Monthly Archives: March 2011

Chemistry — the critical secret ingredient in the hiring process

I wondered what I did wrong in hiring Joe. We prescreened all candidates carefully. We did multiple interviews. We had everyone who would be working with Joe talk with him and make sure the fit was right. We double-checked all … Continue reading

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Montana, meteors, and opportunity

“The great secret of success in life is for a man to be ready when his opportunity comes.” — Benjamin Disraeli, prime minister of England Too often when success happens, employees ascribe it to “luck.” This is particularly true with … Continue reading

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Is incentive compensation an oxymoron?

One formal definition of compensation, one of many definitions: “Something that motivates, rouses, or encourages; A bonus or reward, often monetary” I’ve seen incentives work well for a vendor or single specific closed-end dedicated staff project such as creating a … Continue reading

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Beware of Fortune 500 consultants

In 1982, my $20+ million employer STSC was acquired by the over $2+ billion Continental Telecom (ConTel). Post-acquisition, I was invited to join ConTel’s technical committee. As part of our charter, we reviewed the results of a major study of … Continue reading

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Never try to teach a pig to sing

Software development teams never seem to make a release deadline. Things always seem to take longer. They will report that they would be ready to ship March 2nd, but if you showed up that day with bottles of celebratory champagne, … Continue reading

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Why do the rich get richer?

Have you ever wondered how the rich get richer? Consider the old saying. “The higher the risk, the higher the gain.” The type of risk I’m talking about isn’t putting on a blindfold and walking across the highway. It’s the … Continue reading

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The morning I spent with Steve Jobs

My wife Mary has a new iPhone. Watching her use and embrace this product reminded me of the time I spent a morning with Steve Jobs. In the late seventies, my group was creating a major software system for Apple’s … Continue reading

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How to recognize when you start sliding

I joined Scientific Time Sharing Corporation in 1969 to participate in the lucrative mainframe computer timesharing market. By 1978 the market for timesharing had grown, we dominated our market niche, and our customer base was providing sustained profitability and growth. … Continue reading

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“If only they had asked me”–how sad.

We were sitting in a doctor’s brand new office. The Physician’s Assistant came in and was quite grumpy. “The examination table is placed wrong relative to the window. The sink and power plugs are all in the wrong places. And … Continue reading

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How good is your employee fit and finish?

Based on how well an employee “fits” their job, they can be a platinum-level player or literally a lead-level player dragging the organization down. (For more on the Platinum-Lead model read my Strategic Downsizing article.) What makes an employee a … Continue reading

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