Entries by tagonline

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 […]

For Corporations, Is It a Small (Global) World After All?

In one of my overseas assignments some time ago, the global company I was working for had just hired Steve to run its IT center in Hong Kong.  Steve was a Singaporean who had worked at IBM for over twenty years, and had deep functional expertise and experience.  What struck me most about him when I met […]

Is Meritocracy Dying – Or Was It Just a Myth All Along?

An organizational culture that values meritocracy sounds good, doesn’t it? After all, we want to be hired, evaluated, and promoted based on our own merits – as opposed to non-performance-related factors such as our race, our gender, our network, or our political skills. It’s all about getting what we deserve because of our performance. Scan […]

Headquarters Versus Local Overseas Offices – Worlds Apart?

Here are some comments I have heard over the years from executives sitting in regional or headquarters locations about local managers in their subsidiaries: They don’t seem to want anything to do with Corporate. Why can’t they trust us? Don’t they see that they have to follow corporate rules and that they are part of […]

Boss, Manager or Leader?

After reading two excellent books with the word “boss” in their titles (Robert Sutton’s “Good Boss, Bad Boss,” and Linda Hill and Kent Lineback’s “Being the Boss”), I became intrigued with the connotations of this term, and how a boss differs from being a manager and a leader. Sutton, Hill and Lineback don’t really make […]

Shadow Work and Shadow Staffs in Organizations

I recently came across Craig Lambert’s book Shadow Work, in which he describes all those unpaid tasks we perform on behalf of businesses and organizations – from self-service ATMs, supermarkets, and gas stations, to shopping web sites. He places the blame with our sleep deprivation and our stress levels partially on these businesses, stating that part […]

New Year’s Resolutions, Managers and Nudge Strategy

About this time of the year, popular magazines are filled with articles about helping you make sure that your New Year’s resolutions stick this time. In their best-selling book Nudge, Professors Richard Thaler and Cass Sunstein show that an effective way to change people’s behavior is to “nudge” them, rather than say, demand big changes in […]

Nasty or Nice in the Workplace?

When I worked for Citibank in the eighties as a young professional, I used to tell my friends that the corporate culture in Citibank taught me to be rude. In those days, Citibank was known to be aggressive and even arrogant, and one survived only by adapting to this rough-and-tumble environment. Corporate cultures have become […]