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Courage for New Leaders To Listen & Learn in the New Year

Courage for New Leaders To Listen & Learn in the New Year | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

It takes courage to listen. Whether it’s a first or fifth transition to a new leader role, these non-profit leadership lessons learned are timeless. Pause, reflect. choose, (from horse-guided leadership & learning.) In the first months, resist the urgent and not important to follow these practical steps to ensure your success.  

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It takes courage to listen & learn, as a new leader.
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What I learned at the University of Michigan early on was the power of the conversation. Listening builds relationship. Listening well has impact as a leader with groups of new direct reports, with peers and colleagues, ALL of them await a new leader’s first steps and actions. Each. Encounter. Equals. Opportunity. To. Connect.

John Taylor, CEO of the Association of College Unions International (ACUI) had this to say about the series:
 

“As a new CEO, the article’s main points to invest time in learning, building relationships, and establishing priorities have been key during my first six months on the job.”  
 

I interviewed John before he left his role at the University of Michigan. His view is a fresh insight to help this year's new leaders.  Note that although we make reference to associations throughout the posts, these tips apply to any non-profit organization and are adaptable to the for-profit sector as well.

EXCERPTS from the full article derived from
  -- "Seven Ways New Non-Profit Leaders Succeed the First Year on the Job"

1. LISTEN to Learn

In many high-pressure environments, deep listening distinguishes the highly experienced from the amateurs. ...One association executive advised his peers to “resist the temptation to prove how bright you are; do nothing when you first arrive—just learn.”
   

...Develop a list for listening interviews including staff, board members, active volunteers, randomly selected members, dropped members, industry leaders, subject matter experts, external partners, and others. Everyone has something to say; they ...will be encouraged by your desire to learn. Ask open-ended questions. Prepare to be surprised. Though many relationships will deepen during your tenure, early conversations can provide unique opportunities for candid exchanges unencumbered by baggage, fears, or agendas.

 

2. COMMUNICATE!

...Information for your staff is usually under-communicated by a factor of four.
 

Here are a few things to keep in mind:

  • Staff members are vitally interested in what the boss [senior leadership team, executive committee, board] just talked about. Find a way to share it regularly.

    

  • The board should be vitally interested in progress toward strategic goals. Find a way to check on this.
   
  • Committees and other volunteer groups don’t know what other committees and groups are doing. Summarize, align, and share.
   
  • Members and constituents want to know “What’s in it for me?”  They will appreciate understanding the logic behind board decisions. Find a way to test, confirm and communicate this regularly. 
Read the full post on LinkedIn : https://www.linkedin.com/pulse/courage-new-leaders-listen-learn-year-deb-nystrom 
Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

This article is useful for any non-profit leader in interim roles, as well as new leadership roles.  It's drawn from my work with new, on-boarding leaders in a large, complex, world-class non-profit, the University of Michigan, and my continuing work for my own company,REVELN Consulting, co-written with my colleagues, senior partners at Ideas for Action, LLCAlan Davis, my former client and friend, Jolene Knapp, who are both talented, highly experienced non-profit CEO's and leaders. I'm pleased to be sharing with you ourSeven Ways New Non-Profit Leaders Succeed the First Year on the Job".

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Retail Revolution: Change, We Ain't Seen Nothing Yet

Retail Revolution: Change, We Ain't Seen Nothing Yet | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

Explosive change in E-commerce that the veterans didn't see coming.


At a massive "Super Session" at the 2012  National Retail Federation "Big Show." panelists Jennifer Hyman of Rent, The Runway and Doug Mack of One Kings Lane made one thing clear:


E-commerce business models have not matured.  Nay, we are witnessing a veritable explosion of new ones.


Powered by local, mobile, and social media, online retail is becoming something that no long-time NRF member might reasonably have anticipated.

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From Twitter to a new kind of company with no managers, a "Holocracy"

From Twitter to a new kind of company with no managers, a "Holocracy" | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

“Management perspective looks at reports as resources – like how can you get the maximum value out of this person,” Stirman says. “But when I think resources, I think like natural gas or coal mines. Thinking about a person’s life that way just seemed really dehumanizing.”


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He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof.

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Frustrated with poor results, he decided to go off script. He started spending one-on-one meetings talking to his reports about their lives, instead of their tasks, and productivity shot through the roof.
 

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“We don’t have a hierarchy of people, we have a hierarchy of circles.”

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“When you sit across a table from someone, ask them ‘What’s going on in your life?’ That will always remove more hurdles than asking them ‘What’s blocking you at work?’” he said.

Stirman hit another wall trying to shield his team from external drama and politics. “Classic management advice, and all my mentors told me that insulating your team from things so they won’t worry will make them more productive and happier,” he says. “But they just got angry, and confused, and disconnected. I was constantly censoring all this information and they were way happier when they knew everything.”

...“The structure is totally built around the work the company needs to achieve its purpose,” Stirman explains. “We don’t have a hierarchy of people, we have a hierarchy of circles.”


...But Medium isn’t just taking a revolutionary approach to digital publishing – it’s changing the way companies operate too. As one of the fiercest and most faithful adopters of Holacracy – a radical new theory of corporate structure – Medium is experimenting with a completely management-free environment that’s laser focused on getting things done. 


Read more: http://ow.ly/nKJBL

 


Related posts by Deb:

    
   

 

 

Deb Nystrom, REVELN's insight:

I have to wonder why this antiquated old-school management advice is still circulating to the likes of of this younger, IT saavy crowd.  Old habits die hard.  

This detailed article cites the positive side of letting go to embrace something very new.  The leader-writer, Jason Stirman, not a manager,  discovered a diverse motivations tool that seems to work for his group, and is in for the long haul on the manager-less experiment with Holacracy.   ~  Deb



 

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Marie Jeffery's curator insight, August 10, 2013 3:02 PM

Thanks for drawing our attention to this excellent post, Deb Nystrom!

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Will it be the new "Craig's List" of $$ Transactions for 2012? Dwolla [Video]

Will it be the new "Craig's List" of $$ Transactions for 2012?  Dwolla [Video] | Change Leadership Watch | Scoop.it

 "The cost of the transaction was .25.  That's 25 CENTS.  Really!"


I've made my first transaction to pay for some website work via Dwolla. For my web-master friend, between our two bank accounts, the cost of the transaction was .25. That's 25 CENTS. Really. That was all. No %-age fee, no credit cards.


On the merchant end of things, if this catches on, it could be huge. If Google somehow gets connected to Dwolla at some point, it WILL be huge.


It might also help Google with its new YouTube merchandising business. It certainly fits with the "don't be evil" ethic suggested by the giant.


The only exception might be leadership failure. With cautionary tales like RIMM (the Blackberry manufacturer) and Rubbermaid, leadership #fails can stall even the most innovative companies.  (See the article just to the right for more about that, via ScoopIt curation on change cautionary tales.)


Here's hoping that Dwolla takes off, if for nothing else than for a business success in the direction of the 99% protests this past year, and still going on, as an example of helping things work for everyone, not just a select few.


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