The Perils of Micromanagement

The Perils of Micromanagement

FEBRUARY 15, 2019
|IN CULTURE

There is so much out there on micromanagement, you know it’s rampant. You know it’s causing loads of problems. You know good people are desperate to get out from under it. Go somewhere else where they don’t have to deal with it. Where they can perform their best and they look forward to coming to work.

Rather than reinventing the wheel, here’s one of the better posts I read on the topic: An Open Letter to Micromanagers by Scott Berkun.

Interestingly, he uses the word “manager” a lot. Not once does he use the word “leader”. That’s because micromanaging is not only bad management, it is the antithesis of leadership.

So if you recognize any of this in yourself, pause, give it some thought, and maybe ask a couple people who work with you for some honest feedback. And I mean allow for honesty. You’ll only come out ahead and better off in the end. You and everyone in your organization.

Meanwhile, here are a couple more pithy comments about the subject:

“It doesn’t make sense to hire smart people and tell them what to do. We hire smart people so they can tell us what to do.”

― Steve Jobs

“The “result” of micromanagement is perhaps tangible in the short run, but more often causes damage for the long term.”

― Pearl Zhu, Change Insight: Change as an Ongoing Capability to Fuel Digital Transformation

“Micromanagement is the destroyer of momentum.”

― Miles Anthony Smith, Why Leadership Sucks™, Volume 2

“A boss who micromanages is like a coach who wants to get in the game. Leaders guide and support and then sit back to cheer from the sidelines.”

— Simon Sinek

http://scottberkun.com/2009/letter-to-micromanagers/


Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

Our Favorite Holiday Traditions

DECEMBER 14, 2018| IN CULTURE| BY BLACK RHINO MARKETING GROUP

Around this time of year, whether it's Christmas, Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, Festivus, or what-have-you, every family has a tradition unique to them. Here are some of our custom traditions!

Andrea, Managing Director

My favorite Christmas tradition in my family is Christmas Eve. Every year since I can remember, we go out once it gets dark and drive around, listening to Christmas music to see all the lights nearby. As a child this was a spectacular display as some of the homes in my hometown went above and beyond for decorating with lights. Once we return home, we each get to open one gift. Every year, that gift is a new set of pajamas that we then get to wear for the first time that evening and wake up in on Christmas Day. Despite the fact that all of us are now adults, we still do this every year. My husband has also come to love this Christmas Eve tradition.

Laurie, Communications Director

My family has several Christmas traditions but I’ll just mention three of my favorites.

1. When we decorate our tree, the oldest member of the family hides a pickle ornament (this is a Germanic tradition).  On Christmas morning when we open presents, whoever finds the pickle first gets to open their present first.  

2. But more than that, they distribute all the presents to everyone and we go around the room opening one present at a time, so everyone sees the gift, which creates the opportunity for acknowledgement and comments.  That way, the gift-opening lasts a long time and every gift and every person gets its due appreciation. The experience ends up far more meaningful and joyful (let alone civilized) than a free-for-all.

3. I’ve carried on this tradition since childhood: our Christmas Eve dinner is always homemade chicken and dumpling soup (mine is a bit more seasoning-embellished than the one my mom made with just salt and pepper).

Soulmaz, Graphic Designer

I really like Christmas time! Trees, lights, songs, everything. But let me tell you something, I was born and raised in Iran and since I am not Christian we do not celebrate Christmas like you do and like, lots of other Iranians, I thought Christmas trees and Santa Claus (we say Baba Noel in Iran) were part of a New Years tradition. 

One of the Persian celebrations around the same time as Christmas is Yalda Night also known and Cheleh night. It’s the longest night of the year, but it’s a celebration of light since after that, days start getting longer than nights. It is one the most important Persian celebrations. It’s a time that friends and family get together to eat, sing, and wish for better days.

We have a poet named Hafez who has the most beautiful (and hard to read) poems. Iranians love him and sometimes when we have questions we ask him and open his book randomly to get our answer. This is also part of the Yalda Night - everyone make a wish for the future and we open the book to see what Hafez says! This is my favorite tradition of the night especially because Hafez will never disappoint you. He says if your wish is not coming through it’s because better thing will happen to you.

Jeff, Project Manager

Everyone in my family is reasonably broke and thus can't afford to buy EVERYONE a present. So, to avoid breaking our banks at the end of every year, we decided to start a Secret Santa Grab Bag. Once you reach a certain age, you join the Secret Santa list. This means we no longer consider you a child who deserves a gift from each of us. Whoever you pull from the bag, you must get them one of three gift options previously provided by the person. The spending limit is $50.

This way, we only have to get gifts for kids, elders, and ONE family member. Not only does this help our wallets, it guarantees that everyone will get something they WANT as opposed to a bunch of socks or something. My list has the same three things every year: an Amazon gift card, a Visa gift card, or straight cash.

Dane, Strategy Director

Every Christmas for the last 11 years, on Christmas Eve night we all make our own individual homemade pizza. It's been cool to see how the kids' pizzas have evolved over the years to a point where now Morgan's & Faith's actually look and taste good. Grace, who's 5, is still working to perfect her pie.

After that, the kids exchange the gifts they bought each other - real thoughtful stuff with their own money. Plus Over-priced, I mean OBERweis, eggnog.


Free Idea Friday: The Splurge

Free Idea Friday: The Splurge

NOVEMBER 30, 2018 |IN CULTURE |BY JEFF COTTEN

Seeing the Purge, a movie-turned-franchise about all crime being legal for 24 hours, inspired a similar, albeit less violent, idea that I believe could actually benefit society.

