You really should take advantage of this exceptional gift from Harvard Business Review and be sure to tell your friends about it.
Here are the details.
COMPLIMENTARY LIVE AUDIO WEBINAR
Co-conductors: Clay Christensen and Hal Gregersen
Renowned innovation expert and HBS Professor, Clay Christensen, and Hal Gregersen, INSEAD Senior
Affiliate Professor, share secrets to cultivating innovation prowess throughout your organization
Wednesday, October 19, 2011
11:00 a.m. – 12:00 noon U.S./Canadian EST
Join us right from your office or conference room—by Internet link (no travel!)
About This Free, Interactive Webinar
Some people are natural innovators, right? They discover new products, services, and entire businesses with little effort, while the rest of us can’t keep up. Wrong.
Innovative capabilities are not innate, argues HBS professor Clay Christensen and INSEAD Professor Hal Gregersen and their co-author in The Innovator’s DNA. Anyone can master disruptive innovation by developing five skills:
1. Associating: Drawing connections among questions, problems, or ideas from unrelated fields.
2. Questioning: Posing queries that challenge common wisdom.
3. Observing: Scrutinizing the behavior of customers, suppliers, and competitors to identify new ways of doing things.
4. Experimenting: Constructing interactive experiences and provoking unorthodox responses to see what insights emerge.
5. Networking: Mixing with people who have different ideas and perspectives.
In this interactive Harvard Business Review webinar on October 19, Professors Christensen and Gregersen will explain how you and your team can cultivate these skills to become more innovative.
Professors Christensen and Gregersen will share how to generate ideas using these skills, collaborate with “delivery-driven” colleagues to implement ideas, and build innovation strength throughout an organization. Attendees will learn to rate their own “Innovator’s DNA.”
Having coined the term and the concept “disruptive innovation,” Professor Christensen is a world-renowned expert on innovation. Gather your team on October 19 to hear Professors Christensen and Gregersen detail how your company can use his insights to your advantage. No team seeking to develop its innovation prowess should skip this opportunity.
After the event, you will receive a Key Learnings Summary, which captures the key insights from the event.
To register, please click here.
Can’t make it? Click here for information.
Tribal Leaders are talent magnets, with people so eager to work for the leader that they will take a pay cut if necessary.
Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization by Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright
Ok, I’m ready to give the biggest and most important career advice I have ever given. If you don’t own your own company, and you ever change jobs again, follow this advice. There is nothing else this important.
Choose your boss well.
That’s it. Because your boss means everything. The wrong boss can be a disaster. The right boss can shape your career for the better for the rest of your life.
So, what do you look for in a boss? Mainly, you look for the qualities you want to learn and emulate when you will move up to your next position as the “boss.” Here are some qualities to look for:
1. Choose a good teacher. If the boss wants to develop the talent of those who report to hem/her, then the boss needs to be a good, effective teacher. So, choose a boss who has much to teach you, and, knows how to teach you – is good at teaching. This is important because you have much to learn, and someday you will have much to teach, and people to teach it to.
2. Choose a good “carer.” (“Carer” is probably not a word, but the idea is clear — choose a boss who cares for people – genuinely, deeply. Because after all, a boss leads real people, and the ability to care for each person is really critical. You need to develop this trait. And it helps to learn from someone who is good at it.
3. Choose a good team leader. If a boss is good at building a team, then the future will be a lot better. You need to be part of a team with a good leader, so that later you can be a good team leader yourself.
These are just a few of the traits to look for in your next boss. There are probably a few more just as important as these, like: choose an ethical boss; choose a boss who cultivates an environment of fun; choose a boss who is a good coach as well as teacher… You can add to this list.
But this I know for sure – choosing your boss well is really important.
Here are ten of 101 ways Melissa G. Wilson suggests to help you become much more successful, no matter what the economy is (and isn’t) doing. They are especially helpful during tough times. Wilson is certain you will benefit from the strategies, based on decades of research and development as well as success and failure, “the joy of victory and the agony of defeat.” They’re practical; they’re easy; they can be implemented immediately and quickly; and best of all, Wilson asserts, “They really work!”
