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HUMAN RESOURCES

The Manager's Burden

An overview of the articles in this month's issue. Topics include the challenges of managing knowledge workers and executives who left large companies to run start-ups.
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There are times when I share the frustration I heard at a recent meeting of a networking group I was invited to address here in Boston. After I'd finished my talk, one of the CEOs remarked that, with all due respect, he just couldn't relate to most of the articles he found in the business press these days. "It seems as though we're being bombarded with more information than ever," he said, "but more and more of it treats business as a spectator sport. I mean, would someone please explain to me how yet another article about the battle between Netscape and Microsoft is supposed to help me cope with the challenges of growing my business?"

I hope he'll check out Christopher Meyer's discussion of the challenges of managing knowledge workers. (See "What Makes Workers Tick?") It's an article I found myself reading less as an editor than as the manager of my own group of knowledge workers here at Inc.

It was senior editor Nancy Lyons who brought Meyer to our attention after reading his new book, Relentless Growth: How Silicon Valley Innovation Strategies Can Work in Your Business (The Free Press, 1997), from which "What Makes Workers Tick?" is excerpted. Lyons has been our liaison with the world of book publishing for more than a year, letting us know what's coming, what's hot, and what we should include in the Further Reading section of the magazine. We'll be relying on her even more in the future as we expand our book coverage to include reviews and interviews with authors. Meanwhile, from time to time we'll continue to run excerpts of the best new books Lyons finds.

Associate editor Jerry Useem writes this month about the exodus of top Fortune 500 executives who are leaving big companies to run start-ups. (See " The New Entrepreneurial Elite.") He himself left his position as a case-study writer at Harvard Business School to join Inc., proving that he knows where the action is. The move has already paid off, as he discovered on a recent trip to Wyoming with his father, Michael Useem, a well-known leadership expert, author, and professor at the Wharton School at the University of Pennsylvania, in Philadelphia. As they were checking in with their guide service, the clerk said she recognized the name Useem from somewhere. Flattered, Jerry's father mentioned some things he had written. "No, no," said the clerk, who then snapped her fingers. "I know. Jerry Useem. You write for Inc. magazine, don't you?"

With great sadness, we note the passing of Cary Lu, columnist for Inc. Technology and former technology editor of Inc., who died of cancer on September 23, 1997. He was 51 years old.

We first met Cary back in the mid-1980s, when he joined us here on Commercial Wharf in Boston as the founding managing editor of High Technology magazine, our sister publication. Back then, he was one of the few people we knew who could make sense of technological developments in the personal-computer industry and also explain their implications in terms we could understand. We came to rely on him as a guide and an adviser, a role he continued to play until his death. He was one of our most dependable links to a part of the world that has shaped our lives over the past two decades. We'll sorely miss him.


Contributors

  • Senior editor Nancy Lyons serves as Inc.'s liaison to the world of business-book publishing.
  • Associate editor Jerry Useem sheds light on the exodus of top executives who are leaving big companies to run start-ups.
  • Cary Lu (1945-1997) was a columnist for Inc. Technology, a technology editor of Inc., and founding managing editor of High Technology.
  • Contributor Christopher Meyer writes about the challenges of managing knowledge workers in Silicon Valley.



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