background preloader

Management Is (Still) Not Leadership - John Kotter

Management Is (Still) Not Leadership - John Kotter
by John P. Kotter | 11:00 AM January 9, 2013 A few weeks ago, the BBC asked me to come in for a radio interview. They told me they wanted to talk about effective leadership — China had just elevated Xi Jinping to the role of Communist Party leader; General David Petraeus had stepped down from his post at the CIA a few days earlier; the BBC itself was wading through a leadership scandal of its own — but the conversation quickly veered, as these things often do, into a discussion about how individuals can keep large, complex, unwieldy organizations operating reliably and efficiently. That’s not leadership, I explained. In more than four decades of studying businesses and consulting to organizations on how to implement new strategies, I can’t tell you how many times I’ve heard people use the words “leadership” and “management” synonymously, and it drives me crazy every time. Mistake #1: People use the terms “management” and “leadership” interchangeably. Leadership is entirely different.

Secrets Of America's Happiest Companies “Being able to be truly happy at work is one of the keys to being happy in life,” says Heidi Golledge, CEO and cofounder of CareerBliss, an online career database. And what company couldn’t use a little more joy among its ranks? In her book It’s Always Personal, Anne Kreamer points to recent research from Sigal Barsade of the Wharton School of Business that indicates positive moods prompt “more flexible decision-making and wider search behavior and greater analytic precision,” which in turn make the whole company more willing to take risks and be more open. What exactly makes those staffers whistle while they work? Steve McClatchy, founder of Alleer Training and Consulting, whose client list includes top-ranked Pfizer, says a happy workplace is one that is committed to perpetual improvement, and not just as a line item on the balance sheet. Steven Cowart, manager for Visual Display Systems at NASA, agrees. Not surprisingly, another part of joy comes from a simple pat on the back.

Netflix - culture David Kelley on Designing Curious Employees Design thinking is a process of empathizing with the end user. Its principal guru is David Kelley, founder of IDEO and the Hasso Plattner Institute of Design at Stanford (otherwise known as the, who takes a similar approach to managing people. He believes leadership is a matter of empathizing with employees. In this interview, he explains why leaders should seek understanding rather than blind obedience, why it's better to be a coach and a taskmaster and why you can't teach leadership with a PowerPoint presentation. Kermit Pattison: How has the design thinking model influenced your approach to leading people? David Kelley: The main tenet of design thinking is empathy for the people you're trying to design for. Empathy is not always talked about as a leadership quality. For me, it's all important. What happens when the leader has to crack the whip? A lot of this must depend on hiring the right people who have an internal desire to do well. What questions do you ask?

Millennials on the Job: All They Really Want Is a Little Appreciation Do Millennials care about “length of service” recognition? I can hear you saying no. But you’re wrong. A study conducted by the Center for Creative Leadership in San Diego found Millennial employees have about the same level of organizational commitment as other generations. And there’s even better news from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. A recent study found employees are staying longer with their current employer than they have in nearly 15 years. Millennials want engaging, meaningful work Add an effective career achievement program, where employees are rewarded for their years of service, and that number jumps to 6.7 years. But being pegged as a job-hopping generation isn’t the only myth surrounding Millennials. But what they really want is engaging, meaningful work that doesn’t take over their lives. Sure Millennials expect to be listened to when they have an idea even if they are the youngest person in the room, but why shouldn’t they be? “They want to know their work matters”

Lead Like All Your Employees Are Volunteers The other day I read an article about a well-known company anticipating a big competitive problem: huge attrition when its first employees are vested for their stock options, four years after their hire date. The CEO expects to hemorrhage talent, many of which he expects to be snapped up by his competitors. His question, asked mostly of himself, is, “Why should we train our competition’s talent force?” Really? CEO, I’m writing to you. Here’s what I think. Most companies are not startups, and even among those that are, most will not have IPOs that make the founding talent rich. Guess what folks? Money will always be a factor for some people, and no matter what you try, some of your most talented performers will leave for a (financially) better offer. But for most of us, money only starts the conversation. But there are so many other, much more important reasons to want to work for a company, and even more to stay for one that we’ve grown to love! Image courtesy of SJ White Ted Coiné

Goodies and Gimmicks Won’t Get You a High-Performing Workforce A while back, I was doing a public program on how to keep employee morale high and shared my “Forget the Goodies, Gimmicks, and Gala Events Approach to Building Employee Morale” maxim. I’ll talk a little about that here, but if you want to read a more in-depth riff (rant?) on it, go to Are You REALLY Serious About Improving Morale? After I shared my thoughts about the all-too-common Goodies, Gimmicks, and Gala Events approach to morale and engagement and why it’s such a huge mistake, an HR manager raised her hand and shared her experience with this approach. Each year, her employer spends about $20 per employee on a Christmas gift (this was before the PC Police starting trying to make people pariahs for using the world Christmas). An all-too-familiar story She said how one year the gift was a plush beach towel and the previous year’s gift was a really nice picnic basket. Does some variation of that story sound familiar? After she shared her story, I found myself thinking: 3 things you can do

Creating Strategy Tools for the Next Generation Our solution: a series of visual strategy and innovation tools for the future. Through three years of action research and active experiments, we have developed and/or identified 32 powerful visual tools. Tools that help companies make strategic innovation happen. These are the tools we belief students and executives of all ages could benefit greatly from mastering. All our work builds on Creative Commons. For this Hack we highlight four of these tools: - Strategic Innovation Canvas - Innovation Thinking Modes - The Innovation Pyramid - The Action Roadmap Strategic Innovation Canvas Strategic Innovation Canvas is our default innovation tool. After having run the Strategic Innovation Canvas with management teams across private and public organizations, we can state; it simply works. The design principles and the visual thinking behind it helps management teams across all industries and all areas of expertise grasp strategic innovation in a record short amount of time. Innovation Thinking Modes 1.

Are You Really Serious About Improving Employee Morale? One of the questions I’m most frequently asked is “How can we improve morale?” because morale affects every aspect of a company’s competitive advantage, it is a critical question to ask. Business objectives that relate to your company’s success, such as increasing quality, productivity, and customer loyalty, while reducing turnover, absenteeism, and safety related costs, are all influenced by employee morale. In difficult times like the ones we are facing, when many employees are anxious and overwhelmed, it is more important than ever to know how to keep employee morale high and employees engaged — despite what’s going on in the world. Knowing this will help you combat the negativity that can drag down a workforce and make it less productive, less capable of providing great customer service, and less adaptable to change. Therefore, keeping employee morale high should be on every manager’s radar screen, and knowing how to do so a central part of their skill set. It won’t. What does?

Igniting the Invisible Tribe – designing an organization that doesn’t suck Josh Allan Dkystra’s new book, Igniting the Invisible Tribe. It is about a new way of business and work for the 21st Century. It’s a fabulous, must read book on how the world of ‘work’ can, and should, evolve and what we can do, with practical real questions to answer, to make that happen. 4 things are particularly remarkable to me in the book: The book itself – the physical bookUnusual and powerful analogiesNew RulesTools The Book. Analogies: I love analogies so perhaps I’m a bit more critical of the usual mundane analogies that get used to portray the need for change in the 21st Century. Revolution as a complete cycle – e.g., a trip around the sun. Rules: Josh has 5 rules for the new world of business, Rule 1: Start with Why – rarely do we question why we do things (makes me think of us as sheep – just following the shepherd blindly). Tools: Josh concludes the book by providing 6 tools to help us create the new world of ‘work’. image credit: Wait!

How Google Became the #3 Most Valuable Firm by Using People Analytics to Reinvent HR Google has the only HR function on the planet that is managed based on “people analytics” Larry Page — the CEO If you haven’t seen it in the news, after its stock price broke the $800 barrier, Google moved into the No. 3 position among the most valuable firms in the world. Most on the top 20 market cap list could be accurately described as “old school,” because most can attribute their success to being nearly half a century old, having a long established product brand, or through great acquisitions. Continuous Innovation Requires a New Kind of People Management The extraordinary marketplace success of Google (and Apple, which is No. 1 on the list) is beginning to force many business leaders to take notice and to come to the realization that there is now a new path to corporate greatness. “New path” firms dominate by producing continuous innovation. Why Firms Need to Shift to Data-based People Management Decisions Relying on Relationships in HR … Must Give Way to Data-based Decision-making

Strategy and the Uncertainty Excuse - Roger Martin by Roger Martin | 11:00 AM January 8, 2013 When I ask business executives about their company’s strategy — or about an apparent lack thereof — they often respond that they can’t or won’t do strategy because their operating environment is changing so much. There isn’t enough certainty, they argue, to be able to do strategy effectively. This is an argument I hear particularly often in high-technology sectors. It is almost a mantra there, a badge of pride and superiority: “We run at breakneck speed in the world of high-tech and there isn’t time to stop and do strategy. The implication is that only boring corporate bureaucrats in large corporations, where the future is (apparently) certain, engage in strategy. I find this to be pretty interesting logic. I really wonder what makes them think so. The danger, of course, is that while we are using uncertainty as an excuse to put off making strategic choices, the competition may be doing something else entirely.

4 Reasons Employee Engagement Doesn’t Work William is passionate about employee engagement. So much so his company specializes in it. So it comes as no surprise that William has seen his fair share of misguided attempts to improve employee engagement. In this post, we get some insights into four areas where the attempts failed. There are a significant number of organizations around the globe where employee engagement simply doesn’t work. In one respect, this group is completely accurate. In my experience, the majority of the “failed” employee engagement efforts can be traced back to at least four major faux pas. Recruiting tool Employee engagement has become the rally cry for people trying to find work (especially the Millennials). The real problem is you don’t have good quality employee engagement for the right reasons. PR efforts Because of social media, there is an enormous amount of pressure for organizations to appear more human and a bit less like a money vacuum that is never satisfied. Distractionary methods Profit chasing