attrition

What to Do When Your People Are Leaving

There are few things more unsettling for people-driven businesses like tech companies, professional service firms and asset managers than a spike in attrition.  High attrition can easily become a downward spiral, as the exit of key people causes others to question the firm’s health and the opportunities they’ll have. Often management teams haven’t experienced this… Read more » Read more

Volunteer Economy

Self-Management and the Volunteer Economy at Incandescent

Since the publication of Beyond the Holacracy Hype in HBR this summer, a number of people have asked me whether Incandescent has a form of self-managing organization.  For the most part, the firm operates in a clear but loose hierarchy, in which objectives are delegated from clear sponsors to owners who then have great latitude to… Read more » Read more

On Hiring Well

On Hiring Well

Choices about whom to hire are among the most important choices any company makes. Hiring constitutes “choosing the choosers” of what a company will do and how they will do it, whether at the micro scale of delivering service at a car rental counter or the macro scale of building a new business. Unlike domains… Read more » Read more

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Cultures That Yield the Right Divergence

Two posts ago, I shared my thoughts on Adam Grant’s book Originals. As part of Adam’s listening tour to develop his thinking, he visited our office in New York for a conversation about cultures that are both cohesive and that foster divergent thinking and constructive dissent. In preparing for the dialogue with Adam, I wrote… Read more » Read more

escher swans

Is Holacracy the Answer?

This is the second of four posts on self management. To start with the first post, click here.   In “The Building Blocks of Self-Management,” we started to examine four propositions that characterize different potential features of self organization: 1. Autonomy of execution: once an objective has been delegated to someone, they can decide how… Read more » Read more

The Building Blocks of Self Management

The Building Blocks of Self Management

Self management is increasingly in the spotlight, touted as a new form of management for the 21st century. Companies such as Zappos, Medium and Buffer have made big, high profile bets on self management—at times grappling publicly with the challenges inherent in the transition. Frederic Laloux, Brian Robertson, Dennis Bakke and other authors have attracted… Read more » Read more

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Growing Our Team at Incandescent

The formative era for any firm is important not only because it establishes the capabilities that enable the firm to create value, but also because it generates the DNA that shapes and constrains the firm’s later development. I founded Incandescent in February of 2013, and we began building a broader team in the fall of… Read more » Read more

Revisiting Strategy

Revisiting Strategy One Year Out

Last year, we had the honor to work with the team at Solutions Journalism Network, helping them define their strategy. Co-founders David Bornstein, Tina Rosenberg and Courtney Martin, and their team, have a very large aspiration: they seek to make rigorous journalism about solutions as much a part of the fabric of the profession as… Read more » Read more

When Is No Hierarchy Best?

When Is No Hierarchy Best?

All too many companies think they will be great by accident. It is unlikely that the recipes for greatness are one of the following: A) Operating in whatever way people see fit right now B) Doing what seems natural in light of the things in front of you C) Operating according to the general norms people learned… Read more » Read more