The opposite of micromanagement is a leadership approach in which trusted workers are given training, expectations and the authority to find solutions and make decisions on their own, says John Baldoni in this blog post and video. That gives bosses the space to focus on big-picture thinking and also helps get the best out of their newly empowered employees. "Let the direct reports share what they've experienced and how they would do things differently, if at all, the next time," Baldoni says.
American Apparel has entered Chapter 11 bankruptcy with a restructuring proposal designed to help the loss-making retailer recover from $161 million more liabilities than assets. The collapse is a vindication for ousted founder Dov Charney, with Jim Edwards arguing that the best plan is for current ownership to sell to Charney under private ownership. "It's a long shot. But it's surely better than the current situation, which is an embarrassment for the board and its backers," Edwards writes.
Global regulators have completed rules requiring the nine largest insurance companies in the world to hold more capital as part of an effort to prevent a taxpayer rescue should the insurance industry face a crisis. The Financial Stability Board is preparing to update its list of systemically important insurance companies.
The best speeches are marked by "spontaneous preparedness" -- that is, they sound unscripted but took a while to get there, writes Terry St. Marie. He suggests keeping core aspects of the speech with a few elements changed each time. Don't forget to express your company or product's value and the values that will help everyone succeed, St. Marie writes.
Gourd farming's busy season is right now, as Americans try to outdo each other with the ugliest and weirdest-looking gourds for Halloween. Among this year's top creations: the knobbly orange-and-green Warty Goblin and the white-and-red One Too Many, inspired by bloodshot eyes. "You want each item to have its own character. As a farmer, it's glorious fun," says Charles Martin of Virginia.
The "productivity puzzle" refers to the long-term trend of slowing growth in US worker productivity despite incredible technology gains. Some believe that productivity increases have been delayed by the hidden costs and complexities of these technologies. "It's all coming together, but not in one day. You need to have all the incremental gains first," says Iddo Benzeevi of Highland Fairview.
Most first-time bosses "are ineffective, if not disastrous, in their first six months," writes Liz Wiseman. That's because they tend to try too hard to justify their authority and fail to transition from being task-driven to helping others succeed. "If you want the people on your team to step up and do more, you have to be willing to do less," Wiseman advises.
Hermes is one of the most profitably companies in the luxury-goods sector, thanks to a knack for growing without shedding its aura of exclusivity. One trick the company uses: selling core products at exorbitant prices but also targeting aspirational shoppers with more affordable but still profitable products. "Hermes has implemented one of the most effective stratagems for reconciling high sales volumes with a reputation for exclusivity: category segregation," Luca Solca writes.
When Ciena CEO Gary B. Smith was starting out, he "managed by the numbers," praising people who did well and lambasting those who failed to make the grade. Eventually, however, Smith "realized that my role was to facilitate and create an environment that people could be successful in."
Education Secretary Arne Duncan will leave his post in December to return to Chicago, according to a White House official and an e-mail sent to staff. Duncan, architect of the competitive federal grant program known as Race to the Top, will be replaced by Deputy Education Secretary John King Jr., the official said.
- Page 1