In troubled times, leadership is key, and can make the difference between profit and bankruptcy. So what makes a successful CEO?
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|Rescooped by Kenneth Mikkelsen from Management Books: MANAGEMENT DESIGN and THE PERFORMANCE TRIANGLE|
Resources on Diagnostic Mentoring: Managing in Turbulent Times by Lukas Michel. This is some of the most interesting work being done in reinventing organizations. Via this link you'll find articles from conference presentation, publications and papers.
I also encourage you to read Lukas' books:
Business is broken, with engagement and trust at an all-time low. A radically different way of thinking and acting, which focuses on people as the source of value, is needed.
This article in HR Magazine is written by Vlatka Hlupic, the author of The Management Shift: How to Harness the Power of People and Transform Your Organization For Sustainable Success.
I strongly encourage you to read Vlatka's excellent book. You can also follow her on Twitter here: @ManagementShift.
How do you measure a CEO’s impact? An HBR team recently addressed that question by ranking CEOs according to the increases their companies have seen in total shareholder return and market capitalization across their whole tenures.
The raking from HBR illustrates that social relevance must be taken into account when you measure a CEO’s impact.
Companies need to understand what value they are creating, not only for their investors, but also for their employees, customers, and society at large – and they need to know how their reputations reflect this net value creation.
We find ourselves at a stage between The Industrial Age and The Network Age, which is hardly breaking news to anyone; but recent years have accelerated the interconnected shifts. So why is it that we as human beings continue to pursue strategies that we know are wrong? Why is it that we fail to change our course?
The scene in The Matrix illustrates the difficult choice that business leaders face nowadays. Do you acknowledge the new reality and adapt to it? Or do you choose to carry on with the same mindset, skills, behavior and organizational culture, knowing that it will potentially damage your future existence?
Many of our assumptions of globalization are formed by personal bias and public opinions that are expressed without substantiated data. As a result, executives lean towards dangerously flawed decision-making too often and pursue global one-size-fits-all strategies.
In an interview with Pankaj Ghemawat, one of the world’s most accomplished business professors and global strategists back in 2011, I asked him to elaborate on the current state of globalization and the implications for executives who have to navigate through a heavy fog of misinformation. The points that Ghemawat made during the interview are still valid today.
How others perceive our identity and actions may be very different to who we think we are and what we think we’re doing.
Contemporary neuroscience has now affirmed Freud’s inferential assumptions - that we are all quite ignorant of ourselves and of the mechanisms that determine a large part of how we feel and act.
In the corporate world, the fact that much of our mental activity is done on an automated mode explains the dichotomy between what executives say they do, and what they actually do. Why the significant gap between good intentions and actual behaviour exists, and why so many executives are completely unaware, of it is troublesome.
Find out how confident CEOs are in the economy and in their own business growth prospects, what worries them the most, and where they're looking for growth opportunities.
Read the 2015 report for the detailed findings from the 18th Annual Global CEO Survey conducted by PwC.
Under A. G. Lafley’s leadership from 2000 till 2010, Procter & Gamble's sales doubled, profits quadrupled, market value increased by more than $100 billion, and its portfolio of billion-dollar brands – such as Pampers, Olay, and Gillette – grew from 10 to 24 as a result of P&G’s focus on winning strategic choices, consumer-driven innovation, and reliable, sustainable growth.
This is the story of the strategic choices that founded P&G’s transformation.
I sat down with Roger Martin and asked him to share some insights about the framework that transformed P&G and made strategy a part of the culture and thinking of the company.
The interview with Roger Martin relates to the book Playing to Win, which he co-authored with A. G. Lafley.
We need to let go of the assumption that captains of industry must control, rather than liberate and empower, people and nature.
The damaging consequence of a focus on traits is that it suggests we need to select the right people to run our lives, rather than consider what forms of hierarchy or non-hierarchy can elicit the best group behaviours to achieve desired goals.
Instead of a focus on heroes with great traits, to develop sustainability leadership we should enhance our understanding of how to develop leaderful groups, where senior role holders act as hosts not heroes, and enable leadership to emerge from within the group.
Most workplaces face constant imperatives for change - from trivial-seeming matters such as installing new office printers to major ones such as implementing new policies to support diversity. The question of how to drive change, though, is perennially vexing.
It’s no surprise that people resist organizational change - they are overworked and overburdened, and simply don’t have the bandwidth to embrace change. Further, they rely on habits and routines to help them meet their own work demands, and so change - which disrupts those habits and routines, and forces people to engage in new, active, and energy-demanding ways - appears highly undesirable.
An effective strategy for creating change requires several elements, but one of the most important is to convince people to alter their attitudes—to move from rejection to openness, at least, or embrace, at best. If you can create change in people’s attitudes, it’s much easier to change their behavior.
But you need to know where people's OK Zone is first and foremost.
Advancement in digital technologies has disrupted everything, including leadership styles.
Employees want more ownership rather than to follow instruction; customers want to participate in the marketing and development process; and leaders are finding that open and agile organizations are able to maneuver more effectively than organizations where all insight and direction comes from the top. In short, the autocratic Commander, whether brilliant or misguided, just won’t cut it anymore.
What has changed in the last 20-30 years to require new ways of leading?
Technological advancement has created a ripple effect that is transforming the market. Today’s digital technologies — social, cloud, big data analytics, mobile and the Internet of everything — have created new, intangible, sources of value, such as relationships and information that are delivered by new business models.
Along with the new sources of value, customers and employees’ wants and needs have evolved as digital technologies have created new ways of interacting with businesses.
