Monday, November 13, 2006

5 Books on Managing Change

By Michael D. Maginn
(McGraw-Hill Professional Education)

Harvard Business Review
(Harvard Business School Press)

Harvard Business Review
(Harvard Business School Press)

By Jerald M. Jellison, Ph.D.
(McGraw-Hill Companies)

By Michel Crouhy, Dan Galai and Robert Mark
(McGraw-Hill Companies)

Author Maginn defines organizational change as “when the organization is moved from the status quo to something different. “From-to” is the change.” He writes that whether a company is on the upside of the growth curve or fighting to survive, one thing is common: The people working within those organizations are experiencing change in a very personal way. “Employees have to stop what they have been doing and work in different ways with different—or fewer—team members. They may have to work away from home more frequently or move to another facility in a strange, new city. They have to work with new technologies that require new skills, say new things to customers, meet with each other more or less frequently, or do more with less.”

“When people face these kinds of dramatic changes in the way they live and work, the reaction can be negative and unproductive. What had been predictable and stable at work is now replaced by confusion, vagueness, and uncertainty.

“When change affects an organization, the leaders of the organization—from the top executive to line supervisors—need to demonstrate leadership skills as never before. The managers of an organization provide the bridge from the old way of doing things to new work practices. Paradoxically, these managers are also employees who experience the same reactions as anyone else. How can a leader lead when he or she may be uncertain and uncomfortable about the future?”

What comes to mind is the quote,¨ “I can’t change the direction of the wind, but I can adjust my sails.”

A few of Maginn’s suggested 24 tools for managers, individuals and teams are: understand the “from-to,” choose a productive response; paint a picture of what’s happening; Build new rules for a new game; squash the rumor mill; and customize help for struggling individuals. Pick up a copy of the book and read the interesting and useful details.

On the other hand, HBR on When Things Come Undone offers six fictional case studies on change. One case goes:

“C.J. Albert, the head of family owned Armor Coat Insurance, is just settling in on a Sunday evening when he receives an unsettling phone call from his star salesman. Fifty-two-year-old Ed McGlynn has just returned from a business dinner with his younger technology mentor, and he’s none too happy with the way he’s being treated. If C.J. doesn’t take this attack dog off him, Ed warns, he’s gone.

“C.J. had indeed assigned 28-year-old Roger Sterling—the company’s monomaniacal, slightly anti-social director of e-commerce—to teach Ed about digital strategy and the Web. Reverse mentoring seemed like a good way to create a digital insurance that would allow Armor Coat to keep up with its competitors.

“But there’d been tension between Ed and Roger right from the start—stemming from their personalities and their two departments. So when the two reluctantly agreed to meet for dinner to talk, their conversation didn’t go well. Ed insisted that great sales reps, not the internet, are crucial to selling insurance. Roger insisted that the Web will revolutionalize the way insurance is sold and distributed—that Ed either give in or move on. Ed took off in a huff and subsequently phoned C.J. Roger followed Ed’s irate call with his own weary ultimatum: “Either Ed goes or I go.’

“C.J. faces some difficult Monday morning discussions with both disgruntled parties. What should he do? Six commentators offer their advice to this case.”

As Woodrow Wilson once said, “If you want to make enemies, try to change something.”

What, indeed, would you do? Think about it given the context of your organization and compare your answers with those of the commentators. Or simply look up the answers of the commentators; get a copy of this Harvard Business Review book. The other case studies in the book are The best-laid plans, Welcome aboard (but don’t change a thing), The cost center that paid its way, and What’s he waiting for?

In HBR on Leading Through Change, John P. Kotter writes about leading change, “one lesson is that change involves numerous phases that, together, usually take a long time. Skipping steps creates only an illusion of speed and never produces a satisfying result. A second lesson is that critical mistakes in any of the phases can have a devastating impact, slowing momentum and negating previous gains. Kotter’s lessons are instructive, for even the most capable managers often make at least one big error.”

W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne writes about Tipping Point Leadership. “The theory of tipping point hinges on the insight that in any organization, fundamental changes can occur quickly when the beliefs and energies of a critical mass of people create an epidemic movement toward an idea. Like William Bratton, police commissioner of New York City in 1994, any manager looking to turn around an organization can use remarkably consistent methods to overcome forces of inertia and reach the tipping point.”

The other writers discuss instructive topics like Why do employees resist change?, Conquering a culture of indecision, Change through persuasion, Moments of greatness, Change without plan and The hard side of change management. If you are having problems with your change initiatives read this book.

What’s common among IBM, Chevron and 3M and even your golf swing? They use the J Curve to manage change. “The J Curve provides a platform for dealing with the human dimensions of change. The letter J approximates the path that most major changes follow, whether it’s introducing a new business process, merging mega corporations, or chaning your golf swing. First, there’s a precipitous drop in performance followed by a ragged period of limited progress, and then a steep climb in performance improvement. If you understand where you and your employees are on the J Curve, you can make sense of all changes, past and present.

