Dawn is arriving. The crisp aroma of meadow flowers fills the air and the crowd inhales deeply to capture the scent, if only for a moment. They wait. Backlit by the rising sun, the anointed leader surges into view and a mighty cheer erupts from the crowd, deafening in the celebration of their chosen leader. Raising a hand, asking for quiet attention, the leader guides the prancing steed, resplendent in silver and highly polished leather, up and down the front lines, looking deeply into the eyes of those who have chosen to follow.
From drug discovery to academic research, cell culture has become a staple of biological exploration. Researchers remove cells directly from animals to grow in laboratory conditions that are similar to the environment inside the body. They can then manipulate the cells in ways that are not feasible in vivo—inside a living organism.
During the past several years, the scientific community has been subjected to a campaign to improve communications with the external public. The drumbeat for enhanced engagement emanated from a range of interests. People working in industry, academia, and professional organizations as well as communication scholars and gurus all aggressively urged scientists to refine what they say and how they say it in dealings with global collaborators, citizens, funders, opinion leaders, and legislators— all to better improve relationships and outcomes.
In the science world, as in all technical fields these days, there’s a strong emphasis on the need to find the best talent. That’s not surprising, given the fact that most hiring managers are well aware of the growing shortage of people working in all STEM jobs. As baby boomers prepare to retire, and as higher educational institutions continue to produce less people who are willing to invest their time in the study of these critical professions, competition for talent will only become stronger and more challenging.
You’ve known him for years; you went to graduate school at the same time, worked on projects together, and served on the board of a professional association. You have even had dinner at each other’s homes! Now he seems to object to every idea and suggestion you come up with—and he does it in public! Today you found out that he is undercutting your authority and talking about you behind your back. What happened, what can you do about it, and how do you get control of the situation?
Airtech Environmental Services’ Denver, Colorado environmental lab may be small at just 600 square feet, but it deals with hundreds of samples from stationary sources—such as power plants, oil and gas facilities, and cement plants—all over the United States each month. On average, the lab deals with about 200 to 300 samples each month.
In the age of the “human capital”
economy, we are experiencing incredible
shifts in the way people
work. Contingent labor, virtual workplaces,
free agency, and the cloud are
just some of the fundamental shifts
currently taking place. As a result,
management is faced with all sorts of
new challenges: how to be more efficient,
how to be sure that the work
is actually getting done, how to watch
compliance issues? If you aren’t already
a micromanager, these challenges
may drive you to become one in
these pressure-filled times.
The slogan of the micromanager may well be “If you want something done right, do it yourself.” However, “Micromanagement stifles initiative and kills motivation,” according to a very successful manager, World War II General George S. Patton. Despite this, many of us have worked for micromanagers and some of us (this author included) have even been micromanagers. Why do people micromanage? How can micromanagers change their ways?
Most managers and employees fear conflict at work because it can reduce productivity, negatively impact teamwork, and consume valuable time that could be better spent elsewhere. Unfortunately, conflict is inevitable, since there are always differences of opinion and interests in the workplace, so we might as well learn to deal with it. How does conflict arise? There are several common causes of conflict in the workplace: interpersonal relations, organizational issues, change, and external sources. It usually starts out with two or more employees avoiding each other or just harboring negative feelings but can eventually develop into outright hostility and even violence.
Even though he had just landed a grant for an exciting new project to study why and when people fail to monitor their progress towards a goal, University of Sheffield social psychologist Thomas Webb was a little stressed. “It’s only me and the two postdocs, and I knew it would come down to my management style,” at least as far as getting the work done. So he set up weekly meetings, in which the group outlined the tasks that needed to be performed and set deadlines for each task.