements of its company organization, an effort that began with fostering cultural appreciation and involvement amongst employees and extends right through to product design"


A very interesting approach that respects the need to be creative in building innovation.


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8 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Job - Mashable

8 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Job - Mashable | Align People | Scoop.it
8 Signs It's Time to Leave Your Job
Mashable
1. Your relationship with your boss changed.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Are you feeling "Mis-Aligned" with your organization?


Here is a a very good short article on how to assess your own career with your current organization.  The 8 signs are all very good reality checks - however, #2. Work and life values are no longer being met.  

...may be the most important.  I often tell people I coach that anything can be worked on - except when you believe that your values and the organizations values have gone seperate ways.  These are the times you need to rethink your own alignment and decide what you must align to.  That may mean a totally different job... and a totally different organization.


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Alignment Matters « CU Insight

Alignment Matters « CU Insight | Align People | Scoop.it
Alignment Matters. Posted on May 23, 2013. Since 1995 I have worked with hundreds of credit union leaders on various aspects of organizational strategy (thousands if you count conferences, schools, and workshops… but who's counting?
Billy R Bennett's insight:

A good alignment case study.  If you are in financial work you will get a better picture of what alignment issues can create.

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What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care? - Bloomberg

What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care? - Bloomberg | Align People | Scoop.it
What Is Organizational Culture? And Why Should We Care?BloombergIt says that a crucial purpose of culture is to help orient its members to "reality" in ways that provide a basis for alignment of purpose and shared action.
Billy R Bennett's insight:
You would think this discussion was old news. However, this week I spoke with a friend and leader whose conversation with his boss began, "why is this culture stuff important?"www.pyramidodi.com
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Leadership Lesson: The Difference Between Google and Apple - Forbes

Leadership Lesson: The Difference Between Google and Apple - Forbes | Align People | Scoop.it
Leadership Lesson: The Difference Between Google and Apple Forbes Think about any organization that devolved from exceptional to good, good to mediocre, or good to gone and you'll find they all share one thing in common – they started playing...
Billy R Bennett's insight:
I think it's too early to declare the demise of Apple, but the point is correct: playing defense INSTEAD of offense is the beginning of the end. In American football we make it easier...we alternate between the two. However in business we often fail to remember that defense is an attempt to protect value, not create value. If you believe that being in business is about creating value for customers, then you must have a dynamic offense that creates that value. In today's world of risk avoidance few managers are taking the risks they need to take. They have translated value creation as "cost down" initiatives alone. Reducing the cost to serve is important...as long as you remember you are in business to serve. That is value creation.Billy Bennettwww.pyramidodi.com
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The Benefits of Unconventional Hiring Practices

The Benefits of Unconventional Hiring Practices | Align People | Scoop.it
Why Aaron Muderick believes hiring more than 500 special needs employees is good for business.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

I love this story.  Matching the best talents to the job...regardless of the "packaging". Good business...great leadership.


How "out of the box" are your hiring practices?


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Welcome to Align People Magazine

Welcome to Align People Magazine | Align People | Scoop.it
Global organization development company offering performance interventions, organization design, and processes to algin people to new strategies and markets
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Don't Hire Individuals - Hire Teams Instead

Don't Hire Individuals - Hire Teams Instead | Align People | Scoop.it
By Billy Bennett There is an interesting discussion going on at the Harvard Business Review on this topic " THE FUTURE OF TALENT IS CLUSTERS" .  The idea posed by is that we should be considering...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

There is an interesting discussion going on at the Harvard Business Review on this topic "THE FUTURE OF TALENT IS CLUSTERS"

 

The idea posed by is that we should be considering hiring "clusters" (aka teams) instead of individuals.  Or at least considering it.  To  me it is an "everything old is new again" conversation.  ...And that is a very  good thing. 


 

In the 90's we gained a lot of information from an intense  period of study on teams.  When I say we I mean those of us who were fascinated about advancing knowledge about group work and dynamics.  However, we lost the way a bit. 

 

We lost the momentum when other forms of collaboration we seen as equal to the power  of the autonomous and self managing team.  I'm not sure that's the  case. In fact, I am certain of it.   However, the HBR article is an example where the opportunity to learn is again  coming to the forefront. If you think this is  unusual - hiring a "cluster" or team as an intact unit - I have seen it.  We worked with a client who designed one of the most successful   autonomous team workplaces to date.  They were written about in journals  and feted at three national conferences.  However, when the client  decided to build a new,  more automated facility too far away for team members to relocate, the company worked with local businesses to find  the team members new employment. 

