Management Practices

Van Halen’s brown M&M test

April 12, 2010

During its heyday in the 1980s, the Van Halen band required host arenas to provide a bowl of M&Ms with the brown ones removed. David Lee Roth, former front man for the band, confirmed the story in his autobiography, Dan and Chip Heath report in their new book, Switch: How to Change Things When Change is Hard. Here’s how Van Halen used M&Ms as an early warning system of potential technical failure.

Finding talent in nooks & crannies

March 12, 2010

Looking at a list of where the past 25 Americans to win the Nobel Prize in medicine earned their undergraduate degrees, you’d expect to see Harvard, MIT and Stanford. You wouldn’t expect to see Gettysburg College …

How not to manage talent: NBC’s missteps

February 12, 2010

As painful as it was, NBC’s decision to say goodbye to Conan O’Brien was about protecting and increasing revenue, which is any business’s prerogative. The network did make some missteps, though, in managing its talent:

Consistent contributors = good team

February 12, 2010

Whether a group is dividing a restaurant bill or working on a shared budget, the more cooperative the group is, the more likely it can rise above a challenge. It helps a leader to understand, then, why some groups cooperate more than others.

Ways to lighten their load

February 12, 2010

With fewer people doing more work, here are three ways to ease the workload: 1. Give people more choices. 2. Help them prioritize. 3. Don’t overload star performers …

From crayons to water guns: Liven up boring meetings

February 12, 2010

In the downturn, productivity is everything. Small business owners are turning to creative solutions for making conference-room time productive. Here are three examples from “Boring Meetings? Get Out the Water Guns”:

The 5 habits of successful CEOs

January 11, 2010

“If you think you can learn what works in the real world from anyone but someone who actually succeeded in the real world, well, let’s just say you might want to rethink your management potential,” says Steve Tobak, corporate problem-solver and “The Corner Office” blogger. Here are Tobak’s five ways to behave like a CEO:

3 secrets behind drive

January 11, 2010

Daniel Pink, author of Free Agent Nation, explores three things you can do to keep your staff motivated and productive:

Why Casey Stengel didn’t rely on stars

January 11, 2010

He didn’t invent the practice of “platooning” players in baseball, but Casey Stengel honed it to the point that, under his 12-year leadership, the New York Yankees won 10 American League championships and seven World Series. Before Stengel took over the Yankees in 1949, most managers played a set lineup day in and day out.

10 warning signs of low morale

January 11, 2010

Without you realizing it, low morale can creep into your organization. Check every day to make sure people stay in tune. Here are 10 sour notes to listen for: