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In This Article Exhibit: Different types of knowledge workers require different kinds of support technologies. Audio is available for this article. In the half-century since Peter Drucker coined the term “knowledge workers,” their share of the workforce has steadily grown—and so has the range of technology tools aimed at boosting their productivity.
Few teams function as well as they could. But the stakes get higher with senior-executive teams: dysfunctional ones can slow down, derail, or even paralyze a whole company. In our work with top teams at more than 100 leading multinational companies, 1 including surveys with 600 senior executives at 30 of them, we’ve identified three crucial priorities for constructing and managing effective top teams. Getting these priorities right can help drive better business outcomes in areas ranging from customer satisfaction to worker productivity and many more as well. 1.
For all the benefits of the information technology and communications revolution, it has a well-known dark side: information overload and its close cousin, attention fragmentation. These scourges hit CEOs and their colleagues in the C-suite particularly hard because senior executives so badly need uninterrupted time to synthesize information from many different sources, reflect on its implications for the organization, apply judgment, make trade-offs, and arrive at good decisions. The importance of reserving chunks of time for reflection, and the difficulty of doing so, have been themes in management writing for decades. Look no further than Peter Drucker’s 1967 classic, The Effective Executive , 1 which emphasized that “most of the tasks of the executive require, for minimum effectiveness, a fairly large quantum of time.”
All strategists grapple with the question of how to create and preserve competitive advantage. But individual perspectives are likely to differ, depending on a company’s strategic journey, the industry it’s in, and the idiosyncrasies of the organization. We talked with four current or former senior strategists from diverse corporate environments and markets about their strategic challenges—and came away with four distinct, thought-provoking lists of strategic tests. Does it violate any strategic laws of gravity?
And I always find, yeah, I always find somethin’ wrong You been puttin’ up with my sh#t just way too long I’m so gifted at findin’ what I don’t like the most So I think it’s time for us to have a toast Let’s have a toast for the douchebags, Let’s have a toast for the a@%holes, Let’s have a toast for the scumbags, Every one of them that I know Let’s have a toast for the jerkoffs That’ll never take work off Baby, I got a plan Run away fast as you can —Kanye West, Runaway Artist: Kanye West Track: Runaway Album: My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy Released: 2010 Label: Roc-A-Fella, Def Jam Lyrics In hi-tech, intelligence is always a critical element in any employee, because what we do is difficult and complex and the competitors are filled with extremely smart people. However, intelligence is not the only important quality. Being effective in a company also means working hard, being reliable, and being an excellent member of the team.
Listen to an interview with Frank Flynn. The finding: People who are prone to guilt tend to work harder and perform better than people who are not guilt-prone, and are perceived to be more capable leaders. The research: Francis Flynn gave a standard psychological test, which measured the tendency to feel guilt, to about 150 workers in the finance department of a Fortune 500 firm and then compared their test results with their performance reviews.
When you have an idea, proposal, or recommendation that you believe in, it's easy to presume that getting it approved will be a breeze. If you see how great the idea is, won't everyone else? However, whether an audience accepts an idea is often less about the idea itself than about how you present it. When you need approval, don't assume that just because it's brilliant, others will see it that way — convince them.
by Jodi Glickman | 8:35 AM November 30, 2010 I'm always amazed when I hear about smart, talented people going to their supervisors to ask for guidance using phrases like, "What do you think I should do?" Or, "How should I...?"