**As published in IndustryWeek

Does the traditional, conservative, “me-too” approach of many manufacturers hold them back? What sort of incremental changes could a traditional manufacturer implement to foster a more progressive culture?

Manufacturing as an industry has seen tremendous change over recent decades, both in the U.S. and abroad. No longer as heavily reliant on manual labor, manufacturing shops are more highly automated, and many organizations have focused on lean, six sigma, and continuous improvement initiatives. Culturally, manufacturing has seen change as well, though the degree varies from organization to organization. What IS the traditional, stereotypical culture of manufacturing? 

**As published in Construction Executive

People who design and construct things are a different breed. There is no factory, no store, and they often work out in the open and all kinds of weather. Cutting corners in construction entails risk. Misjudging one task could mean threatening the safety of people or the integrity of the project. Success hinges on the decisions and actions of the team and each team requires leadership.

Welcome to your new home away from home.  Thanks for signing all those forms, here’s your personal ID and a badge.  Now I’ll escort you to your space and later somebody will come by to drop off supplies.  Over there is where we eat, to the right are several common areas and the parking lots are in the back.  You do know we’re meeting up front at 11:00, right?  Well, here we are.  Bathrooms are down the hall on the left, good luck.

So, your search firm has presented a short list of candidates. You interview three. One is a complete miss. You decide between the two finalists, but the choice is pretty clear. Candidate A is the overwhelming favorite amongst the leadership team. They all connected with her, she has great credentials, and she’s motivated to join your company. She’s hired.

Your highly touted CFO candidate just declined your job offer.  Given the timing at this advanced stage, all other motivated candidates have moved on, leaving you with no back-ups.  Your stomach churns, you had vouched to the Board that this would come together.  Even worse, as news breaks to the team you literally see morale deflating.  And you can’t ignore the numbers flashing in your head – you know that the opportunity cost of prolonged executive recruiting is typically 4(x) the salary of the vacant role, meaning your company is wasting approximately $20,000 per week as this CFO role goes unfilled.

Growth hacking is a surging trend when it comes to branding and marketing, with startups especially. But what exactly is “growth hacking?” Let’s start there; growth hacking is a type of marketing which focuses on low-cost and innovative alternatives to traditional marketing. Common examples include social media and viral marketing, as opposed to buying advertisements through traditional media.

Most leaders like to think they have the hiring process wired – define the need, reach out to your network, interview three candidates and hire the best one. Honestly, we wish it could always be that simple; and for some roles, it is. So why do some of these new hires quit, or worse, have to be terminated within one year? Something was missing.

Ever heard of the Rooney Rule? In the National Football League (NFL), the highest level of professional competition in American football, the rule requires teams to interview minority candidates for head coaching and senior football operation jobs. A straightforward concept, makes you wonder how it evolved and if it has positively impacted diversity hiring in the NFL. A more provocative thought – what if a scenario like this existed in Corporate America.