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In this concise post, Daniel Markovitz offers practical solutions to help connect the work-from-home employees to those in the office.  A client of mine has started to bring some of their employees back into the office. They’re not ending their work from home policies, but increasingly higher ranking staff are coming back to the mothership, particularly for important meetings.  This shift makes sense for many reasons, but it’s having three unfortunate side effects. First, the work from home employees are…
Dan Markovitz shares an always relevant warning in business management and the one easy way to squander time, money, and credibility. Just in case 2020 wasn’t challenging enough for you, here’s a brilliant example of how to waste time, money, and credibility in 2021. The HR department at a company approached me recently about teaching employees process mapping. This company recognizes the utility of process mapping in continuous improvement and decided that a class would be a good place to…
Dan Markovitz shares a short but insightful post and an introduction to a workshop on the importance of word choice when problem framing to ensure a positive outcome.  In 1971, President Nixon declared a “war on drugs.” In 2017, President Trump declared a “public health emergency” to battle the opioid crisis. These two declarations were essentially about the same thing: dealing with the financial, emotional, and social scourge of drug abuse that was destroying individuals and communities. But the framing…
  Dan Markovitz provides an article that explores what it means to be a healthy company. What is a healthy person? We can argue over specific metrics, but we’d all agree that we have to account for physical as well as mental/emotional health. What is a healthy organization? As with  individuals, there will be disagreement over metrics, but clearly we have to consider financial performance, internal stakeholders (employees), and external stakeholders (community). Healthy organizations recognize the importance of all three…
  Dan Markovitz explains why training without a goal is a waste of time.    “Just in case 2020 wasn’t challenging enough for you, here’s a brilliant example of how to waste time, money, and credibility in 2021. The HR department at a company approached me recently about teaching employees process mapping. This company recognizes the utility of process mapping in continuous improvement and decided that a class would be a good place to start.  Sounds sensible. But with all…
  This short, insightful post from Dan Markovitz is a sage reminder on where to focus attention when managing a team. Prior to the Super Bowl last Sunday, you couldn’t pick up a sports section without reading about the duel between Tom Brady, the greatest quarterback of all time, and Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the game today. But it turns out that the battle between the two big name quarterbacks was much less important than the battle between…
  In this post, Dan Markovitz identifies the weak spots in  productivity hacks and explains why they don’t work. Leaders in organizations are always seeking to improve employee productivity (including their own). All too often, that quest goes no further than time management training provided by the HR department. Those classes cover the pros and cons of Inbox Zero, the Pomodoro technique, the Eisenhower matrix, Getting Things Done, and countless other approaches that tantalize us with visions of the promised…
  Dan Markovitz shares a free workbook to accompany his latest book.  Response to my latest book, The Conclusion Trap, has been strong, but I’ve heard from some readers that they’d like a workbook to accompany it.  Done.  You can download the Conclusion Trap Workbook here. For free. Gratis. No charge. $0.00 dollars.  In it, you’ll find a recap of each of the four steps, along with questions, and recommendations you can use to experiment with the approach in your…
  Dan Markovitz identifies issues that may arise in the workplace when some remote employees return to the office and others don’t. He also provides a few key tips to help maintain team cohesion. A client of mine has started to bring some of their employees back into the office. They’re not ending their work from home policies, but increasingly higher ranking staff are coming back to the mothership, particularly for important meetings.  This shift makes sense for many reasons,…
  In this article for Industry Week, Dan Markovitz explains how the current pandemic provides an opportunity to move forward with value stream mapping.  At some point, the COVID pandemic will pass, whether that’s due to a vaccine, a two-minute test, or herd immunity. But if you want to thrive in the post-COVID world, you’ve got to start working on operational improvements now. After all, if you’re walking to the starting line while your competitors are already settled into the…
  In this article, Dan Markovitz identifies the problem with striving to be on the leading edge and why focusing on achieving lean operations is a better strategy.  Don’t be seduced by the siren song of the leading edge. While it’s a nice concept, it’s not nicknamed “the bleeding edge” for nothing. All too often, companies that strive for first mover advantage bleed their products—or their entire organization—to death.  Peter Golder and Gerard Tellis’s seminal study of 500 brands in…
  Dan Markovitz provides an article that explores the ability of public US companies to operate as a wholly lean company. Can public US companies really embrace lean? Well sure, they can deploy lean tools here and there, but the whole socio-technical system that comprises lean? I don’t think so. Wall Street pressure for quarterly profits competes fiercely with lean principles, both inside and outside the company. Executives who take the long-term view and view employees as appreciating assets worthy…