The most effective leaders understand that problem solving is not a "one-size-fits-all" process. They know that their actions depend on the situation, and they make better decisions by adapting their approach to changing circumstances.
But how do you know which approach you should use in a particular situation? And how can you avoid making the wrong decision?
Though it may be particularly hard for leaders to embrace uncertainty after years of being taught to display confidence, there is a clear business benefit in doing so. Research has shown that over-confident CEOs make overly risky decisions, often at the expense of their shareholders. Leaders who are able to come to terms with uncertainty and communicate it to employees may avoid such bad decisions.
Confidence always looks good, but it doesn’t always work. In the long term, honesty is the only sustainable strategy.
Rather than fooling themselves, or us, we should want our leaders to represent the truth, even when it makes their jobs harder. That is, after all, one of the great missions to which we entrust them: to take the complex information and broad vantage point to which they have access and convey it to the rest of us in a useful way. Doing so represents authentic and courageous leadership, even if it means being less certain.
A glance at today’s headlines leaves little doubt that we have entered a new era of geopolitical turbulence. Acts of terror and violence, humanitarian crises, and public health emergencies are rarely localized events. Instead, these shocks transcend borders, presenting global challenges. Just as one crisis fades, another rises to take its place.
Stability, resilience, and relationships are the keys to thriving amid geopolitical crises.
Barraged by lists of predictions, trends, and otherwise guesses. Swaddled in our own strategic plans. Yet, 2015 won’t conform neatly to our organizational goals and expectations — to succeed, we must learn to adapt ourselves and our organizations to the unforeseen events that will undoubtedly shape the year ahead.
We live now in a world that is far more connected, frenetic, and unpredictable than ever before. A world that will outpace us, outwit us, belie our expectations, and make fools of our best laid plans — that is, if we don’t learn to adapt ourselves and our organizations.
I encourage you to have a look at Bud Caddell's organization, NOBL, here.
Literature around leadership is not hard to come by, but there are few texts that examine the process of leadership from where it begins – in the leader’s mind.
In this article from European Business Review Nathan Harter analyses how great leaders have embraced the often complex multiplicity of their decisions and so brought coherence to their leadership.
The deep changes necessary to accelerate progress against society's most intractable problems require a unique type of leader - the system leader, a person who catalyzes collective leadership.
At no time in history have we needed such system leaders more. We face a host of systemic challenges beyond the reach of existing institutions and their hierarchical authority structures. Problems like climate change, destruction of ecosystems, growing scarcity of water, youth unemployment, and embedded poverty and inequity require unprecedented collaboration among different organizations, sectors, and even countries. Sensing this need, countless collaborative initiatives have arisen in the past decade - locally, regionally, and even globally. Yet more often than not they have floundered - in part because they failed to foster collective leadership within and across the collaborating organizations.
We are at the beginning of the beginning in learning how to catalyze and guide systemic change at a scale commensurate with the scale of problems we face.
In this article Peter Senge, Hal Hamilton and John Kania share their insights on the system leaders needed to foster collective leadership.
According to the authors there are three core capabilities that system leaders must develop in order to foster collective leadership:
1. The ability to see the larger system.
2. The ability to foster reflection and more generative conversations.
3. The ability to shift the collective focus from reactive problem solving to co-creating the future.
The authors cover a lot of ground in the article. Here are a few points:
"Peacekeeping circles" used by Roca and the dialogue interviews conducted by Winslow.
“Peer shadowing" means that a person accompanies somebody for a defined period of time to observe him/her during work and learn from this observation.
"Learning Journeys" allow participants to move into unfamiliar environments, immerse themselves in different contexts and step into relevant experiences.
"Dialogue interviews" engage the interviewee in a reflective and generative conversation. This tool can be used to prepare for projects, workshops, or capacity building programs.
I recommend that you look at some of the tools on Presencing Institute's (Otto Scharmer and Theory U) website here.
New research suggests that the secret to developing effective leaders is to encourage four types of behavior.
Good leadership is a critical part of organizational health but a big, unresolved issue is what sort of leadership behavior organizations should encourage to fare well in the future. Is leadership so contextual that it defies standard definitions or development approaches?
According to a McKinsey study four kinds of behavior account for 89 percent of leadership effectiveness.
This is a fascinating 'classic' HBR article from 2002, written by Diane Coutu on the rather elusive (but highly valued) quality of resilience.
Coutu suggests that resilience can be learned (although its not straightforward) and she identified that three qualities that help to define people's abilities to be able to get through periods of great adversity and bounce back after major setbacks:
According to one of her interviewees, " More than education, more than experience, more than training, a person’s level of resilience will determine who succeeds and who fails. That’s true in the cancer ward, it’s true in the Olympics, and it’s true in the boardroom.”
Inclusive leaders get the best out of all their people, helping their organisations to succeed in today’s complex, diverse national and global environment. Through their skills in adaptability, building relationships and developing talent, inclusive leaders are able to increase performance and innovation.
Inclusive leadership is leadership excellence. The way we do business is changing. Customers and employees are becoming more diverse. The development of the knowledge economy means flatter, less hierarchical structures in organisations. Increased agility is the necessary response to emerging markets, economic downturn and the cultural change inspired by social media and new ways of communicating.
Leaders need to be adaptable to manage agile workplaces of the future, and create cultures that leverage diversity for competitive advantage, to the benefit of business and stakeholders alike.It means that trust is essential to employee engagement and organisational performance.
Watch also this related video on inclusive leadership.