December Management Journey Carnival

Originally published December 2011.

Welcome to the December edition of the Management Journey Blog Carnival.  Topics for this month’s Carnival include communication, innovation, lean management, leadership, emotional intelligence, employee engagement, self-management, entrepreneurship, and other related topics. This blog carnival presents 21 top posts from thought leaders around the web.

It’s hard to believe it but we’ll be speeding past 2011 in a few days!  As I work with managers and leaders, one constant is clear: everyone is feeling the effects of our complex times in some way in their lives.  The good news for business professionals is that perseverance is a powerful trait to extinguish and the better news for business professionals is that they have access to unlimited information that can help them.  With so many smart people sharing their wisdom on the web, there’s no reason for managers and leaders to fail.

Let’s review the wisdom of some of the best-of-the-web thought leaders:

An Oldie But Goodie

There’s something special about a well-preserved classic automobile.  You want to dust it off, polish it up a bit, and take it out on the road so everyone can appreciate its value!  Like this classic automobile, some information on the web is timeless.  It is valuable wisdom that stands the test of time no matter when it was said.  For this month’s Oldie but Goodie, Ed Tate of Ed Tate’s Key Notes shows how to make a business presentation that people will remember in his post, 20 Business Presentation Mistakes.


stereo and computer speakers
Featured Podcast

Featured Podcast

The featured podcast this month is on success in business and it comes from Harvard Business Review.  In this podcast, author and psychologist Heidi Halvorson explains What Successful People Do Differently.  Her nine success factors come from her research on why some people handle difficulty better than other people do and why some people reach their goals while others do not. She argues that it takes more than talent and other frequently-quoted attributes.  It also involves using the right practical strategies.


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Featured Articles

Keep it simple!  It’s sound wisdom that managers and leaders sometimes forget when they have strategy sessions.  Alicia Arnold of Daily Creativity tackles the often complex activity of strategy in her post, Three Things Strategy Isn’t.  She adds her clarity by looking at strategy from this different angle.

I think therefore I am
!  Descartes five words have so much relevance to many situations including the limitations that come from some of the mental models we hold onto as our truth.  What happens when we hold too tightly to these mental models and refuse to challenge their assumptions?  Ed Batista of Ed Batista | Executive Coaching & Change Management provides insights in his post, Corn Mazes and Mental Models.

Investigate any major organizational problem and it is likely that you will find that ineffective communication is a contributing cause. Effective communication is more than expressing ourselves clearly and using active listening, however. It is also making sure our body language does not derail our message.  Diana Booher of Booher Consultants provides practical strategies for effective body language in her post, Communication Skills: Does Your Body Language Undermine Your Words?

Many of us who write about leadership speak about the importance of treating others fairly, creating an environment that fosters motivation, modeling the behavior we expect from others, and living up to the right values.  Lyn Boyer of Lyn Boyer | Affective Leadership reminds us of another important aspect of leadership: Leaders, along with taking care of everyone else, also need to take care of themselves.  She provides coping strategies in her post, When Leaders Struggle.

At what point, do managers, who take operational shortcuts, become unproductive and worse unethical?  What are those critical activities that demand a no-compromise focus on excellence?  David Bussell of The Manager’s Sandwich | The Middle Manager’s Survival Blog explains, When 95% Success Can Still Lead to Failure.

It’s not what you say but how you say it!  I am sure we have heard this saying before and maybe even had it directed at us at sometime in our lives. Effective communications involves more than honesty and clarity. It also involves communicating in a way that does not destroy relationships—even when we have to say no.  Valerie Clements of 9 O’Clock explains How to Say No Without Causing Resentment.

Sometimes the biggest obstacle in our paths is the person looking back at us in the mirror! As Joel Garfinkle of Leadership Now explains, “The workplace has enough challenges and obstacles without us getting in our own way.” In his post, 3 Self-Limiting Mindsets that Will Hold You Back at Work, Joel identifies the common ways in which we can unintentionally sabotage our own success.

