The Expert solves problems large and small for our readers…he knows all, and tells some.
Dear Expert: I work at a large organization, and it seems that every year we have a new initiative. Each is announced with much hoopla and the promise that it will be the thing that leads to success. A few months later, it’s all but forgotten, and then a new initiative is announced. What gives? Baffled In Biloxi
Dear Baffled: Typically, a CEO will come up with a new initiative after reading another in a long line of business books that are designed to exploit the endless need for “the right answer”, or “the magic bullet”, or “something to do”. Alternatively, each new CEO will have to undertake a different initiative than the last one, thus justifying the ridiculous amounts of money he or she is being paid. In either case, your best course of action is to wholeheartedly engage in the initiative. If it actually succeeds, you’ll be a hero. If not, there’ll be another one coming along in short order.
Dear Expert: I am an ardent Cubs fan. Is there anything I can do to make sure they win a World Series before I die? Desperate In Decatur
Dear Desperate: First of all, my condolences. But as to your query, your best bet is to devote all your time to either 1) developing a time machine; or 2) head to Florida, pick up the trail of Ponce de León and hope you find the Fountain of Youth.
Dear Expert: Everyone at work is talking about “Core Competency”. I’m not sure what this means, but it seems important, and I don’t want to seem out of touch. Addled In Atchison
Dear Addled: What people think it means is something important that your organization are good at. But think it through…being competent simply means you’re capable. So, a Core Competency is something important that your organization is capable of doing. Big deal. That’s like striving to be average. I suggest you tell your coworkers to shut their pie holes and get to work.
Dear Expert: I was laid off a few months back, and a job counselor told me I need a personal brand. What should I do? Jobless In Joliet
Dear Jobless: Get a new job counselor. Unless you’re looking for a job in cattle rustling (not a growth industry, by the way), there is no reason on earth to have a personal brand.
Send your queries to The Expert…no subject too arcane!
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