Monthly Archives: January 2017

//January

Sodas, snacks and fresh fruit

A colleague of mine joined a company that gave out free snacks and sodas in the afternoon and always had fresh fruit in the meeting rooms.  When he asked, “why do they do that?”  The answer was “because we value our employees”. A year later, the company’s growth figures were lower than expected and margins became under pressure.  One day the snacks and sodas were replaced by payable vending machines and the fruit was moved into the reception (for visitors only).  My colleague was forced to ask himself, “just how much did my employer value me really?” The problem was [...]

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Swimming with a whale shark

I am told that of all the things one can do on this planet that there is nothing much finer than swimming with a whale shark. The beauty, majesty and power of this wonderful creature is apparently beyond compare.  Growing up to 14m in length and up to 20,000Kg, there can be no discussion whether this is a big fish or not! And because the whale shark does not pose any innate danger to humans, the intensity of emotion that divers express when swimming with them, is not based upon fear but upon wonderment. There is, however, one danger that [...]

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By the rules

The USA has a new president. But many people are still surprised that in a democracy, the candidate with a higher absolute number of votes, did not win. This is because of the US system with “electors”. Rules and regulations, but also processes and procedures are always created with a certain goal in mind. The challenge is to create a set that indeed leads to the goal that was intended. And without thorough thinking, wording (and often rewording) and testing (and/or reviewing), sometimes unwanted side-effects can be created. A classic example is calculating the bonus of the sales person based [...]

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What to do about Trump?

For most people I know, no matter what they do and wherever they do it, the thought of Trump is not so far away. This is not a political blog, whether Trump and his posse are going to be good for the world is not the question here. This blog is about what to do when someone enters your organization in such a way that your existing communication and regulatory behavior processes prove to be ineffective. To give an example, I have heard of foster parents who fostered a child whose family values and social norms were so very different [...]

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It’s not normal

“You really need to get over to my company, we have some serious issues that need sorting out. It’s not going to be easy the way things get done in my office, or should I say ‘not done’. It’s not normal”. This was an opening statement someone said to me at a New Year’s reception. “And a very happy Ney Year to you too” was my rather impolite reply. But after stepping back and asking some polite questions, what my fellow guest described to me seemed pretty normal in many of the companies I have had the privilege of working. [...]

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