“Change is about what happens to performance over time. Whether it’s a whole business unit that’s making the change or just one person, the arc of change normally follows a similar pattern. The J Curve nicely describes the pattern of progress or stages of change—The Plateau, The Cliff, The Valley, The Ascent and The Mountaintop.

“Some changes, though, doesn’t always follow that script. Some changes never climb to the dizzying heights of increased productivity and profitability. Many reasons exist why changes don’t produce the expected benefits. You can help team members and coworkers handle change more smoothly and quickly when you understand what they’re thinking and feeling. You can learn to help them with their doubts and worries as they move along the J Curve’s predictable stages.”

Finally, whenever there are changes, there are risks. Authors Crouhy, Galai and Mark writes: “The future cannot be predicted. It is uncertain, and no one has ever been successful in forecasting the stock marker, interest rates, or exchange rates consistently—or credit, operational and systemic events with major financial implications. Yet, the financial risk that arises from uncertainty can be managed. Indeed, much of what distinguishes modern economies from those of the past is the new ability to identify risk, to measure it, to appreciate its consequences, and then to take action accordingly, such as transferring or mitigating the risk.

“The simple sequence of events (identify risk exposures, measure and estimate risk exposures, assess effects of exposure, find instruments and facilities to shift or trade risks, assess costs and benefits of instruments, form a risk mitigation strategy and evaluate performance) is often used to define risk management as a formal discipline. But it’s a sequence that rarely runs smoothly in practice; sometimes simply identifying a risk is the critical problem, while at other times arranging an efficient economic transfer of the risk is the skill that makes one risk manager stand out from another.

“Risk management is really about how firms actively select the type and level of risk that is appropriate for them to assume. In this sense, risk management and risk taking aren’t opposites, but two sides of the same coin.”

The authors discussed the breadth and depth of risk management in 414 pages, but I assure you it is easy reading and offers practical examples and solutions.

Coming from two holidays, you have a lot of catching up to do with your readings to grow in your career and personal life. Happy reading!

Tuesday, September 19, 2006

3 Books on Celebrating Contribution

CAREER IMPRINTS: Creating leaders across an industry
By Monica Higgins
(Josey-Bass) (Pls take note, NOT Harvard Business School.)

REVVED!: An incredible way to rev up your workplace and achieve amazing results
By Harry Paul & Ross Reck
(McGraw-Hill Companies)

THE WISDOM NETWORK: An 8-step process for identifying, sharing, and leveraging individual expertise
By Steve Benton & Melissa Giovagnoli

This is the first time that my editor, Jun Cabochan, got excited about the theme of our newsletter, “celebrating our contribution.” He says, “beyond rewards, we feel a collective sense of joy and happiness in the triumph of people at work, overcoming challenges and adversity.”

And so I went high and low looking for books that would satisfy Jun’s enthusiasm. And I found five.

The first is Career Imprints by Monica Higgins. The jacket reads: Based on her research of 800 biotechnology companies and 3,200 biotechnology executives, Harvard professor Monica Higgins discovered that one firm—Baxter—was the breeding ground for today’s most successful biotechnology ventures. This phenomena of one organization spawning an industry has also been seen in the high-tech (HP) and semiconductor (Fairchild) industries. However, until now, there has been no suitable explanation of why and how these organizations were able to create the next generation of industry leaders.

Ms. Higgins shows why Baxter was so successful in spawning senior executives and offers an understanding of what it takes for an organization to produce leaders that will dominate an industry for years to come. She shows than an organization’s “career imprints”—the result of company systems, structure, strategy, and culture—that employees take with them throughout their careers is the key to creating great leaders.

The book is filled with the compelling stories from the “Baxter Boys” alumni. These stories of their individual career paths provide a behind-the-scenes look at the processes and effects of career imprinting.

For example, Baxter people had that style of being able to understand quickly that cash is precious, cash is king, of being able to think about the P&L view of the world rather than “I’M a marketing guy,” or “I’m a production guy.” None of these Baxter buys were really that good on the science. They were trained as general managers.

Secondly, authors Paul & Reck shares the engaging story of Katie Adams who, after being passed over for a long-awaited promotion, rose above her own personal problems to rekindle the enthusiasm and support of her team at work. Eventually, Katie got her own just rewards. She realized that “caring costs nothing, it makes you feel good, and it makes those around you feel good because it releases their reservoirs of positive energy. As a result, not only do people feel compelled to care back, but they use some of this newly released energy to care about those around them.”

The book answers the questions: How do you inspire people to work harder, reach higher, and achieve more? How do you get them to support you and go above and beyond in everything they do? How do you get them to care?

It asserts that personal relationships don’t maintain themselves. Like any other living thing, they need to be fed and cared for if they are going to thrive. Three ways of jump-starting your passion and put your self and your team on the road to big successes are: win them over, blow them away and keep them revved.

