Archives 2014


What Makes a Good Leader?

We’re all about inspiring change. So naturally, we’re avid listeners of the TED Radio Hour. And a recent show about disruptive leadership tackled a characteristic we’re often curious about: charisma. What is it, who has it, and how does it affect leadership skills? According to Seth Godin, our common conception of charisma is way off. We assume leaders are naturally charismatic, able to inspire people to follow them on innate ability alone. But studies show that charisma follows leadership, not the other way around. Charisma isn’t always innate; in many cases, it’s something you learn ...

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Everyone Hates Performance Evaluations

It’s here. A month filled with mountains of paperwork, hours of introspection and far too many awkward conversations. Review season.

A joint study out of Kansas State University, Eastern Kentucky University and Texas A&M confirms what we’ve all been feeling: everyone hates performance reviews. Managers don’t like giving them. Employees don’t like getting them. And even employees most interested in learning and improving — presumably the most valuable employees — are equally discouraged by the negative feedback.

So what’s the problem? In part, it’s procedural - when feedback is one-sided (e.g., from peers to employee), it ...

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Moneyball-Style Analytics for HCM

Remember Moneyball? In 2002, the small-budget Oakland A’s used oft-overlooked stats—on base and slugging percentages—to drive their draft decisions and turn their season around. The data was available to every team in Major League Baseball, but the A’s were the only team that knew how to use it.

That’s what we’re doing with talent management.

After talking to real HR pros, it’s clear that accurate, actionable data could have a huge impact on:

  • Assessing a candidate’s skills before they walk through the door
  • Quantifying their performance once they’re on the job ...

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A fully stocked fridge? Unlimited vacation time? The freedom to work from home? In many sectors, particularly the youthful, tech-heavy ones, these are commonplace perks designed to reward hardworking employees. But do they make employees happier? Statistics say no.

Even though the workplace, and our relationship to it, has changed dramatically, employee satisfaction rates haven’t budged in ten years. According to a recent post on 6seconds, employees often read these perks as acts of manipulation rather than benevolence— a means to control behavior. It’s a classic case of misplaced priorities: “The majority of current engagement strategies focus on ...

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It’s Not What You Do, It’s Why You Do It

What makes you like something? Buy something? What is that elusive pull that makes you say this is the place for me? It’s the big question vexing every good business person. The feeling is very hard to describe, and even harder to pin down. But there is actually a very simple answer: passion.

In one of the most famous TED talks of all time, author Simon Sinek explains that the real question every business should be asking themselves is not WHAT but WHY. In his research, Sinek found that every person can describe what they do, most can describe ...

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