BoG blogs

Politically Correct Leadership

There are many different styles of leadership. Success depends on being well-prepared and possessing the elusive ability to “read” the environment, choosing the best path forward, and taking decisive action with courage, spirit, and determination.  One style that seems to be moving out of favor is that of the “politically correct” leader.  This is a term that generally refers to an individual who uses words or behavior which will not offend any person or group of people and follows a carefully crafted script.

Communications Encryption: A Looming Battle

Encryption technology allows mobile phones and other internet technologies to be locked and messages to be hidden ─ encrypted to a level that cannot be viewed by anyone other than the intended recipient. The US government has recently told Apple that it must make its phones hackable, so that the FBI can get access. The ruling related specifically to the case of the San Bernardino shooters. The FBI wants to have the ability to search the encrypted electronic records of these killers in an attempt to find out more about the attack.

What’s This About Oil?

The price of a barrel of oil has been very volatile globally for many years, and we are now experiencing an extended period of a low prices.  The analyst chatter is skeptical of any stability anytime soon. Indeed some pundits think it is a competition to see which provider can endure a lower price for longer; driving smaller energy organizations into bankruptcy. Many employers are finding it necessary to downsize, laying off skilled engineers, managers and other employees.  The economic impact trickles down throughout our society affecting almost every sector.

Is Digital Technology Eroding a Student’s Ability to Learn?

Is the rampant use of digital technology eroding a students’ ability to learn?  Recent presentations (Promise and Perils of Technology) by Dr. Michael Rich [ https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=rfKajz5OXBA ] and Dr.

jentre's picture

Was Adam Smith wrong about the satisfaction-effiency tradeoff?

Adam Smith pushed the theory that people are lazy and driven only by compensation. Automation in factories, now in call-centre and clerk jobs as well, are designed to a large degree to exploit this "feature" of human nature. However, too much control over efficiency strips the "meaning" out of work, that part that people do by working harder for no extra compensation, to make their jobs help other people. A study looked at employees of call-centres, janitors and orderlies, attorneys. Maybe it is time to rethink how we motivate and structure work.

tunatarim's picture

Resisting change?

Do you have team members who are resisting change? I have been thinking about this lately, maybe because I've had a recent experience, or maybe because I'm thinking about my next article in the Engineering Management Review. ;) I've always said that the difficulties as a manager are typically not in the technical work but in dealing with people.

tunatarim's picture

How does an American football player's behavior on the sidelines relate to management?

TMC followers: Have you seen the videos showing Dez Bryant (supposedly one of the best if not the best team members of the Dallas Cowboys) losing control on the sideline during the Dallas Cowboys loss to the Detroit Lions 31-30? He yelled at the quarterback, the Cowboys assistant, and others in the team. This is very similar to a situation that any of us can experience in our teams.

tunatarim's picture

Program management: What is the role of a Program Manager?

In many companies, large projects have program managers assigned to it. The program manager, by definition, manages the "program". The program is everything related to that specific projects: Specification, design, productization, post production, customer relationship, and every other little or big thing as it relates to the project.

tunatarim's picture

Project execution: Is having a plan enough for successful execution?

It is interesting to see how many teams think that having a project plan means successful execution. Getting the group together and strategizing, then putting a plan together is absolutely important for execution, but as important as planning is to have the discipline to execute the plan.

jentre's picture

Want to understand a firm's strategy? Forget the business plan...

Here is an interesting blog from Harvard Business Review about how to assess a firm. "If you want to really understand a firm’s strategy - whether it’s a start up or Fortune 500 firm - you need only two documents:  the compensation plan and the pricing plan."

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