July 2010

Accountability: What Do You Owe Your Direct Reports

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s reading is a short essay, reproduced below, by Roger Schwartz in his newsletter Fundamental Change.  He makes two significant points that caught my attention:  First, accountability is a two-way street.  Not only do your staff have accountability to their manager, but the manager, you, have accountability to them.  And, second, all feedback needs to be timely.  Said differently, it becomes stale very rapidly.  Schwartz suggests that if you have not given the feedback within a week of observing either something good that needs to be recognized or something ineffective that needs to b

How to Stop the Blame Game

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s reading “How to Stop the Blame Game” is by Nathanael Fast, assistant professor of Management and Organization at USC’s Marshall School of Business.  It appeared in the May research blog of the Harvard Business Review.

Fast points back to the recent “grilling” of three oil company executives by U.S. Senate committees.  He noted that the executives “fell over each other in attempts to shift the blame.” And, that “No one was impressed.”

How to Handle the Pessimist on Your Team

By: Jim Bruce
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Today’s reading comes from an Amy Gallo posting How to Handle the Pessimist on Your Team to the Harvard Business Review BLOG.  Gallo is a writer, editor, and business consultant.  Her writing on management issues regularly appears in the HRB BLOG.  Earlier she was a consultant at Katztenbach Partners, a strategy and organization consulting firm where she was involved in the firm’s research and thinking on the “informal organization.”