Hot Management Info for 2000

December – Managing The Twenty-First Century

November – Peak Performance Workforce

October – More On Missions

September – A Department Chief Makes An Example – Of Himself

July – Start A Mandatory Reading Club

June – Drucker On Education and The Hertzberg Bible

May – Human Resources/Training/Management – History

April – Ignorance Is Bliss

March – Reinvent Yourself Daily

February – Finding And Keeping Good Employees

December 2000 – Managing The Twenty-First Century

From Government Technology, November 2000

This six-page article is the best writing about management I have seen in some time. A few key points include:

  • “A major macro trend we’re seeing is in the dynamics of the relationship between managers and employees. This has changed dramatically since the mid-20th century. The unspoken message at that time was: ‘I, as an employer, do not need you as an employee as much as you, an employee, need me.’ The power lay with the manager, the employer. Today, that dynamic has gone. The employer now needs the employee a lot more than the employee needs the employer. Consequently, everything we have been taught about management has changed.”
  • “We found that the most important thing that employees need in order to stay with the company is a great boss. You may join an organization offering stock options, you may join a company that has a great day care center, but how long you stay and how productive you are while you’re there depends massively on the person you report directly to.”
  • “The secret for government to keeping good people has got nothing to do with the fact that they can’t pay as much as the private sector. It’s got everything to do with the quality of the frontline supervisors and managers out there in every single government agency. Employees want to know that their manager knows what their strengths are and can figure out a way to apply them. It has nothing to do with pay, nothing to do with title, nothing to do with Generation X wanting to not have to pay their dues for 30 years. It’s about an individual saying, ‘I’ve got some strengths, I want my manager to use them. Otherwise, I’ll go somewhere else where they can be used. Seventy percent of those who leave jobs do so because of a bad relationship with their immediate manager or supervisor.”
  • “We have basically found that great managers do not treat everybody the same. They don’t follow the golden rule. Great managers put a tremendous amount of emphasis on respecting and identifying the individual. They tailor their management style to getting to know the individual very well. This has brought about some dramatic changes. Great managers, at least in the terms we’re defining him or her, focus in on the people who report to them and the subtle differences between them.”
  • “At whatever level of the company you are placed, if you don’t have good managers, you have a problem.”
  • “People are not the most valuable asset in the company. The right people on the right jobs are the most valuable asset.”

For the complete article, go to:

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November 2000 – Peak Performance Workforce

  from Executive Book Summaries, November 2000–“Summarizing Peak Performance”, by Jon R. Katzenbach, Havard Business School Press

How can companies balance the need to satisfy customers in an environment where workers are hard to find?

The answer lies in developing the workforce you do have into a peak-performance workforce–and recruiting new workers who are eager to join an organization that has achieved a balance between employee fulfillment needs and enterprise performance requirements.

Build exceptional levels of employee performance and commitment by consistently pursuing one or more of five distinct paths to peak performance:

The Mission, Values and Pride Path. This path is characterized by a noble purpose, a rich history, team spirit and value-driven leadership.

The Process and Metrics Path. This path is characterized by clear measures and focused processes designed to reflect worker perspectives and performance priorities.

The Entrepreneurial Spirit Path. This path is characterized by high-risk, high-reward opportunities for employees. Workers gain significant “ownership” of the business and thrive in an environment where management is largely “hands-off.”

The Individual Achievement Path. This path focuses on creating personal grown and individual advancement opportunities.

The Recognition and Celebration Path. This path features integrated approaches that recognize workers for their performance and celebrate their success–thus spurring workers on to new heights.

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October 2000 – More On Missions

from Executive Book Scenario, September 2000

If you are in middle management in a company whose values are not yours, there is only so much you can do to change things. In a corporate culture of fierce competition, for example, you will have a hard time creating a team play atmosphere.

However, if top level managers haven’t articulated their values clearly, or simply haven’t seen the value of corporate culture building, you have the opportunity to make a real difference. Within a vacuum, you can set up the kinds of corporate values you want within your sphere of influence. Here’s how:

  • Write down the values;
  • Develop a compelling vision, a statement of aspiration for the organization;
  • Communicate your thoughts and feelings to your entire group;
  • Ask for input;
  • Ask everyone to relate their own jobs to the vision. What are they contributing and how are they contributing it?

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September 2000 – A Department Chief Makes An Example—Of Himself

  from Governing, June 2000

When critical mistakes are made in government agencies, the response is often predictable: Someone down the chain of command takes the fall, and the department moves on. In Oklahoma’s Department of Corrections, however, there will no longer be any question where the responsibility buck stops: It’s at the director’s desk.

