What Keeps You Here?

interview questions

Awkward Question; Inspiring Answers   We were working around the clock in response to a major product recall.  My team was exhausted.  Our customers were furious.  We had been at it for months.  Even though it was December, many of us knew we would have to work through the Christmas holidays to dig ourselves out of the situation.  To make matters

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How to Manage Your Own Boss

managing your boss

Congratulations!  You have a New Employee! …And it Just Happens to Be Your Boss.   The idea of it sounds ludicrous.  You have a large staff, countless projects and relentless customers to take care of throughout your day.  And then you realize you have to add one more load on top of it: managing your own boss.  Sad but true,

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8 Ways to Reduce and Avoid Office Tension

managers resource handbook

Remember when your Project Manager came in the conference room last month, his forehead pulsating, as if he were just itching for a fight of any kind?  We’ve all had those people in our office, reminding us of the great scene from Monty Python – “The Argument Clinic.” Maybe there is pressure from higher up to get results, or perhaps it

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The Art of the Executive Summary

Executive Summary

How to Create an Executive Summary Raise your hand if you have ever sat through a presentation and walked away not understanding its message.  Now, raise your hand if you’ve ever asked an employee to give you a project briefing, only for them to bury you in data, facts and graphics.  Finally, raise your hand if you’ve ever picked up

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Creating an Office Layout That Works

breadth development assignment

8 Fundamentals for Remodeling Your Office for Managers Doing it Themselves Full Disclosure: I am not an architect, an interior designer, or a Ph.D candidate in inter-office psychological dynamics. Rather, I am just a manager of a 75+ employee department. Due to some recent restructuring in my firm, we had to remodel our office in order to accommodate additional employees

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From the Front Lines: The Lifecycle of a Crisis

Crisis Management Process

Managing Crisis in the Workplace None of us had any idea that it was the first day of what would become a 10 month, $25,000,000 investigation. It was late in the afternoon on a cool fall day when the Quality Assurance Manager and the Operations Manager came to my office with a concern over a product defect that had been

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How to Manage Your Friend

managing friends

How to Be a Boss and a Friend A former mentor of mine once told me that there are two highly uncomfortable relationships one encounters in his or her management career. The first of these relationships was the one you have when your former boss ends up working for you. That is, the person from whom you once took your

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7 Reasons Why Your Research and Development Is Falling Short

preliminary design review

Technology Development Tips for Product Managers In today’s marketplace there is ever-growing pressure on companies to remain innovative and for them to bring new products and services to customers. But in order for your research and development efforts to be successful, your objectives need to be focussed and must target your “big bets.” Moreover, a successful research and development campaign

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The 8 Most Common Mistakes We Make When Growing Our Business

mistakes managers make

And How to Avoid Them One of the best feelings we as managers and business leaders experience is seeing our businesses grow as a result of our effort and hard work. When it comes to large companies, these emotions may be result from watching a steady (or not-so-steady) increase in stock price. And that’s ok – creating value for shareholders

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How to Justify a Promotion for Your Employee

How to be a better manager

And How to Evaluate When It’s Time Have you ever promoted someone? I recently went through the process of promoting an employee at my firm, and the experience raised a number of questions for me because I found there to be no formal process to issue a promotion. And if we as a managers struggle to know how to do

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9 Employee Engagement Killers by the Modern Manager

Use Data to Justify Your Staffing Level

9 Ways You’re Hurting Morale… And Don’t Even Know It   It should come as no surprise that today’s workforce wants to feel their contribution is valued, be part of something great, and be able to manage their own careers. In management circles we refer to these wants as employee engagement. We can more accurately define employee engagement as the

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How to Overcome Your Predecessor

promoted to manager

  Overcoming the Legacy of Your Predecessor Maybe they retired. Perhaps there was some restructuring. Maybe they left the firm, or simply got promoted. Like many new managers, you may find that your predecessor walked on water and now you have to overcome that legacy as the incumbent. Transitioning into a new management position is tough for even experienced managers.

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5 Things You Can Do TODAY to Be a Better Manager

How to be a better manager

How to Become a More Effective Manager Our employee survey scores just came in. The results were about as poor as you could imagine. Employee engagement scored a 58% overall. Communication came in at 50%. Management Effectiveness across the business: a whopping 61%. Only six out of ten employees see his or her manager as a good leader and motivator.

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Writing a Winning Response to an RFP

managers resource handbook

How to Gain an Edge in the B2B Space When it comes to doing business between companies, typically referred to as business-to-business, or B2B, most opportunities and contracts are generated through a process of bid solicitation.  Companies looking to contract services or support will often issue what is known as a Request for Proposal (RFP) to seek information from various companies and

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5 Business Cases for Justifying an Increase in Headcount

Employee Performance Reviews

    One of our most popular articles here at MRH described one approach to justifying an increase in your staff level.  Fighting for resources is a problem we’ve all dealt with as managers and one that can be extremely frustrating to overcome. So, I wanted to take the topic one step further and give you some more tools and

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How to Justify A Need for Training

managers resource handbook

Is Your Training Plan Being Cut Year After Year?  Read On… It’s a battle out there, folks.  Between a fragile economy, steep competition, and the rising costs of business, its understandable that the first form of cost cutting comes in what is known as discretionary spend.  If you think you’re the only manager whose budget for training and employee development is routinely cut,

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The 70, 20, 10 Rule for Employee Development

promoted to manager

Promoting Skill Development of Your Human Resources Employee development is a hot topic in today’s human resource and executive management circles.  Companies are investing more and more time and energy into building organizational strength through the capabilities of their employees.  It’s been said for some time that a company’s greatest asset is its people.  And now, firms have finally woken up

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Six Key Strategies for a Business Renewal

Turning Around a Business

How to Find Your Way When The Odds are Against You   Nothing is going your way.  The sky is falling.  You’re not sure what to do next.  No one else seems to have answers, either.  All you get are more questions.  A business turnaround is one of the most complex and challenging experiences a manager will ever go through

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How to Manage Your Goals and Metrics

Managing metrics

The Key to Hitting Business Metrics:  Reduce the Impossible to the Possible   Every year, companies and businesses establish their annual goals and performance targets.  At some point in time, responsibility for achieving those objectives is placed into the hands of managers and individual teams, often with minimal direction.  It’s the inevitable “go do this” behavior that we see from many

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The 7 Steps to Mastering Technical Design Reviews

preliminary design review

    When it comes to the product development cycle and a phase gated design process, holding robust technical design reviews is critical to a project’s success. While there are various types of design reviews that lend themselves to different types of technologies and industries, the most common and universal examples include the Preliminary Design Review (PDR) and Critical Design Review (CDR). If

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