Article of the Week
Developing better change leaders (McKinsey Quarterly)
Big Idea: Too often, senior executives overlook the “softer” skills their leaders will need to disseminate changes throughout the organization and make them stick. Read about one global industrial company that placed leadership development at the center of a major operational-improvement program that involved deploying a new production system across 200 plants around the world.
Editor’s Choice Articles
You’re Hired. Now Figure Things Out (With The Help Of This Whimsical Handbook) (FastCompany)
Big Idea: This week, Valve’s hipper-than-thou employee handbook was unleashed on the Internet, to much envy and amusement. Companies like Valve, Zappos, and Facebook spill on how they maintain continuity and culture using clever onboarding practices and simple reassurance.
The Beliefs that Built a Global Brewer (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: The story of AB InBev — a firm that creates “restaurant owners not waiters” — is one of the most powerful examples of how a seemingly soft idea like a dream can create hard results: share gain, margin improvement. And it shows how a repeatable model built a small Sao Paolo-based brewer into a global leader.
Forget Empowerment (Management Innovation eXchange)
Big Idea: For all of the good intentions and energy applied these days to re-thinking the five-day, nine-to-five grind, all too often the quest for work-life balance, flexibility, and “empowerment” results in more programs, policies, rules, top-heavy design. At Semco, the two ruling assumptions are: 1) “trust in adult behavior”—the basic human drive to be productive, to build toward the future, and to contribute to something larger than themselves, and 2) every person’s rhythm’s are different when it comes to when and where and how they do their best work.
Increase Your Team’s Motivation Five-Fold (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: The rational thinker sees it as a waste of time to let others self-discover what he or she already knows — why not just tell them and be done with it? Unfortunately this approach steals from others the energy needed to drive change that comes through a sense of ownership of “the answer.”
Turn Your Career into a Work of Art (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: If you are a manager, you may want to ask yourself, is you team or organization an identity workspace for the people who work there? Ultimately, while mastery, identity and purpose are very personal, we can neither find nor pursue them alone. We’re still peculiar animals endowed with consciousness and cast in a sea of suggestions and demands. We need others who care enough about us, and whom we care enough about, to help us take it from there.
Management Secrets: Core Beliefs of Great Bosses (Inc.)
Big Idea: Upon interviewing some of the most successful CEOs in the world in order to discover their management secrets, this article discusses the eight core beliefs shared by the “best of the best”.
The Importance of Teaming (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: HBS Professor Amy Edmondson maintains that managers should think in terms of “teaming”—actively building and developing teams even as a project is in process, while realizing that a team’s composition may change at any given moment. Teaming, she says, is essential to organizational learning. She elaborates on this concept in her new book, “Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy.”