In late March, Director James Saffle took the unusual action of suspending himself and a top aide. Their critical error was providing inaccurate inmate transfer information to legislators and others. Saffle disciplined himself for five days without pay. He had cited incorrect numbers of state inmates who were reclassified and eligible for lower security levels—a controversial issue in an ongoing debate over corrections funding. The department’s associate director go off with a lighter sentence. She was only docked for three days without pay.

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July 2000 – Start A Mandatory Reading Club 

from The Motivational Manager

Employees can learn a lot by reading business publications and industry newsletters. However, if not pressed to read, many employees won’t find the time. Combat this by starting a mandatory reading club with your employees. Once a week (or a month, depending on your schedule), have “reading meeting.” Require each employee to bring one article that they think could have an impact on how the company does business. Have them summarize the article, and then discuss it.

Comment from a reader:

Thanks for the tip.We also have a word of the week – to help keep our vocabulary up to snuff, and a joke of the week (tasteful, of course) that is posted in the hall of our work area.

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June 2000 – Drucker On Education

by Peter Drucker

The demand for continuing adult education will make it into an huge growth area, management guru Peter Drucker predicts in the May 15 issue of Forbes Magazine. It stems from profound changes in society, he says. Even for the highly educated, it is hard to keep up.

At 90, Dr. Drucker still teaches an advanced management course at Claremont College in California. He says that engineer-executives in his class tell him they need thorough refresher courses in their specialties at least every second year. That is true for millions of other knowledge workers as well, he says.

In the United States, Dr. Drucker estimates, continuing education already accounts for 6 percent of GNP. He adds that on-line delivery of such courses will only speed up the growth

The Hertzberg Bible
From The California Journal, June 2000
Compiled by Kathleen Les

“Making Our Office Work”
— The Office Philosophy of Robert M. Hertzberg”

It may be the only document of its kind in the Capitol. A master of detail, the new speaker doesn’t leave any mysteries for his staff to unravel. In an 18-page spiral-bound treatise written for his office employees, Hertzberg lays out exactly what’s expect on the job. Here’s a few of those Hertzberg-isms:
  • “Thank you for your willingness to serve in government. The hours are long, the pay is not what it should be and extraordinary challenges face us on a daily basis. Fortunately, I believe it is the reward of public service, in a large degree, which motivates us all.”
  • “Both the constituents in the district and the constituents throughout California are our customers.”
  • “An office which does not tolerate mistakes is an office which creates an environment of insecurity and blame.”
  • “I insist on organization because I want information to be accessible to all, not just available to the particular person who can find the lost sheet of paper under piles and piles on his or her desk.”
  • “Having fun and creating a positive atmosphere among all of us is extremely important to me, but at its foundations, everyone in the office must be highly competent—plain and simple.”
  • “Everyone in politics likes to be asked and likes to be thanked—that is the golden rule of politics and the golden rule of politics is very important in my office.”

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May 2000 – Human Resources/Training/Management-History 

From Training Magazine, December 1999


      Frederick Taylor publishes his seminal work,

The Principles of Scientific Management.

      Originally an engineer, Taylor pioneers time-and-motion studies, searching for the “one-best way” to accomplish any task. The job of scientific manager, once the best way is found, is to impose this procedure on the work force.

1913: Henry Ford begins mass production of the Model T (introduced in 1908), reducing assembly time for each automobile’s chassis from 12 1/2 hours to just over 90 minutes. Mass production also means, however, that the car is available, in Ford’s famous pronouncement “in any color, so long as it’s black.” The Model T assembly line runs until 1927, producing some 15 million cars.

1914-1918: World War I – Large-scale intelligence and psychological testing begins as volunteers are tested for literacy and IQ.

1922: Harvard Business Review is founded.

1923: American Management Association is formed by personnel specialists.

1924: Mary Parker Follett, a social psychologist, calls for “power with” rather than “power over,” anticipating many of the conclusions of the Hawthorne experiments of the 1930’s and the participatory management movement of later decades. (Dynamic Administration, a collection of her work, is published in 1941.)

1924: Sidney L. Pressy, an educational-psychology professor at Ohio State University, creates a crude teaching machine, usable for rote-and-drill learning.

1929: Stock market crashes.

1932: Rensis Likert invents the Likert Scale, which presents attitude-survey respondents with answers to questions that range from “strongly agree” to “strongly disagree.”

1933: Franklin C. Roosevelt’s administration creates the New Deal, a series of government programs and policies aimed at easing the impact of the Great Depression.

