Entries by noel

A Checklist for Global Managers

In his book, The Checklist Manifesto, Dr. Atul Gawande writes about what Wal-Mart did in the wake of Hurricane Katrina.  As you may recall, this was a major disaster in New Orleans, where 80 percent of the city was flooded and 20,000 refugees were stranded at the New Orleans Superdome.  Another 20,000 were at the […]

Global Leaders’ Moments of Truth

Many years ago, while consulting with the Customer Service unit of a consumer products company, I came across a book by Jan Carlzon, then president of Scandinavian Airlines System (SAS), called “Moments of Truth.”  This phrase, which has now entered the business vocabulary, described the contact between a customer and a company representative that can […]

Slicing the Culture Pie

In her book “Overwhelmed” (on the pressures of work-life balance, among other topics), Brigit Schulte describes her trip to Denmark and her interviews with working couples there.  Here’s what she writes about work life in that country: “Danes don’t live to work.  Danes work hard … but they work in a very focused way.  Lunch […]

Coming to Grips with Corporate Culture

“Culture” has been in the business news again lately, from General Motors’ failure to recall its faulty ignition switches to the replacement of an outsider for Target’s new CEO.  Those of us who have worked for more than one company, and/or have friends and acquaintances who work for different companies, know how powerful corporate culture can […]

OB Practices: Are They FEDUP?

Free food!  Subsidies for buying hybrid cars!  No lay-off policies! Paternity leaves!  Employee sabbaticals! No more performance appraisals!  The list of perks, benefits and organizational practices is almost endless, and as many managers know, simply benchmarking or imitating practices or benefits what some of the “great places to work” employers offer is no guarantee that […]

Leading Global Virtual Teams

When I ask the students in my MBA classes how many of them belong to cross-functional teams, between half to three quarters typically raise their hands.  And when I ask them if they also belong to global teams (where members are from different cultures and are in different geographic locations), most of them keep their […]

Are Diversity Initiatives Worthless?

Recently, Jack Welch, former CEO of GE, made some controversial comments at a Women in the Economy conference sponsored by the Wall Street Journal.  What did he say that upset at least some of the female attendees? First, he said that working hard and showing how your skills can benefit the company are the keys […]