Showing posts from March, 2016

Four Factors That Influence Union Globalization

Unionization has declined in the U.S. over the past few decades as global pressure mounts.  Supply vines now reach across the globe and transfer values and information as much as they do products. Will transnational unionization be an important factor for international business? No doubt globalization and international business have taken their toll on American unionization that no longer has the same level of influence over nationally based supply chains. As parts of the supply chain move overseas they also move out of the socio-political environment that protects union rights in the U.S. and into lands that may or may not be friendly to organized labor. A journal article in Human Resource Development lists governance gaps, collective bargaining, standards markets and complementary regimes as four regimes when thinking about global unions ( Donaghey, et. al. 2014). They provide a good framework. I have adjusted these based on my own experience and knowledge: Governance and T

Are Your Workers Rational?

Every workplace has their fair share of rational and irrational employees. The degree by which someone is considered rational depends on their internal consistency in making choices that create the most value. Each logical choice leads to higher outcomes that strengthen pathways to goal completion. Organizations that hire rational actors who can align their goals to that of the organizations are more likely to reap the rewards of better decision-making. Even though it seems like it is rare, not all workplace choices are as rational as we think. All types of dramas and self-seeking behaviors abound that detract from the organizations mission. It doesn't take much to leave a person scratching their head to understand what was going through the person's mind who made THAT decision! Irrationality in the Workplace: Decisions that aren't aligned with, or against, the business are suspect to the emotional, financial, and self-seeking desires of the employee. Choices not ba

Management by the Numbers

It would be great if we had a handbook for every business problem and issue we face. We just open the book and come up with a solution. Life isn't like that and there is no management by the numbers system. We must work our way through problems and come to conclusions that can have a big impact on how successful we are. This means we need to use some type of mental approach that helps to ensure we are coming to proper management conclusions. Consider how many decisions are made in the business world-and they don't always have anything to do with rationality or strategy. Decisions can be reactive, emotional, social, quick and inaccurate that leads to poor outcomes. By looking through our experience, relevant theories, using critical thinking and checking in with our emotions we are better able to determine the best strategic course of action. Paint 1: The Benefits of Experience There is no substitute for experience. Theory is excellent but experience is often more practic

Life Ain't Complicated!

Its true! Keep it simple and stay focused. Fell free to share with appropriate attribution.

Helping Executives Beat the Boardroom Battles

Business is tough can can take a toll on your psychological and physical health. The middle aged corporate man with the bulging stomach, high cholesterol, and stressed disposition is something real and common that can come with eventual consequences. Getting involved in activities like boxing can help in balancing a lopsided lifestyle. Successful people sometimes get into a rut. They find one way to compete and then continue to use that same way method over and over. As long as the behavior is successful then the person will continue to be successful. The problem is that things change. Workplaces change, people change and the market changes. This means that executives must always be on alert for opportunities, willing to change, and constantly engaged in pushing good ideas forward. At times the boardroom can look more like a battle ground then a place where civilized people engage in productive work. All of this change adds up to toxic stress! One of the best ways to get rid of

Leading from Your Genuine Self

Leadership gives the populace direction and helps them find meaning in their lives. Social development and adaptation needs strong leaders to be successful. Faced with challenges leaders will need to find solutions and motivate people. Developing leadership skills doesn't have any pre-defined rules and can be drawn from one's core strengths. We must not put leadership into a pre-defined bottle where only a small sliver of actions are considered leadership. We are limited by our social perspectives and cultures. Leadership is about finding your core strengths and using those core strengths to help people get over challenges. Misleading Perceptions of Leadership Society has their own perceptions of leadership, gender and culture that often get in the way of how people express leadership. We are bombarded with the idea that leadership looks like Caesar and his conquering army. Although this is one type of leadership there are many more that have made profound changes on so

Is Stimulus the Right Response to Global Slowdowns?

The world economy is at risk of recession. According to the OECD growth in the G7 is slowing and without immediate action it is difficult to move from the low growth stages back to prosperity. "Economic derailment" is seen as just around the corner unless nations act now. Their recommendation is to provide costly economic stimulus to turn the tide but may not be using the right tools. Is stimulus the right approach? IMF indicates rising risks to global economy putting European nations, and the world at large, in a slower growth mode. Problems in the U.S. are related to age-related spending and infrastructure needs. Direct stimulus is seen as one of the only tools to improve the economy. The problem is that stimulus is a short-term growth strategy that comes with long term costs. As stimulus improves economic activity it also erodes the natural competitive nature of firms to adjust to new market realities. The stimulus becomes a focal point for short-term corporate inves

Minimizing Firm Transaction Cost

Ronald Coase in his landmark 1937 paper The Nature of the Firm believed that all businesses are defined by their transactions. According to his Theory of the Firm people form and establish businesses because they can build and create products cheaper than contracting out the work or doing so on the open market. Firms become a way of reducing transaction costs and improving production capacity. Firms are tightly bound networks of internal transactions. The size of the firm can be determined by how many transactions exist within the confines of the firm. As firms get large they also become more inefficient because the transaction costs rise making creation more advantageous in other entities. Transaction costs are associated with 1. Search and information, 2. Bargaining and decision costs, and 3. Policing and enforcement costs. Firms are at their essence long-term contracts that form when short-term contracts are no longer advantageous. As "Islands of consciousness" th

Are Leaderless Organizations Coming Soon?

Wouldn't it be great if you didn't  have a boss? Maybe not a boss in the entire workplace! Leaderless organizations are making that possible by offering communal based work for highly skilled and self-motivated professionals. Instead of the rigid hierarchy that slows down production and increases transaction costs a flatter and more employee centered approach is used where management is taken over by panels and teams. Leaderless organizations are more common in industries that require lots of innovation and change to keep up with the market. Highly skilled professionals that have a sense of self-direction are likely to fit well within they structures framework. As the trend to push flatter and more virtual takes shape the need for a traditional boss lessens. Self-Directed Workforce The self-directed workforce operates from a communal perspective that each person has value within the organization and must contribute based on their unique function. There is organizational