Wednesday, June 21, 2017

Leadership: Finding the Right Path

Response to: The Simple Leader, Find Your Unique Path

Like the spiritual journeys of Buddhists, Gnostics, and Christians like Thomas Merton, when you are on your own journey, you must first seek to learn, understand, contemplate, and reflect on your circumstances and beliefs. Only then can you apply what makes sense to create your own path. Don’t simply accept what others say or copy what others do.

Very well said.

The value of being open to ideas that are not part of the dogma is overlooked. And as a leader highlighting those that challenge the dogma (such as Thomas Merton for the Catholic church) is wise for a leader to do. Of course, you need to highlight efforts that hold true to the spirit/core-values while challenging dogma. It isn't just different ideas that are needed but the right different ideas.


Bench in forest at the Abbey of Gethsemani (where Thomas Merton lived)

Wednesday, June 14, 2017

A Sign of Decline at Apple

Comments on: This Apple Store Sign Seems to be a Sign of Apple’s Broader Troubles

I agree that sign is more important than many people might think. For a company like Apple that spends likely hundreds of millions of dollars a year on design and conveying a message through that design (in Apple stores, with products, with presentations, with ads...) it is not acceptable. They have held themselves to high standards. When that starts to slip if they are not proactive it slips quickly.

For a normal business they would be at the mercy of the management company to fix the door and the manager of the store would pass the buck to them. I can say if I were the manager of that store for Apple, if it wasn't fixed immediately I would have it fixed myself (and then bill the management company). If it couldn't be fixed immediately I would have a decent sign put there and it would make sure it got fixed very quickly. That isn't the same action I would take if it were some small shop I was responsible for where I knew we could only afford a cheap place and things like broken doors take a while to be fixed. For an Apple store that is unacceptable.

My main complaint with Apple is the poor software quality over the last 5 to 10 years. Software quality started to slip and kept slipping and no-one at Apple that had the authority dealt with the decline. The Apple Maps fiasco was a symptom of this long term failure by Apple. Tim Cook responded to that symptom but I don't see Apple giving software quality nearly the attention it deserves. My MacBook Pro has had numerous software issues for years. I have looked at other hardware and it is very difficult to find hardware of the quality of Mac laptops. My next computer would likely be an Ubuntu laptop if I can find good enough hardware. Another option is installing Ubuntu on the MacBook and just using that most of the time (there are some reasons Mac software can be useful so having it as a fallback is a benefit). But it is sad that Apple has let software quality slide for so long.

Related: Practicing Mistake-Promoting Instead of Mistake-Proofing at Apple - Aligning Marketing Vision and Management - Human Proof Design - Vision can be a Powerful Driver but Most Often It is Just a Few Pretty Words

Tuesday, June 06, 2017

Priorities

Too often people chose "no" for the things they were planning on doing because they say "yes" to some new thing without comparing to what will have to be sacrificed in order to say "yes" to this new option.

Being open to new possibilities is good. But they must be considered within the context of what must be let go to accommodate them.

My comments on: The Simple Leader: Just Say No

Related: Manage Better by Managing Less - Carve Out Time to Think

Thursday, June 01, 2017

A "Demotivated" Workforce is a Symptom of the Culture of the Organization

Comment on: Are You "Perfectly Designed" for Morale Issues? (Yes) – and Employee Surveys Won't Fix It. (Demotivators: Part 1) [original post was removed so I removed the link].

Creating a system that gives people pride in their work will cause many motivation issues disappear. A significant part of that is eliminating the de-motivation that exists in the management system:

Motivate or Eliminate De-Motivation

Build an Environment Where Intrinsic Motivation Flourishes


A "demotivated" workforce is a symptom of the culture of the organization. That is how the issue needs to be looked at to improve results. Blaming people and attempting to motivate without fixing the causes of demotivation is not effective.

Related: How to Deal with Motivation Problems - Motivation, Rewards, Performance Appraisals and Your Career - Dangers of Extrinsic Motivation - Stop Demotivating Employees - How to Motivate Front Line Workers