 

Here is where I witnessed a first for me (and I think maybe a first in modern era business)... the reputation  of the teams were so great and impressive in the region that some of the  teams were hired as "intact" teams.  They were asked by their new employers to bring the skills and capabilities to the new job.  I lost track of what happened to the team members, but they certainly learned team  skills at the most advanced level I had seen before - or since.   They had developed an ability to go into any situation and begin assessing how they could make things work better and how they could be successful doing the work.  What business could not use that?


Have you ever seen a work group so impressive that others wanted to hire them away - intact?  That was the ultimate praise.

 

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Achieving Without Goals : zenhabits

"@joycecherrier: Achieving Without Goals http://t.co/N7NEciVOdZ via @zen_habits" an alternative perspective on goal setting and success
Billy R Bennett's insight:

A little too "Woo, Woo" for you?


I almost passed over this little blog post... but the title drew me in.   For the over achievers and the continuous improvement obsessed this might seem like heracy.  However, as you read a little further you will find things that make sense to these very same people.  Let me say it my way "Principles, purpose and process... before goals."  


In this context, I somewhat agree... end goals are redundant and unnecessary.  However, progress goals are certainly a big help.  This is good thoughtful writing about concentrating on important.  The principles suggested are important aside from any goals.  


In the spirit of the writer, I am going to do a little curious exploring of my own...


In the background of reading this I have also been thinking lately about concepts I have often used as guides in organization design and change management:


Pareto and "loose-tight"


Most are familiar with Pareto - the "80/20" relationship of most things - for example, 20% of your problems produce 80% of your pain. Its been stated and transformed into charts so often that I'm sure people have forgotten the thinking behind it.  Conceptually It implies don't try to micro-resolve every issue that comes your way - go for the important ones... the ones with impact.


The other concept of "Loose-Tight" relates to designing control into organization management - it implies a sense of balance. Loose equates to innovation and spontenaity, Tight equates to control and discipline.  I've seen little understanding of the balance and situational application of disciplined control versus requirement to protect spontaneous innovation.   Organizations (and their leaders) often err to one extreme or the other.  It is as if they are both religions or political parties.   


Where leadership becomes both art and science is in designing and building the balance and acceptability of both. A time to be loose... and a time to be tight - focusing on the 20% that requires discipline, attention and deliberate action.   If in your organization, you have no purpose...  If you have no principles... You do not know how to assign importance to any issue, process or activity.  You only wait for a failure or complaint to tell you what you should do.


Why is this important?   Some of our organizaitons are expressing desires for innovation while heading to extremes of "tightness" controls on activity and decisions.  The results are claims of engagement while proceeding on a path that does nothing but disengage and disempower.


Now do you see why his blog post drew me in.


By Billy Bennett


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Staff engagement, cultural fit top HR factors in India: M&A study - Livemint

Staff engagement, cultural fit top HR factors in India: M&A study - Livemint | Align People | Scoop.it
Livemint Staff engagement, cultural fit top HR factors in India: M&A study Livemint The study titled Making M&A Successful in India, which surveyed 42 companies that have made acquisitions in the recent past, revealed that 82% of Indian...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Do Too Many M&A Projects Fail?


50% of 123 companies - reporting in a survey by Aon Hewitt - "failed to achieved the objectives they set out for acquiring a company"


And what was the main reason: A "lack of cultural alignment"


However, perhaps we could take a moment to look at the differences in the playbooks of different acquistion cultures.


According to the article, Western organizations define M&A success as talent retention and enhanced productivity.  Meanwhile Indian companies focus on different success measures: Employee engagement and cultural alignment.   I am sure that paints both cultures with too broad a brush--- but the difference in focus is strking. 


There are some great examples in here of Indian organizations taking care to both respect the culture they are acquiring... and introduce Indian culture as well.  


Once more we see that fast aligment is important - and only possible with respectful and enlightened engagement.


We would love to hear your experiences


www.pyramidodi.com


Aligning People across cultures?






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Startup building blocks: team and product - Stuff.co.nz

Startup building blocks: team and product - Stuff.co.nz | Align People | Scoop.it
Startup building blocks: team and product
Stuff.co.nz
Even if nothing is built, being able to show good-looking designs or mockups makes the vision for the product feel real and respresents a reachable goal for the team.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Which comes first the chicken or the egg?  In the case of a start up Ythe question is team or product.   And the answer...either. As long as you are aligning to the next step.   In other words, how we'll are you developing the teams alignment to the purpose and services they are developing is most important.


i like the comment, "if the team does not love the product or service, customers certainly won't"


And what's the best way to develop affection?   Build it together, challenge with user feedback, refine and overcome challenges with better service.


Thats why alignment is into just important, but critical.


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Why Your Innovation Leadership Training Will Fail - Forbes

Why Your Innovation Leadership Training Will Fail - Forbes | Align People | Scoop.it
Why Your Innovation Leadership Training Will Fail
Forbes
No wonder that when we set out to create training and development for innovation leaders we tend to think about . . . the individual leader.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Our thoughts.. "Ditto"


So much is spent on training with very little spent on developing a work system and culture that can put the training to use.