Thirdly, in every organization, people possess astonishing expertise and insights, yet they are often allowed or encouraged to apply their knowledge to only a narrow range of topics. As a result companies do not take full advantage of all the information, ideas and creativity that reside inside their enterprise.

Here’s your favorite part—the how to. Authors Benton and Giovagnoli propose eight steps to identify, share, and leverage individual expertise by establishing wisdom networks. And, may I add, allow everybody to enjoy the process.

1. Set the scene—establish a network-friendly environment.
2. Magnets—create topics to attract the experts.
3. Support systems—nurture communities that emerge around magnet topics.
4. Boundary crossing and role breaking—ensure diverse perspectives.
5. Hid-and-seek—identify the experts
6. Create organizational stars—acknowledge wisdom.
7. Ideas are not enough—provide implementation options.
8. Performance evaluation—create unconventional measures.

To ensure success of your wisdom networks make sure that at lease some members of the management team are viewed as leaders when it comes to knowledge sharing; create an ongoing corporate discussion about information, ideas, knowledge and wisdom; let sharing evolve naturally; and resist the urge to control wisdom networks or turn them into project teams.

My own take is that everything all boils down to shared leadership initiated at all levels of the organization and a culture of humility, trust, caring, mutual respect and innovation. This is a job for superman, er, Number One with the expert assistance of HR leaders. This is one job that is not delegated, it is shared. One way to teach it is by way of being the role model and setting the example.

The fourth and fifth are in our Bookshelf, but can not be reviewed for lack of space. Read them, anyway.


THE HIDDEN POWER OF SOCIAL NETWORKS: Understanding how work really gets done in organizations
By Rob Cross and Andrew Parker
(Harvard Business School Press)

EFFECTIVE SUCCESSION PLANNING 3rd ed: Ensuring leadership continuity and building talent from within.
By William J. Rothwell

Monday, August 21, 2006

2 Books on Corporate Governance, and Executive Compensation & Benefits

By John L. Colley, Jr., Jacqueline L. Doyle, George W. Logan and Wallace Stettinius

By Peter Wallace and John Zinkin
(John Wiley & Sons)

I know that executive compensation and benefits is outside the radar of most HR managers. I know also that every HR manager is pretty curious how much and what else the top honchos are getting. They only have a clue by the number of and car model they drive, the huge and well-appointed house they live and vacation in, the places they visit, where they spend their vacations among others. These are some telltale signs of how high the bosses are in the organization totem pole, the trust that are visited on them by the powers that be and their contribution and importance to the organization or to the power brokers.

Colley and his coauthors write, “One of the more visible tasks a board of directors must deal with is determining the compensation of the chief executive officer and senior managers (including top HR executives). The compensation must be structured to avoid paying premiums for average or poor performance. The task is not simple; the board wants to attract the right people, find the right alignment of their performance and shareholders’ interest in both the short and long term and use the most tax-efficient methods.

“Important factors considered are:
 The value of the CEO to the company. This is, by far, the most important consideration, yet difficult to quantify.
 The company’s capacity to compensate the CEO, reflecting its size and profitability.
 Absolute performance of the company over some time period based on indicators reflecting universal financial standards.
 Relative performance of the company compared to industry comparable companies.
 Achievement of nonfinancial goal, particularly strategic ones.
 External parity with other comparable companies’ CEO compensation packages and prevailing trends in the marketplace.
 Internal priority. Boards should consider the relationship between the compensation of the CEO and the rest of the management team. Frequently, the CEO is paid twice as much as the next senior officer.

“Boards desire to pay CEOs and management teams for good performance. This concept might be simple, but its implementation is complicated. Different business situations, for example start-ups, growth businesses, tough industry conditions, and turnarounds, create very different compensation challenges. Performance in each instance must be determined with the situation in mind.

“A CEO compensation package generally consists of the following:
 Base salary—a guaranteed, fixed cash amount. In some companies with outstanding performance, the base salary is as low as 10 to 15 percent of total compensation. (No wonder, they pay very small income tax) There are even a few cases where CEOs receive no base salary, only at-risk compensation. On the other hand, in companies with weak performance results, a base salary frequently will account for 50 to 100 percent of the total compensation.
 Short-term incentives—bonuses paid for outstanding performance including achieving corporate strategy and goals and other performance measures such as profits and earning per share, revenue growth, ROI, cash flow and strategic measures such as market share. They can be paid in cash and/or company stock.
 Long-term incentives—most difficult to design properly but are the principal means by which the sought-after alignment between the interests of managers and shareholders is accomplished. This includes stock options, restricted shares, required stock purchases, stock appreciation rights and cash awards. Ironically, these incentives are also the instruments through which most of the flagrant abuses in compensation have taken place.”

After you have stopped drooling, do the math. But there’s more.

