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Efficiency & Effectiveness

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Can ‘Deep Work’ Really Work for You? It’s a condition familiar to a broad swath of American workers.

Can ‘Deep Work’ Really Work for You?

5 Levels of Remarkably Effective Delegation. Managing Your Boss. A quarter-century ago, John Gabarro and John Kotter introduced a powerful new lens through which to view the manager–boss relationship: one that recognized the mutual dependence of the participants.

Managing Your Boss

The fact is, bosses need cooperation, reliability, and honesty from their direct reports. Managers, for their part, rely on bosses for making connections with the rest of the company, for setting priorities, and for obtaining critical resources. If the relationship between you and your boss is rocky, then it is you who must begin to manage it. When you take the time to cultivate a productive working relationship—by understanding your boss’s strengths and weaknesses, priorities, and work style—everyone wins. In the 25 years since it was published, this article has truly improved the practice of management. Making Dumb Groups Smarter. Since the beginning of human history, people have made decisions in groups.

Making Dumb Groups Smarter

As the saying goes, two heads are better than one. If so, then three heads should be better than two, and four better still. With a hundred or a thousand, then, things are bound to go well—hence the supposed wisdom of crowds. The advantage of a group, wrote one early advocate of collective intelligence—Aristotle—is that “when there are many who contribute to the process of deliberation, each can bring his share of goodness and moral prudence…some appreciate one part, some another, and all together appreciate all.”

The key is information aggregation: Different people take note of different “parts,” and if those parts are properly aggregated, they will lead the group to know more (and better) than any individual. Unfortunately, groups all too often fail to live up to this potential. “Groupthink” is the term most often applied to the tendency of groups to go astray. The Behaviors that Define A-Players - Jack Zenger , and Joseph Folkman. By Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman | 9:00 AM April 11, 2014 Individual contributors sometimes ask themselves, “What will it take for others to recognize my potential?”

The Behaviors that Define A-Players - Jack Zenger , and Joseph Folkman

They may simply want acknowledgement of the importance of the work they do. Or they may aspire to move into management. Share Your Star Performers Strategies with the Rest of the Staff. While attending a conference recently, a friend pointed out a session that he thought might interest me.

Share Your Star Performers Strategies with the Rest of the Staff

Meetings

Use a Task Map to Improve Your Team's Performance - Allison Rimm. By Allison Rimm | 11:00 AM February 27, 2014 If you’ve noticed your team is functioning unevenly and its esprit de corps isn’t what you’d hoped, it’s time for you to ask yourself whether your people are deployed optimally.

Use a Task Map to Improve Your Team's Performance - Allison Rimm

Employees’ skills and interests can evolve over time, as can the goals of your group, so misalignment can happen without your noticing it. That person who was hired to do analysis but has blossomed into a first-rate motivator and loves working with groups: Is he still stuck in front of a computer doing analysis? Is the employee who was recruited as a trainer feeling frustrated because she has no opportunity to take advantage of her extraordinary talent for writing? I’ve found that there’s a powerful way to answer questions like these: Create a task map. A task map is a visual tool that allows you to see where skills are lacking or duplicated on a team.

3 Ways You're Derailing Your Employees' Productivity. Image credit: Shutterstock In the past six years, my wife Jodi and I have launched three businesses and hired and fired employees along the way.

3 Ways You're Derailing Your Employees' Productivity

We've learned the hard way that there are certain things that can derail our team members' daily productivity.

E-mails

Getting Buy-In for Innovation that Doesn't Fade at the End of the Quarter - Sunand Menon. By Sunand Menon | 11:00 AM November 6, 2013 You’ve prepared a business plan for a promising new entrepreneurial venture.

Getting Buy-In for Innovation that Doesn't Fade at the End of the Quarter - Sunand Menon

You’ve got funding and the blessing of your CEO and Board to go ahead with this high-profile “experiment”. Your venture could be a growth engine for your corporation’s otherwise large but slow and steady core business. Define Your Organization's Habits to Work More Efficiently - Brad Power. By Brad Power | 11:33 AM May 17, 2013 We don’t often think about the way we usually operate at work, whether we’re performing an informal five-step process for evaluating a new proposal, or setting priorities for managing our time.

Define Your Organization's Habits to Work More Efficiently - Brad Power

But our ability to improve the ways we do things depends on defining and shaping our daily habits of mind and practice — our “standard work.” Consider the experience of my friend Lynn Kelley, who joined Union Pacific Railroad, the largest railroad network in the United States with 46,000 employees, as vice president of continuous improvement about two years ago. When she arrived, she learned that a large proportion of the workforce would retire over the next decade.

So the organization started documenting standard operating procedures to capture employee know-how and wisdom.