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Working professionally with leadership development I collect gold nuggets on leadership/management, that I find useful, educational, and inspirational to others.
It is no longer a futuristic vision to talk about a volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous business environment. It is the reality that most leaders face every day. The way we work is fundamentally under pressure and it is evident that leaders must develop new responses and capabilities to navigate in the world and stay relevant. The purpose of this site - LeadershipABC - is to help leaders rethink, redefine, and reshape their organizations and themselves to meet the challenges of the future.
My personal aim is to provide you with stories you can learn and grow from. The kind of stories that provokes personal reflection and constructive action.
You're welcome to connect via:
Retired Gen. Stanley McChrystal explains how to be fast--and smart--about the way that you act.
For decades, the principles of efficiency were taught in business schools, and businesses thrived because of it, McChrystal says. But with more information being shared at greater speeds, even the most efficient organization these days can’t keep up.
The secret to success is adaptability, he says. You've got to be smarter--and faster--about the way you react, especially in today's world. With that in mind, here are five ways to get your team focused.
The role of leadership has changed. It is no longer enough to merely plan and direct action, today we must inspire and empower belief.
Strategy in the 21st century has become less directed and more emergent. Even the military relies less on plans and more on commander’s intent. Corporate chieftains are following suit, experimenting with management structures such as holocracy. Yet we need to do more than simply change policies and practices, leadership itself must be redefined.
Wise words. Let it spread
Control: It’s the essence of management. We’re trained to measure inputs, throughputs, and outputs in hopes of increasing efficiency and producing desired results. In a world of linear processes, such as in the factories of the Industrial Age, that made sense. But in today’s knowledge economy, where enterprises are complex, adaptive systems, it’s counterproductive.
The real problem is confusion between control and order. Control implies centralized control and hierarchical relationships. The person with control tells others what to do and whether they are successful or not. Order, on the other hand, emerges from self-organization. There may not be anyone telling others what to do, yet things get done—often with great efficiency and effectiveness. People know what is expected of them and what they can expect of others.
But how can this be true? Mustn’t an orchestra have a conductor? A dance troupe, a choreographer? A company, a CEO?
Not necessarily. Nature abounds with examples of what is known as swarm intelligence. Termites build intricate dwellings without the benefit of set of plans or engineers with advanced degrees. Birds migrate thousands of miles in formations where the lead position rotates to optimize their collective capacity. There are no marching orders or hierarchies dictating who leads. Massive flocks of starlings engage in intricate maneuvers known as murmuration with neither collisions nor confusion. There is order without overarching control. Indeed, our obsession with control helps explain why human-designed organizations fail to achieve such beautiful synchronicity.
I suggest you also watch this talk by Don Tapscott from the Global Drucker Forum 2013: "Complexity - Looking at the World through Different Lenses."
Another stimulating scoop from Kenneth. This ties with the Buffalo and Geese theory from Belasco and Stayer. Passing control to others is not always easy.
Cries of "no more managers" and "end the hierarchy" are well-intentioned efforts to accelerate the ongoing paradigm shift in management, but they are counterproductive: all organizations are hierarchical and all have managers.
The golden middle...:-)))
British linguist Richard Lewis charts everything from structured individualism in the U.S. to ringi-sho consensus in Japan.
Here's 24 charts of leadership styles from his book: When Cultures Collide.
When it comes to seeking insights on the best leadership practices, the natural inclination is to look towards successful organizations like Southwest Airlines and Zappos for inspiration and guidance.
Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and products for dinner, and soon thereafter everything else too.Why? Because company culture, a concept pioneered by Edgar Schein, is the operationalizing of an organization’s values. Culture guides employee decisions about both technical business decisions and how they interact with others. Good culture creates an internal coherence in actions taken by a very diverse group of employees.
Excellent article by Bill Aulet. Follow him on Twitter here: @BillAulet.
This is a great article, it gets to the heart of the matter of the what , how and why we are developing Kudos.