“Executives normally receive the standard fringe benefits of paid holidays, vacation, life insurance, and long-term disability and health care coverage, although sometimes at more generous levels than lower-level employees. And there are a whole set of benefits and perks that tend to be reserved for higher level executives. They include supplemental executive retirement plans, voluntary deferred compensation plans, membership in clubs, car allowances, and use of corporate or leased aircraft and many others. Some perks can be justified to a point, but in some cases are carried to excess.”

Don’t fret when you notice that your boss spends more time in the golf course than in the office. Remember the saying “it is lonely at the top;” and consider the demands and stresses of their job.

One last, executives are continue to be paid and enjoy perks long after their termination depending on their contract. Remember HP CEO Carly Fiorina, deposed last winter for failing to deliver enough benefits from the company's acquisition of Compaq Computer Corp., received a whopping with a $42 million package of which $21.4 million was severance pay and is now writing a book about her career.

The spate of pay scandals in the US and many parts of the world highlight how difficult it can be for the Board Compensation Committee to fully function and be effective. Authors Wallace and Zinkin write that other than determining the amount and composition of the CEO’s package (providing they do not suffer from mutual back scratching, leading to inflated packages), the committee can serve a useful purpose in:

 Determining whether other managers are paid in line with the company’s policies as already agreed by the Board.
 Understanding the options for and their effect on Director and managerial compensation.
 Establishing the principles and limitations upon the remuneration of the other most senior executives.
 Operating on behalf of the Board any long-term performance-related pay-plan, as it affects the Executive Directors and any other managers who are affected by it.
 Determining on behalf of the Board matters of policy over which the company has authority relating to the establishment of, or operation of, the company’s pension scheme of which the Executive Directors and senior managers are members, if the company has one.
 Nominating on behalf of the Board any trustees of the pension scheme, if one exists.

Two important questions to ask to determine quality of executive compensation are: “Is executive pay tied to strategic goals? and How well is it gauged to the creation of shareholder value?”


By Robert M. Tomasko

By Charles H. Green

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

2 Books on Diversity

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

Building on the promise of DIVERSITY
By R. Roosevelt Thomas, Jr.

The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook: DIVERSITY
By Tina Rasmussen

Even among HR professionals, I seldom hear the word “diversity.” It is as if, it doesn’t exist even. Or if the subject matter comes up, immediately the discussion focuses on differences in race (“Americans vs. Asians), gender (men vs. women) and geographic origin (Visayans vs. Ilokanos). The general conclusion is that never the twain shall meet because of their differences.

So what is diversity? Author Rasmusen defines diversity as “the mosaic of people who bring a variety of backgrounds, styles, perspectives, values, and beliefs as assets to the groups and organizations with which they interact.

She went on to share the Primary & Secondary Dimensions of Diversity by Loden & Rosener, Workforce America!, 1991 (diagrammed here). “This helps us understand that diversity applies to everyone because it includes much more than the obvious dimensions of race and gender. The primary dimensions are those that we are born with. The secondary dimensions are those that we have some control over. These can change throughout our life. You have a choice of whether you want to disclose this information or not.

“Personality type is an excellent example. If you administer the Myers-Briggs Type Indicator to a group of 30-year-old while men and a group of 60-year-old Chinese women, both groups would split into the 16 types. You would find that a white man and a Chinese woman who had the same personality type actually think more like each other than the people who share demographic similarities.”

Author Rasmussen writes that diversity IS NOT:
 just a buzzword; it is not something that will ever go away.
 Culture; it does not reinforce stereotypes and an “us versus them” mentality. Diversity extends beyond culture to include all its primary and secondary dimensions.
 Equal Employment Opportunity affirmative action; it is not protecting unqualified people to be given jobs to fill-up quota.
 an absence of standards; it is not anything goes.

Rather diversity IS:
 about demographics, it focuses on demographic changes among its workforce and of their customer base.
 about profitability, it fosters teamwork and helps organizations identify and meet the needs of their customers and other stakeholders
 about values, it has to do with human rights, civil rights and deeply held beliefs.
 about behavior, it is not the workshops that is important, it’s what people do afterward that counts.
 a long term process, it needs to be planted and nurtured.

This trainer’s sourcebook is full of valuable tips on diversity training preparation and conduct of one-day, half-day and one-hour workshops. It also generously contains workshop handouts, learning activities, instruments & assessments and even trainer’s presentation materials.

The ASTD Trainer’s Sourcebook on Diversity is, indeed, a very helpful starting place for HR professionals to draw inspiration and authoritative customizable and reproducible resources.

Similarly, author Thomas defines diversity as “the differences, similarities, and related tensions that exist in any mixture. Note especially that the term includes differences and similarities. Diversity is not limited to issues of race and gender, nor is it confined to the workforce; it refers to any set of differences and similarities in any setting.”