1933: Harvard Business School professor Elton May publishes findings from a series of studies conducted between 1927 and 1932 at Western Electric’s Hawthorne Works in Chicago. May had discovered that changes in workers’ pay and feedback about their performance resulted in productivity increases – findings that became famous (as well as famously misinterpreted) as the “Hawthorne Effect.”

1937: Dale Carnegie writes the original self-improvement book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, designed to serve as a textbook for his courses in speaking and human relations.

1941-1945: Gearing up both industrial and military manpower for the war effort results in great strides for wide range of human resource practices; psychological testing to predict job success, selection techniques, job analysis, leadership studies, job-instruction training, and other on-the-job training techniques.

1943: Abraham Maslow publishes “A Theory of Human Motivation” in the journal Psychological Review, which explains his hierarchy of needs.

1944: The GI Bill of Rights allows thousands of World War II veterans to pursue further education, accounting for a huge influx of adult learners into schools, colleges and universities.

1944: Founding of the American Society for Training and Development.

1946: Social scientist Kurt Lewin, considered the father of origination development, launches the Research Center for Group Dynamics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology. Lewin’s contributions include force-field analysis, change theory, action research and action learning.

1947: National Training Laboratories Institute starts up in the wilds of Bethel, ME. Devoted to human relations training in small groups, NTL pioneers the use of the “T-group,” in which participants use feedback, role-playing and problem- solving to develop insights into themselves and others.

1949: Eric Trist and colleagues from London’s Tavistock Institute of Human Relations study a South Yorkhire coal mine, eventually developing sociotechnical systems theory, which considers both the technical and social aspects of work in designing jobs. It forms one of the conceptual pillars of organizational development and marks a 180-degree turn away from Frederick Taylor’s scientific management.

1950: Gen. Douglas MacArthur invites W. Edwards Deming and Joseph M. Juran to a war-ravaged Japan to lecture managers on statistical process control.

1954: Peter Drucker writes The Practice of Management, proposing that management is a discipline that can be learned and that objectives should serve as the basis for a management system.

1956: The U.S. officially crosses the line from an industrial to an information economy. For the first time in American history, according to John Naisbitt’s 1982 Megatrends, “white-collar workers… outnumbered blue-collar workers.”

1956: At AT&T, Douglas Bray uses assessment-center methods (job simulation, group problem-solving, in-basket exercises and multiple assessors), developed by the German, British and American militaries during World War II, to kick off what turns into the 30-year Management Progress Study of AT&T managers.

1958: Harvard behavioral psychologist B.F. Skinner builds a rote-and-drill teaching machine.

1958: Norm Crowder invents branching, programmed text_the technique used in “programmed instruction” workbooks and, later, by designers of computer-based training.

1959: University of Wisconsin professor Don Kirkpatrick introduces the four- level model of training evaluation (reaction, learning, behavior, results).

1959: Frederick Herzberg and colleagues publish The Motivation to Work, positing that pay, benefits and working conditions don’t motivate workers. These variables, labeled hygiene or maintenance factors, only dissatisfy workers if they are inadequate. Motivators are recognition, achievement and responsibilities, which must be built into people’s jobs.

1959: George Odiorne takes over the Bureau of Industrial Relations at the University of Michigan, offering seminars on management by objectives. He is instrumental in supporting Geary Rummles’s Center for Programmed Instruction, also at the University of Michigan, which taught programmed instruction and performance technology to a generation HRD practitioners.

1959: PLATO-the first dedicated computer-based training system_invented when Donald Bitzer, then a grad student at the University of Illinois, connects an old TV set to a four-key keyboard through IlliacI.

1960: In The Human Side of Enterprise, Douglas Mc Gregor suggests there are two kinds of managers: Theory X believers who practice command-and-control management, and Theory Y believers who assume people want to do a good job and are internally motivated.

1962: National Society for Programmed Instruction (now the International Society for Performance Improvement) is founded.

1962: Robert Mager shifts the focus of instructional design from instructional process to results_what the learner should be able to do as a result of the instruction. The catalyst: his book Preparing Instructional Objectives.

1964: Robert Blake and Jane Mouton, developers of a model that conceptualizes management styles and relationships, write The Managerial Grid.

1964: Training Magazine begins publication under the name Training in Business and Industry.

1970: Malcolm Knowles, the father of adult-learning theory, uses the term “andragogy” to describe a set of assumptions that characterize adult learners.

