Organizational Behavior

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How to Change an Organization Without Blowing It Up

Too often, organizational change occurs all at once, on a large scale, and often in response to crisis. Yet we know from a great deal of experience that such transformation attempts often fail, fostering employee discontent and producing mediocre solutions with little lasting impact.

Continuously pursuing smaller-scale changes — and weaving them together — offers a practical middle path between large-scale transformation and small-scale pilot projects

Louis XIV of France

Inside the World of the Project Baron

In industrial sectors such as consulting, advertising, filmmaking, software, architecture, engineering and construction, most individual businesses, by definition, are “project-based firms.” This article proposes the term “baronies” to describe the organizational units that direct the projects within project-based firms, and highlights the roles that barons play in three basic types of project-based firms: dominions, tight federations and loose federations.

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Courtesy of Henry Mintberg.

Debunking Management Myths

Henry Mintzberg, Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University

Management, according to Henry Mintzberg, is often misunderstood. Mintzberg, the Cleghorn Professor of Management Studies at the Desautels Faculty of Management at McGill University, sees a number of ways the managerial role is often mischaracterized.

Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Drummond.

Nature’s Rules

Image courtesy of Flickr user Sharon Drummond.

Any one of us—and any one of our organizations—could be forgiven for behaving at the moment like a bear confronting winter. I don’t mean behaving “bearishly,” as investors do. No, I mean behaving literally like a bear—which is to say, shutting down the system.

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The Benefits of a Coaching Culture

The practice of coaching as a tool for work force and leadership development has gained popularity in recent years. In theory, coaching asks supervisors to spend more time giving constructive, individualized feedback on performance to subordinates, rather than barking orders and sending their troops to boot-camp training programs.

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The Roots of Sustainability

Many companies now offer slick “sustainability reports” along with their annual reports as indicators of their performance. The problem is that none of this espoused benevolence creates true sustainability. The root of this problem is neither business’s misunderstanding of what’s at stake nor corporate cynicism about the sustainability cause (though these may be contributing factors). The problem really stems from management’s failure to see unsustainability as a deep-seated systems failure.

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