7 Lessons about Feedback from Candy Crush Saga

I admit it.  I am addicted.  They say the first step is to admit it, so here goes.  I am addicted to Candy Crush Saga.  If you aren’t familiar with it – don’t start!  It is an online game where you match three like candies to crush and remove them, thus making way for new candies.  You have a limited number of moves to crush sufficient candy or you fail.

failedIt doesn’t say, “you lose,” or “better luck next time.”  An odd little character jumps up and down with a frown on her face, next to the words, “Failed.”

Ouch.  That’s harsh, particularly when I did my best.  Those pesky little candies move really fast, and it’s hard to get them matched. (more…)

What do Zappos and the World War I German Army have in common?

I’m so glad you asked.  You may need to bear with me on this one, but I think I can explain this pattern that I see.

ww1My son, a Marine Captain currently in Japan, sent me an article after a Skype discussion we had on leadership.  The article is titled “An Elusive Command Philosophy and a Different Command Culture.”  The author contrasts the leadership style of the WWI German army with today’s military leadership style, which he considers to be prescriptive and controlling.  The German army taught their leaders differently; they taught Auftragstaktik.  This was a command concept in which even the most junior officers were required to make far reaching decisions, and demanded a significant change in officer education. The difference:

Traditional military orders detail a plan, and how to execute that plan.

Auftragstaktik orders detail the objective, and expects the leader to assess the local context, and determine the best way to execute that order. (more…)

Roosevelt Thomas’ Legacy

In 1994, I took on the challenge of introducing the concept of diversity in business to my bank’s leadership.  Banks were coming under fire for their apparent discriminatory lending practices, and were struggling to figure out how to make the necessary changes in a way that honored the business strategy.

Enter Dr. R. Roosevelt Thomas, whose books still sit on my shelf, and I refer to them yet today.  Dr. Thomas passed away earlier this month at a very young age, and with the exception of a small article in “Diversity Executive” which made its way to LinkedIn, I couldn’t find any other information.  So I thought I would pay tribute here to an individual who influenced my path through the broader  discipline of human resources by heightening my personal sensitivity to the importance of diversity of thought. (more…)