As more social business environment and the new ways of working are changing the organizations and reforming the entire business landscape – I’ll find it important and very interesting to study how we create and innovate, make decisions, and further how better mutual understanding can be created. We all know that the existing organizational structures needs a refresh, and that we, knowledge workers, should be passionate about helping our organizations to be more open, learning organizations.
In one well-known study, workers who felt unfairly criticized by a boss or felt they had a boss who didn't listen to their concerns had a 30 percent higher rate of coronary disease than those who felt treated fairly and with care.
In the workplace itself, researcher Marcial Losada has found that among high-performing teams, the expression of positive feedback outweighs that of negative feedback by a ratio of 5.6 to 1. By contrast, low-performing teams have a ratio of .36 to 1.
If you exhibit several of these traits, now is the time to stamp them out from your repertoire. If your boss or several senior executives at your company exhibit several of these traits, now is the time to start looking for a new job.
Kim Jong-il & Vaclav Havel die to very different world reactions, one leader will be missed, the other leaves a power vacuum.
This effect is not limited to world leaders. It is often seen in organizations as well. Managers' authority comes not from within, due to character and personality, but from without, from their position.
It is difficult to show the effects of these two different styles. Here however, the differences become apparent in the reactions to the deaths of two well known leaders, each one a representative of one of the styles.
In business -- where the 20th Century adage that "you can't manage what you don't measure" remains as valid as ever -- we're finding that traditional measures just do not add up in a globally interdependent world.
Stakeholders want to know how our organization behaves in all of its relationships, how our company creates the products and services they deliver, and how business leaders intend to ensure that our company will thrive in a sustainable manner despite the economic volatility.
Linda Hill & Kent Lineback present a quick recipe for delegating and keeping control without micro-managing. They use the Prepare-Do-Review approach in which the manager/delegator does not so much tell employees what to do and how to do it, but asks questions instead.
This a number of advantages:
- it creates space for more than one approach to the problem/task at hand
- it empowers the person being delegated to by inviting initiative
- it can become a learning experience for both the manager and the person being delegated to
Decentralized problem solving works better on some problems than others. According to an article from SEO Theory, swarms work in situations that involve discovery, testing, and comparing results. For example, ants finding the most efficient route to food, or iPhone users who use their Yelp App to find the highest-rated restaurant close by. By leveraging the volume of agents involved, you can act upon complex and rapidly changing sets of data. This works in situations where you are looking for the most efficient method of execution, or the most optimal process. Shipping companies, for example, use Swarm Theory computer algorithms to reallocate trucking routes based on up-to-the-minute energy prices. Swarm Theory works less effectively for creative processes like innovation, except perhaps as a broad directional pointer. A Swarm cannot paint the next Mona Lisa.
Working overtime doesn't increase your output. It makes you stupid.
The reason sleep is so important is because fatigue isn't simple. When we are tired, our performance doesn't degrade equally. Instead, when you lose a night's sleep, the parietal and occipital lobes in your brain become less active. The parietal lobe integrates information from the senses and is involved in our knowledge of numbers and manipulation of objects. The occipital lobe is involved in visual processing. So the parts of our mind responsible for understanding the world and the data around us start to slow down. This is because the brain is prioritizing the thalamus—the part of your brain responsible for keeping you awake. In evolutionary terms, this makes sense. If you're driven to find food, you need to stay awake and search, not compare recipes.
In our louder and louder world, says sound expert Julian Treasure, "We are losing our listening." In this short, fascinating talk, Treasure shares five ways to re-tune your ears for conscious listening -- to other people and the world around you.
In its 2011 annual CEO survey, PricewaterhouseCoopers found that 66% of CEOs reported that a lack of the right skills is their current biggest talent challenge. CEOs also reported that the need for organizational agility is paramount to their future success in the global marketplace.
Neither of these findings is surprising. We are living and working in a world characterized by increasing globalization, complexity and change. A major task for all CEOs, HR directors and CLOs is to facilitate the development of a workforce that is both capable and competent to thrive and work within an emergent environment—every day.
Although on the surface this may appear to be a Sisyphean task, if we think about the challenges of each of these areas, we can identify strategies for leaders to maximize the associated opportunities and minimize the risks. In fact, there are some reasonably straightforward actions that any CEO, HRD or CLO can take to keep their organizations ahead of the curve.
Neither our educational system nor our culture values mistakes. Take politics. Apparently politicians of acceptable “character” are born, not made. For a politician to admit that, as a youth, s/he [experimented with drugs] [protested a war] [tried same-gender sex] [you name it] is career suicide. Unless, of course, that person found God and was cleansed of all youthful indiscretions.
In our society, we tend to view mistakes as indicative of weakness rather than the invaluable, irreplaceable learning tool that they are. We discount what it means to be willing to make mistakes — to take a risk, have the courage to try something that might not work and the integrity to accept the consequences. And we ignore that the best measure of character is the ability to accept and absorb the lessons that mistakes have to offer and, in that fertile context, grow and, when we’re lucky, transcend our limitations.
How do you manage a workforce that is both nomadic and collaborative? In a 24/7 always-on- and-interconnected world, do we need to rethink the industrial-workplace social contract that’s based on hours worked and being on-the-job ? Join Harold Jarche to discuss how these and other trends mean a shift to perpetual Beta, where learning is the work.
As I watch the Cubs tonight, they are in next to last place in the division, and have lost almost double the amount of games that they’ve won. Yet on paper, they seem like a team that should be winning many more games. In tonight’s game, the first five of their nine hitters had averages above .300, which is a rare feat. But a team is not merely the sum of its members’ abilities. We can’t understand systems by looking at individual elements. We can only understand the team by watching the team.
Swarm Behavior - A single ant or bee isn't smart, but their colonies are. The study of swarm intelligence is providing insights that can help humans manage complex systems, from truck routing to military robots.
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