Steve Harvey, Ms Philippines, Ms Colombia, Top Posts, 2015, Toby Elwin

Top 10 blog posts for 2015, 5 to 1

Top blog posts from 2013, from number 5 to number 1, a follow-up from Top 10 blog posts for 2015, 10 to 6 I need to rename this, annual, Top 10 to Top 10 Posts that are not Impact Assessment or Stakeholder Analysis.  The impact assessment post gets three times more hits, per year, than any other post and the stakeholder post almost two times. My executive decision:  retire, but, annually, if this maintains, acknowledge, the two, repeat posts. 5. Buyer persona for organization strategy and development — Software companies, product companies, and service companies have turned attention from customer transaction to customer experience. Buyer persona methods help companies identify motivation and desired experience a customer seeks.  It is a great method to help move from what a company wants to sell a segment to what someone’s objective is that they need to solve. I began …

marketing, fear, the walking dead, top blogs, 2015, Toby Elwin

Top 10 blog posts for 2015, 10 to 6

Closing out 2015, I look back at the year’s most viewed posts as a chance to reflect on blog topics, from project management, marketing, and mergers and acquisitions failure, here is what people viewed. In descending order: 10. Change management bottom up or top — The more you look at an organization, the more you identify where the work gets done. An executive team can not command change from the top without awareness of actual change people care about: their job, their compensation, their role, their skill, and their motivation, Stock options, bonus packages, and executive parking privilege do not resonate with the majority, let’s start with culture, forget leadership.  Leadership doesn’t drive change, change relies on culture and in the case of culture, leadership is along for the ride and rarely in the driver seat for how change travels. 9. Competing values drive your organization out of business — Another post in the …

Toby Elwin, Benny Hill, Fortune 500, impact assessment, template, stakeholder, SharePoint

Top 10 blog posts for 2014, 5 to 1

Top blog posts from 2014, from number 5 to number 1, a follow-up from Top 10 blog posts for 2014, 10 to 6 5. The cost of culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500 — Technology drives change within the company, digital drives the way customers chose our company product or service.  These two force change faster and greater impact is that size is not an advantage:  this morning’s blue chip is this afternoon’s Goodbye Mr. Chips. Change was always with us, but not always the warp speed it is today. 4. Change management bottom up or top — So often, so many believe that organization change must come from the top. However, only when the majority holds does the power to believe in the change does change management survive the select top down fantasy. Change management only, truly, succeeds when the majority adopt and utilize the change approach. If, in 2014, you learn nothing new, you …

ben hur, social media, organization, culture, Toby Elwin, blog, engagement

Company social media strategy reflects organization culture — engagement

A company that does not engage their market lends little confidence they engage their employees. A persona-driven strategy identifies characteristics through insight, data, and feedback to develop pertinent images of an ideal customer’s goals, needs, and objectives.

Social media reveals organization culture through more transparent ways than any HR engagement program.

What people want, may not be what you want to say. That gap is more realistically a chasm.

Fast Start, conversation

Fast Start — Bias Gets a Bad Rap

Fast Start conversation: Bias, an outlook or tendency to prejudge something, is usually attacked in organizations who aim to create an inclusive, equal-opportunity environment. Sounds noble. Not likely to happen though, as even the most open-minded person is subject to bias.  There is a reason we have bias:  it helped our survival. In this Diversity Executive article, Bias Gets a Bad Rap, Mike Prokopeak looks at being mindful of bias and managing bias as the more likely alternative to rooting it out.  Why? Because bias is neither good nor bad: Bias is about me. Bias is about them. Bias is about us. Seems this is a function of being human. So, how do we reinforce our differences and work better with each other? How do we get to the point where our organizations make it comfortable that when we try to understand the …

human capital risk, cover, Toby Elwin, blog, beta, investment

Human capital beta is investment risk beta

Human capital management is motivation management.  No matter the IQ of an individual or the collected experience of the team without motivation there is opportunity lost. Human capital risk is real, but mainly divorced from analytic and assessment rigor. There is something missing in how to evaluate a a firm opportunity risk. To maximize return on investment you need to maximize return on involvement. I’ve worked in post-merger integration environments for more than 15 years and until you account for the talent you acquire, you have not accounted for risk. Starting in 2007 I began to think about how to evaluate talent and human capital risk in initial assessment.  This deck was a working draft of my thoughts with the objective to sit in a room and deliver a true, front-end human capital assessment to an investor. You can download Adobe Acrobat or PowerPoint version just …

Kauffman Foundation, Fortune 500, Toby Elwin, blog

Cited and noted: What Does Fortune 500 Turnover Mean?

Since 1955, the Fortune 500 list represents the 500 largest US corporations by gross revenue.  Making the Fortune 500 is a mark of prestige for the company. But what got you there does not necessarily keep you there. In 10 short years almost 40% to 50% of the Fortune 500 club are no longer found on the list and in The cost of culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500 I took 10-year window to note the role organization culture has to get and keep a company fit. Points I made within the post became cited in the Kauffman Foundation report What Does Fortune 500 Turnover Mean?  I chose to look at culture as a siren call for failure and a reason these former market-leading companies fail to maintain excellence. Where I looked at the list through 10-year increments, the authors, Dane Stangler and Samuel Arbesman, note year-over-year turnover. Fortune 500: Diver …

company social media, strategy reflects organization, culture, sales, Toby Elwin, blog

Company social media strategy reflects organization culture — sales

Social media is a wasted investment if the wrong numbers are valued over the right ratios. Social media is not a sales promo blitzkrieg, social media is an engagement strategy.