“Culture eats strategy for breakfast, technology for lunch, and product for dinner" - this quote describes how a great culture holds a team together and guides them.
It is easy to have a engagement success when everything is going right. It also can make a company lazy, wasteful and forget what made them successful in the first place.
What separates the good from the great companies is how everyone reacts when the going gets tough, the unexpected happens or great challenges are ahead.
If you focus on your culture, define your mission, vision and values and live it everyday - the company with a good culture will persevere and overcome challenges because their people want to be there, want to succeed, and care.
So in the end you create engagement by focusing on your culture and you have a better chance of being successful if you have highly engaged team members.
Kudos purpose is to help companies create the culture they want by adding a healthy does of appreciation with enhanced communication.
You market to your clients and try to get them to believe in your product - market to your team and try to get them, to believe in your company.
If you get the culture right everything else falls into place.
Globalization, technology, and rapid change are creating a more complex world. Corporate leaders are operating in more markets than ever before. Their companies are generating and dealing with more data than ever. Social media are amplifying the effects of customer complaints and internal discussions, creating a greater need for open, honest, and multichannel communications. Executives are interacting with a widening array of stakeholders and addressing an expanding set of business, political, and social issues. Public leaders are facing analogous pressures.
If you want to be successful over the long haul, you have to have a sense of purpose that is clearly articulated and embedded in your organization and processes, but you also have to live it. There can’t be two sets of rules.
Good data and insight from Deloitte study
Five simple exercises can help you recognize, and start to shift, the mindsets that limit your potential as a leader.
As important as mindsets are, we often skip ahead to actions. We adopt behavior and expect it to stick through force of will. Sadly, it won’t if we haven’t changed the underlying attitudes and beliefs that drove the old behavior in the first place. Making matters worse, our behavior affects other people’s mindsets, which in turn affect their behavior.
A leader’s failure to recognize and shift mindsets can stall the change efforts of an entire organization. Indeed, because of the underlying power of a leader’s mindsets to guide an entire organization toward positive change, any effort to become better leaders should start with ourselves, by recognizing the thoughts, feelings, and emotions that drive us.
Five simple exercises to challenge your mindset adapted from Joanna Barsh and Johanne Lavoie's new book, Centered Leadership: Leading with Purpose, Clarity, and Impact.
Why do people feel so miserable and disengaged at work? Because today's businesses are increasingly and dizzyingly complex -- and traditional pillars of management are obsolete, says Yves Morieux. So, he says, it falls to individual employees to navigate the rabbit's warren of interdependencies.
I have always been a big fan of simplicity.
It seems to be human nature and the desire of MBA's to want to complicate things by trying to measure everything with the false illusion we can then improve and tweak things to make a thousand process improvements that matter. In the end, we often measure things that do not really matter in the big picture. Think of all the layers of middle management that get added to manage, measure and track things that do not matter.
Measuring some things is essential. Sales, Profits, Engagement. Those are the only measures that matter at the end of the day. And processes are are also essential but like the old saying - everything in moderation.
I liked the key message that Cooperation is secret to success. We build walls with too many processes. We need to keep people close to one another and aware of their interdependency and effect on one another so they think about how their actions and output effect other peoples outcomes and output.
If you connect people to solve problems through cooperation, you will get innovation and the the results you are looking for. Instead of trying to make everything easier by adding processes and layers, it better to make things harder by forcing people to cooperative verses work around one another with only their goals and objective in mind.
I see this in the struggle between design. programming and admin (Sales, Customer Service) all the time in the agencies and companies I have been part of.
- Programming wants things to be efficient and streamlined based on their sensibilities.
- Design wants to create exceptional user experiences and artful design based on their sensibilities.
- Admins wants things to be simple and effective based on their sensibilities.
People always want things done their way based on their sensibilities and that can lead to low cooperation.
