Insights on Management and Leadership

Is it a Disagreement, a Discussion, or an Argument?

In some languages, the word “disagreement” and the word “confrontation” are the same. For example, in Spanish, a discussion is una pelea, a fight.How can we have a civilized, constructive exchange from which all parties learn and thus reach a better decision? It depends on the...

The Ingredients of Respect

Analyze the following statement I received in an email (author unknown):"I was raised to show respect. I was taught to knock before I open a door. Say hello when I enter a room. Say please and thank you, and to have respect for my elders. I would let another person have my sea...

Why Bad Ideas Are Good Ideas

People often get upset when offered a poor solution to a problem. Some even become aggressive, critical. But notice, when someone proposes a bad idea, someone else will reject it and offer a better one instead. The bad idea stimulated a good one. The reaction to a bad idea can...

Thinking Versus Feeling

Reasoning is one way of thinking. Feeling is another. You process information (think) both when you reason and when you feel, but it is not the same process. When you feel, your thoughts might be disorganized and may not follow a logical path. When you reason, there is a logic...

What Should Marketing Be?

Traditional marketing theory promotes the four Ps: Product, Price, Promotion, and Place. I suggest that this definition focuses on what marketing does or how it is carried out, but it does not spell the purpose of marketing, the why. Let me try and use an analogy to deliver th...

Employees Versus Volunteers

Employees are different from volunteers. Volunteers, by definition, do not get paid. They work because they want to. They are motivated. They have a desire to contribute, to be involved. On the other hand, it is assumed that employees must perform, whether motivated or not, be...

The Importance of Maintenance in Your Life

In the 1970s I was consulting for the US Agency for International Development on health planning in Ghana. One of the major issues was that a lot of the hospital equipment was not working. Costly equipment donated by well-meaning philanthropic organizations from Europe and the...

Who is the Client? The Hypocrisy!

Clients are those entitiesfor whom an organization exists to satisfy their needs.Who are those clients?According to the Chicagoschool of economics, led by the Milton Friedman thesis and followed largely byeconomists worldwide, a business organization exists to make profits for...

How to Make a Complete Decision

To have a decision that will be implemented as desired, we need a complete decision. A complete decision is one that answers the five questions that it is imperative to ask. The imperatives are: why, what, how, who, and by when. Leaving one or more imperatives out confuses del...

Why People Do Not Take Responsibility

Many leaders have experienced the frustration when someone consistently refuses to take responsibility.There are many ways to avoid accepting responsibility. The most obvious way is by giving endless excuses or, later, to blame someone else for the wrongdoing.While consulting ...