a world gone social book coverIndustrial Age leadership was good, or at least efficient. It enabled us to get the most out of every worker; expectations were set; consequences for not meeting minimums were clear. People did what they were told, and went home.

But the Industrial Age is over. And it’s not coming back.

Welcome to the Social Age.

We humans are social down to our very core; social is not just what we do, it’s what we are. Connecting and communicating; sharing ideas, news, tips and sometimes warnings; making introductions; growing our influence. That’s all we’ve ever done.

At first, of course, connections were limited to the confines of our village. Posted letters then tied us together over distances. Phone lines and then e-mail and mobile allowed us to connect globally. Yet, even with all these advances in technology, communication was limited in scope: one person connecting with one other and sometimes for the most powerful, numerous others. (read more…)

Getting caught up on my never-ending stack of periodicals on a cloudy Sunday morning, I read with delight and admiration about Salesforce.com’s creative approach to allowing pets at work — hardly surprising, it’s called Puppyforce.

But the cute name is not what differentiates it, and permitting pets at the office is not necessarily a new perk. What stands out to me is the strategically innovative way in which Salesforce went about designing their version of this employee benefit and the bona fide emphasis placed, in general, on building a highly engaged workforce.

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Puppies for Success

Fortune magazine’s Christopher Thaczyk describes how Puppyforce took shape via discussions on Chatter, the company’s enterprise social networking platform (think Yammer but tied to the Salesforce CRM). Incorporating feedback from employees concerned about allergies, hygiene and noise, Puppyforce ultimately took shape as a separate soundproof workspace with rubber floors and a reservation system. (read more…)

You have worked hard to get to where you are and can rattle off significant times in your career that gave you great satisfaction. Perhaps you experienced a big promotion, dinner with the CEO or heading up a large successful initiative. Spend a moment thinking about one of those, and you will likely feel a wash of warm pleasure.

Congratulations. You know what makes you happy. Or do you?

Recent studies have shown that we significantly undervalue the more ordinary or mundane events in our lives. These events can also produce happiness even if they seem insignificant when they occur. We may not notice them since they are a part of our everyday experience.

Why do happiness and joy matter to your leadership? Happy leaders tend to be more productive at work, make better decisions, express more creativity and have better social interactions (among many other benefits). I think you can see how all of these things would impact your ability to be the best you can be at your craft. (read more…)

RadioShack is on the ropes. What can be done to save it? (read more…)

“Life starts all over again when it gets crisp in the fall.” The Great Gatsby

The year’s cadence naturally increases in September as workers return from vacations and student return to school. Take advantage of the crispness of fall by injecting new energy into your teams and refocusing them on year-end goals.

Students benefit from the excitement of new classrooms, supplies, teachers and subjects so there’s no reason those of us in the working world can’t grab onto a nugget of that crack-open-the-new spiral freshness and use it to attain this year’s annual goals and provide clarity to plans for the year ahead.

The following are five tips leaders can use to focus themselves and their organizations:

  1. Review your personal “Why” and that of your department or company.” Do they make you excited? Are they relevant to your environment? To the marketplace? Are they aligned? If not, figure out what’s changed and if the Why needs to change as well.
  2. (read more…)