1971: University of Texas professor Joe Bailey demonstrates that the half-life of silver bullet panaceas in the education and business worlds is seven years, plus or minus two.

1973: The U.S. military officially adopts the ISD Model (analysis, design, development, implementation and evaluation, a.k.a. the ADDIE Model) to training design.

1973: Palo Alto Research Center, the R&D arm of Xerox Corp., develops the first personal computer.

1974: EEOC’s affirmative action guidelines aim to help employers’ efforts to recruit, hire and promote disadvantaged groups to eliminate present effects of past discrimination.

1978: Tom Gilberyt writes Human Competence: Engineering Worth Performance (the bible of “performance technology”) which describes the behavioral- engineering model of performance improvement.

1980: The NBC News White Paper, “If Japan Can, Why Can’t We?” showcases the emergence of Japan as an industrial power, reveals the poor quality of many U.S. products, and fixes the obsession with Japanese management techniques in the popular (business) imagination.

1982: W. Edwards Deming preaches the “quality” gospel to profligate U.S. business in Out of the Crisis.

1982: TRAINING Magazine publishes its first Industry Report, a survey of training and development budgets and practices in corporate America.

1982: In In Search of Excellence, Tom Peters and Bob Waterman summarize the winning practices of a handful of American companies_and make the concept of a “best-selling business book” a reality.

1985: Leaders: The Strategies for Taking Charge, by Warren Bennis and Burt Nanus, fuels popular fascination with corporate executives and the practice of leadership.

1985: Saturn Corp., GM’s answer to the competition from Japanese automakers, begins production in Spring Hill, TN.

1987: Congress establishes the Malcolm Baldrige National Quality Award, given annually to organizations that practice total quality principles.

1988: The wonders of work teams seize the corporate imagination after companies that have been tinkering with work teams begin reporting leaps in productivity that result from treating employees as adults.

1989: Cold War ends; Berlin Wall comes down.

1989: “Dilbert” Scott Adams’ comic strip featuring the workaday indignities inflicted on a hapless engineer and his co-workers by clueless managers and the evil Dogbert is syndicated.

1989: Prototype electronic performance support system (EPSS), which coaches trainers on constructing tests, debuts at AT&T.

1990: Peter Senge popularizes the concept of the learning organization in The Fifth Discipline: The Art and Practice of the Learning Organization.

1993: James Champy and Michael Hammer advocate “reengineering the corporation”_which usually translates into wholesale slashing of jobs_in their book of the same name.

1993: Head count of “downsizing” victims in Fortune 500 companies since 1982 reaches 4 million.

1994: The World Wide Web makes Internet surfing a sport accessible to anyone with a modem and plenty of patience.

1997: Technological advances and access to corporate intranets make Web-based training the hot training trend.

1997: Knowledge management is officially established as a discipline with the appointment of Ikjiro Nonaka, a.k.a. “”Dr. Know,” as the first-ever distinguished professor of knowledge at the University of California at Berkeley.

1997: Former junk bond king, Michael Milken, begins buying up training companies, foreshadowing a wave of IPOs and consolidations in the training- supplier marketplace.

1998: TRAINING Magazine marks its 35th year of publication.

1999: Trinket marketers and armchair futurists across the land lay claim to the ultimate hook: The New Millennium.

1999: Internet start-ups (a.k.a., dot.coms) spring up like Kansas wheat, go public, make their stockholders rich, and spend a bundle on marketing_all without making a nickel of profit.

1999: Learning portal, Web sites that provide access to an array of online and other training and education alternatives, emerge as the final HRD fad of the millennium.

2000: Zucker Systems move its publication, Z Management Ideas to the WEB.

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April 2000 – Ignorance Is Bliss 

Extracted from the Edition Notebook, March 2000 Training Magazine

In the December issue of the Journal of Personality and Social Psychology, psychology professor David Dunning and graduate student Justin Kruger reported that they conducted a series of studies in which they asked subjects to rate their skill on tests of logic, grammar and (no kidding) humor. Subjects who scored lowest were most likely to “grossly over-estimate” how well they had performed. Yes, these researchers have produced quantitative evidence that ignorance really is bliss. Or, at least, that ignorant people are blissfully unaware of their incompetence.

The psychologists’ explanation: “Not only do these people reach erroneous conclusions and make unfortunate choices, but their incompetence robs them of the metacognitive ability to realize it.” In other words, the skills necessary to be competent are the same skills necessary to recognize competence. Lacking both, the ignorant suffer a dual burden. (They don’t know it, of course, so don’t waste any sympathy on them. Instead, admire the chutzpa that keeps them charging ahead.) Incompetent people are also poor judges of the abilities of others, Dunning and Kruger found. Low scorers were unable to recognize competence in more able subjects.

