Tag: Dennis Jaffe

Teaching Family Business in Dubai

I have just finished teaching a course in family business in Dubai, a business oasis of 3 million people, a city-state with daringly designed high rises and bustling commerce on the Arabian Gulf. For four days, this open and eager group of 75 mostly middle-eastern young men and women engaged in vigorous exchange.  Each of… Read more »

Getting Over Happiness: A Contrarian’s Meditation

An emerging field of research informs us about relative “levels” of happiness reported in various countries. I learned that Finns are the happiest people in the world, except perhaps for the citizens of Bhutan, who regularly  report their Gross National Happiness Index.  I assume that the residents of tropical paradises are also happy. But I… Read more »

The Other Side of Leaning In

I love Cheryl Sandberg–her incredible presence, her role as adult supervisor to a difficult tech leader, her social commitment and philanthropy, her role as a parent and spouse, and her new book, Lean In. But I also felt a bit uncomfortable when I read it. I liked and shared her positive emphasis on empowering yourself, and… Read more »

Reflections on Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs

One of the most recognizable legacies of the humanistic psychology tradition is Maslow’s Hierarchy of Needs. Ask any manager or HR professional and they know it. Like many legacy theories, people see it as self-evident and generally would say that they agree with it. It is one of the most useful and well known achievements… Read more »

What happens when a family owns a large business over generations?

Why was the sale of the Washington Post such a media event when struggling businesses are sold every day? Attention was paid because of the special nature of the business—a corporation owned and controlled by a very public family who had put their stamp on it and upheld their values, over four generations. While the… Read more »

The Workplace: Individual Contribution or Community

Marisa Meyer–new CEO of Yahoo and a new mother–took a strong stand on a debate about the nature of a progressive, employee-valuing and innovative workplace. Emulating her former employer Google she decreed that Yahoo employees were now required to be present in person and working together. She feels that a creative and high performing workplace… Read more »

Family Business as a Model for Sustainability and Social Responsibility

I have been interviewing family owners of large global family enterprises that have sustained the family wealth and positive connections over several generations. One member of the 4th generation of a family–now numbering more than 100 family owners–reflected on her experience of going to annual family business meetings for nearly a half century! At first… Read more »

Leaders as Gatekeepers and Boundary Spanners

The nature of leadership competencies is evolving because the context and challenges facing leaders in organizations today are shifting, as are the demands and speed of necessary change. One quality that is emerging as essential is the need for leaders to be focused outward, reaching out and moving across many boundaries, spanning multiple constituencies of… Read more »

Framing the Conversation: The Power of Initiative

Who among us is not experiencing frustration with the nature of the debate about the future of our government tax system? Our tax, pensions, as well as the health of our whole economy hang in the balance, and we see a duel of extreme and simplistic statements about “job creators,” “becoming another Greece (or Europe),”… Read more »