True freedom isn’t just “doing whatever you want” — which is the fatal mistake that Wrecknologies lead us to conclude. If that were true, we would call a child burning themselves on a hot stove free. True freedom is the capacity, and then, the ability to make choices that improve your quality of life: to reach, and exceed, your potential.
The people I know in this impact community often do a great deal for others. As caretakers and as innovators, we need reminders to slow down and also take care of ourselves. This message is particularly for all my colleagues fostering social innovation. Here are a couple of exercises I hope sharpen your senses and allow you more grace in the midst of the pressure that comes with being change agents.
The feeling of being overwhelmed by our networks can paralyze us — like a rabbit caught in the headlights of an oncoming car, we freeze, not knowing which way to go. Or we can try to please everyone by saying yes to everything — like a rabbit hopping randomly all over a garden. By attempting to do everything, we exhaust ourselves.
“Oh no!” The head of strategy for a big IT company put his head in his hands. “I can’t believe we just did that. He was horrified, and I hadn’t said a word. All I’d done was show him and the rest of the executive team a series of other companies’ ads.
ABOUT once a month I run across a person who radiates an inner light. These people can be in any walk of life. They seem deeply good. They listen well. They make you feel funny and valued. You often catch them looking after other people and as they do so their laugh is musical and their manner is infused with gratitude. They are not thinking about what wonderful work they are doing. They are not thinking about themselves at all.
At a time when most global markets are characterized by heavy uncertainty, traditional approaches to strategy—analyzing trends, making forecasts and committing to the "best" course of action—are often too rigid. The most effective teams balance commitment with flexibility, by isolating the uncertainties their companies face, analyzing the scenarios that could develop and identifying the critical trigger points that will signal change.
Virtual reality is nothing new. It’s as old as the hills, and almost as old as our opposable thumbs. Tens of thousands of years before the advent of Occulus Rift(link is external) and Google Cardboard(link is external), we homo sapiens developed a capacity and predilection for entering into a state of reality that is distinct from and yet parallel to our everyday reality. Entrance into this state requires no technology, no chemical compounds, not even special brownies. The only thing you need: A story.
Recently I was talking with a friend who works for a Fortune 500 company. When I asked about social media and collaboration, there was a slight chuckle. "Even if we had time to collaborate" my friend said, "the bosses have no interest in new ideas. All they care about is this insane push for us to…
Any CEO would agree that having a strong core of seasoned executives running the C-suite is critical. Yet many organizations haven’t developed beyond the hunch phase in terms of knowing how strong their top leaders really are. At Cisco, we designed an in-depth executive assessment to help us profile each of our topmost leaders: strengths, development needs, aspirations, strategic capabilities, blind spots, operational capabilities, how they develop their teams, how they fare in big-stage versus one-on-one communications, and so on.
U.S. companies spend millions annually on diversity programs and policies. Mission statements and recruitment materials touting companies’ commitment to diversity are ubiquitous. Are all of these efforts working? In terms of increasing demographic diversity, the answer appears to be not really.
The practice of following even when the evidence points a radically different way – not questioning ‘accepted wisdom’ – remains all too common. This might reflect many people’s yearning for a simple life in the face of increasing complexity. It might also signal a deep fear and confusion about how to cope with the fast-changing, uncertain times in which we find ourselves.
Management books and commentaries often oversimplify, seldom providing useful guidance about the skills and behavior needed to get things done. Here’s a better reading list for leaders. A McKinsey Quarterly article.
Passive-aggressive behavior costs us dearly. We lose productivity, and our teams suffer from frustration, stress, and anxiety. It may be hard to believe, but the path to increased productivity and decreased stress is more conflict, not less.
Despite the huge impact executives can have on their organizations, failure rates remain high. Prescriptions for what to do continue to fall short. So we wondered: If we closely studied the executives who succeed in top jobs once appointed, could we identify distinguishing features that set them apart and defined their success?
We all need to grow — not only to stay engaged in our work but also to keep up with our employers’ changing needs. And this is the perfect time of year to set personal development goals and start making progress on them. No matter what skills you’d like to improve, it’s important to know where to begin. So we’ve pulled together several of HBR’s best assessments and quizzes to help give you a sense of what you need to work on and how to go about it.
In case you missed it, FOMO is now an official word in the English language. The “Fear of Missing Out” is now in the Oxford Dictionary, which has described it as the “anxiety that an exciting or interesting event may be happening elsewhere, often aroused by posts seen on a social media website. Perhaps FOMO has become a contemporary problem because things are moving so much faster. But I believe there is a deeper fear — a fear of becoming obsolete.
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