Category: Uncategorized

Mergers & Acquisitions and Corporate Culture: How to Get it Right

With Alaska’s recent acquisition of Virgin America, one immediately thinks of the two company’s distinctive cultures and wonders what the transition will be like. “Culture has been a real challenge in many mergers, so we’re working to do things differently,” said Ben Minicucci, Alaska President and COO who will also become CEO of Virgin America today. “We are being very thoughtful about culture and are working to create an environment that reflects who we are and where we’ve been, that also enables us to work together, be bold, and succeed in a rapidly evolving industry.” – From AlaskaAir’s Blog While sometimes

Is Perfectionism Holding You and Your Team Back?

Aside from being one of the most cliched answers to the interview question, “What is your biggest weakness?”, perfectionism can be a real detriment to you and your business – not to mention your health, with one study finding that senior citizen perfectionists were actually 51% more likely to die in their 6.5-year study! Perfectionism can be an insidious force in our lives and businesses, despite its perceived association with high achievement. Many famous perfectionists are lauded for their uncompromising vision, like Steve Jobs and Martha Stewart, and yet regardless of their achievements, they’re notoriously difficult to deal with according

The Rise of Remote Working: Its Benefits and Implications

Despite Yahoo!’s infamous move a couple of years ago to recall it’s remote work program – something publicly derided by many, including billionaire businessman Richard Branson – remote working is here to stay. Last year Gallup reported that, to date, 37% of US workers have telecommuted – up from 30% in 2008. Continuing this trend, more and more companies that don’t have any need for being in a physical location, like a manufacturing organization, are going completely virtual. Every year the job board site Flexjobs posts a list of companies that are either partially distributed or entirely virtual, and that

Managing Transitions at a Manufacturing Plant – Bridge’s Transition Model

Changes, whether personal or professional, are hard – especially when they’re not by choice. Recently, one of our lead facilitators returned from working with a billion dollar manufacturing client that was going through a particularly rough transition at one of its newly acquired plants. The company had recently hired a new general manager for this particular plant, replacing a well-liked, but under-performing, GM. Naturally, this replacement caused a disturbance in the ranks. Not just because workers at the plant lost a manager who they cared about, but because the new one had an aggressive style focused on productivity and profits

Using the SBI Model for More Effective Feedback

Feedback can be a tricky thing. More often than not it has a negative connotation and for leaders or anyone who gives feedback, it can be uncomfortable, awkward, and intimidating. Moreover, there are those instances when feedback goes awry, with recipients either receiving it poorly, or wherein the corrective intent isn’t absorbed in a way that leads to improvement. While giving feedback effectively may not come naturally to many of us, fortunately, there is a framework for giving it without falling into the counterproductive traps that we often do, like giving feedback in a roundabout way or generalizing and getting

Parties At Work – How to Use Them to Maximize Teamwork

Who doesn’t love a good party, right? They’re a great way to allow teams to blow off steam or celebrate an accomplishment, like a particularly good quarter or the launch of a new product. More than that, though, they help us relax and build camaraderie between team members who get to know each other on a more personal level. Moreover, parties often mix different teams, building bonds across different areas of an organization – a great way to help stave off siloing . Here are some ways to make sure you’re getting some team building out of your parties.

Breaking Down Silos in the Workplace

Grain silos are designed with one thing in mind – protecting the resources within from outside attack by pests, varmints, and other unsavory creatures. In organizations with a strongly siloed culture, the thought process can be quite similar. Siloed organizations have severe divides between different internal departments, something which prevents the free-flow of information that is critical to a business’s success. With the increasing complexity of businesses, this deeply rooted problem can be difficult to avoid. A side effect of organizational structure, siloing can result in numerous deleterious effects, such as redundant work, employee frustration and dissatisfaction, and overall friction

Survey Results: What Do Managers Need to Improve the Most? Communication (Infographic)

