Training & Development: Why More Employers Will Be Off the Hook

Eighty percent of learning in the workplace is informal, according to Jay Cross and a number of other researchers. That means that 20 percent of the learning is formal, structured training, organized, funded and required by employers.

Think about it. When your boss gives you a new task with no instruction or direction, you will likely turn to a coworker or search engine to guide you. In certain environments, particularly professional services (consulting), you are likely to be challenged in this manner several times a week, if not daily.

Also, when it comes to cross-functional groups within the workplace,...


Six Ways to Prevent Becoming An Accidental Leader

The mind-boggling stories of unintentional leadership breathe color into every headline. From the Coach of the New Orleans Saints to John Edwards to the “improper conduct” of HP and Best Buy CEOs, it is almost difficult to be surprised anymore.

Each incident, however, is exacting an additional toll on leadership, forcing the rest of us leaders to stay vigilant to the power we wield.

Here are two irritating examples of accidental leadership creating missed opportunity to intentionally lead:

Lady Gaga’s Missed Opportunity

Superstar Lady Gaga has protested against cruelty to animals. (even wearing a dress...


#NextChat: What's Holding Women Back?

According to the latest research from McKinsey & Company, while 53 percent of new workers entering the workforce are female, only 3 percent of CEOs are women. Complicating this statistic are individuals and organizations who limit women’s ability to advance in their careers due to outdated attitudes and limited --  if not zero -- workplace flexibility. 

Jack Welch once said, "There's no such thing as work-life balance. There are work-life choices, and you make them, and they have consequences."  Do you agree with Jack? 

Women can -- and should – stay in the game by thinking about their purpose, what...


HR Can Help Second-Generation Family Business Leaders Succeed

When she was the director of organizational development at a family-run auto parts manufacturer employing 3,000 workers, Amy Schuman had an odd experience.

“I remember when the 10-year-old son of the owner came to lunch at the cafeteria one day. Suddenly, you got the sense that he could be your boss,” she said in an interview with SHRM Online.

As disconcerting as it might be to run into your future supervisor while he’s still a child, HR professionals can help ease the leadership transition from one generation to the next by making sure that upcoming presidents and...


#Nextchat Recap: Creating Generational Engagement with Reverse Mentoring

"Every generation needs a new revolution.” – Thomas Jefferson

On May 16 at 3 p.m. ET, We Know Next conducted a lively and insightful #NextChat discussion on "Creating Generational Engagement with Reverse Mentoring" with Next Official Blogger, Microsoft's Ross Smith and his reverse mentor Prem Kumar.

Ross and Prem shared their experiences with reverse mentoring and explained how leaders should think differently about managing multiple age groups.

Reverse mentoring helps to remove stereotypes. It also increases employee engagement, trust and collaboration.  As Ross tweeted, "It's all about exposure to different thinking, which helps spark creativity and innovation for all."...


Are you a "people developer" or just a "red pen"?

Michael was a Director at a medium-sized company. A self-proclaimed perfectionist, he had equally high expectations of his direct reports. He began with the company when they were first formed and had the luxury of hiring and training his own team. Like so many young leaders, he struggled with delegation. Michael was a work horse. He could crank out work like nobody’s business, and many times, found it easier to do things himself rather than engage the team he had hired. His team of professionals was relegated to less than fulfilling work for much of the time.




We all know that powerful women face Catch-22s.  When Donald Trump exercises control, he is in control. When Martha Stewart exercises control, she is controlling.  Same behaviors; different labels.

A lot has been written about these Catch-22s.  Less has been written on how women with power can handle them.

Here are three of the many Catch-22s women with power face and my suggestions for how to navigate them.

1. Ice Queen

Women who maintain emotional control are sometimes described as Ice Queens.  Of course, those who demonstrate emotion may be equally criticized.

I once had a...


Bringing Empathy Back

We are pretty good at knowing what our point of view is (and we are pretty good at thinking highly of our point of view). We are also good at knowing when someone disagrees with our delightful point of view. We are not quite so good at understanding why they disagree with us.
The value of diversity is not just that it gives us more options —  it actually gives us the opportunity to create new options. Seeking a broad range of perspectives and ideas is not just about amassing the largest pool to choose from...


Wanted: Mind Reader/Magician

You probably recall the dust-up in April after it was revealed that the U.S. General Services Administration (GSA) hired a clown and a mind reader to entertain some of its employees at a conference. Among the mind reader’s services was giving a GSA employee a message from Beyond from the employee’s dead dog. The scandal prompted the head of the agency to resign.

That dust had barely settled when another federal agency, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), was found to be advertising for a magician to wow attendees at its conference. The magician was supposed to...


Career Counseling Must Connect Dots Between Skills, Available Jobs

An April 23, 2012, Associated Press report revealed some troubling information regarding job opportunities for the Class of 2012. It said that half of recent college graduates are jobless or underemployed in positions that don’t use their skills and knowledge fully.

The figures were based on 2011 U.S. Census data analyzed by Andrew Sum, director of the Center for Labor Market Studies at Northeastern University.

While there are still many good job opportunities available for graduates with skills in sciences, technology, education and health care, prospects are dimmer for arts and humanities majors as well as those...