Business, Management and Leadership Ideas
Call them ideas, tips, or best practices. I read a lot about business and occasionally I come across a practice that seems to me should be in wider use. I created this site to bring those management ideas to your attention. — Jeff Blum

Most Recent Ideas

  1. Combine Appreciation with Cash Incentives

    Google appears to have discovered a way to pay people for being helpful without making it transactional. The company invites employees to nominate colleagues who have been helpful to receive small cash rewards. By making the rewards a product of peer nomination, Google converts a cash payment into a symbol of appreciation. As a result, people are less likely to see the reward as cheapening … [ Read more ]

  2. Nominate a designated dissenter

    Social influence is particularly potent in group settings, so teams must proactively manage it in meetings. “There’s a fine line between the wisdom of crowds, where groups make better decisions than individuals, and groupthink, where individuals blindly follow a prevailing opinion,” says Jonah Berger. “Someone suggests doing X, and the next person, who might’ve been thinking of Y, will tend to go with X as … [ Read more ]

  3. Give Job Candidates Interview Questions Before the Interview

    Before candidates join for the interview round, Peoplism sends a thorough prep guide to sketch out expectations. “We tell the candidate most of the interview questions in advance. While it is a unique approach, I don’t understand why it’s that controversial and why other companies don’t do the same,” says co-founder Liz Kofman-Burns.

    There are plenty of behind-the-scenes factors that contribute to someone being a … [ Read more ]

  4. Encourage Bad-News Sharing to Foster Open Dialogue

    Sharing bad news—top-down, bottom-up, and across the organization—has a number of salutary effects beyond the obvious benefits of transparency. It can elicit empathy and support, break down barriers, and expand the pool of contributors to problem solving. Energy otherwise spent saving face can be channeled into more constructive use. The net result is not just top-down, bottom-up alignment, but stronger horizontal alignment. As with the … [ Read more ]

  5. Nail Executive Transitions to Avoid “Hero to Xero”

    Whether they’re stepping into an existing pair of shoes or carving out a brand-new role, new leaders often face a dose of skepticism from the org. “Whether we intend it or not, a lot of people have a wait-and-see approach. We're excited about them, but is this going to work out? Versus having a vested interest in helping make that person successful,” says Anne Raimondi, … [ Read more ]

Most Popular Ideas

  1. The Premortem Technique
    The premortem technique is a sneaky way to get people to do contrarian, devil’s advocate thinking without encountering resistance. If a project goes poorly, there will be a lessons-learned session that looks at what went wrong and why the project failed—like a medical postmortem. Why don’t we do that up front? Before a project starts, we should say, “We’re looking in a crystal ball, and … [ Read more ]

  2. Profit Mapping
    A profit map, the core analytical tool of profitability management, displays the profitability and cost structure of every product in every customer in the company. Profit maps show exactly where profit is flowing and where it is lost.

    A profit map is not especially difficult to develop, but it is completely different from the information developed for financial reporting. Many finance managers make the … [ Read more ]

  3. Review Profitability Before Expanding Capacity
    When faced with the need to expand manufacturing capacity and the inherent investment required, first perform a thorough profitability analysis (a profit map) of each product produced from the capacity-constrained factories (this includes profitable products being sold unprofitably to selected customers). Since many companies have a significant amount of unprofitable business, it is quite possible that stopping the unprofitable sales can free up enough capacity … [ Read more ]

  4. Deploy a Redeployment Pool
    Intel monitors changing skill requirements and institutes a redeployment program when it becomes necessary to downsize a business. Under this program, managers effectively lay off people, and the head count of the business unit is moved off the payroll. These excised people enter a redeployment pool under the auspices of human resources. Once in the pool, employees generally have four to six months, and can … [ Read more ]

  5. Fiercest Competitor Workshop
    One good way to get at these disruptive designs (innovations) is to do what we at my firm call a "Fiercest Competitor Workshop," which starts with the premise that you have been fired from your old organization but you have access to ample capital and talent. Your task is to design the fiercest competitor that could take the market from your old firm. In my … [ Read more ]