The Jevons paradox was described by the English economist William Stanley Jevons in his book “The Coal Question”, published in 1865. In his analysis, the author noted that advances in the efficiency of steam engines, which provided a lower consumption of coal to produce the same amount of energy, led, however, to an increase of the total consumption of coal due to higher demand. Thus, the Jevons Paradox occurs whenever the increase in the efficiency of use of a given resource leads, not to a reduction, but to an increase in the total consumption of that resource. This is the effect produced by an elastic consumption curve*, that is, the one in which the cost reduction causes a proportionally greater increase in its demand. Continue reading “The Jevons Paradox”
Even companies that have good management but always seek to innovate their products within the same standards can fail precisely because they do not innovate outside the standards. If the industry had focused solely on developing VHS technology, it would never have come to DVD. This is the core concept of Harvard Professor Clayton Christensen’s book The Innovator’s Dilemma: When New Technologies Cause Great Firms to Fail, published in 1997. According to Professor Christensen, not investing in disruptive technology (one that breaks the current paradigm ) can be the differential between the failure and Continue reading “The Innovation Dilemma”
That’s it! A good manager is not the one who acts to please, but rather, is the one who does what is right. Sometimes your decisions can please some, sometimes not. When a manager establishes discipline, requires compliance with procedures, demands professionalism, asks for competence, demands commitment, receives results and give feedbacks, this will certainly displease some. It will displease, certainly, the most negligent, the most incompetent, the most incapable, the most inefficient, and the least committed people.
Look at this example that happened to me. I was responsible for Continue reading “The Good Management, Naturally, Displeases Some People!”
At another time, I wrote about how to create a culture that supports change, and which basically consists of a good team of leaders from the Organization, and a robust training program, both (leadership and training) working to implement the change that is desired . But, the change management process as a whole can be understood in 7 steps. See them as follows: Continue reading “The 7 Steps of Change Management”
Offering various consumer options may not be a good strategy. Have you ever been in doubt which shampoo to choose. See the options that a renowned brand offers on the supermarket shelves: restoration, hydro-cauterization, fall control, hydration, extreme smooth, defined curls, strength and reconstruction, hydra-vitamin curd, extreme shine, rejuvenating repair, smooth and silky. Easy to choose? Not necessarily! Anxious decision? Very likely!…
Barry Schwartz addresses in detail the question of the choices we make in his 2004 book, The Paradox of Choice: Why More Is Less. Barry says that Continue reading “When Less Is More in Marketing!”
Often, an effort put into productive meetings and discussions to create an Organization’s strategic planning may not have the desired effect, simply because it does not address 3 fundamental issues: reasonableness, objectivity, and communication. To ensure that these points are met, we must ask 3 questions before we consider finished the elaboration of the strategic planning. Here’s what they are: Continue reading “Key Questions to Ask Before Closing Strategic Planning!”
Toyota is famous for its production system, known worldwide as Lean Manufacturing, and among its many facets, the 3 “GEN” principle (or philosophy, as Toyota itself refers) is a very interesting aspect, and deserves to be incorporated into the day-to-day activities of the Organizations.
The 3 “GEN” are: Continue reading “The 3 “GEN” Principle for Problem Solving”
My experience of more than 13 years of management in the industry has shown me that there are some commandments that must be obeyed within an organization, so that we can get the much desired (and more than ever, necessary) quality. I will list them, as follows: Continue reading “The Commandments of Quality”
Your body posture tells more about you than you think. This is because, your body posture not only influences others, but, yourself. Posture is something so important, but so often neglected.
Your Posture Influences Others
Imagine the following scene: the manager is on the shop floor, walking with his head down, stopping to talk to someone, leaning his body on a column, scratching his head; then slipping his hand from his forehead to the back of his neck. Okay, now imagine this: the manager is on the shop floor and walks with his head up (not arrogantlly, but naturally), looks sideways, stops to talk to someone, puts both hands on the waist, looking on the person’s face. What do you think of these two scenes? It is blatant that the first manager seems Continue reading “Your Posture Says More Than You Think!”
One of the most common problems in an Organization is the delay in projects. Here are 10 important causes of project delays:
#1 – Weak Management: One of the main causes, undoubtedly, is poor project management, caused by lack of experience of the project manager, or even by incompetence. To avoid this, we must seek a project manager with the appropriate experience according to the size and importance of the work. Continue reading “10 Reasons Why Project Delay!”
The Succession Plan is a strategic tool that allows the identification and preparation of professionals from within the Organization to possibly occupy key positions in case of need. Before we talk about what to do, let’s see what not to do when it comes to Succession Plan. Continue reading “Succession Plan”
While many organizations are concerned with various aspects and characteristics of their sales force, the most important of them is often overlooked. Credibility is the most important skill of a salesperson, and this is proven in many researchs and specialized studies. There is a very interesting quote from the American writer Rebecca Solnit, who expresses well the importance of credibility in people’s lives: “Credibility is a basic survival tool.”