Thomas emphasizes what he calls Strategic Diversity Management “for enhancing the way people make quality decisions in situations where there are critical differences, similarities and tensions. SDM is a learnable craft based on five fundamentals.

“A shared understanding of core concepts must first be established. Although this assertion might appear to be obvious, it isn’t always. Fundamental #2 is that context is key. All decisions must be appropriate for the internal and external environments in which they are made. Diversity efforts are never conducted in a vacuum.

“The basic decision making question becomes: Given our purpose, our external environmental factors, our understanding of what constitutes success, and our need to maintain and advance our competitive standing, how can we identify and respond to the critical diversity issues that require our attention?

“Fundamental #3 is that diversity efforts must be requirements driven. They must focus on what is absolutely necessary to accomplish the individual’s or the organization’s mission, vision and strategy.

“Fundamental #4 states that diversity aspirations of individuals and their enterprises must be considered. Understanding both perspectives and where they mesh and differ allows people to think clearly and to make quality decisions for themselves and the enterprises.

“Finally, fundamental #5 requires enterprises and individuals must apply SDM universally, to whatever mixture is critical.”

The book includes the instrumentation, Mastering the Basics, that helps those who wish to pursue diversity maturity by clarifying their understanding of SDM craft as a critical foundation for attaining diversity maturity which is, in turn, a requisite for becoming diversity capable. The caveat is that it is US-oriented.

Building on the Promise of Diversity is an essential companion book to your volumes on management and leadership. And do share it with your organizational leaders who have to deal with diversity every minute of their work life.



By Beverly Langford
(Harvard Business School Press)

By Roger J. Plachy and Sandra J. Plachy

Thursday, May 4, 2006

3 More Books on Corporate Social Responsibility

PMAP Newsletter
May, 2006
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

MANAGING FOR THE LONG RUN: Lessons in competitive advantage from great family businesses
By Danny Miller & Isabelle Le Breton-Miller
Harvard Business School Press

By Steven Lyndenberg
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

THE PEOPLE BUSINESS: Controlling corporations and restoring democracy
By Lee Drutman & Charlie Cray
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

Hallmark. Walmart. Bechtel Group. Levi Strauss. IKEA. Nordstrom. S.C. Johnson. Estee Lauder. L.L. Bean. Cargill. Michelin. The New York Times Company. Coors Brewing Company.

These companies are known mostly as successful family businesses. A not so known fact is that they also generously make social contributions and connect to the inside and outside communities.

Based on an in-depth, multiyear research study, the Millers draw from the experiences of family-run firms to reveal four unorthodox business priorities that any firm, family or not, can use to drive successful strategies:

• Take command: Act as an unfettered steward rather than a servant to shareholders
• Ensure continuity: pursue a lasting mission of substance, not a dollar-driven strategy
• Create a community: nurture a caring collective, not a tournament
• Build connections: secure generous relationships with outsiders instead of one-shot bargains.

These organizations attribute their success to being a good neighbor and partner to their employees, suppliers, clients, value-chain partners, providers of capital and the larger community. These winning organizations build cohesive, gung-ho community of employees. They have kept their people on during recessions, depression and war, when revenues were abysmal.

Likewise, they are benevolent business partners to their suppliers, co-contractors and financiers. They are meticulously honest in their dealings and, many times, deliver more than promised.

They also connect to the market via the socially responsible image they create. They give back to the community that has treated them so well and they view this as an obligation, not as a favor. They do philanthropic or pro bono community work because they believed it was the right thing to do.

In the end, these responsive and solicitous organizations reap untold advantages such as enhanced image of responsible citizenship that brings in clients, public support and eager superior job applicants; more loyal partners with whom they have useful interchange of privileged information that can be a basis for further business; access to resources and business; and many more.

As Earl of My Name is Earl on Jack TV would say, “Do good and good things happen. Do bad and it will come back to haunt you.”

Author Steven Lyndenberg writes that the shifting of assets and power from government to business has led to shift in the public’s expectations of what both government and corporations should do. This shift has also led to unemployment, labor unrest, disparities between the rich and poor created by the markets and their regular cycles of boom and bust. In the past, the proven solution was government supervision, but governments today can not easily return to many of the forms of ownership, price regulation, and direct market control that they have recently abandoned. Thereby, government needs to create new mechanisms to protect certain basic public interests.

There is now a growing interest in socially responsible investing (SRI) and corporate social responsibility (CSR). SRI and CSR are the new invisible guiding hand in the marketplace that operate at the intersections of market value and societal values, profits and wealth, self-interests and public concerns. “But only a concerted effort by government—with the active support of investors, consumers, workers, the general public, and corporations themselves—can bring them into being. Bringing this about will require new data, new organizations to analyze that data, public debate about the data’s significance, and the creation of consequences flowing from this analysis and debate.”

Currently, millions of immigrants, legal or illegal, workers in the USA are making headway forcing US Congress to heed their demand for their right to work and live in the USA.

