Planning for training

We are building a front line manager training program.  I was reading Tom Peters' No Excuses and was struck by the need to improve our corporate training in this area.  Envisioning weekly sessions through the summer to develop management, presentation and organizational skills.  Underlying the training will be important corporate culture training.

So far, the texts include:

Leadership Is an Art - Max DePree
How To Be Brilliant - Nicholas Bate
How to Make Presentations to Councils and Boards - Michael Wade
The Curmudgeon's Guide to Getting Ahead - Charles Murray

Lot's of organic material to add.  Developing. . .

Music for a Thursday - David Frizzell

"I'm Gonna Hire A Wino".  What a song.  What an idea.

Rob makes the case. . .

for a little wine.

The Onion imitates life

Dear God.

Math that doesn't work

"In the last quarter of 2011, according to the Census Bureau, approximately 82,457,000 people lived in households where one or more people were on Medicaid. 49,073,000 lived in households were someone got food stamps. 23,228,000 lived in households where one or more got WIC. 20,223,000 lived in households where one or more got SSI. 13,433,000 lived in public or government-subsidized housing.

Of course, it stands to reason that some people lived in households that received more than one welfare benefit at a time. To account for this, the Census Bureau published a neat composite statistic: There were 108,592,000 people in the fourth quarter of 2011 who lived in a household that included people on "one or more means-tested program."

Those 108,592,000 outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private-sector workers who inhabited the United States in 2012 by almost 1.3 to 1.

This brings us to the first category of benefit receivers. There were 49,901,000 people receiving Social Security in the fourth quarter of 2011, and 46,440,000 receiving Medicare. There were also 5,098,000 getting unemployment compensation.

And there were also, 3,178,000 veterans receiving benefits and 34,000 veterans getting educational assistance.

All told, including both the welfare recipients and the non-welfare beneficiaries, there were 151,014,000 who "received benefits from one or more programs" in the fourth quarter of 2011. Subtract the 3,212,000 veterans, who served their country in the most profound way possible, and that leaves 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers.

The 147,802,000 non-veteran benefit takers outnumbered the 86,429,000 full-time private sector workers 1.7 to 1."

Read on.
  The wagon is getting very full.


Found at KA-CHING!

Don't forget your routines

Eclecticity Light has a fascinating image of the routines of some very creative people.  Click on the picture and you can zoom in.


I stumbled on this Rich Karlgaard piece through another far weaker article.  Well worth your time:

"There’s a right size for every team, and it’s almost always smaller than you think. Jeff Bezos of Amazon likes to use the “two-pizza rule” for strategy and development teams. If it takes more than two pizzas to feed the team, the team is likely too big."

Define "moderation"

Drink coffee.  It is good for you.

Manual rules!!

From Matthew Lang:

"Automation is great for when it’s mundane tasks that can be repeated over and over without interruption, but when we want to tailor that task each time it happens, we need to step in and do the work ourselves."

All of the greatest things I have done in my life were manual tasks.  No automation needed for the best things.

The bureaucratic moment - a modern fable

He stopped mid-form, looked up at the cluttered cubicle wall, sighed, and leaned back in his chair.  This wasn't about helping anyone - not the "clients" on his case list, not the people in his charge.  This wasn't about the mission.  It wasn't about any mission.  What was the "client's" name anyway?  Which one was he?

This had become paperwork.  It was about the forms and the process.  The workstreams.  It was about the latest directive on how to handle a larger and larger caseload.  How to step people - "clients" - through the system.  It was about making sure the i's were dotted and box 56a was filled in.  If the paperwork met the standards, and all the boxes were completed, no one cared about the names or the descriptions.  It was a sophisticated maze and he was a well-trained rat.

There had been an objective once but it was long gone, missing in the endless, faceless system.  The chair creaked under his weight as he rocked back and rubbed his face. 

Ten years.  He had ten years until retirement.

And he now had to decide. . .what would he do after retirement?

April stack


The most productive work space. . .ever??

Getting Things Done guru, David Allen, is selling his office:

Music for a Tuesday - George Jones

"Living and dying with the choices I've made."  George Jones sings the truth with "Choices".  So sad it'll make you happy:


"In the spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt."

Margaret Atwood

The new world of work

"Sadly your interviewers don't think about getting professional: defining a job, defining a time line and being courteous to you."

Read on at Nicholas Bate.

Pay to quit

Amazon offers employees $5,000 to quit.  Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos explains:

"'The goal is to encourage folks to take a moment and think about what they really want,' he wrote in the letter. 'In the long-run, an employee staying somewhere they don't want to be isn't healthy for the employee or the company.'

Bezos said the offer is made under the headline 'Please Don't Take This Offer.' Amazon will offer to pay its associates to quit once a year.

The company has experimented with this program in recent years, but rolled it out to its 40,000 warehouse employees in January, according to a company spokeswoman."

The program raises interesting questions, the most important of which is:  How much damage can an unhappy employee cause to a company in terms of poor work and the associated costs, morale damage, schedule disruption due to absenteeism. . .

Thanks, Caroline.


Execupundit cracks the code of feeble responses.  Somewhere in there ought to be something about "best of intentions", and being in it "for the children".

Pimenento and cheese sandwich

Ray appreciates the finer things in life.

Scott's music. . .

charted here.
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