In a study by Brian H. Flynn and Kathleen A. Murray, entitled “Your Sales Force Could Be Your Weakness,” published in 1993, in The Journal of European Business, which evaluated more than 1,000 senior managers, pointed out that Continue reading “The Basic Competence for Success in Sales”
According to the Merriam-Webster dictionary, habit is a settled tendency or usual manner of behavior. Then, to establish certain actions as habit presents a series of advantages, among them, a greater efficiency in the action (by the repetition and constancy), and the own benefits from the repetition of actions that we consider good.
Forming Habits Takes a Certain Time
There is a 21-day kabbalistic number, widely propagated by various Neuro-linguistic authors, like Sir John Hargrave in his book Mind Hacking: How to Change Your Mind for Good in 21 Days. Although much mentioned, its origin is not known for sure. Very likely, it was incorporated by the book Psycho-Cybernetics: The New Way to Get More Living Out of Life, by American plastic surgeon and researcher Maxwell Maltz, who noted Continue reading “How to Build a New Habit?”
Training, in addition to its original function of developing the skills of employees, works as an excellent motivational tool, and is one of the pillars of the formation of Organizational Culture. That is why we must give it due attention, trying to do it in the best way possible. Furthermore, adult education (andragogy) is not the same as children education (pedagogy), so, there are basic differences that we have to pay attention, such as the ones I describe below:
- Teacher / student relationship: while in pedagogy teaching is centered on the teacher, in andragogy it is student-centered.
- Reasons for learning: While pedagogy follows a particular standardized curriculum, adults learn what they really need to know, with a practical approach to solving certain problems.
- Learning orientation: children learn by subject, as adults learn by competences.
These differences require different approaches to teaching the professional, so the tips we will see gain even greater importance, to increase the efficiency and effectiveness of corporate training. Continue reading “7 Tips to Increase the Effectiveness of Corporate Training”
In 1924, the National Research Council, at the Hawthorne plant of Western Electric Company in Chicago, began a series of experiments to see how much lighting affected productivity. It was verified that with each alteration in the lighting, there was an improvement in productivity; however, when returning to the initial lighting conditions, productivity remained high, indicating that the attention given to the work environment was the predominant factor, not the luminosity itself. Over the years, studies and experiments in Hawthorne, which lasted until 1932, greatly expanded the initial focus, also addressing aspects of Continue reading “The Hawthorne Effect and Productivity in Organizations”
We know that ethics is a big concern in work environment. Among others, the study conducted by Daniel Johnson, from IBE (Institute of Business Ethics), shows that ethics concern is getting more importance. The Institute, headquartered in the UK, has been doing research on ethical issues in the UK since 2005, and from 2012 included other countries. The responses shows that, from 2005 to 2015, some ethics issues like having written procedures, means to report misconduct in a confidential manner, support advice, training in standards of ethical conduct, have been dealt with more and more attention.
Make a Question
So, a great question to make for a candidate in a job interview is: Continue reading “A Great Question to Uncover Ethics Behavior in a Job Interview”
“Shit! Why I didn’t do that?”
That has likely happened to you sometime! Well, the good part is that it teaches us priceless lessons. If you think you should do something, you probably have to. In management, we can face this kind of situations everyday. So, pay attention on your feeling, and don’t lose the proper time to do the right thing.
A Useful Story
See the following case that has happened in a certain company: Continue reading “Keep An Eye On That, Always!”
Emotional balance is the capacity you have to control yourself in stress situations, and is a key competence for you to grow in your career.
A very powerful way to keep us balanced is the mental predisposition, which means, how we consciously think and propose to react to certain situations. It’s like a mental programming. When we are predisposed to act with balance when this or that situation happens, we are much more prepared to face the stress of that moment.
Here I can give a personal testimony: Continue reading “Emotional Balance”
What is a strategic plan for? A corporate strategic plan is the most powerful tool for helping the company growth. First of all, it is important to understand the common mistakes about strategic plan.
It is a mistake to make a strategic plan for: Continue reading “How to Make a Succesful Strategic Plan”
From my own experience, after years and years of working in various organizations, I can say that there is a kind of “colleague” of work who is the expert in causing disturbance in the environment and creating discussion. He is the one who moch, ironize, and denigrate the work of others. This guy is the corporate provocateur and usually is an envious person, but he can also be the unreasonable competitive, or the aggressive compulsive. Dealing with such people requires, first and foremost, emotional balance, and some tips on how to respond to such provocations can be very helpful in avoiding discussion. Continue reading “4 Easy Ways to Deal with Provocative Comments”
Forget high salaries and astronomical bonuses. Forget super expensive experts. The secret to outstanding Organizational performance can be right in front of you. Continue reading “What Really Drives Organizational Outcome”
Rudeness, annoyance, incivility, bullying or toxicity, no matter the word you want to use, the subject is an important concern in a work environment. A toxic person is the one who deliberately harms other people and the workplace. It is a serious concern because just one toxic person has a tremendous power of destruction in a workplace, that’s why a proper actions has to be taken.
Six characteristics of toxic people
Continue reading “What to Do with Toxic People in the Workplace?”