The Innovation Syllogism:

Innovation is a product of culture (not individuals).

Culture is an emergent factor of systems (not individuals).

Therefore, systems drive innovation (not individuals).

You cannot train an organization into innovation - you must create and design the organization to be innovative.  

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HEC Paris in Qatar organises training program at King Faisal hospital - Zawya (registration) (press release)

HEC Paris in Qatar organises training program at King Faisal hospital - Zawya (registration) (press release) | Align People | Scoop.it
HEC Paris in Qatar organises training program at King Faisal hospital Zawya (registration) (press release) The ultimate goal of the program is to continue to promote the hospital's culture of operational excellence, foster a sense of commitment to...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

The ultimate goal of the program is to continue to promote the hospital's culture of operational excellence, foster a sense of commitment to the organisation, and achieve high performance.


Should that not be the goal of every organization?  It is certainly the goal of any organization development initiative. 


This is a good glimpse into a middle east that is emerging with a sense of regional identity.  


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Employee Turnover Study Reveals How Engagement Helps Bottom Line - PR Web (press release)

Employee Turnover Study Reveals How Engagement Helps Bottom Line
PR Web (press release)
The report also discusses differences in the areas of trust in senior leaders, goal alignment, feeling valued, benefits, teamwork, and trust with coworkers.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

The data in this report supports our own research from organization engagement surveys performed for more than 20 years...we have seen averages from 20 percent to 50%  "at risk" employees.  The lower the satisfaction numbers the higher the risk.


Here are a few other tid bits...


  •   The average annual turnover rate is 12.9 percent.
  •     28 percent of employees are at risk for turnover in 2013.
  •     New employees are at less risk for turnover than those who have been employed for a year or more.
  •     Exited employees are four times more likely to not think of ways to do their jobs better.
  •     Of the 10 areas of engagement, retention, manager effectiveness, and job satisfaction are the areas exited and retained employees’ perceptions differ most.
  •     Exited employees have considerably unfavorable perceptions about recognition and their opportunities for professional growth.


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Focus on values pays off for interfaith baseball team - Washington Post

Focus on values pays off for interfaith baseball team - Washington Post | Align People | Scoop.it
Focus on values pays off for interfaith baseball team Washington Post FCA Power, a team based in western Loudoun County, earned the opportunity to play at the park by placing among the top four teams in a fundraising contest sponsored by Kyle's...
Billy R Bennett's insight:
I had to read for a few paragraphs before the "diversity" message appeared. When it did, the message not only appeared, it jumped up and hit me in the face. Pleasantly.The coach of a team with a predominantly Christian group of young players decided to make the purpose of the group about faith... Not just his own specific faith but the value of faith. Together the team members understand they have a common purpose and common values that are more inclusive, more inspiring, and more successful than most of our public and corporate institutions.I loved the guiding value "lose with grace, win with humility."Leaders are you listening?www.pyramidodi.com
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In Work and Life, Emphasizing the Importance of 'Alignment' - Knowledge Wharton Today

In Work and Life, Emphasizing the Importance of 'Alignment' - Knowledge Wharton Today | Align People | Scoop.it
In Work and Life, Emphasizing the Importance of 'Alignment'
Knowledge Wharton Today
Because hotels, like hospitals, never close, the industry has a reputation for wreaking havoc on a worker's personal life, Kinsell noted.
Billy R Bennett's insight:

A good reminder that -  for leaders - personal alignment is a balance of home and work.  Haven't you seen it?  Leaders who are  "out of alignment" rarley get the full engagement of employees because the imbalance becomes obvious to everyone around them.  This imbalance tells others that you cannot fully appreciate their needs when you cannot care for your own.


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The Hope Factor - Huffington Post

The Hope Factor - Huffington Post | Align People | Scoop.it
The Hope FactorHuffington PostEric J. Cooper is the founder and president of the National Urban Alliance for Effective Education, a nonprofit professional development organization that provides student-focused professional development, advocacy...
Billy R Bennett's insight:
Isn't there a lesson on the importance of hope in all organizations? We know that people perform better when they have hope. So, why don't we become more hopeful leaders? If you are struggling with aligning people to a purpose you'd better have stories that credibly feed hope.Billy Bennettwww.pyramidodi.com
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Palanivel: Special team to focus on forest, hill destruction | Malaysia Sun

