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News — 1164

Becoming a blame-free organization

1164 Category_Articles Gerri King

Becoming a blame-free organization

Blame is a form of punishment that rarely works, and removing it from a firm’s environment will increase productivity and collaboration. Would you rather have an employee change her behavior, become more motivated, or make fewer mistakes, because she thinks it’s the right thing to do – or because she simply wants to avoid being blamed? Do we believe that people get up in the morning saying, “I think I’ll do a poor job today” or, “With luck, no one will like me” or, “How can I make sure that my boss and colleagues don’t trust me?” Sound ridiculous? Indeed,...

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When bigger is not better

1164 Category_Archives Richard Massey

When bigger is not better

Virginia landscape architecture firm was acquired by a much larger engineering outfit from North Carolina, and big and small didn’t mesh. By Richard Massey Managing Editor The owners of what was then called H&G Landscape Architects in Richmond, Virginia, were searching for a succession plan, or some form of ownership transition, when North Carolina-based engineering firm Stewart, looking to expand its footprint in the Commonwealth, came calling. After a period of “dating,” in which the firms sized up the proposition of a merger, they hashed out an agreement, and beginning in January 2015, the merger moved forward in Richmond with...

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Nothing but net

1164 Category_Articles Randy Wilburn

Nothing but net

If the recent case of NBA superstar Kevin Durant can teach us anything, it’s that the recruitment of rare talent takes an equally rare effort. The NBA free agency period that recently unfolded was quite the spectacle. Even the most marginal of the league’s talents got huge paydays. But the biggest headline this offseason was the signing of forward Kevin Durant by the Golden State Warriors. His move to California helped crystallize the fact that good talent is hard to find, but when it is, it should be chased with reckless abandon. Plenty of teams did just that, but only...

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That person in the room

1164 Category_Articles Mark Zweig

That person in the room

We’ve all been there because every A/E firm in existence seems to have one. I’m talking about the person in the room who is completely, utterly negative. You’re in a meeting. Changes are being proposed. The future is being charted. Possibilities are being discussed. But the “Debbie Downer” of the group sits off to the side, disapprovingly. You can tell by the expression on their face that they don’t like any of it. And if they do say anything, it’s always: “This won’t work.” “I can’t _____.” “We can’t _____.” “We can’t afford that.” “We’ll never get that done.” Negative,...

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