Every manager has to have in mind that a business, whatever it is, is governed by three basic assumptions of successful business: Continue reading “The Assumptions of the Successful Business”
This is probably one of the biggest questions in the leadership area. I have probably known dozens of good leaders, but dozens of bad ones. Some of the bad leaders were, not just bad, but terrible, and most of them, probably, thought they were good. If you want to know how good one leader is, just look at his team.
I believe there are some rules to follow when you want to create a winning team. You have to establish some key points that can drive you towards a good team results. I call these 10 key points as part of the Virtuous Circle of the Winning Team. Let’s see them:
Continue reading “How To Build a Winning Team?”
That’s your first day as a CEO? Ok, it doesn’t matter if you are new in the Company, or not. There are 3 things that you have to do as a must! Check the balance sheet? Talk to the managers? Visit customers? Visit suppliers? Make a speech to the entire company? Have a meeting with the staff?
No! Definitely, none of them!
The 3 things you have to do as a must are: Continue reading “3 Things To Do as a Must in a CEO First Day!”
The news come first from the CEO to the Managers, and then, to their team:
-We have to indicate few people from our area to start a new Quality Program Training.
People look each other, trying to understand what is that. Some of them find excuses for not doing the training, others think about it.
People chosen, training done. Now, the worst part! Manager speaks to the team:
-Guys! Our CEO wants to show to the board some cost reduction got from the new Quality Program.
Who can believe this will really work? Continue reading “Why New Quality Programs Faill?”
Imagine the following scene: it’s seven-thirty pm, and we still see some employees working, in some areas of the Company. Managers leave their roons and go home happy, because they know these people will stay working some time more. Consider that the regular time is from 8 am to 6 pm. So, do you see anything wrong with that?
Hopefully you said “yes”!
This scene is very typical in an industrial environment, and you will find all reasons and explanations possible for this people to be working overtime. So, why they are working overtime? Why most of managers like so much? And finally, why is it wrong?
Follow me step by step: Continue reading “Why So Many Managers Like To See People Doing Overtime (If That’s Not Productive)?”
I worked over 17 years in industrial environment, 13 as a manager, and some other years as a consultant. This experience gave me a very good insight within a management perspective. I could see good points and bad approaches, good habits and bad practices. Following I describe some points as mistakes for a CEO avoid when dealing to the management team: Continue reading “The 4 Biggest CEO Mistakes!”
Certainly, in a management role, you will have to be faced with the task of leading meetings. Although they are important and fundamental in various situations of corporate life, when poorly led, meetings can become destroyers of productivity and wasters of time.
When people ask me if I recommend doing meetings stand up to be shorter and to the point, I ask: Do you have lunch standing up? Continue reading “How to Lead Meetings Effectively?”
I was in China during the month of April, in 2010, and had the opportunity to know some of the culture and way of life of the Chinese people. What you will read next is purely my impressions after this experience.
People – The people are very friendly. An occidental guy gets a lot of attention, anywhere in China, mainly out of the biggest cities, but that’s not uncomfortable, at least I have never felt bad because of that. It is common to be Continue reading “What I Learned From My Business Trip To China”
A Challenging Scenario – The globalization was the phenomenon of economic and socio-cultural interaction more intense between countries, beginning, notably, in the 90s, and has demanded a higher standard of quality, not just for the products, but also for business professionals. The globalization has been driven by greater political freedom, due to the end of the Cold War; by the reduction in transport costs, arising from market openings and the modernization of the means of transport; and also by the ease of communication with the advent of the commercial internet. Thus we saw, in the industrial field, a big cultural change as market consumers began to have more product options and, with it, the producers of lower quality had basically two ways: Continue reading “How to Create a Culture that Supports Change?”
It’s widely known that meetings are one of the biggest time killers in the business environment. The web site Salary.com (IBM) has been making surveys about time waste at work and has been showing that meetings are one of the top reasons.
The best way to plan and organize an effective meeting is to pay attention on some key points: Continue reading “The Right Steps to Organize Effective Meetings!”
I have interviewed and hired uncountable people, along over 13 years of experience in management, and I don’t think there is a magical question to use in the interview for finding the right person. Actually, more than the answer itself, I am interested in the way that is given. I am really interested in gesture, eyes contact, voice level and the differentiation according to what is being said, and, of course, the whole package of what I am learning from the individual I am meeting in that moment. I use to say, to do a good job, you better be a good person.
I believe, there are two main points to think about (or rethink) when you interview your next candidate:
Continue reading “How to Hire a Good Worker?”
Working at several different companies, and visiting uncountable others, I have already seen a lot of methods for evaluating people at work. Using spreadsheets or sophisticated softwares, these companies try to measure the achievements and behavior of the employee.
Measure the employee behavior is nonsense! Try to give a score to someone, to evaluate communication, attitude, commitment, or responsibility. Continue reading “The Best Way to Evaluate People at Work Ever!”
In my first job in a management role, in 1997, as a production supervisor in a big engine manufacturer, my challenge was not just startup production in a new global and competitive environment, but at the same time, startup my own management career, and like me in that time, you probably heard about the advice: anyone can be a manager, you have to be a good leader!
Seriously? Anyone can be a manager?
Continue reading “Do You Know the Difference Between Manager & Leader? Really?”