To check out her website and all 101 “ways,” please click here.
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1. Become a Networlder. A Networlder, unlike a networker, has 10 or fewer key people they consider partners. These partners are participants in regular exchanges of emotional support, information, knowledge, promotional support, as well as leads and referrals for new business or career opportunities. The focus of Networlding is on mutually beneficial exchanges with like-minded and like-valued people. The great thing about Networlding partnerships is that they are fun and get results three to five times as fast as traditional networking relationships.
2. Create a Primary Circle. We all have networks. We just don’t necessarily realize it, and we spend most of our time with a few people. Networlding is about becoming aware of our network and consciously creating exchanges with a few people who become our Networlding partners in a primary circle. Social science research states that we can’t communicate regularly with more than 15 people. Primary circles, therefore, we have found, are no larger than 10 people.
3. Initially, you only need one Networlding partner in your Primary Circle. In an extensive study we did with 200 executives, we discovered that the majority of people connect with only five Networlding partners once a month, every month. This means that even one person with whom you share similar or complementary values and who is ready, willing and able to become a Networlding partner, can create a whole new world of opportunities for you and you for them.
4. Find Networlding influencers for your Primary Circle. We define Networlding influencers as people who know how to influence and are ready, willing and able to do so for you and others with whom they Networld. For example, you might know people who are in your industry who are highly influential but are not Networlding influencers because they keep their power to themselves.
5. Put others in Secondary and Tertiary Circles. Again, whether you consciously do this or not, some people will fall into your secondary or tertiary circles. People who might go in a secondary circle are those who are not, right now, ready, willing or able to exchange with you once a month. These are people, however, with whom
you should stay in contact. Tertiary circles are for almost everyone else, because you never know who might become a good partner later and vice versa.
6. Become a Networlding influencer. You can be someone who is not at the top of your field, but because you are willing to practice influencing—connecting people together who have not yet met but who should meet, you can quickly become a top influencer, creating many opportunities for yourself.
7. Spend 80 percent of your relationship building time with your Primary Circle. We know this is counterintuitive but once you have found those 10 or fewer great Networlding partners, spend the majority of your time focused on your partners and your “collective” gain. This will make all the difference in achieving better business opportunities, faster.
8. Treat each person you meet with uncompromising respect. Networlders are zealots of respect and integrity. They are like the knights in King Arthur’s Roundtable. They care about creating relationships of honor.
9. Be proactive rather than reactive. Reactive people wait for a request to refer someone; proactive people are out there creating opportunities for you. These are people who will put you in a primary position in their networks and will actively work to find you new opportunities. Do the same for them.
10. Follow-up promptly after face-to-face meetings. Email or call quality contacts you meet at networking gatherings promptly after an event to remind them of your initial meeting. Let them know you enjoyed meeting them. Focus on the appreciation you have for the original meeting and mention that you would like to stay connected. This is not a time to “sell” your services or products, but rather, a time to grow and deepen the connection around the relationship.
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Melissa G. Wilson is one of the world’s leading experts on the development of individual and community networks as a means of growing and accelerating brand loyalty inside and outside organizations. For more than a decade Melissa’s organization, Networlding, has provided exceptionally successful viral and relationship marketing programs for organizations like AT&T, CNA, Motorola, and Disney.
Books that predict the future are interesting, although perhaps preparing for it, and creating it, usually provide greater returns.
Nevertheless, a new best-seller does just that. Jeanne Meister and Karie Willyerd recently published an HR-focused book, The 2020 workplace: How innovative companies attract, develop, and keep tomorrow’s employees today. (New York: Harper, 2011). I presented a synopsis of that book at the October First Friday Book Synopsis in Dallas, and it is now available at 15MinuteBusinessBooks.com.
Among the many predictions in the book is # 7 – “Job requirements for CEO’s will include blogging.” They state that: “The level of authenticity and concern that can be communicated through a CEO-level blog can’t be matched by press releases or blogs written by the public relations department….Hearing the voice of the CEO through his or her own writing, when it feels authentic, helps foster trust in an organization” (p. 220).