Meanwhile, the subjects who did well on the researchers’ tests consistently underestimated their abilities. Competent people, it seems, are more aware of their limitations and suffer unduly from uncertainty. (They are more deserving of our sympathy or, perhaps, help with their inaccurate appraisals.) Even worse – at least to anyone who thinks accurate self-assessment is a virtue – when the incompetent do gain insight about their shortcomings and become more competent, they then gain the metacognitive skill necessary to realize they have performed poorly. Thus they begin to undervalue their performance, just like their brighter fellows.

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March 2000 – Reinvent Yourself Daily

March 2000: Management Review

If you’re only as good today as you were yesterday, you won’t be good enough for tomorrow!

In fact, change has become the new constant- the fundamental, unalterable force of our times. It is the common denominator of every business, organization, profession and individual. It is the great “leveler,” the grand inquisitor and great reaper of us all. Change respects no boundaries, traditions or history of accomplishments. Change can be unexpected, fast, loud, furious and all-encompassing or slow, simmering, silent and insidious…

One story goes that the great violinist, Itzhak Perlman, was approached following a concert by a man with a question: “Mr. Perlman,” he said, “my son is studying the violin. And by coincidence he is studying the same composer and composition that you played tonight. Why is it,” he asked, “that when my son plays this piece it doesn’t sound the same as when you play it? After all, you both use the same set of notes!” Perlman is reported to have responded: “It’s not the notes that count, but the space between the notes.”

This story is instructive for managers. As Perlman pointed out, it’s not what’s written down that counts, but what we do with it that differentiates a young student and a great concert virtuoso.

The “space between the notes” is the “white space” in an organization, the way things really get done rather than the way the policy and procedure manual say they are supposed to get done. GE’s CEO Jack Welch calls it “the mushy stuff” and argues that you can’t be successful in business until you understand and master it. The “notes”– the “content” of what is changing– are surely important. But managing the “white stuff”– our reaction to change– is equally important in coping with the ferocity of the disruptions brought by technology and globalization.

Thus the fundamental reaction to change must be to embrace it rather than to fight it. Embracing change must become instinctive. If change is apparent in areas closely associated with your profession or industry, but not yet an issue for you, then you must consider leading the change rather than waiting for its arrival…

-Richard W. Olive

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February 2000 – Finding And Keeping Good Employees

September 1999: Training Magazine

What do you do when advertising and recruiting fail to draw top candidates to your company? You roll out an unparalleled menu of perks, of course.

That’s what more companies are doing to combat a labor shortage and attract talented employees. Recruits are lured by flexible hours, tuition reimbursement, the ability to telecommute and family leave– benefits that have now become plain vanilla fare at many companies. But some employers don’t stop there. They offer up everything from cruises to vacation homes. Some, at the suggestion of authors like Roger Herman, even cater to employee’s pets.

“I know this one sounds a little far out,” Herman writes in his book Keeping Good People (Oakhill Press, 1999), before suggesting that employers encourage workers to bring pets to the office and, in some cases, even run pet day care centers.

Chicago-based Andersen Consulting provides dog-walking services for its employees’ pooches, and Timberland, the outdoor-clothing and sports-gear seller based in Stratham, NH, provides pet insurance to cover veterinarian bills.

Other companies help out with employees’ everyday chores: shopping, laundry and more. Pillsbury Co. gives its Minneapolis employees access to a concierge, who will shop for grocieries and gifts. Wilmington, DE-based MBNA provides on-site dry cleaning, shoe repair and a hair salon.

Cary, NC-based SAS Institute woos prospects with a free on-site medical clinic and child care for just $250 a month. Computer Associates of Islandia, NY, offers a no-cost health insurance and free breakfast daily.

Others appeal to workers’ athletic interests. Cerner Corp. has a fitness center with a basketball court and swimming pool at its Kansas City office. San Diego-based Qualcomm offers all that and more at its three recreation centers, including tennis courts and a sand volleyball court.

Still others dole out luxury treatment. JM Family Enterprises in Deerfield Beach, FL, takes employees on day trips to the Bahamas, while Born Information Services in Minneapolis gives its entire work force access to extravagant lakefront homes in the wilds of northern Minnesota.

Do perks like these, once considered outrageous, pay off? The companies offering them seem to think so. In the meantime, sought after employees will enjoy the ever-more creative lures cast out by desperate employers.