Authors Drutman and Cray write that The People’s Business is about what ordinary citizens can do to curtail corporate power. They consider a wide spectrum of approaches—from fundamental shifts in how corporations are created and operate, to minor adjustments in corporate governance and regulatory fixes that directly address specific harms.

The authors speak to growing societal concerns about corporate power. They present a vision of society in which the rights of individuals are more important than the rights of corporations, in which generating public prosperity is the driving purpose of corporations, and in which the values of human dignity and community are more sacred than the corporate drumbeat of financial profit above all else. More importantly, they provide a guide to creating a sustainable society where we, the people, have the power.

If our people power toppled the governments of Messrs Marcos and Estrada, we could surely bring down business organizations that are callous and inimical to public interests and the society’s good. The HR professionals and managers could definitely influence their company in becoming better citizens before the people flex their power.


By Deborah E. Bouchoux

BE YOUR OWN BRAND: A breakthrough formula for standing out from the crowd
By David McNally &U Karl D. Speak
Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc.

NO! How one simple word can transform your life
By Jana Kemp

By Alan M. Perlman, Ph.D.
The McGraw-Hill Companies

By Paul Falcone
The McGraw-Hill Companies

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

3 Books on Corporate Social Responsibility

THE DIVINE RIGHT OF CAPITAL: Dethroning the corporate aristocracy
Marjorie Kelly
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc, 2003)

THE ART OF CAUSE MARKETING: How to use advertising to change personal behavior and public policy
Richard Earle
(Mc-Graw Hill, 2000)

THE ANSWER TO HOW IS YES: Acting on what matters
Peter Block
(Berrett-Koehler Publishers, Inc, 2002)

Are business organizations relevant and beneficial to society given the social ills (wealth inequality, wealth privilege, corporate welfare, industrial pollution and many others) they generate and perpetuate? Author Marjorie Kelly states: “The underlying illness is shareholder primacy, the drive to make profits for the shareholders, no matter who pays the cost. In the interest of making the rich richer, corporations are in effect levying absurd private taxes on the rest of us. Financial powers have become an economic aristocracy. Wealth controls not only corporations but also government.”

“Today, among the world’s one hundred largest economies, fifty-one are corporations. They have revenues larger than nation-states, yet maintain the guise of being the ‘private property’ of shareholders. Ownership function has shrunk to virtually one dimension: extracting wealth.”

That is why there is a growing pressure on business to contribute towards economic democracy and social change, to fulfill the social purpose that was the original reason for their existence and to be part of the solution to social ills, rather than the problem.

These changes need to be more than cosmetic, dole outs and public relations projects. Kelly articulates the need for a new economic ideal of sustainable prosperity for all with fundamental system reform and building a world of economic liberty and justice for all.

Kelly suggests six principles for economic democracy:
1. Enlightenment: Because all persons are created equal, the economic rights of employees and the community are equal to those of capital owners.
2. Equality: Under market principles, wealth does not legitimately belong only to stockholders. Corporate wealth belongs to those who create it, and community wealth belongs to all.
3. Public good: As semipublic governments, public corporations are more than pieces of private property or private contracts. They have a responsibility to the public good.
4. Democracy: The democracy is a human community, and like the larger community of which it is a part, it is best governed democratically.
5. Justice: In keeping with equal treatment of persons before the law, wealthy persons may not claim greater rights than others, and corporations may not claim the right s of persons.
6. (r)Evolution: As it is the right of the people to alter or abolish government, it is the right of people to alter or abolish the corporations that now govern the world.

This book is a stirring, albeit disturbing, reminder and guide for HR when they design and implement democratic and economic change projects. It appeals to the soul.

This whole Lenten Week (Maundy Thursday and Good Friday even!) I was enraged to receive incessant calls from banks, in particular, urging me to get their credit cards and loan products!!!!! Also, the internet and mass media (most newspapers took a rest on Good Friday) did not seem to take a solemn pause this week and continued business as usual.

Indeed every day, we are bombarded by savvy social marketers that prey on our vulnerabilities and make us buy things we do not need. Not to mention advertisements and commercials that insult the intelligences and sensitivities and destroy value systems.

And now comes cause marketing and cause branding that “contribute for the public good.” Author Richard Earle recalls his experience working at Benton & Bowles agency, “I realized then and there that it was possible to use the techniques of marketing in a way that could have an important and beneficial impact on the public—a result that had nothing to do with detergent or analgesic market share.”

