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Show and Tell

Set the scene for success in your workplace with the art of visual management.

Every entrepreneur knows a picture is worth a thousand words. But how many apply that knowledge by deliberately managing what their employees see? Not many. That may change, thanks to the powerful and intriguing promise held out by Stewart Liff and Pamela A. Posey in Seeing Is Believing: How the New Art of Visual Management Can Boost Performance Throughout Your Organization (Amacom, $29.95).

Liff, a government official, and Posey, a leadership consultant, explain why using words to tell people what to do isn't nearly as effective as showing them with pictures, photographs, charts--even flags, dress codes and paint schemes. More than a graphics how-to, this is a comprehensive description of how to build a workplace where information about the company, its goals and customers is provided to employees in ways that can influence their expectations and performances.

That Thing You Do

Success is not determined by the particular strategy you pursue. What matters more is how thoroughly you execute your approach. That's the surprising conclusion of an extensive study Laurence Haughton reports in It's Not What You Say . . . It's What You Do (Currency Doubleday, $24.95). Haughton says companies can improve follow-through in four steps: 1) Start with a clear direction, 2) match the right people to every goal, 3) build plenty of buy-in, and 4) increase individual initiative to help maintain momentum.

Mark Henricks is Entrepreneur's Staff Smarts columnist.

This story appears in the March 2005 issue of Entrepreneur. Subscribe »