Well, the results are in, and the most common answer to “What does your boss need to improve?” was overwhelmingly “communication.” In a study with 3000+ participants, the breakdown was 52.5% for communication, accountability in a distant second with 19.9% of the votes, then positivity (12.9%), honesty (9.2%), and work ethic (5.7%), respectively. The study was conducted by Comparably, a company whose mission is to “Provide the most accurate and comprehensive compensation and culture data, to understand employees’ true value and needs to make work better.” They’ve compiled the complete results of their study in the handy infographic below. Being

Top Team Building Myths

Team building is touchy-feely This is a big one, as many of us recoil at the thought of team building due to its sometimes touchy-feely reputation. We cringe at the thought of revealing our innermost truths to our boss and co-workers around a hastily erected bonfire. However, this is a false belief as team building should be based entirely around its namesake – it is about building teams. This comes through creating trust by experiencing challenges as a group while working through the difficulties that arise. Trust, respect, and communication are the pathways to strong teams, not kumbaya circles, group

Our Commitment to Weekly Team Building

It shouldn’t come as a surprise that we as a team building company believe in what we do, but recently we’ve made a commitment to engage in a new team building activity every Friday. Before this, we had committed to one big outing a year, but we have come to realize how important it is to schedule more regular activities. Not only does it give us further insight into our clients’ needs, but it also strengthens our office as a unit. Team cohesiveness is like a muscle, one that needs to be exercised regularly to stay in shape. By completing

Why Annual Reviews Are Bad Practice

Why Annual Reviews Are Bad Practice

Oh, the dreaded annual review. In our adult lives there are few things as cringe worthy and anxiety inducing. We know that even if we’re doing a good job, we will almost certainly be receiving some form of criticism — and there’s always a lurking fear that somewhere along the way we’ve made some misstep that will come back to haunt us. It feels very much like that one college class you took wherein your entire grade was determined by one single exam. Did you do everything you could to prepare? The what-ifs can stack pretty high prior to entering

How Adventure and Risk Benefit a Work Team

How Adventure and Risk Benefit a Work Team

Most of us office-bound information workers would be hard-pressed to describe our jobs as adventurous or risky outside our own Walter Mitty-esque fantasies. Most of the adventure we experience would be intellectual at best and the risks we encounter are thoroughly calculated such as to prevent against failure or to simply cover our rears. This is somewhat unfortunate, though, as it’s hard to replicate the incisive clarity that can result from adventurous, inherently risky activities. Nor are we called upon to stretch the imaginations as much as we might when something important like our safety and the safety of others

The One Crucial Step to Meeting Success that You Probably Aren’t Doing

Love them or loathe them, meetings are an inevitability of the business world. Often our negative feelings towards meetings are caused by a belief that they’re ineffective, frustrating, or pointless. Even those of us who have had positive and exciting meetings, we’ve all experienced those feelings at one point or another. Harvard University, in a mission not related directly to meetings, set out to aid schools in getting more value out of their test results through a project called DataWise. As you might expect, this massive project spawned thousands of meetings and a mixed bag of positive progress and static

Why Powerful People Have Trouble Collaborating

All politics aside, ever wonder why it seems so hard for high ranking government officials to come to an agreement? Why is it that these powerful men and women have so much trouble with consensus building? Well, recent research by UC Berkeley researchers Angus Hildreth and Cameron Anderson has shown that power can actually impede performance when it comes to working with others of similar high ranking. In fact, it was found that in groups of low, medium, and highly powered members, only 41% of the high-powered groups were able to reach agreement in experiments, versus 88% of the low-powered

The Under-Utilized Art of Delegation

Delegation is one of the hardest skills to learn – most of us just aren’t very good at it. A 2007 study showed that nearly half of the companies it surveyed were concerned about their employees abilities to delegate effectively, something they deemed essential for their workforce. While sometimes it’s hard to pinpoint delegation shortcomings in ourselves, most all of us have experienced working with a supervisor who did not know how to delegate well. For instance I remember doing a graphic design project for an employer years ago, during which my boss hovered over my shoulder constantly, examining every