Earle defines cause marketing as advertising in the service of the public. It consists of using the skills of advertising to effect social change, to benefit individuals or society at large. He writes, “Cause marketing seeks to impact personal behavior in a number of ways, including persuading the target to:
 avoid or discontinue to risky practices like smoking, drug abuse or unprotected sex
 discontinue antisocial actions such as littering or being careless with campfires
 seek counseling for destructive behavior such as compulsive gambling or spousal abuse
 take preventative measures such as getting inoculated, reducing cholesterol intake, or fastening a safety belt
 seek out and use information about various diseases
 reexamine personal attitudes toward issues like race and sexual preference
 identify and take action against inhumane or discriminatory practices
 organize, join or give financial support to groups that benefit society
 become involved in community activities such as mentoring and monitoring neighborhood crime

Earle asserts that cause marketing can also help create or change public policy, inform about and create action on behalf of a cause.

And, may I add, the idea of stewardship and preservation of the natural environment. Indeed, advertisements and commercials are potent tools for expressing corporate social responsibility. HR can work with top management and their marketing and sales units to make this happen.

I am sure that HR people are now asking, “How?” Who, where and when do we even begin?

Author Peter Block asserts that the work it takes to act on what matters is up to each of us as individuals. “My individual possibility needs to be part of a collective possibility through the concept of social architecture. The task of the social architect is to design and bring into being organizations that serve both the marketplace and the soul of the people who work within them. Where the architect designs physical space, the social architect designs social space.”

Earle writes that certain capacities are required by social architects:
1. Convening: How people gather. Focus on who is in the room. Care for the physical space of the room in which you meet. Include high-interaction activities. Design airspace so that all voices can be heard. Aim at capacities and strengths.
2. Naming the Question: Define the context, the playing field, and the right question to start with. Identify needs of all stakeholders. Stay with questions of purpose, feeling and relationships. Keep broadening the questions. Postpone the How? question.
3. Initiating New Conversations for Learning: We change the world when we create the time and space for heartfelt, unique conversations that discuss values and affirm doubts, feelings and intuition. Support idealism, intimacy and depth. Use high-contact and human being-based learning strategies.
4. Sticking with Strategies of Engagement and Consent: Talk the implications through. Establish commitment and accountability. Decide who should be in the room at various stages and what questions they should confront, and all while keeping to the ground rule that he questions of intent and purpose precede the questions of methodology.
5. Designing Strategies that Support Local Choice: If our intent is to create social systems that people want to inhabit, then the social architect’s job is to demand that the inhabitants join in designing the system. Some call this “participative design.” It may take longer, but the alternative is to be efficient in choosing a plan that will not be supported.

HR could expand their horizon and make their corporate life meaningful by taking on the lead of their organization’s aiming for economic democracy and social change. These books are helpful in that they detail the what, why, who, when, where and how.

Jerry R. Wilson, CSP
(Career Press, 2005)

Vijay Govindarajan & Cris Timble
(Harvard Business School Press, 2005)

Matilda Raffa Cuomo
(Book-of-the-Month Club, 2002)

Friday, February 17, 2006

3 Books on Productivity

By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

By Curtis R. Cook
(McGraw-Hill, 2005)

By Greg Brue
(McGrawHill, 2002)

By Tiki Kustenmachers with Lothar J. Seiwart
(McGraw-Hill, 2004)

In many things we do, we employ project management method for planning, implementing and evaluating our work and results for maximum productivity.

In four easily understood and practical steps featuring useful templates and checklists, author Curtis Cook presents a concise American National Standards Institute standard for project management.

This four-step process involves initiating, planning, executing & controlling and closure. Cooks writes that initiating includes determining what the project should accomplish, recognize whether the project should, indeed, be done, select and bestow necessary authority upon the project manager and launch the project with a Project Charter.

The second step includes the process of developing detailed plan for the project that includes the task list, resource assignments, schedule, budget, communication plan, risk plan and change control process. Once the project sponsor approves the plan, it is known as the project baseline.

Once the plan is approved, work begins. The third step insures that the technical work is being done according to the plan, and the variances are identified and acted on to keep the project on track. Project status reports are generated to keep stakeholders informed.

Finally, the job is finished and the project is closed. However, this step is not as simple as it seems. It requires handover of the finished project to the customer, assessment of how things were done, capture lessons learned to be passed on to others and, equally important, rewarding the project team and celebrating success.

The HR manager could definitely use project management process in implementing hr programs by dividing those “continuous processes” into short-term chunks and manage them accordingly. For example, each performance management cycle could be one project that will run for six-months to one year. This will avoid having repetitive jobs becoming routine and gives the HR person an opportunity to look at the job with a fresh look and to inject improvement every cycle.

I am sure that by now you are familiar with the Six Sigma approach to managing and extracting optimum quality productivity from your organization. It aims to eliminate errors, reduce costs and better satisfy customers. Author Greg Brue gives us the basics of Six Sigma, its methodology and tools. Brue describes Six Sigma as a journey to improve productivity and profitability. HE says it is not theoretical; it’s an active, hands-on practice that gets results. In short, you don’t contemplate Six Sigma; you do it.

