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How happy are your employees? It doesn't take a survey or a pie-chart to tell you the answer. But it does take a plan, which this lively blog post provides.
There is a difference between employees showing a passion for the employer (which is great to have) versus a passion for their work (which is a crucial part of productivity). The advice given here is to "let people do what they want and need to do" and to keep out of the way of success.
Entrepreneurs confronting the unhappy task of having to downsize when business conditions change need to execute in a way that preserves the dignity of, and, ultimately, the relationship with, the employees, says an entrepreneur who laid off her entire staff in the wake of the dot-com crash. Downsizing well involves throwing away the rulebook and dealing with people on a personal level, she writes.
William Sahlman is the Dimitri V. d'Arbeloff - Class of 1955 Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School. The d'Arbeloff Chair was established in 1986 to support teaching and research on the
entrepreneurial process. The Chair honors the late Dimitri d'Arbeloff (HBS '55), whose entrepreneurial skills helped make Millipore Corporation a world leader in its industry. Mr. Sahlman received an A.B. degree in Economics from Princeton
University, an M.B.A. from Harvard University, and a Ph.D. in Business Economics, also from Harvard. His research focuses on the investment and financing decisions made in entrepreneurial ventures at all stages in their development. Mr.
Sahlman was co-chair of the Entrepreneurship and Service Management Unit from 1999 to 2002. From 1991 to 1999, he was Senior Associate Dean, Director of Publishing Activities, and chairman of the board for Harvard Business School
Publishing Corporation. From 1990 to 1991, he was chairman of the Harvard University Advisory Committee on Shareholder Responsibility. He is a member of the board of directors of several private companies.
J. Michael Cline is the founding Partner of Accretive LLC. Michael and other Accretive principals founded Exult, Xchanging, Fandango and Accretive Health. Before founding Accretive Michael spent 10 years as General
Partner at General Atlantic Partners helping build General Atlantic into the world's largest private investment firm focused on software and related investments. Prior to General Atlantic, Michael was an associate at McKinsey &
Company. Michael received his MBA from Harvard Business School where he was a Baker Scholar and he received a BS from Cornell University. He serves on the boards of Accretive Commerce, Fandango, Accretive Health and Willow. He is a Trustee
of the Wildlife Conservation Society (WCS) where he chairs the Tigers Forever initiative - the world's largest effort in global tiger conservation and is a Trustee of the Brunswick School. He also serves on the board of the National Fish
and Wildlife Foundation, Endeavor Global and the Harvard Business School Rock Center for Entrepreneurship.
Andy Freire is Axialent's co-founder and CEO. Entrepreneur in the business and social domains, after working at Procter & Gamble, he founded and led Officenet, a company that revolutionized the industry of
distribution (retail) of office supplies in Latin America growing from one to almost a thousand employees in a 4 year span. When he was 18, he created the Fundacion Iniciativa, for the promotion of leadership among the Latin American
youth. He collaborates weekly with CNN in Spanish as "Expert Entrepreneur." He was distinguished by the World Economic Forum as "Global Leader for Tomorrow", by the Endeavor Foundation as "Latin American Entrepreneur of the Year" and he
was one of two finalists who received awards as "World Young Business Achiever" in the Philippines in 2002. Andy has a Licensure in Economics magna cum laude from the University of San Andres in Buenos Aires, Argentina and an OPM from the
Harvard Business School. His several projects got funded by world recognized financial institutions such as GE Capital, Goldman Sachs, JPMorgan, George Soros, KKR, Santander Bank, Bank of America, Warburg Pincus, Louis Vuitton, GP
Investimentos and Tommy Lee Putnam.
In today's extremely tight labor market, small-company employers must approach hiring just as they approach selling. To lure able and enthusiastic candidates, the author writes, a CEO should consider such steps as contacting reluctant candidates personally, offering equity compensation to augment salaries, and sending welcoming gifts like fruit baskets. Of particular note is a discussion of factors the author says "count" in the sales-whoops!-the hiring process.
If you think hiring is tough in today's tight labor market, you should figure that retaining people is even tougher. To keep employees, small-company owners must provide more than just competitive compensation packages, the author writes. What really makes the difference is a CEO's ability to communicate an organizational vision and to recognize the people who translate that vision into revenue and profit.
Steve Blank is a retired serial entrepreneur with over 30 years of experience in high technology companies and management. He is a Consulting Professor at Stanford in the Graduate School of Engineering STVP Program.
Steve has been a founder or participant in eight Silicon Valley startups since 1978. His last company, E.piphany, started in his living room. His other startups include two semiconductor companies (Zilog and MIPS Computers), a workstation
company (Convergent Technologies), a supercomputer firm (Ardent), a computer peripheral supplier (SuperMac), a military intelligence systems supplier (ESL) and a video game company (Rocket Science Games). Steve is on the board of
CafePress.com, an on-line marketplace, and IMVU, a 3D IM social network. Steve was appointed by Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to the California Coastal Commission and is the Chairman of Audubon California and on the board of the Peninsula
Open Space Trust (POST.) His Google Tech talk, "The Secret History of Silicon Valley" (available on YouTube) is one of the definitive views on the early history of innovation in Silicon Valley. Steve teaches entrepreneurship and a
methodology of managing marketing, sales and business development in high technology startups. His course text "Four Steps to the Epiphany" is the definitive work on Customer Development and is one of the foundations of Lean
William McDonough is an internationally renowned designer and one of the primary proponents and shapers of what he and his partners call 'The Next Industrial Revolution.' Time magazine recognized him
in 1999 as a 'Hero for the Planet', stating that "his utopianism is grounded in a unified philosophy that-in demonstrable and practical ways-is changing the design of the world." Time magazine again recognized Mr.
McDonough and Michael Braungart as "Heroes of the Environment" in October 2007. In 1996, Mr. McDonough received the Presidential Award for Sustainable Development, the nation's highest environmental honor; and in 2003 earned the U.S. EPA
Presidential Green Chemistry Challenge Award. In 2004 he received the National Design Award for exemplary achievement in the field of environmental design. In October 2007, Mr. McDonough was elected an International Fellow of the Royal
Institute of British Architects. Mr. McDonough is the founding principal of William McDonough + Partners, an internationally recognized design firm practicing ecologically, socially, and economically intelligent architecture and planning
in the U.S. and abroad. He is also principal of MBDC, a product and systems development firm assisting prominent client companies in designing profitable and environmentally intelligent solutions. Mr. McDonough is a Venture Partner at
VantagePoint Venture Partners in San Bruno, California. Mr. McDonough is an Alumni Research Professor at the University of Virginia's Darden Graduate School of Business Administration, and Consulting Professor of Civil and Environmental
Engineering at Stanford University. He also serves as U.S. Chairman and member of the Board of Councilors of the China-U.S. Center for Sustainable Development. He is part of the Management Committee of HRH The Prince of Wales's Business
& The Environment Programme at Cambridge University. From 1994-1999, Mr
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