This idea I have dubbed the Splurge, goes as follows: For one day, every five years or so, the 99% was given the opportunity to be in the 1%. This would be achieved through a bank transaction triggered at midnight, granting  an extraordinarily large sum of money (let's say $1 Million, as an example) to the designated splurgers.

Those granted this million then have 24 hours to spend all or as much of it as possible. You can fund your next start up or pay off the debts of your old one, but no matter what you do with the money, you CANNOT save any of it. Any remaining "Splurge Dollars" will be taken back.

The idea is to boost the morale of the 99% by giving them a taste of the good life while also cycling money right back into the economy.

Obviously, there would have to be regulations put in place. You'd need all of your receipts so you don't purchase anything illegal or dangerous. Splurge dates would be assigned individually. I imagine the money would come from some type of tax paid by those who register to splurge, similar to how paying life insurance works.

The Splurge can be used as a motivator to keep working to achieve a higher lifestyle or a reminder that money really isn't everything. I know they say money can't buy happiness but there are some things you can't know for sure without seeing for yourself. 

Being able to look past material possession would really save us "less-endowed" folks a lot of time. So what would you spend on your Splurge Day? Hopefully, not marketing. Black Rhino fits every budget.

 


Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

SEPTEMBER 5, 2018
|IN CULTURE

As leaders, we are always searching for new ways to build our teams to be more efficient, productive and engaged in the work environment. We strive to create a culture that cultivates harmony and productivity across every member of the team. Most leaders will tell you that managing employees and contractors can be one of the most difficult aspects of our roles. But there are some tested reminders for leaders to consider that can make all the difference...

Read more on Forbes.com


Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

AUGUST 17, 2018
|IN CULTURE
Every business owner knows you need to have a clear idea of who your target audience is. This is usually developed by thinking about who you had in mind when you created your product or service offering. Then, you think through what that person looks like, where they live, how much money they make, their age range and so on...

Our Latest Forbes Article

Our Latest Forbes Article

JULY 30, 2018
|IN CULTURE

In recent years, Hollywood has taken its hits for not recognizing the need and demand for more diversity and inclusion, and as of 2018, we’ve started to witness a small but impactful change. Celebrities and thought leaders in the entertainment industry took the opportunity to voice their concerns, and it’s starting to make an impact. Now we have superheroes portrayed by women and by African Americans, and the public has responded. They want more...

Read more on Forbes.com


“Hey, I got that reference!!”

“Hey, I got that reference!!”

JULY 27, 2018
|IN CULTURE

Social media is a casual platform for people to express themselves, share what they are interested in,
and follow brands and personalities they are interested in. This platform enables businesses to connect
with consumers in ways they were unable to 10 years ago, and to constantly progress, businesses need
to adapt to these new platforms. Since social media is so causal, business cannot use the same verbiage
that they would on a typical website or advertisement; they need to get more casual and funky with the
wording. That’s were pop culture can help. Pop culture references in social media marketing engages
consumers using their interests in movies, books, celebrities, and current events that are influential to
their personal lives.

The most important thing is to look at your audience and determine what references they are going to
understand. A group of accountants who are 40+ are probably not going to understand a reference to
the “road work ahead” vine, just like a group of college aged men probably are not going to understand
a reference to Johanna Gaines. Using colloquial humor is one of the few times you should make
generalizations about groups because you need to ensure that whatever reference you are using is
instantly understood by the majority of the audience; you can’t hope that just 2 or 3 people in the group
are going to get it while confusing or segmenting the other 99%. A perfect example of this is the
Deadpool movies. They use a heap of pop culture references, and many of them came from movies with
similar audiences such as Batman, RoboCop, Terminator, and Stranger Things. Almost all of these were
one-liners (which are perfect for social media posts) and provided a lot of intriguing laughable moments.
They forced the audience to pay attention to the dialogue because they wanted more moments of “Hey,
I understand that reference!”

Pop culture changes by the hour, so it is both difficult and vital to stay current. Things like sassy Willy
Wonka and Grumpy Cat are yesterday’s meme, so it’s best to not use it. Using something outdated
makes your company seem behind the times and shows you aren’t a fresh and fun company, so having
at least one person who has seen a tremendous number of movies or is a Meme-God will benefit your
social media presence greatly. A fitting example of a bad use of an old meme is from the movie Black
Panther. Now, I loved this movie and thought the movie and soundtrack was very current. That being
said, when T’challa’s sister screams “What are those!?!” in the middle of the movie, literally my whole
body cringed. As am writing about it right now I’m cringing. That meme has been deceased for quite
some time, and the writers using it really confused me and made me wonder if they would have other
cheesy lines or ideas in the movie.

With all of this, remember to be subtle with your use of pop culture. You don’t want to clutter every
sentence with vine reference because that is just overkill, especially on social media when usable
characters are limited. Having one reference per post is plenty. To continue with the Deadpool example
from earlier, Buzzfeed had an article of all the pop culture references in Deadpool 2 and the list had 58
items on it. 58!!! That doesn’t even count all the references that were pointed out in the comments of
that Buzzfeed article. When the list gets that long, pop culture is becoming a distraction rather than a
quick attention grabber.

So now that you are equipped with knowledge about the proper use of pop culture, particularly with
social media, its time for you to get out there and put a little fresh and fun funkiness into your social
medias!