Company Building

How to Be Transparent at Work (Without Making People Cry)

open office layout

Extreme openness. This was the original intention of the open-office design. Breaking down walls would also break down barriers — everyone could exchange ideas throughout the day. The organization would realize a hyper-state of transparency where the best ideas would always win. But I bet you have experienced a different reality with this floor plan.

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Your Company Is Not a Democracy

a company is not a democracy

We are living in unsettling times. In 2016, you may have found yourself saying “What?!” out loud a lot. And I am betting that this year your knee-jerk response has become, “Now what?” But uncertainty in the world is nothing new. And it definitely is no stranger to business.

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How to Silence the Office Donkey

office donkey

My friend Mary recently shared a recurring nightmare. It involved a twisted metamorphosis into a donkey. It was Disney’s fault — specifically, the film Pinocchio. You know, the scene where the mischievous boys transform into jackasses? It scared the heck out of her as a kid. But these days a different type of donkey haunts my friend.

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Your Remote Co-workers Feel Left Out

remote coworkers left out

I was recently talking with a CEO who was having trouble hiring and retaining good people. He was considering opening new locations and adding a few remote workers. His thinking? More people. My thinking? More problems. Guaranteed.

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It Is Time to Eliminate Sales Commissions

sales commissions

Crazy quotas. Anything to close a deal. Pushing customers no matter the cost. If you are a regular reader of this blog, you already know how I feel about the traditional approach to sales. Customers have changed, yet the selling process has not. But here is a surprise — I am about to come to the defense of salespeople everywhere.

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Your Company Will Not Let You Work Remotely — But Why?

pug dog looking out window

People want remote work. I hear this from job seekers, comments on social media, and leaders at technology companies. Everyone wants it and research proves the benefits. But many companies just will not let it happen. What is driving this disconnect?

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Every Remote Team Needs to Do This

I was wary at first. My previous company gathered everyone for an all-hands meeting. This was several years back when I was working at a fast-growing software company. About 150 people crammed into a room that was meant for maybe 25. People were practically on top of each other. Disaster ahead?

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5 Steps to Set Your 2018 Business Goals

goal setting teddy bear

Getting lost used to be much easier. One wrong turn and you could lose your way. You might pull over to unfold a faded paper map. Maybe even ask a stranger at a gas station for directions. Now smartphones and GPS have changed the way we navigate. But even the best technology cannot tell you where you want to go.

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Startups Are No Place for Most New Grads

hire recent graduate at a startup

“Do you think recent grads should work at really early stage startups?” I recently posted this question on LinkedIn. And it ignited a conversation. More than 325,000 people viewed and added hundreds of thoughtful responses. 

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The 10 Main Components of a Business Model

business model book

I learned how to write business models in graduate school. Although, it really felt more like writing long and complicated novels. I once spent three months working on one for a hypothetical home services referral website. I even conjured up crowd-sourced reviews for my would-be business. The process revealed a depressing plot twist.

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Hey Boss: I Am Begging You to Let Me Work From Home

work from home dog

I studied philosophy. (True.) You know the old cliché about the tree falling in the forest. If no one is there to hear it, did it really make a sound? Well, remote work may seem that way for some. After all, how can you be sure people are actually working if you are not there to witness it?

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Stop Your Next Presentation to Honor the Now

Aha! product roadmap software team presentation

I am always thinking about what’s next at work. (Even on vacation sometimes, like now.) But at our recent, all-team meeting I made a conscious decision to stop. And I did something I have never done before — I interrupted my presentation and asked everyone to stop too. I wanted us all to take a moment to be in the “now.”

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I Promise You Will Love This Company Offsite

aha! remote product management team

Do the words “offsite quarterly business review” or “annual sales kickoff” make you want to run far, far away? You are not the only one. Sitting through endless presentations in stale conference rooms  — ugh. But these kinds of large group meetings are especially important for remote teams.

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How Not to Scale Your Startup

scale your startup cattle

It started with two people in a garage. The quintessential beginning we hear about many startups. And for good reason — you do not start out with 100 people. Companies begin with a founder or two. Some never leave the garage. The ones that grow solve a real problem and learn how to do it at scale. They do not learn how to scale and then figure out a problem to solve.

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There Is a New Animal in Silicon Valley

silicon valley unicorn startup

There is a new animal in Silicon Valley. And it is nothing like the unicorns you have read about in the past. This new beast is not quite as flashy. It moves a little slower than its spiral-horned counterpart — the one who galloped to ridiculous valuations at breakneck speed. And you probably will not see this new creature in the news. Why?

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