Business professionals in positions of power have great impact in organizations just through their social interactions with others.  Some organizational leaders and managers energize their teams while others demoralize their teams.  Steve Gutzler of Steve Gutzler | Leadership Quest explains the importance of positively impacting those around us in his post, What Kind of Contagious Emotions are YOU Spreading?

Design thinking is an emerging business practice that is getting increasing attention.  While there is no one definition for design thinking, its concern is how a business professional thinks and it advocates using both analytical and creative thinking to solve business problems. Michael Krigsman and Chirag Mehta of ZDNet provide insights in  Design Thinking: A New Approach to Fight Complexity and Failure.

We’ve all heard the saying: The Devil is in the Details!  It is a true saying.  Projects often get trapped in the execution phase. In his post, Finish that Prototype!, Kenneth Lange of Kenneth Lange | Creating Things & Experiencing Life explains how a combination of perseverance, creativity, and planning can get that project moving.

What is leadership? As Derek Lauber of Lightbox Leadership, explains, this is a wonderfully simple question that is very complex to answer. In his post, What is Leadership: 5 Core Traits, Derek tackles the question head-on and explains the five critical core components that every successful leader must have.

Promoting efficiency in the business enterprise is an important managerial responsibility. To promote organizational efficiency, managers must find ways to simplifying business operations.  Sharing the wisdom of the Toyota Production System, Matt May of Matthew E May explains 5 Ways to K.I.S.S.

King Solomon in his wisdom said that if you walk with the wise, you will be wise.  The wisdom of the wise is often captured in their powerful quotes. JD Meier of Sources of Insight gives us much wisdom to reflect upon in his post, Leadership Quotes.

Several studies have shown that employee engagement is at low levels. In addressing gaps in this area, Jacob Morgan of Jacob Morgan | Social Business Advisor argues that we need to move away from measuring busy metrics to measuring true engagement metrics. In his post, How Collaborative Organizations can Make the World a Better Place, he explains how engagement is more appropriately a qualitative emotional metric.

We are not in Kansas, anymore!  Like Dorothy and Toto in the land of OZ, the combination of social media and the web have changed the rules of communication and productivity.  It’s a jungle out there! Kat Rags of CommonFig explains some of the rules of this new world in her post, Gossip Around the Monitor: Facebook, the New Water Cooler.

Sometimes innovation in the workplace comes simply. It does not require a project plan and budget, extensive management coordination, and extended employee interaction.  Instead, A Dose of Common Sense Goes a Long Way in bringing innovation to the workplace as Bill Waddell of Evolving Excellence explains.

Extreme management styles do not wear well in an organization over the long term. Eventually, like guests who stay too long, these managers will wear out their welcome in the wake of the human toll they create in the workplace. Skip Weisman of Workplace Communication Expert explains how These 2 Different Leadership Styles Cause the Same Negative, Toxic and Unproductive Workplace Cultures.


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Featured Video

Featured Video

The featured video for this month is on innovation and it comes from my blog, Management is a Journey.   For many organizations, the problem is not coming up with innovative ideas.  Many smart managers working there already know what is needed. The difficulty is executing the innovative ideas that already exist.  For this month’s featured video, I offer, How to Execute Innovation.


ribbon award winner editor pick
Editor’s Pick

Editor’s Pick

My Editor’s Pick for the December Carnival is from Kevin O’Connor of  The topic is entrepreneurship.

With more individuals of all generations starting their own businesses and working for small firms now, managers and leaders in these organizations must have the skills and qualities of an entrepreneur.  This is even true for many large firms that find that they are losing market share due to their bureaucratic and other non-customer-friendly practices. Big companies must find ways to retain their innovative spirit and still lead and manage a large enterprise.

In his article, 9 Tips for Activating the Entrepreneurial Spirit, Kevin explains the skills and qualities it takes to be a successful entrepreneur.  The article is concise and practical. With his 9 tips, Kevin effectively explains how all managers can develop their entrepreneurial spirit by encouraging innovation within their companies and hiring innovators as employees.

This concludes the December 2011 edition of the Management Journey Carnival.