The headlines are filled with articles about the return to work, specifically, getting people back into an office. Some of the articles then focus on subtopics such as dress codes, flexible schedules, and mandatory vaccinations. At the core of these articles is an underlying assumption that either companies want to treat everyone the same, or feel that they must treat everyone the same.

With all of these articles swirling in my head, I reflected on the kudos given to Red Auerbach.  Reading the autobiography one of his protégés, who also became a coach, I have been introduced to his genius, his legend, and his insights on people. “I’ve never been around a man who managed … better than Red Auerbach. Particularly, the egos he had to deal with, the cross cultures he had to deal with and all the variations in the kinds of people that I saw him be associated with.”

That’s when it hit me that this is why the world of management has its collective basketball shorts in a twist.

The typical manager does not have a team any bigger than Red did when he led the Boston Celtics to nine championships.  If Red could find a way to coach, cajole, badger, and encourage his players … here’s betting today’s managers can.  Of course, just as Red needed to comply with NBA guidelines, today’s managers must not run afoul of the pertinent HR laws that pertain to their team of employees.

Stat sheets don’t lie, and a manager who sets clear goals will know quarter by quarter who is performing.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Sorting out the May Jobs Numbers

Sorting out the May Jobs Numbers

Many very smart people have been working overtime trying to make sense of the May jobs numbers.  Economists have been poring over them.  Journalists have tried to translate them – some to explain to those who aren’t economists, some to soothe the fears of the average American, and of course, some to play to their audiences.

Compensation consultants comb over the numbers looking for clues.  Will they affect IT jobs? Will this relieve pressure over in another industry? Will job gains overall, regardless of industry, drive people back to stores and restaurants?

Suddenly the image came into focus.  Regardless of who you are, economist, journalist, or comp consultant, we all keep looking to the past for contextual clues to interpret these numbers.  That is about as sophisticated as the sorting toys that you gave toddlers in the 1960s. 

But that is how everyone IS looking at the jobs numbers.  “Oh, we have this many jobs openings and this many people out of work, so let’s just stack them up, and we know they will fit in this order. DONE.”

Kids sorting toys evolved.  In the 1970s, toys emerged that required you fit several different shapes into the space.  Far more analogous to trying to match skills and openings.  Then came the toy with the crazy shapes fixed upon wavy wires – they wouldn’t stay in place, very representative of today’s labor force. Today, kids’ sorting toys are so complex that they demand collaboration, one of those soft skills.

We all need to get that simple ring stacking sorter out of our head.  It will never be that simple again.

Go for Broke

Go for Broke

A recent piece in the Chicago Sun-Times featured Yosh Yamada, a long-time teacher and coach at Englewood High School read more here.  He was one of thousands of Japanese-Americans who ended up in Chicago because they were never given the opportunity to return to their homes after being sent to internment camps during WWII.  After release the article says, “He was drafted into the Army, where, he later wrote, ‘I served the very country that had imprisoned me.’ ”  Yosh went on to serve the students of Chicago for decades.

This coming weekend we celebrate Memorial Day. The day is intended to remember those who gave their lives while serving our country. 

The most decorated unit of its size and length was the 100th/442nd, the self-named “Go for Broke” comprised of the Nisei, or second generation Japanese Americans.  While their families were interned at home, they fought for liberty abroad.  They rescued Texas Rangers, fought at places whose names are infamous, like Anzio and Cassino, and some liberated a sub-camp of Dachau.

So this weekend, between all the fun, perhaps learn a bit about these amazing American heroes. Here are some potential sites.

https://www.goforbroke.org/learn/history/index.php

https://www.nationalww2museum.org/war/articles/japanese-american-100th-infantry-battalion