They suggest there are three major styles of CEO blogging: (1) deeply personal, (2) highly opinionated, and (3) product messaging.
If you live in the DFW area, you are well aware that the greatest example of the head guy being highly opinionated through blogs is right under your own nose. Mark Cuban is the Owner of the Dallas Mavericks, and popularized blogs before, during, and after his team’s basketball games. You could read his views on his players, the action, and his favorite target, the referees.
These blogs were highly popular, some of which demonstrate the problems associated with putting opinions in print. A number of the blogs led to huge fines imposed by the NBA, especially those that criticized referees. Ironically, in 2008, Cuban banned blogging from the Mavericks’ locker room. According to Deadspin: “Mark Cuban dislikes bloggers who aren’t him.”
None of that matters. I think that Cuban led the way. His blogging is highly visible. controversial, provocative, and interesting. Go to a game, concert, or even corporate meeting, and see how many people have at least one cell phone or other mobile device in their hand. Some are texting, some are sending e-mail, but some are also blogging. Cuban was the first of his type to do this.
And, if you believe this new best-seller, Cuban was ahead of his time.
What do you think? Let’s talk about this really soon!
Here is the introduction to an interview of Sylvia Nasar by Rob Norton as part of “The Thought Leader Interview” series featured by strategy+business magazine, published by Booz & Company. To read the complete interview, check out other resources, sign up for free email alerts, and obtain subscription information, please click here.
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The renowned author discusses how the great economists uncovered the basic truth about progress, prosperity, and productivity, and the reasons you should be careful which ideas you listen to.
Many of the powerful forces that help business, hurt business, and shape our civilization today stem directly from the theories formulated by economists in the past, put into practice in the real world. That is the subject of Sylvia Nasar’s new book, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius (Simon & Schuster, 2011). And yet, as Nasar would be the first to acknowledge, the field of economics has suffered from a lack of respect since its formative years; Scottish essayist Thomas Carlyle dubbed it “the dismal science” in 1849. Today, when economics makes headlines, it’s typically as a whipping boy (“Why Economists Failed to Predict the Financial Crisis”) or as part of a sales pitch (“Prominent Economists Support Changes to Medicare”). Add the fact that economics has been delivered to undergraduates over the past 50 years in an off-putting package of mathematical equations and unintuitive charts, and it’s no surprise that most people tend to see it as a difficult subject producing dubious results.
But economics has in fact made profound contributions to our understanding of how society functions. Nobody has done a better job of bringing its story to life than Sylvia Nasar. Launching into her narrative via Charles Dickens and Jane Austen rather than Adam Smith and David Ricardo, she shows how some of the most important ideas of modern times came together in London in the mid-19th century, as Britain entered an era of unprecedented economic growth — the first time in human history that the living standards of average people began to rise significantly. The key insight around which the book revolves is that business productivity drives economic and societal improvement, and the book’s narrative shows us how an idea like that can be developed, debated, and accepted over the decades as empirical evidence mounts and the scholarly consensus builds.
Along the way, Nasar rights some perceptual wrongs of conventional economic history. One hero of the tale is British economist Alfred Marshall (1842–1924), who hasn’t always gotten the respect he deserves. Grand Pursuit reveals what Karl Marx was wrong about (practically everything) and why (intellectual laziness); it paints rich portraits of neglected thinkers such as prototypical feminist Beatrice Webb (1858–1943), who formulated the idea of the social safety net in the 1890s, and American economist Irving Fisher (1867–1947), who presciently discovered portfolio theory, countercyclical monetary policy, and index numbers, as well as inventing the Rolodex and founding the company that became Remington Rand. Nasar also provides carefully reported assessments of the achievements of such better-known economists as John Maynard Keynes, Friedrich August von Hayek, and — the last in her line of profiles — Amartya Sen, whose work she sees as pointing to new directions for the field.
In Nasar’s view, economics has progressed to the point where it can explain definitively how to avoid the kinds of economic catastrophes that produced the Great Depression. All the nations that have grown steadily in recent years, she believes, are following the basic economic playbook that began to take shape as Marshall visited the factories of Britain’s Industrial Revolution, whereas countries that ignore those lessons are doomed to failure. But the dismal science has less to say about how to balance the roles of governments and markets or how to determine the optimal level of taxation. As examples, she cites the United States and Sweden, two countries with very different policy and fiscal profiles, but very similar — and enviable — standards of living.
