Article of the Week
Don’t Let Culture Vultures Scuttle Your Strategy (FastCompany)
Big Idea: Culture drives strategy and is the field on which strategy plays. A vibrant and functional culture is like a blanket that embraces, protects, and nurtures the strategy. A company without a strategy lacks direction. A strategy without a culture that understands or embraces it is like a sports team without spirit.
Editor’s Choices Articles
Do Your People Trust You? (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: When we talk to managers, we often ask, “Do your people trust you?” Most are taken aback. It’s not something they’re often asked or a question they’ve even asked themselves. After some thought, most eventually say something like, “Well, I think so. I hope so. No one’s said he doesn’t.” In fact, as they ultimately admit, they don’t really know for sure. It’s a question worth asking. Do your people trust you?
What Good Bosses Do With Bad Apples (FastCompany)
Big Idea: The lesson here isn’t so much about these specific subtraction stories, even if they are instructive. Rather, it is about the subtraction mind-set, that every boss ought to keep searching for things to remove and simplify–and ways to make life less frustrating and annoying. Great bosses live the motto “When in doubt, take it out.”
Change Your Employees’ Minds, Change Your Business (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: Many business leaders don’t care why employees do anything as long as they follow the company’s rules, processes, cultural norms and laws. But we’ve found that leaders can create and sustain stronger business results if they understand — and manage — how employees approach their work every day. When employees’ thoughts, feelings, and beliefs are aligned with their daily work, they do that work better.
Could Pixar’s ‘Secret Story Guidelines’ Work for Your Team? (HBR Blog Network)Big Idea: The idea of taking the time to look around your industry, identify your opportunity, and list off a set of defiant (and slightly cheeky) guidelines that everyone on the team can hold onto proved incredibly powerful for Pixar. It’s a pretty classic strategic trick, but one that too few companies or teams likely employ. Given the impact and the success Pixar saw in part as a result of this device, establishing a set of “story guidelines” that work for your team — or your company — may be a tactic you want to consider.
Leading Multinational Companies: Three Significant Changes in the Role of Senior Leaders (LeadershipWatch –Aad Boot)
Big Idea: Today’s business environment is changing. A lot has been written in recent years about this change and its various aspects: globalization, emerging markets, different competitors, exponential rate of change, new technologies that change business models and market places, impact of social media, etc. It affects people and businesses worldwide, and surely also multinational companies. In working with multinational companies I see three specific changes that affect the role of its senior leaders. Three changes that require special attention and sometimes even a fundamental mind shift.
The executive’s guide to better listening (McKinsey Quarterly)
Big Idea: The many great listeners I’ve encountered throughout my career as a surgeon, a corporate executive, and a business consultant have exhibited three kinds of behavior I’ll highlight in this article. By recognizing—and practicing—them, you can begin improving your own listening skills and even those of your organization.
Defining Your Company’s Vision (FastCompany)
Big Idea: Many organizations confuse mission and vision. A mission is about who you are. Missions rarely change. Visions should be dynamic and drive constant learning and innovation.