Coming Soon: The Tailored Workplace (Part 4)

Posted on March 1, 2011 by Don MacPherson.

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Every organization needs good people to be successful. In short, that’s what employee engagement is all about. At Modern Survey, we think of engagement in terms of the degree to which employees are psychologically motivated to contribute to the success of the organization. With all of the autonomy being handed to employees in a tailored workplace, will they still see their efforts as fitting into the big picture, will they still be motivated to help the organization succeed? Continue reading »

Mr. Blue Sky Goes to Work

Posted on February 28, 2011 by abdiwakYo.

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Recently, I had a great conversation with a co-worker about the roots of employee engagement. Principally, we were arguing whether or not all employees of a large organization could become fully engaged. As we volleyed the question back and forth I found us running into a couple of old philosophical quandaries: “Do organizations engage employees, or do organizations hire engageable employees?” (see: the chicken vs. the egg), and “Can an unengageable employee change to become engageable? (the question of free will [a close relative, I believe, to the chicken/egg dilemma]). Having a background in analytical philosophy, I found the conversation stimulating, but somewhat concerning. The reality is we’re never going to arrive at a verifiable answer one way or another. Parsing it down to something we can work with, I began to wonder, is a positive attitude the most powerful driver of engagement? Continue reading »

Coming Soon: The Tailored Workplace (Part 3)

Posted on February 21, 2011 by Don MacPherson.

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Getting your workforce up to speed has always been a critical step in talent management, but these days, it seems everyone wants to get there faster and faster. The speed at which employees want to develop is increasing. With the 24-hour news cycle, the advent of real-time information exchanges through Twitter and mobile internet access, it makes perfect sense that our patience is being challenged. So how do organizations adapt? Continue reading »

The Sometimes Annoying Evolution of Social Media

Posted on February 18, 2011 by abdiwakYo.

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As one of the great Zen philosophers of Generation X once said, “Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.”¹ And that was back in 1986! Which reminds me of a joke: What does a snail on a turtle’s back say? “Wheeeeee!” Continue reading »

The Joyless Discipline of Writing

Posted on February 8, 2011 by abdiwakYo.


“With proper discipline, fun is not necessary.”

– zom-zom¹

Continue reading »

Coming Soon: The Tailored Workplace (Part 2)

Posted on February 2, 2011 by Don MacPherson.

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The future is coming. And like Bill and Melinda Gates’ Medina, WA super mansion, it’s ready to welcome you. At the Gates estate, guests are fashioned with pins that allow the house to respond to their guests’ individual preferences. When you step into a new room, the temperature, lighting and music automatically responds based on your preferences. Amazing! Now, imagine walking into the office on your first day at a new job. Do you respond to the office, or does the office respond to you? As crazy as that may sound, the reality is many businesses are trending toward the model of an office or organization that responds to those that work there. Continue reading »

Fudging the Numbers

Posted on January 31, 2011 by abdiwakYo.

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Oh, people can come up with statistics to prove anything, Kent. 14% of people know that.

-Homer Simpson

In the throes of a heated debate, nothing seems more credible than a well-timed statistic. But we all know stats can be misleading. In a recent New York Times article, David Segal took a close look at one of the more vicious practices of strategic statistical manipulation - the manner in which law schools position survey data to promote the value of their J.D. program. Continue reading »

Coming Soon: The Tailored Workplace

Posted on January 25, 2011 by Don MacPherson.

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Millennials expect it. Boomers (the coveted ones, anyway) will demand it. The “it” is a tailored workplace that fits an individual’s preferences, needs, and lifestyle. But how will a tailored environment change the way companies do business and manage their workforce? Over the course of this series, I hope to answer that very question as we walk through each stage of the employee lifecycle and consider the challenges and opportunities that a fully tailored work environment may present to different generations, including Baby Boomers, Gen Xers and Millennials. Continue reading »

Wikipedia says Hello, World

Posted on January 25, 2011 by Bria Knorr.

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January 15th marked the 10th anniversary of the online encyclopedia Wikipedia. When the site launched in 2001, most people gave it short odds at success. Its process of open-source, anonymous, collaborative content creation ran counter to conventional ideas about how to build a credible reference guide of facts and history. Today, more than 20,000 editors collaborate to construct and revise Wikipedia’s 17 million articles. The articles are written in 270 languages and are read and referenced by more than 408 million people annually from students and scholars to hobby dilettantes and web pedestrians. The platform has fundamentally changed the way we interact with information. Did Wikipedia succeed against all odds, or was this a revolution waiting to happen? Continue reading »

Where Are the Performance Management Gurus?

Posted on January 21, 2011 by abdiwakYo.

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In a recent exercise, the Modern Survey marketing team recently drew up a list of thought leaders in various different categories in which we want to further establish our presence. We started with the heavy hitters, folks like, Dave Ulrich, Stephen R. Covey, and Jim Collins, all internationally renowned authors, speakers, and influentials. Then we started drilling into specific niches. Charting out who the local, national and international experts are in employee engagement, I/O, HR technology, etc. After a half hour or so we had a pretty decent list, but we noticed some very definite holes on our board. Some categories had far less entries than others. Notably, the group had a very difficult time nailing down thought leaders on the topic of performance management. Dr. Aubrey Daniels came to mind, but who else is making waves and promoting discussion? Continue reading »

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