November Management Journey Carnival

Welcome to the November 2011 edition of the Management Journey Carnival.  Topics for this month’s Management Journey Blog Carnival include interpersonal effectiveness, managing the 4 generations, communication, innovation, diversity, change management, teamwork, leadership, workplace productivity and other related topics. This blog carnival presents 21 of the best articles from Internet thought leaders.

Can you believe it?  Just a little more than a month and we will be saying goodbye to 2011 and hello to 2012!  Thought leaders are not letting up on putting out quality information as the year ends, however.  The blogosphere continues to be a great place to learn and collaborate.  For the November Management Journey Blog Carnival, let’s review the wisdom of 21, best-of-the-web, thought leaders:

stereo and computer speakers

Featured Podcast

Featured Podcast

The featured podcast this month comes from Harvard Business ReviewSara Green interviews Douglas Conant, former CEO of Campbell’s Soup Company. Doug talks about his experiences in turning around Nabisco and Campbell’s Soup in the podcast, Keeping Employees Engaged in Tough Times.  It’s a thoughtful, how-to interview on what it takes to help a company in trouble and lead a large group of people in rapidly changing environments.

man typing on a laptop

Articles

Featured Articles

What do some of the best thought leaders on the web have to say this month?  A great deal, it turns out!  Let’s get started:

OK, you’re legitimately not happy about something in the workplace and it’s time for you to complain! What’s the best way to complain and get what you need without destroying relationships?  Ellen Bremen of The 12 Most . . . provides some useful communication strategies for complaining in her post, 12 Most Assertive Yet Face-Saving Ways to Complain.

We all get in a rut at times. Often, these mental blocks occur at the most inconvenient time however when we have too much important work to do.  It’s as if our brain decided to take a vacation at the very time when we need it to be most engaged. Business managers cannot stay in a rut too long, however.  In her post, 4 Tips for Anyone Who Needs to Begin Something…Anything!, Renee Charney of Charney Coaching and Consulting provides some practical strategies for getting our brains in gear.

The best leaders and managers of people are self-aware individuals. They know their strengths and they understand and acknowledge their limitations.  They also understand their values—one of the most powerful motivators of human behavior.  Lolly Daskal of Lead From Within | Lolly Daskal explains the power you have as a leader and manager when you Voice Your Values.

Managers and leaders, do you want to take your teams to the next level of innovation?  If so, it’s time for you to get out of the driver’s seat and let someone else drive the car sometimes!  Mitch Ditkoff of The Heart of Innovation explains, Why Leaders Shouldn’t Lead Brainstorming Sessions.

In the unenlightened past, many in business used to believe that innovation was a sporadic burst of all the right elements coming together at a specific point in time in an organization. Further, they believed that only certain companies could really be innovative.  Guido Kerkhof of Innovation & Marketing discards this outdated thinking.  He explains how innovation can and should be managed in his post, Top-5 Innovation Igniting Management Interventions.

It’s not surprising that effective leaders are good communicators. Leadership communication is more than stating the vision, taking positions, and telling people what to do, however. Good leadership communication is also about questioning and listening.  Polly LaBarre of Management Innovation eXchange advocates the value of leading with questions in her post, What’s Your Question?

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What type of relationship should you have with the people you manage? Is the goal to become friends with them?  In his article, Why Managers And Leaders Shouldn’t Be Friends, Mitch Mitchell of T.T. Mitchell Consulting explains why managers and leaders need some distance to maintain perspective and respect.

Management differs from leadership.  Management is about process:  it is about getting work done and efficiency. Managers live in the world of how and whoMike Moore of Management by Delegation reminds us of these distinctions in his post, Managing Work – the Premier Management Responsibility.

It is easy to assign blame to others for leadership failures. Leadership occurs everywhere, however, and unlike management one does not have to have a formal title to be a leader. Daniel Newman of Millennial CEO rallies everyone to live up to the calling to be a leader in his post, A Call to Action: Leadership is Up to Everyone.

Businesses today desperately need management innovators—those individuals who can see and make new possibilities from that which already exists.  In his post, Innovation: Three Concepts You Can Apply Now, Rick Ross of Rick Ross | Business, Technology & Life provides a framework for making innovative change.

Are you feeling motivated to give your best?  Or, do the difficulties of our time have you feeling stressed and unmotivated? Hilary Rubin of Pick the Brain explains why we are all responsible for our own motivation despite what is going on around us. In her post, The Top 5 Motivation Poisons, Hillary provides the prescription for keeping our motivation alive and well.