Culture is the way things are done. Getting something done in a culture is understanding what the culture values and how to navigate.

A relationship built on a transaction is a relationship built on perceived value; sales or otherwise. A relationship built for a sale is a relationship that starts with the end game and that end game is more transparent to the mark than you realize.

Social media strategy provides proof of involvement and the real tolerance an organization has to listen to a diverse community of voices and harness the contrarians.

Games Primates Play, book, Dario Maestripieri, Toby Elwin, blog

Games Primates Play by the book

If the title does not intrigue enough, how about the subtitle:  Undercover Investigation of the Evolution and Economics of Human Relations. Ok, I might admit it seems the book and the content a bit off-center or, perhaps, too … academic. But really, truly, the book is a great view into how, despite our iPads, our suits, and our underarm deodorant, we are not too terribly evolved in our social interactions from fellow primates. I wrote a quick post on an article, found at Fast Start – Why your boss really is an ape and then picked the book up. Games Primates Play Fascinating, and strange, way to view office politics, meeting interactions, and email threads, as exchanges and interactions, not far afield, or evolved, so-to-speak, from monkeys. Consider this both an opportunity for your very own field study as well as a terribly, fascinating read deep on …

company, fail, Toby Elwin, blog

The cost of culture and the U.S. auto industry

The Atlantic posted an article that jumped out at me:   Why Companies Fail. This fantastic article, posted in a journal the general population would find more accessible than an organization development or talent management journal, gave all the evidence we try to convey on why change is hard. Well, change is easy, culture is what is hard. From my perspective, just the preamble of the article kicks it off in style: Why is corporate turnaround so difficult and rare? The answer is often culture — the hardest thing of all to change. Megan McArdle is taking our message to Main Street [nice election build-up tie-in, right?]. We are the change agents that toil in the dark with our higher education, free subscriptions to Chief Learning Officer and Talent Management Magazine, and our SHRM memberships trying, mostly, in vain, to get the …

churchill, roosevelt, stalin, performance review, Toby Elwin, blog

3 performance review politics that always trump merit

Politics trumps those who have shown reliable, merit-based performance.

When rewards are given to those with little merit, but through a host of politics such as cronyism, parochialism, and kleptocracy engagement is sabotagued and have little hope to achieve true engagement.

Merit-based performance would focus on the employee’s behavior that exemplifies excellence or the employee’s behavior that needs attention or improvement. When cronyism, kleptocracy, and parochialism gang up meritocracy has no chance.

Top 10, blog, posts, 2011, Toby Elwin, ABBA, fad

Top 10 blog posts for 2011, 5 to 1

Top blog posts from 2011, from number 5 to number 1, a follow-up from Top 10 blog posts for 2011, 10 to 6 5.  The cost of culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500 — This blog came about to reiterate that change is constant and the things that may have gotten a company to the Fortune 500 are not what guarantees a company can stay in the Fortune 500.  This blog reviews that in a 10-year period 50% of the Fortune 500 companies no longer remain and that perhaps this turnover is the failure of company culture to adapt. 4.  Scope or: how to manage projects for organization success; impact analysis template — This 1 of a 4-part series on project scope and the impact scope has on project failure.  This blog includes an impact analysis template to identify …

Toby Elwin, 2011, top blog, competing values

Top 10 blog posts for 2011, 10 to 6

Closing out 2011, I look back at the year’s most viewed posts as a chance to reflect on topics I blog about people view most. Why were some viewed over others:  topic, time-of-year, day-of-week? In descending order: 10. Competing values drives your organization out of business — A 2009 blog about organization culture’s impact on change and what happens when organizations who can not identify or manage culture get stuck, become irrelevant, and vanish.  This blog talks about a culture identification tool called the Competing Values Framework and has a follow-up blog The cost of culture, a 50% turnover of the Fortune 500 that appears in 2011’s top 5. 9.  4 Tips to use Twitter for project management — Written in January, 2010 this blog seems to have hit a note.  This was 1 of 2 blogs eventually highlighted on …

book, review, Toby Elwin, Start-up Nation, Israel, Economic Miracle

Start-up Nation by the book

People make up organizations, business needs people to succeed if they are to succeed. The focus for change is how the individual relates to intentional change needed. Do organizations have a culture? Yes. Organizations have a set of qualities, as do departments and business units. Culture can also reveal competing values in battle for success and failure. So what? Well, when you get a view of culture through communication style, archetype, and symbols about “the way things are done”, levers for change are more clear. I read about Start-Up Nation in a recent Wall Street Journal end-of-year reading list. In Hungary I worked on foreign direct investment and technology transfer. I had moved from two years in China and in my company worked with Israeli citizens. Start-up Notion Israel has unique characteristics that help it excel in the field of high technology, as the book posits. If start-up companies have unique culture from …