All posts tagged: Management

What is the Purpose of a Company?

The recent statement issued by the Business Roundtable on corporate purpose, has raised a lot of media attention and buzz on professional networks like LinkedIn. Although the statement itself is not as revolutionary as it seems, (already the 1981 version did also acknowledge the importance of multiple constituencies for companies’ long-term success). Yes, for sure the 1997 version did focus a lot on shareholder’s primacy, and overall its true that aligning 200 CEOs around such a statement must have been a difficult endeavor. As HBR underlines, the question is what are the effects of this statement going to be. Multiple authors and academics have focused on the risks of excessive focus on Shareholder value (Ralph Gomory is just one of the many names, that has been focusing on Corporate Goals). This declaration is not setting out a new world of corporate affairs though. the language of the preamble suggests that it is little more than a new description of what CEOs already do—or believe they do. This is why a lot of the articles and commentary, that …

Beyond Generation Stereotypes

In a recent article by Gillian Tett under the title “It’s time to stop talking about Millennials“, the author highlights an important lesson we often face everyday at work: talking of generations in terms of “absolute identities” is not only wrong, but can result in pure discriminations. We’ve got all used to think in terms of distinct generational cohorts, especially thanks to the Advertising Industry. However, this has quickly expanded also to a lot of HR domains, with Recruiting, performance, and the “world of management” trying to make sense of the new generation inflow into the workforce. It all started about half a century ago, when economists first started to talk about “baby boomers” to refer to people born after World War II. Then came Generation X, then the “Millennials” and now the next one: often called Generation Z, although other descriptors exist. However, the Millennial label is the one that tends to generate most tensions (although I believe the Gen Z one will, eventually, be even worse). Baby boomers and Gen Xs grumble that …

Fire the Project Manager

The last decades have seen a key trend in organisations: more and more work is carried through “Projects“. The actual content of what a Project is varies from company to company, but as a rule of thumb the common element of it all is that somebody assumes the role of “Project Manager“. Other elements instead (the availability of a resource plan or of a specific budget) vary instead. Very often this is a part time role, assumed by somebody in the Organisation who is supposed to continue carrying on its own job at the same time. But in many cases this role is delegated to a “specialist” in Project Management. This can be an internal resource, or more often a contractor, who professionally does project management by applying one of the many methodologies available. The goal of this role is to ensure that the project itself is maintained within budget, planning is respected, results achieved. I guess you all recognize this. Yet a sentence I heard a couple of days ago from an executive made …

Are you really too busy to innovate?

It is really incredible how much time each of us spends everyday in useless or low value activities, instead of concentrating on what your company would need the most: innovation. To a certain extent we have become too “efficient”. So we do not put enough attention to the thinking process that is at the basis of creativity and innovation. We are simply too busy to innovate, and what’s worse, we seem to enjoy the busyness over the contemplation necessary for innovation. Like a man who starves to death in a bountiful land because he is too busy to plant, many businesses will wither because they were too busy to innovate. This is what Jeffrey Phillips writes on his blog. And I believe he is really right. We spend endless hours into meetings for the sole purpose of being present (I will come back on this, but for the moment you can read this great article on how to avoid being dragged in too many meetings), endless call conferences, tons of email whose relevance is all …