The Surprising Key to Team Coherence

May 25, 2022

Great cultures ,Hacks ,Hiring

“Adversity creates cohesion.”

That’s what Rob Angel said. He created the game Pictionary.

At one point their team had to work around the clock together to collate half a million cards. But during that time they talked and found out a lot about each other.

“We experienced pain together. That really cemented us and gave us the belief that we can overcome anything.”

That’s the same thing we felt after 4 weeks of Zappos training – showing up at 7am every day. And of course if you look up the Navy Seal training, you can see how their “hell week” of  200 miles of running, within 20 hours of physical training per day. And only 4 hours of sleep… for the entire week.

What can you do as a team to bond you in shared struggle?


How to Use a Strategic Vacation Policy

March 31, 2022

Culture of Chaos ,Great cultures ,Hacks ,Productivity

In high performance companies, HR often has to remind people to take their time off because they spend so much time at work.

The problem is that these high performers see vacations as a luxury, as opposed to a productivity hack that helps the company.

Think about it this way – Do you usually get more or less done right before a vacation?  A lot, right?

So if HR (or managers) proactively address this before burnout, it will make the individuals more productive.

So pull each person aside and say, “I’d like you to plan your vacation that you’ll take 3 months from now.”  It will probably make them nervous, but explain to them that:

a) This will make them more productive so they will get things done before the vacation starts and

b) It helps the team because if anyone is so crucial they can’t even miss a week, then the team is not resilient. This forces the team to be resilient by making sure the operations are covered.

So go ahead, while it’s on your mind. Set up those meetings to ask people to proactively schedule their vacations.

The Hiring Hack to Hire the Right Person

January 27, 2022


You used to have the upper hand… Your job post, and so many candidates that you can have the pick of the litter.

But now the tables have turned. There are so many opportunities that it’s not only harder to find talent, it’s hard to know if you’ll get talent that actually stays.

So here’s the hack to make sure that you do.

BEFORE you give them the offer, pause, and ask them this question:

Honestly, how interested are you in this position on a scale from 0-10?

If they say 10, then ask why it’s a 10.  Now you know what’s motivating them, and make sure that keeps motivating them.

What if it’s less than a 10?

Then ask what would make it a 10.  Maybe you can offer it right away.  Maybe they can earn it. Maybe you’ll never provide it and they should know before they accept the offer (and that could be a flag for you as well).

This way you learn the truth BEFORE you welcome them in.  Wouldn’t you like to know?

Hacking The Great Resignation

October 26, 2021


I learned a simple and surprising way to hack the Great Resignation (the trend of workers leaving in droves).

Ready for it?

Pay them more.  Say 15%.

Of course your first reaction may be, “I can’t do that.”

But what happens if people simply… leave?

Who will fill in that work?
How long will it take to a find new people?
What if you have to find those new people more anyway?

And how many customers will you lose if there’s a big disruption in your delivery?

Then how much does revenue go down?

Be pro-active.

Stay future-proof.