Archive for January, 2013

Have you created meaningful work?

I was given a great book by a colleague at work – it’s called “Outliers” by Malcolm Gladwell, and it looks at the factors around success.  It builds a great argument that although a certain seed is there in all the ‘successful’ people that we know, an amazing run of right time, right place, upbringing and cultural heritage is also required to coincide for the tree to ultimately grow.

It’s an excellent read, if this stuff interests you, don’t hesitate to get it.

There was one bit which particularly caught my attention – a description of the New York City garment industry in the late 1800s, which sowed the seeds for a group who’s grandchildren would become some of the most powerful businesspeople in New York.  The garment industry required 18 hour days, back-breaking labour over sewing machines and often atrocious unsafe conditions.

It’s not a surprising image, and these work days were repeated in farms across America.

But Gladwell makes a key distinction for those in the garment trade: Read more…

Five simple manager mistakes

There are some pretty common mistakes managers make at any level.  How do I know this?  I’ve made them.  Here they are:

1. Not knowing your own job.

Every manager has generic things they need to do because they are accountable for the work of their team, but they also have a unique contribution to make beyond managing their people.  For example, a manager who is in charge of multiple teams is also accountable for improving the way work occurs across all of their teams, while a general manager is responsible for moving the business into new areas and shutting down the old. Read more…