I will often hear when I ask for something - "that is not possible". Then then next questions I ask is "do you mean impossible or difficult" and the answer is always difficult. Then their is a discussion, some cooperation and often a compromise. The outcome is a better product, better service and 9 times out of 10 difficult was not so difficult after all.
If you keep everyone close to the product, customer and one anther they will cooperate and compromise and that keeps things more simple.
The only problem with simple is... it is hard to keep things simple. Back to human nature an MBA's.
In the spirit of keeping things simple, every employee manual in the world only needs these three words.
"Make Good Decisions"
Only if it was that simple. :)
One of the world's leading authorities on the digital revolution, Don Tapscott, shares the vital qualities and characteristics of our digitally connected world. He will explain how the power of networks will radically transform our ability to solve global challenges, the way states are governed and how the next generation will live and work in the future. You are invited to learn from his personal journey of profound discovery.
Lego, the company known by kids and parents alike for its colorful building bricks, is hugely successful. Over the last four years it has enjoyed double-digit growth…..but, just ten years ago, the company was losing nearly a million dollars a day.
Bloomberg traveled to the company’s headquarters in Denmark to get a glimpse into Lego’s history, its production, its fans, the Lego family billionaires and the young boss who rebuilt one of the world’s most loved toy companies.
Excellent case study with so many gold nuggets. I have talked about this CEO in my blogs. I love his philosophy of holding people accountable for not helping others and not asking for help.
Hope you enjoy!
Until next time...PS - Live on Purpose!
The basic strength of hierarchies is that if they are designed well -- the departments/silos make sense in light of your business strategy and your competition, there aren't too many levels, the rules that accompany the hierarchy are smart and sensible -- hierarchies can be an incredibly efficient and reliable way to get work done. In fact nobody has found a more efficient and reliable way.
The problem is that hierarchies change slowly to changing conditions, to new rapid-fire strategic challenges, to technological discontinuities. They're not agile, they can't jump to the left or to the right quickly. In today's world you have to be fast and agile, but you also have to be efficient and reliable.
So the problem is that a well-designed hierarchy is still needed but it's insufficient. You need two systems, one that can handle speed with agility, and one that gets the work done today with quality and efficiency. And the two have to work together hand in glove.
Danger of Hierarchy in a Fast-Moving World #fb
The concept of not knowing what you don't know has gotten its fair share of attention. Here are three practices that can lead to crucial discoveries.
Aspiring junior executives dream of climbing the ladder to gain more authority. Then they can make things happen and create the change that they believe in. Senior executives, on the other hand, are often frustrated by how little power they actually have.
The problem is that, while authority can compel action, it does little to inspire belief. It’s not enough to get people to do what you want, they also have to want what you want — or any change is bound to be short lived.
That’s why change management efforts commonly fail. All too often, they are designed to carry out initiatives that come from the top. When you get right down to it, that’s really the just same thing as telling people to do what you want, albeit in slightly more artful way. To make change really happen, it doesn’t need to be managed, but empowered. That’s the difference between authority and leadership.
Sustained organizational health is among the most powerful assets a company can build. Healthy companies generate total returns to shareholders three times higher than those of unhealthy ones.
New research suggests that the performance payoff from organizational health is unexpectedly large and that companies have four distinct “recipes” for achieving it.
Successful companies match their organizations to their aspirations. Once a company has identified the most appropriate organizational recipe for the chosen strategy, it should align the organization as far as possible with that mix of practices. If its most important day-to-day practices do not support its strategy, or are not consistent with the direction communicated by its leadership, the misalignment can often undermine both overall performance and health.
Evolve or die. If it ain’t broke, break it. If you don’t like change, you are going to like obsolescence even less.
By now, the idea that organizations must adapt in order to maintain both relevance and market share in a rapidly changing world is so ingrained that it’s been reduced to pithy sayings. And there are many organizations — from Blockbuster to Kodak, print-only newspapers to pay-phone makers — that no doubt wish they’d followed the advice.
