Originally published April 2012.
Welcome to the April edition of the Management Journey Carnival. Topics for the Management Journey Blog Carnival include decision making, emotional intelligence, communication, innovation, entrepreneurship, meeting management, human resources, staffing, teamwork, leadership, problem solving, employee engagement, and other related topics. This blog carnival presents 21 top recent posts from thought leaders around the web. We’ll begin with the featured audio podcast for this month.
The featured podcast this month, Making Decisions in Groups, comes from Sarah Green of Harvard Business Review. It features an interview with Professor Tom Davenport who is co-author of the book Judgment Calls: Twelve Stories of Big Decisions and the Teams That Got Them Right. Tom discusses the value of having a varied approach to organizational decision making that includes collaboration and analytics. This podcast is full of real world business examples!
Epiphanies are those rare flashes of insight when the brain “suddenly” makes sense out of a problem that an individual has been wrestling to solve. They often come at unusual times when the individual has left the problem alone. Steve Blank of SteveBlank.com explains how to get ready for an epiphany in his post, Blinded by the Light – The Epiphany.
Business leaders who make quick, bold decisions are often celebrated for their gutsiness (regardless of the outcome). They rightfully argue that few leaders can wait for all of the facts in this fast moving environment if they want their companies to remain viable. Bold decision making does not have to be reckless decision making however as Jeffrey Davis of JeffreyDavis.com explains in his blog post, Don’t Let Your Business Become Roadkill.
What does a real-life CEO have in common with the central figures of a fictitious Mafia crime family in the Godfather film? This is the question Lydia Dishman of Fast Company both raises and answers in her post, An Offer You Can’t Refuse: Leadership Lessons from “The Godfather.”
Creativity and innovation come solely through unconventional means that result in inspiring, novel breakthroughs. Right? Not so fast! In his post, Innovation, Creative Thinking, and Disappointment, Douglas Eby of Psych Central | The Creative Mind explains that creativity and innovation also come through elements of discomfort and pain.
Get-it-done-quickly business leaders can hinder their organizations when they rely too frequently on adopting the first workable solution to a problem. As Anne Fisher of CNN Money explains in her post, Inside Stanford’s famous course on creativity, this flawed strategy can result in poor problem-solving that nets mediocre results and overly complex procedures.
Staffing an organization with the right employees who will work well with internal and external stakeholders can be a challenge. In her post, Hospital Makes Hiring a Family Affair, Kristen Frasch of Human Resource Executive Online explains how one organization used an innovative approach to make better recruitment decisions.
What’s the best way to handle those individuals who frequently complain about your decisions, the direction the company is taking, and other issues? As Adrian Gostick and Chester Elton of Bloomberg Businessweek explain in their post, Don’t Ignore the Squeaky Wheels!
Where exactly should CEO’s place their priority for value creation? Is creating shareholder returns the primary duty of CEO’s or should they focus on creating value for customers? Where do employees fall in this trio of stakeholders? In his post, Getting Value Creation in the Right Order, S. Anthony Iannarino of the Sales Blog directly tackles this issue.
Organizational tension exists between the CFO function that attends to the numbers and the HR function that attends to the human capital in an organization. As more HR executives find their reporting lines changing from the CEO to the CFO in the aftermath of the Great Recession, Kyle Lagunas of Software Advice identifies 5 Things HR Can Learn From the CFO (And Should).
Perseverance, determination, and loyalty are all admirable traits that many business leaders and managers share. In the face of adversity, even a certain amount of stubbornness to what one believes to be right is needed if leaders want to effect meaningful change. As I explain in my Management is a Journey blog post, You Can’t See the Forest for the Trees!, these attributes can also be negative when business professionals refuse to adjust their course. Leaders and managers also need the right perspective.
Business professionals who lead and manage in the workplace will not always be understood or liked. There will be times when others oppose and criticize their actions. It comes with the territory. Those business professionals who wither in the face of criticism should think twice about management or leadership positions. As Matt Monge of the Mojo Company explains, Sometimes You Just Need Guts if you want to be an effective leader or manager.
Sometimes it is the simple things that managers neglect to do that diminish their effectiveness. This holds true for managerial communications. Scott Patchin of the trU Group identifies sound advice in this area in his post, Do You Know How to Start and End a Conversation?
Do More With Less! These are fighting words for many managers who already feel stretched beyond their limits to perform. Borrowing from the fields of law and other self-employed professionals, Andy Phillips of the Art of Small Improvements proposes an alternate approach (and words) in his post, Doing More With Less – The Big Secret!
2020 is eight years away! As Gen Y continues to assume leadership roles and Boomers retire or reduce their responsibilities, businesses will need to develop mechanisms for passing on institutional knowledge and leadership wisdom. In her post, Co-Producing Success: How Mentoring Encourages Developing Leaders, Ileanna Santiago Ruiz of the Glass Hammer provides a framework for a successful transition.
By now, the previously unknown Greg Smith, formerly of Goldman Sachs, is now well known to many. Further, his resignation letter in the New York Times will be reviewed in management classes for years to come for the lessons it provides. What lessons can human resources take from this situation? David Shadovitz of Human Resource Executive Online provides several in his post, Resigning in a ‘Very’ Public Way.
If you mention the word “meetings” to managers, you are likely to get sighs, groans, and other negative feedback from them. Zac Sky of Zac Sky | Positive Happiness explains why many Meetings Are a Waste of Time. In his post, he also reminds managers of basic strategies they can use to make their meetings productive.
Listening to employees, the great underrated leadership and management skill, is non-existent in some businesses—particularly at the frontline employee level. Instead of listening to these employees, business leaders and managers are too busy telling them what to do. In his post, Listen to Your Frontline Employees, Anthony Tjan of Harvard Business Review provides a real world example that every business traveler can understand.
As an emotion, anger is often viewed negatively as something that is not constructive for effective leadership. At times, anger is a legitimate human emotion, however, that leaders need to channel appropriately. In his post, The Wrath of a Great Leader, Hitendra Wadhwa of Inc. explains how Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. wrestled with his anger and what business leaders can learn from his example.
As Oprah Winfrey struggles with the launching of her network, OWN, she shows that successful people, who seem to have the Midas Touch, also have difficulties at times. This month’s featured video, What We Can Learn from Oprah’s 101 Mistakes, comes from Daniel Honan of Big Think. It features Harvard Professor, William Sahlman discussing why failure is not permanent—if we learn from it.
For my Editor’s Pick for this Carnival, I selected the article, The Dirty Little Secret Of Overnight Successes, by Josh Linker of Fast Company. As a New York Times Bestselling author, a current CEO, and a founder and CEO of three technology businesses, Josh knows something about what it takes to be successful. His concise post is full of business wisdom and real world examples that share the insider secret on overnight success. Here’s an excerpt of Josh’s observations about overnight success:
When looking at the most successful people and organizations, we often imagine geniuses with a smooth journey straight to the promised land. But when you really examine nearly every success story, they are filled with crushing defeats, near-death experiences, and countless setbacks. . . . Before Oprah was Oprah, before Jobs was Jobs, they were labeled as misguided dreamers rather than future captains of industry.
Josh’s article is a great reminder that the success we so often celebrate does not come overnight.
This concludes the April 2012 edition of the Management Journey Carnival.