Palanivel: Special team to focus on forest, hill destruction | Malaysia Sun | Align People | Scoop.it
KUALA LUMPUR: The Natural Resources and Environment Ministry will set up a special team with ...
Billy R Bennett's insight:
Ok, my thoughts on this have little to do with the article...and everything to do with the headline. My first thought was to recall the saying, "you can't see the forest for the trees". The saying implies that you have to be cautious in examining so much detail at the micro (tree) level that you miss the big picture (forest) of meaning. In this case the Malaysian Ministry is assigning a team to look at the "forest". Interestingly, the assignment appears to be a look back to ask "what happened!?"The big picture is hugely important in aligning people. Leaders must constantly work on "where are we going?", "what does this mean?", why must we change?" Don't assume employees know the answers... Even when you have told them. People are amazingly "self-aligning" when given multiple opportunities to know 1. The direction 2. The purpose. 3. Your commitment to 1 and 2.I suggest you need more than a team "looking at the forest"Billy Bennettwww.pyramidodi.com
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Change the Rules: 5 Ways to Bring Mission Into Your Business

Change the Rules: 5 Ways to Bring Mission Into Your Business | Align People | Scoop.it
Weaving a greater mission into your financial goals can help get your team, customers and community involved to grow your bottom line.

Via Andy Jones
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Do you need a "higher purpose" to round out your alignment efforts? 


Here is a great perspective.  Make "mission" a part of your mission.  In other words think about the charities (called non-profits in the USA).  I've found two things that get employees to "up their game" more than any other "lever" and engage at higher levels:


1. Emotional connections with Customers

2. Emotional connections to Community or Charity giving.


If people have the opportunity to go beyond the job and beyond the "contract" and deliver a better experience...or a better life... to someone they can see personally, then you will see excitement and passion blossom. 


So, why don't we include both as major drivers to our business?  Not just afterthoughts when a customer complains, or during holidays when giving to others (or tax season) is more on our mind.  


This article really gives some great advice for how to include this into your business.  Plus I will let you into a secret -- if you want to have an edge in recruiting under 30's then you will have an edge if you do this now!


Go on do good... people will follow!


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Andy Jones's curator insight, May 13, 2013 1:45 AM

The world needs more creative thinkers committed to "As you are going..." theology and praxis.

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Want to be a strong leader? Be hopeful

Want to be a strong leader? Be hopeful | Align People | Scoop.it
Globe and Mail
Want to be a strong leader? Be hopeful
Globe and Mail
...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Be hopeful...or else!


Sounds a bit contrary doesn't it?  However that is absolutely correct.  Seeing positive and hopeful rays of hope when everyone else is seeing big black clouds of doom is true leadership.  It is not about painting a picture of denial... it is about painting of picture of opportunity/  It is about stating that


  1. There is an upside, and... 
  2. The odds - numbers - don't matter.


My Experience with Hopeful Leadership


Many months ago my father was told he had a serious form of bladder cancer.  At his age, and with a prior history of prostate cancer his doctor told him he his surgical options were very limited.  I remember sitting with him as he asked the doctor... "So what would you expect?"   The doctor clarified "Are you asking how long?".  "Yes, what's usual?" he said, calmly and clearly.  She said "13 months... But YOU are NOT a number."


I guess my father agreed.  He is now approaching two years and the cancer disappeared with no signs.  He continues to be diligent about his health and we just scratch our head, and enjoy the time.  At every step his doctor was honest with the facts and always pointed out the opportunities to survive.


My career has been working with people who believe change is not possible...options are limited... and control belongs to fate.. or others.  In every case we have been brought in by leaders who refused to accept the numbers and wanted allies to create survivors.  It has often been difficult, but most often sucessful - more than anyone ever thought possible.  The one thing I have learned, If you do not believe there is a way out... there won't be. If you do not point out the one door to success partially open... no one will take it.


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"Jerks" Are Contagious

"Jerks" Are Contagious | Align People | Scoop.it
By Billy Bennett Some leaders are not leaders at all.  They are " Mis-Leaders ."     HR leaders often know about managers who defy gravity... they are abusive and they suck the life out of people...
Billy R Bennett's insight:

Management Jerks - very difficult people in the workplace - should be classified as Mis-Leaders.


There have been interesting studies quantifying the costs.  Here is a report on one of them.  Coaching can yield results, so can education for the mis-leader and his or her team.  However, if change does not come, then do not hide behind the "but he's so technically talented" excuse. 


The costs of the toxic mis-leader are far greater than peviously thought - now we know he or she can be contagious.  Scary thought isn't it.


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Billy R Bennett's curator insight, May 8, 2013 4:59 PM

Management Jerks - very difficult people in the workplace - should be classified as Mis-Leaders.


There have been interesting studies quantifying the costs.  Here is a report on one of them.  Coaching can yield results, so can education for the mis-leader and his or her team.  However, if change does not come, then do not hide behind the "but he's so technically talented" excuse.  The costs of the toxic mis-leader are far greater than peviously thought - now we know he or she can be contagious.  Scary thought isn't it.


www.pyramidodi.com



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