Can Six Sigma be used in HR? Yes. It can save you a lot of papers, printing and other excessive supplies and efforts. Brue asserts that Six Sigma is about arming your human “assets” with the training, resources and knowledge to solve problems. “It is also about taking a leadership journey to guide those assets toward ever increasing achievement. It asks hard questions about your processes and gets the data that supports them. It provides solutions that fit your unique processes.”

Everything starts from the way you manage your personal life. Productivity at work starts with productivity in your personal life and cultivating good habits of living. Author Tiki Kustenmacher offers seven practical steps to letting go of your burdens and living a happier life or how to simply simplify your life.

These seven steps are: 1. Simplify yourself with simpler things, i.e., sort out your workplace, unpile your office, clear your environment and overcome your forgetfulness. 2. Simplify your finances to achieve financial independence without complexes by getting rid of your money blockages and debts, breaking out of money spells, stop worrying about security and working out your own concept of wealth. 3. Simplify your time and manage it actively. 4. Simplify your health, listen to your body and conserve your energies. 5. Simplify your relationships; learn to maintain, deepen and enjoy relationships with other people with mutual giving and receiving. 6. Simplify your life partnership; learn to look beneath the current surface of your relationship and to continue on your way—together instead of just side by side. 7. Simplify yourself; learn to understand yourself better and move towards the purpose of your life.

There, if you can manage yourself, you can manage other people; If you can lead a personal productive life, you can lead your organization to increasing productivity and excellent results.


• HOW TO PLAN AND EXECUTE STRATEGY by Walace Stettinius, et al
(McGraw-Hill, 2004, Limited Edition)

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Leading Leaders, and, Career Warfare

Favorite Books
By Moje Ramos-Aquino, FPM

LEADING LEADERS: how to manage smart, talented, rich and powerful people
By Jeswald W. Salacuse
(Amacom, 2006)

CAREER WARFARE: 10 rules for building a successful personal brand and fighting to keep it
By David F. D’Alessandro
with Michele Owens
(McGraw-Hill, 2004)

Author Salacuse asks: How do you leverage the assets of the talented, highly educated, well-trained, experienced and powerful while making sure that egos remain unbruised? How do you lead executives, experts, investors, board members, professionals and other people with and significant resources and contributions to your organization? How do you lead lawyers, physicians, management consultants, investment bankers, research analysts, accountants and portfolio managers, to name a few, whose talents are the firm’s principal assets and who as partners may also be the firm’s owners?

HR heads do face this same situation as you work with fellow executives, managers and knowledge workers on a day-to-day basis and over whom you have limited or no authority at all. How do you lead your organizations’ leaders and professionals? How do you sell them your HR programs and systems? How do you lead leaders and peers?

Salacuse breaks down this unique leadership situation into seven tasks and seven challenges. These are: direction—negotiating the vision, integration—making stars a team, mediation—settling leadership conflicts, education—teaching the educated, motivation—moving other leaders, representation—leading outside the organization and trust creation—capitalizing your leadership.

Salacuse offers these lessons for leading leaders:
• Your ability to lead other leaders arises not just from your position, resources, or charisma but from your will and skill. You have to work at the job.
• The basis of leadership is your relationship with the persons you lead. Leaders will follow you if they trust you.
• Communication is your fundamental tool in building those relationships.
• The key process of leading leaders is communication through one-on-one interactions. You have to engage them and personally connect with them.
• Leading leaders is interest based leadership. Leaders will follow you because they consider it in their interest. You need to convince them that their interests lie with you.

On the other hand, author D’Alessandro writes that in order to win in an arena of hard-working and accomplished leaders, you need to develop a reputation or “personal brand” that convinces powerful people to trust you.

And this is the dilemma of HR people. Your own hard work, accomplishments and high-sounding programs will not ensure ready buy-in for your programs. You need to have the right personal qualities and project them well to people in power.

D’Alessandro offers ten rules to become mayor of your village, not the village idiot. To name a few:
• Try to look beyond your own navel. You can’t build a good personal brand if you can’t see yourself as others see you.
• Like it or not, your boss is the coauthor of your brand. Like it or not, your boss is the coauthor of your brand. Your boss decides how your accomplishments will be viewed by the higher-ups.
• Put your boss on the couch. Understand that almost every nice thing your boss does for you is done not out of love, but to further his or her own bran.
• Learn which one is the pickle fork. Sometimes a single embarrassment is enough to alter people’s opinion of you forever.
• It’s always show time. Reputations are usually built brick by brick by your day-to-day behavior.

Finally, D’Alessandro advises, “Choose a circle of people whose advice you trust to help you bet wisely. You are building your brand until the day you die, so expect to make adjustments. Be conscious every day of what you are building.”

DEEP SMARTS: how to cultivate and transfer enduring business wisdom
By Dorothy Leonard and Walter Swap
(Harvard Business School Press, 2005)

THE HEART OF CHANGE FIELD GUIDE: tools and tactics for leading change in your organization
By Dan S. Cohen
(Harvard Business School Press, 2005)