Article of the Week
If Happiness Is An Inalienable Right, How Come We’re Not Happier? (Forbes)
Big Idea: A wholly different way of managing has emerged – agile and radical management. The goal of the firm is meaningful: adding value for customers, not just making money. When workers have a direct line of sight to customers and can see the impact of what they do, they see meaning in their work. When work is done in self-organizing teams, this in turn generates engagement and strong horizontal relationships. The workplace thus creates the possibility of happiness in people’s lives, as well as making tons of money for the firm.
Editor’s Choice Articles
Curation: How the Global Brain Evolves (Wired)
Big Idea: “Content curation is the natural evolution of our globally networked consciousness. This sounds like a bunch of hippie drivel, but we really are creating a global brain, of sorts, by encoding human knowledge and tracking human activity. Using the human nodes of this network to strengthen some of these connections while weakening others (by choosing either to pass along i.e. ‘curate’ information or not to pass it along) helps this global brain function better as a system…When we curate, for whatever reason and in whatever form, we are enhancing a connection in the global neural network we are inadvertently creating.”
Measuring An Employee’s Worth? Consider Influence (FastCompany)
Big Idea: Today, your performance review is based on things like sales numbers or number of goals met. Tomorrow, though, it could be based on something that until now has remained ephemeral: organizational influence. Salesforce.com’s Chatter system released a new feature this spring called Influencer. It purports to measure how influential you are within your company, by tabulating, for example, how your fellow workers respond to the items you post to your corporate social network.
A Better Project Model than the “Waterfall” (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: The “agile” movement in IT is rapidly replacing the traditional “waterfall” approach to project management. Jeff Gothelf explains the core idea: shift the focus from preconceived requirements and outputs, and instead discover the best solution by focusing on measurable outcomes. Traditional strategy management suffers from the same “waterfall” paradigm. Strategy alignment and execution must adopt the “agile” approach, too.
Every Company Should Build a Second Corporation (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: Now that the smart money assumes our demise, we need a system to ensure our survival. We need something that looks less like improv and more like engineering. We need a second corporation.
Declare Your Radicalness (HBR Blog Network)
Big Idea: Here’s the problem with incrementalism in a time of breakdown: it’s a bit like asking a mechanic to tune up your tasseled loafers for your pioneering voyage to the edges of interstellar space. But make no mistake: if it’s the tired realm of the clapped out possible you wish to take a quantum leap beyond, you’re going to need a rocket ship.
Time for a Nice Cold One! (Innovation Excellence)
Big Idea: When things heat up, it’s also a good time to cool down your business. I’m referring to giving it a “cold eye” review, whereby someone not involved with a particular system or process looks at it with fresh eyes to identify possible areas for improvement. When done well, the cold eye review often uncovers the obvious (things that were missed previously because people are so used to them), and occasionally discovers the unique.