Author Archive | Dan Erwin

Just a “Taste of College” Can Boost US Success in Talent Wars

The need for hard-to-find talent has some of America’s best companies getting involved in high school education. A former client, now senior executive at General Mills, nailed the problem. “If we don’t build relationships at high school level, another major firm (Target or Best Buy) will steal some of our best potential talent,” she said. […]

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Ben Franklin’s Two-Bird Economic Theory

If you’re like me, a lover of roast turkey at Thanksgiving and the holidays, this is a good time to reflect on the turkey’s proud heritage. You might be surprised to know that one of our founding fathers, Benjamin Franklin, gave a lot of thought to that bird and its future role in America. He […]

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Big Is Beautiful

Small business may be beautiful, but it’s neither productive nor prosperous. I’ve been suspicious for years about the hullabaloo from both Republicans and Democrats that small businesses are the drivers of the economy. It has crossed my mind on numerous occasions that this is merely a political calculation. There are hundreds of thousands of small […]

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What the 21st Century Career Looks Like

Twnety-five years ago if you had significant technical skills you could count on a good, well-paying job. That was especially true in manufacturing. But even in other vocations, little more than a well-developed technology was all that was required to rise in the organization and get a good-paying job. Of course the introduction of desk-top […]

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Old Farts and Young Punks in the Workplace (part 1)

Generational differences are an issue that affects work process, teams, boss-subordinates and client relationships. It rears its nasty head in that magnificent buzz-word, “communication breakdown.” Generational differences are fraught with conflicting assumptions, frustrations and misunderstanding. The same Gen-Yers who have not the slightest difficulty working with issues of sexual orientation, culture and color often find […]

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When the Going Gets Tough, Will the Tough Really Get Going?

You know the old proverb about toughness. And if you went to Sunday School, it took the form of “tribulation is good for you,” and you will not “suffer more than you are able to handle.” This powerful, religious and cultural strain of our Western belief system holds that high performance requires tribulation. It argues […]

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The Way You Sit or Stand Can Make You Feel More Powerful

Students of non-verbal communication have long been aware that gestures and posture can have a great deal of negative or positive impact on others. If, for example, you stand up in a team meeting (when the rest are sitting) and lean forward in a hawk-like pose, you convey confidence and power to the team members. […]

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Can a Job Change Change Your Politics?

In an article by Gardiner Harris of the NYTimes, the writer says that as physicians’ jobs change, so do their politics. Although doctors were once overwhelmingly male, usually owning their practices, more than 50% of the younger generation of physicians is now female and more and more physicians, male and female, are taking salaried jobs. […]

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Do You Really Think Your Company Is NOT Monitoring You?

From e-mail monitoring and website blocking to phone tapping and GPS tracking, employers increasingly use monitoring and surveillance to “manage productivity and minimize litigation, security, and other risks.” On numerous occasions over the past few years I’ve instructed my Gen-Y friends on the use of their firm’s communication technology.  At bottom my comment is this: […]

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Can You Really Tell When Your Boss is Telling the Truth?

Bosses matter a lot because nearly all employees have them.  And most bosses also have bosses. There are at least 21 million bosses in the United States.  Bob Sutton points out that estimates run as high as 38 million bosses.  Far more often than not our success is tied to that relationship with our boss.  It’s […]

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