Many companies develop plans to define their strategic direction and, regrettably many of these same plans fail in the execution stage. Why is it that corporate strategies fail? Often, it is because businesses separate corporate strategy from the daily operations.  In her post, Corporate Strategy: Defining and Incorporating It into Your Daily Action Plan, Susan Ruhl of Oi Partners explains the value of making sure daily actions align with the overall corporate strategy.

Do we recognize, value, and leverage the diversity that different people bring to the workplace? What biases do we have that prevent us from getting the most from everyone?  In her post, Straight Talk on Workplace Prejudice, Leigh Steere of SmartBlog on Leadership makes a compelling case on how the conscious and unconscious biases of leaders and managers undermine organizational productivity.

To innovate and make meaningful change it’s a fact that managers must think differently.  They have to be bold enough to be non-conformists who challenge the status quo when it is warranted.  Doug Sundheim of Taking Smart Risks provides practical steps for stepping out on this proverbial limb in his post, It’s a Fine Line Between Crazy and Brilliant.

In the non-profit sector, discussions about leadership and succession have intensified as the various generations work together.  The discussion has ranged from a leadership crisis to no crisis at all. In her post, Three Ideas for Redefining Nonprofit Leadership, Rosetta Thurman of Rosetta Thurman | Empowering a New Generation of Leaders proposes moving beyond old discussions and embracing three new ideas for leadership in the non-profit sector.

Change agents are needed catalysts that spur others to act in an organization. The role while not impossible to fulfill is not an easy one either. What exactly does it take to be an effective change agent in an organization?  As Mike Torrie of Eagle’s Flight explains in his post, Change Agent, being a catalyst for change requires engaging the head, heart, and hands of those affected.

Breaking established patterns is a powerful tool for jump-starting creative and innovative thinking. The insider secret to creativity and innovation is that the techniques to achieve breakthrough thinking are generally simple.  Many of these techniques just require us to make simple adjustments to what we are already doing.  Jack Ulrich of the School of Unlearning shows just how easy it is to make these adjustments in his post, Unlearn Your Routine.

computer webcam video

Featured Video

Featured Video

Mention the words–office politics–and you will get a range of emotions from managers and leaders and many of the feelings will be negative. As negative as office politics may be for many, it is still a force in business that will not go away. The fact is that managers and leaders must understand the dynamics of office politics and be able to work effectively and ethically in this area to avoid becoming a victim of it.  For this month’s featured video, I offer, So You Think You Can Ignore Office Politics? Think Again!, from my blog, Management is a Journey.

ribbon award winner editor pick

Editor's Pick

Editor’s Pick

For my Editor’s Pick for this Carnival, I am picking an interesting controversy about diversity that developed online between a contributor at Inc and a contributor at BNET (now CBS News). The controversy is about the next frontier of diversity in the workplace—generational diversity–and it has two Baby Boomers discussing Gen Y.

Their interesting articles are indicative of the controversy that is emerging as Boomers (and Veterans) transition to new roles or retirement, Gen X assumes leadership positions, and Gen Y charts their career path. These articles demonstrate why I describe generational management as the next diversity frontier that businesses need to settle.

The controversy begins with an article by Steve Tobak of BNET.com.  In his article, Why Gen Y Entrepreneurship Will Be a Disaster, Steve expresses his concern that the singular focus of Gen Y on entrepreneurial opportunities will be detrimental to their careers, corporate America, and the nation.  He lays out a number of concerns with his biggest being that “Gen Y entrepreneurship will fuel the mother of all Internet and green tech bubbles.” 

Steve’s article caught the attention of Donna Fenn of Inc.com and to use her words it made her “blood boil.”  In her article, Will Gen Y Entrepreneurship Be a Disaster?, she takes a contrarian view and answers this question with an emphatic “No.”  Donna responds to several of Steve’s concerns and one of the main points she makes is that Gen Y workers are “starting those same ‘boring mom and pop businesses’ but putting their own Gen Y spin on them.”

Both of the authors do a good job in arguing their respective positions. From my perspective, the truth is more in the middle as it is with many controversies. Every generation has its strengths and challenges. Steve points out some of the real limitations of Gen Y and Donna points out some of their real strengths.  Gen Y’s transition to the future will not come without some setbacks but like other generations they’ll find a way to make life work.  As this decade passes, companies will continue to struggle with generational issues as these groups interact and collide in the workplace.  This discussion that Steve and Donna have generated is both needed and healthy.

This concludes the November edition of the Management Journey Carnival. The next Management Journey edition will be published on December 19th. I select posts based on their content value and relevant submissions are welcomed. (Please do not submit anonymous or off-topic submissions as they will not be considered.)

I look forward to seeing you again at our December blog carnival. You can submit your article here.

Have a wonderful Thanksgiving Holiday!

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Robert

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