#Nextchat: The “Boys' Club Scene” at Work

By Jonathan Segal

The term boys’ club refers to the unofficial and often impenetrable group of men—usually white men—in an organization or department who have effective control and power. Being part of or having access to the club is often critical to making the right connections to advance within the organization.

Because these groups often form covertly, and sometimes as a result of unconscious rather than conscious bias, the membership does not always correspond to the organizational chart. Moreover, top executives often deny the existence of an exclusionary club. 

There are many reasons an organization, or a silo within, may...


Pass The Torch

A fairly recent World at Work survey listed "lack of opportunity" and "dwindling faith in leadership" as key contributors to employee disengagement. This bell rings very familiar! Early in my career, I experienced ongoing disappointment at my own expense. I was young, energetic, and full of motivation. I understood the core functions of my job and executed them like wild fire. I volunteered to do extra work and read the books suggested by management. Still, the opportunity for advancement was not offered. Massively frustrating!
The new generation in the workplace are characterized as impatient and entitled. There is...


Bring-YOURSELF-To-Work Day

A Q&A with Appature CEO, Kabir Shahani

After my recent post about young leaders, I had a chance to catch-up with Kabir Shahani of Appature.

In 2009, at the age of 26, he was recognized by BusinessWeek as a “Best Young Tech Entrepreneur” and since then has watched his company become one of the fastest growing technology start-ups in the healthcare industry (in fact, a couple weeks after I did this interview, Appature was acquired in what GeekWire describes as a blockbuster deal!).

Needless to say, Kabir has learned a lot...


EEOC Commissioners "Chat" at SHRM Conference

It was a privilege for me to attend and speak at SHRM’s Employment Law and Legislative Conference in  Washington, D.C.


For me, one of the high points was listening to the presentation by EEOC Commissioners Chai Feldblum and Victoria Lipnic.

While not quite the same as being there, I wanted to share with you what I tweeted during and after their presentation, which actually was  a  “chat.”

When I begin with “Segal,” these are my thoughts. It is not...


Hard Look at Recruiting Process Can Counter Soft Labor Market Conditions

Savvy recruiters know that even in periods of elevated unemployment, there are no guarantees that they’ll land the perfect candidate for their open positions. In fact, many would argue that they have to work even harder to land top talent when faced with soft labor market conditions and the disparities between the workforce skills that are available and the skills that are needed to fill available jobs.

Now it seems that job seekers are growing more critical of job availability, as well. In a random sample of 1,015 U.S. adults ages 18 and older, a February 2013...


Should Women 'Lean In' More in the Workplace?

Facebook COO Sheryl Sandberg is catching a lot of grief for her new book, “Lean In,” and for her public appearances suggesting that women need to be more aggressive in the workplace. Her recent interview on “60 Minutes” seemed to raise the level of criticism to historic heights.

After all, how can a woman like Sandberg--who is rich, successful, married, a mother, cute as a button and well spoken--dare to tell mere mortal women how they should deal with their struggles in the world of work? She has always had it so easy, some critics suggest, that she...


#Nextchat: Collective Leadership: Getting Everyone Involved

Today’s companies recognize that every individual on their team is important and that their contributions have an impact on the company as a whole. At the same time, in the age of big data, more information is widely available to all stakeholders, shaking up the traditional, top-down communication style. These changes bring about a state of collective leadership – where individuals can easily collaborate to make decisions that improve performance, at both the personal and business-wide level.

Organizations that embrace the idea of collective leadership early on will be more strategic and agile, fostering an open and...


How to Terminate an Employee

There are a lot of people who cringe at the thought of terminating someone. And when I say terminating – I mean firing. Not a layoff because in most cases, employees don’t have control over a layoff decision. My philosophy is employees play an active role in the decision to get themselves fired.

That’s why I never (let me repeat that) never feel bad about terminating an employee. Because I didn’t tell them to do whatever they did to get themselves terminated.  I didn’t tell them to show up late for work.  I didn’t tell them to surf porn...