Showing posts from February, 2013

Just What is Obamacare?

Twice in my career I have worked for someone whom almost everyone at work was scared to death. In both experiences the same dynamic was present in the workplace: there was an inner circle around the boss who did as they pleased and blamed him for it.  If they wanted to see something happen, they just told their staff "he said so" and nobody dared ask him.  The unpopular boss, while maybe justifiably challenging, had no idea about half of what was done in his name. Such is the case with the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, also commonly referred to as Healthcare Reform (HCR) and "Obamacare."  During the election I heard tales of small businesses that were going to have to discontinue benefits or fire staff because of the onerous tenants of this legislation. When I would dig deeper 90% of the time that business had less than 50 employees and was exempt from the law. Obamacare has become that unpopular boss on which you can blame everything because the b

Hiring Your Friends: The Biggest Mistake You Are Likely to Make

This may sound obvious, but the subtleties around this topic are hugely important.  When you hear of someone "hiring a buddy" the first thing that is likely to come to mind is the hiring of an incompetent crony.  While that is certainly a dumb thing to do, that is not the pitfall into which smart managers fall.  Hiring the completely competent friend with whom you have worked before, and know well, is where smart managers often fail. Why?  Because such a person often does not compliment your own strengths and weaknesses.  The problem is simple: with whom do we bond as friends?  Usually people who are very much like ourselves.  Conversely, who do you need as a trusted team member? Someone who is enough different from you that they fill in your own skill or attention gaps.  Regarding their own development, what do they need in a supervisor?  Someone who can show them what they don't know or help them develop where they are weak. Not only is this not good for you as a

Stages of a Union Campaign

For years I have had to endure the eye rolls of managers when I would talk to them about policies and procedures to keep unions at bay. The "that will never happen here" argument never quite went away over the decades when union membership was in decline. While it is not making a huge comeback, the Obama administration's friendliness with big labor and rule changes at the National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) have made organizing easier than it has been in years. Big labor, to its credit, is also getting smarter in its recruitment of young ideologues as organizers and its use of social media. So it comes as little surprise to me that I find myself fighting my first union organizing campaign in years.  A client in the upper Midwest has been petitioned and now I find myself enjoying the Great Lakes snow in February helping to defend them and prepare for a mid-March vote.  Working with the management here I see how much understanding of unions and union organizing attemp

Get Out There In Person

From where does your reality come? I mean, really, where do you get the information necessary to form your opinion of the world around you? If you are like an alarming number of people you get it digitally from your laptop or TV in the form of media, main stream or social.  The problem is that so much of that is tainted: not part of a sinister plot like is often claimed, but filtered and edited for to serve a purpose. Where ever you get your information in too many cases you are not getting it from the real, physical world around you and that is a problem. If you have read this blog before you know I get snarky and impatient with my fellow southerners about how they react to winter weather.  I have a recent weather example that illustrates my point about your reality. A couple of weekends ago my wife was on her way from Nashville to Indianapolis during what was supposed to have been our most recent "Snowmageddon".  The local weather from Indianapolis to Nashville tal