But is constant adaptation always the best policy? Research indicates it isn’t.
As your role grows in scale and influence, so too must your ability to listen. But listening is one of the toughest skills to master — and requires uncovering deeper barriers within oneself.
While tactically there are many ways to strengthen your listening skills, you must focus on the deeper, internal issues at stake to really improve. Listening is a skill that enables you to align people, decisions, and agendas. You cannot have leadership presence without hearing what others have to say.
להקשיב...זה שם המשחק
Thirty years ago an empire builder might have been applauded for chutzpah. But times have changed. In recent years there has been growing scrutiny on the dangers of empire building; management experts have come to see it as a hidden toxin at the root of many business dysfunctions, leading to excess spending, anemic growth and turf wars.
In today's lean landscape, there is little tolerance for rogue hoarders and bloat. Further, leadership philosophies are evolving from the rigid command-and-control structure to a collaborative model. Power-hungry alphas are seen as undermining the collective good and hindering employee engagement.
The cofounder of Pixar Animation Studios recalls how a serious organizational rift led him to a new sense of mission - and how it helped Pixar develop a more open and sustainable creative culture.
Tradition embraces stability. Time honored principles get that way because they have strong track records of success. The tried and true, extrapolated into the future, often looks like a sure thing, while deviating from historical norms can look downright foolish.
Yet the funny thing about the future is that there’s no guarantee that it will look like the past. Contexts change and when they do, old rules no longer apply. Following them blindly does not honor the past, but diminishes it by confusing fealty with wisdom.
Since 1960, the average lifespan of a company on the S&P 500 has fallen from more than 60 years to less than 20. The power of technology will increase as much in the next 18 months as it has in the last 30 years.
Clearly, technology cycles have begun to outpace planning cycles. We need to learn to manage not for stability, but for disruption.
Speed, disruption and the Unknown. Managing with and for Disruption is a new competence.
A plane crash, Lehman Brothers, and bike helmets can demonstrate that the key to strategic flexibility is to keep things simple.
Taking steps to tame complexity of a system are meaningless without also addressing incentives and culture, since people will inevitably drive a safer car more dangerously. To tackle this, organizations must learn to improve the “cognitive diversity” of their people and teams — getting people to think more broadly and diversely about the systems they inhabit.
Complexity was the theme of the 2013 Global Drucker Forum in Vienna. You can find a series of perspectives here.
It is time to adopt an upside-down view of how organizations work. That means focusing resources on the front-line staff who deliver to customers, not on executives who primarily manage the spin among the investment community.
Sidestepping four common mistakes can help companies develop stronger and more capable leaders, save time and money, and boost morale.
The four common mistakes are:
1. Overlooking context
Context is a critical component of successful leadership. A brilliant leader in one situation does not necessarily perform well in another. Academic studies have shown this, and our experience bears it out.
2. Decoupling reflection from real work
When it comes to planning the program’s curriculum, companies face a delicate balancing act. On the one hand, there is value in off-site programs (many in university-like settings) that offer participants time to step back and escape the pressing demands of a day job. On the other hand, even after very basic training sessions, adults typically retain just 10 percent of what they hear in classroom lectures, versus nearly two-thirds when they learn by doing.
3. Underestimating mind-sets
Becoming a more effective leader often requires changing behavior. But although most companies recognize that this also means adjusting underlying mind-sets, too often these organizations are reluctant to address the root causes of why leaders act the way they do.
4. Failing to measure results
We frequently find that companies pay lip service to the importance of developing leadership skills but have no evidence to quantify the value of their investment. When businesses fail to track and measure changes in leadership performance over time, they increase the odds that improvement initiatives won’t be taken seriously.
Great article! An acknowledgement of our experience and customer dedication. Want to change? Apply the underlying rules.
Overall this Quote says it all,"Embedding leadership development in real work; fearlessly investigating the mind-sets that underpin behavior; and monitoring the impact so as to make improvements over time." I believe my group is on track.