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To read the complete interview, please click here.
Sylvia Nasar, a former economist herself and a writer for Fortune and The New York Times, is the author of A Beautiful Mind (Simon & Schuster, 1998), the best-selling biography of mathematician and game theorist John Nash, later adapted into a hit Hollywood film. She is also the John S. and James L. Knight Professor of Business Journalism at the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism. Her most recent book, Grand Pursuit: The Story of Economic Genius, was published by Simon & Schuster (2011) and is also a bestseller. She discussed her research and conclusions with s+b at Booz & Company’s New York office in May 2011.
Additional and even more valuable revelations about “the principles that distinguish great organizations from good ones”
For as long as I can remember, Jim Collins has been a research-driven business thinker. In each of his prior books, he and his associates (usually Morten Hansen among them) share what was revealed during many years of research to learn the answer to an especially important question. For Built to Last, it was “Why are some companies able to achieve and sustain success through multiple generations of leaders, across decades and even centuries?”; in Good to Great, “Why do some companies make the leap from good to great… and others don’t?”; then in How the Mighty Fall, “How and why do some once great companies fall and other companies never give in to the same challenges, problems, and setbacks?”; and now in Great by Choice, “Why do some companies thrive in uncertainty, even chaos, and others do not?”
Collins, Hansen, and their colleagues conducted a nine-year study (2002-2011) and share what they learned. Here are the findings that caught my eye:
1. For reasons best revealed within the book’s narrative, in context, some companies and leaders thrive in chaos. Those on whom the book focuses have out-performed their industry’s index by at least 10 times and (key point) under the same extreme conditions with which others in the same industry must also contend.
2. Characterized as “10X” companies, those selected were paired in a “near-perfect match” — for purposes of both comparison and contrast – with companies during “eras of dynastic performance that ended in 2002, not the companies as they are today. It’s entirely possible that by the time you read these words, one or two of the companies on the list [i.e. Amgen, Biomet, Intel, Microsoft, Progressive Insurance, Southwest Airlines, and Stryker] has stumbled, falling from greatness.”
3. The research invalidates well-entrenched myths (see Pages 9-10) with regard to the 10X companies and their leaders. For example, “the evidence does not support the premise that 10X companies will necessarily be more innovative than their less successful comparisons [during the same timeframe]; and in some cases, the 10X cases were less innovative.”
4. Leaders of 10X companies display three core behaviors that, in combination, distinguish them from the leaders of less successful comparison companies. They also call to mind the behaviors of Level 5 leadership, examined in detail in Good to Great. Specifically, 10Xers exemplify fanatic discipline (“utterly relentless, monomaniacal, unbending in their focus on their quests”), empirical creativity (reliance on “direct observation, practical experimentation, and direct engagement with tangible evidence”), and productive paranoia (channeling their fear and worry into action, preparing, developing contingency plans, building buffers, and maintaining large margins of safety”).
5. In the Epilogue, Collins and his associates acknowledge their sense that “a dangerous disease” is infecting today’s culture, one that incorrectly suggests that greatness “owes more to circumstance, even luck, than to action and discipline.” Yes, they agree, good or bad luck plays a role for everyone, including 10Xers and Level Fivers. However, they offer an eloquent reassurance that many of us need to hear: “The greatest leaders we’ve studied throughout all our research cared as much about values as victory, as much about purpose as profit. As much about being useful as being successful. Their drive and stamina are ultimately internal, rising from where deep inside.”
Organizations do not make choices, their leaders do, and the fate of each of those organizations depends on the quality of the choices its leaders make, especially amidst uncertainty, chaos, and luck…three realities that even the best leaders can only manage rather than control. That is the challenge but also the opportunity to which the book’s title refers. The single most important difference between the 10X companies that Collins and Hansen discuss and those with which they are compared/contrasted is that those who lead them make better choices as they build and then sustain a culture within which everyone else does.