An Internship Idea.


    Ton of companies hire interns. Let’s face it, you get good, motivated talent for free and milk it. Sometimes you get some truly cool work that has an economic impact. Internships are the haps, as Dave Robicheaux or Cletus might say.  But is there an opportunity to do more with an internship from the company point of view? I believe so.

    When the engagement is over, sponsoring companies should ask the question “What did we learn from this intern?” and do a write up. It’s a smart exercise. If the company didn’t learn much, it wasn’t trying. Interns go through a vetting process, so they were deemed capable to begin with. And if the intern wasn’t motivated to perform that’s important learning. And needs to be fixed.  But the hope is that the intern will perform. And will provide value. And that value will teach the hiring company a thing or two. After all these tyro employees are next gen consumers.   

    Companies like to take pictures of their graduating interns. They promote intern fun on Instagram. They post thank you videos at the end of the summer. But what really inspires an intern is knowing they had an impact. It’s the least we can offer. Whet the way for growth.




    CEOs and Faulty Dashboards.


    The thing about corporate leadership is you need to know what you are leading.  Sounds simple right?  If you think you are leading “people” or, worse, “employees” you are toast.  If you are leading “change” more toast.  Throw “turnarounds,”  “team” and “movements” in for good measure. The what you’re leading is the product and product result for which people are paying.  Airlines are in the long distance transportation business.  If they lose sight of that and someone creates a helicopter that gets passengers where they want faster and cheaper the airlines lose.

    Only when a leader understand the what can s/he focus on the why — what the company trying to accomplish? Should the why be to make the most money possible, that’s not leadership because it lacks product endemic vision. To take the fast helicopter example further, the why might be tied to the fact that when flying on a plane today one spends more time preparing to fly than actually flying. The why might be to be the most efficient means of long distance transport.

    With the what and the why answered a great leader can then govern the chess pieces toward the how – the strategy. Everyone wants to be strategic.  But strategy without plan, without reason is really just a tactic is disguise. A company with a leader who has a dashboard with forty gauges and knows them all, but can’t tell you the what and why gets a B- at best. Peace!