August Management Journey Carnival

Originally published August 2012.

The Management Journey Carnival consists of 21 insightful articles from the web that contributors submit or that I select for inclusion. Welcome to the August edition of the Management Journey Carnival.

Although August is usually a month when work slacks off some, thought leaders continue to share their management insights in articles around the web. This month’s Carnival provides insights on behavioral styles, innovation, communication, performance measurement, business strategy, human resources, marketing and other topics.

Let’s begin with an older post that is helpful in understanding what it takes to create a culture of innovation.

An Oldie But Goodie

This month’s classic post comes from Chuck Salter of Fast Company. Chuck interviews Marissa Mayer. (Marissa is a former executive of Google and the new CEO of Yahoo.)  In this article, Marissa shares her 9 Principles of Innovation. Given the success of trailblazers like Google and Marissa, it’s wise to review her list.


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Featured Podcast

Featured Podcast

It is obvious that we live in volatile times. Change is now a constant.  What does it take to be resilient (the ability to maintain or restore core purpose in the face of disruption) in these times? This is the topic of discussion in this month’s featured podcast interview with Andrew Zolli, Resilience Strategies for a Volatile World from Harvard Business Review.


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Featured Articles

Leadership lessons are everywhere, providing we look for them! The Olympics, where the best at what they do dominate their sport, are a rich learning source. In his article, Marcus Buckingham of Bloomberg Businessweek provides Olympic Lessons for Corporate Managers.

It takes an effective leader/coach to bring together the top talent in an industry and forge them into a high performing team. Having a shared vision with the team members is critical and so too is having the sense to get out of their way and let these talented team members do their job! In his article, Picking the Man Who’d Lead Basketball’s Dream Team to GoldJeffrey Cohn of Harvard Business Review explains why Olympic basketball coach Jerry Colangelo is such a leader.

Any strength that is overdone becomes a weakness! (Alright, if you’re a reader of Management is a Journey you know this is a pet peeve of mine!) Positive thinking and an upbeat management style have their limitations as well.  Too much of these attributes is bad for business as David Collinson of Strategy+Business explains in his article, The Weakness of Positive Thinking.

Introverts (those people who get energy from being alone ) sometimes clash with extroverts (those people who get energy from being with people). It makes sense.  They are wired differently!  Sophia Dembling of Psychology Today helps to bridge this gap in her article, Seven Things Extroverts Should Know About Introverts (and Vice Versa).

When employee engagement suffers who is to blame? While it is easy to blame external business pressures or bad hires, the reality is that often the fault lies with management. In his article, Exposing Management’s Dirty Little Secret, Gary Hamel of CNNMoney explains why “management systems are more likely to frustrate extraordinary accomplishment than to foster it.”

Innovation and organizational learning occur when businesses see mistakes and failure as opportunities.  The flip side of this truth however is that certain mistakes and failures can put a company out of business as well. How can companies find the right balance between these opposing truths?  Tim Kastelle of the Innovation Leadership Network provides some help in his article, Mistakes versus Experiments.

Not all organizational problems can be solved with accepted management practices! This is true for business strategy as well. Sometimes you just have to shake things up and challenge the status quo! In their article,  Blank Checks: Unleashing the Potential of People and BusinessesSanjay Khosla and Mohanbir Sawhney of Strategy+Business show the power of thinking differently.

It’s no doubt that social media with its emphasis on peer influence is drastically changing how businesses operate.  Whether it is the customer relations or human resources, social media is definitely having a significant impact. Marketing is not exempt either as Bill Lee of Harvard Business Review explains in his article, Marketing is Dead.

What’s fair depends on who you are asking?  This is something we learn early in life. Does this mean that managers should just operate ethically and ignore how others feel about their actions? As I explain in my Management is a Journey article, Equity Theory – Why Employee Perceptions About Fairness Do Matter, it is bad for business when managers ignore their employees’ feelings about fairness.

Work teams whether they are effective or ineffective do not become what they are on their own.  Leaders create them. Do you have what it takes to manage a small team of employees? This is the question raised and answered by Jonathan Milligan of CPA Career Coach in his article, How to Manage a Team Effectively – 3 Simple Ideas.

Who knew decades ago that the functions of leadership and management would become so dynamic in this new millennium? Disruptive innovation requires leaders to be agile and to evolve to the changing business climate. In his article, Amazon’s Pivot, Adam Penenberg of Fast Company explains how Jeff Bezos keeps Amazon viable.

Everyone can be creative! This is the position Jon Rhodes of Affiliate Help takes in his article, How to Improve Your Creativity. Jon also provides the proof with 13 practical tips anyone can use to fire up their creativity engine.

Managers must address performance issues with employees. In his post, Open the Front Door, Craig Schwarze of the Art of Managing Software Developers provides a mnemonic performance feedback tool to help get the message across. Combining this tool with other two way communication techniques like active listening and questioning  makes opening the front door even more effective.

In this age of technological breakthrough, are many businesses living in the past when it comes to the office work schedule? This is the question Zac Sky of Zac Sky | Positive Happiness raises and answers with his article, Why Work Efficiency Should be Judged on Output not Time.

Product development can be a challenging undertaking for any business. For small businesses the challenge can be especially difficult. In her article, Employ New Thinking to Create New ProductsVivian Wagner of Open Forum explains how small businesses can regularly introduce new products and revamp old ones to keep up with consumer taste and demand.

Business has many examples of fallen Titans!   Borders, Kodak, My Space, and Blockbuster are just a few.  Why did these businesses fail when they seemed to have everything going for them? Jim Woods of Hard Ball Innovation shares some of his insights in his article, It’s the Management Stupid: How Not to Become a Turnaround Story #Innovate #Mgmt.


computer webcam video
Featured Video

Featured Video

Some managers seek to eliminate conflict as quickly as it occurs in the organization. All organizational conflict is not bad however. Sometimes conflict is constructive. In these instances, managers need to actively seek disagreement with others.  This is the topic of this month’s Featured Video, Margaret Heffernan: Dare to Disagree, from TED | Ideas Worth Spreading.


ribbon award winner editor pick
Editor’s Pick

Editor’s Pick

My Editor’s Pick for this month comes from Adam Bryant of the New York Times. In his article, Tell Me Your Idea (and Don’t Mind the Silly Putty), he interviews Laurel Richie of the Women’s National Basketball Association. Coming from the business world of marketing and not being a basketball player herself, Laurel brings a new focus to the WNBA.

I selected this article because of Laurel’s comments about how she evolved as a leader. She describes an event with her staff that was earlier in her career. At that time, she was a Vice President of Marketing at a major company. As she discusses what happened, you can see the great emotional intelligence she used to accept responsibility for a situation that she unknowingly helped to create. Here’s an example in Laurel’s own words:

I remember feeling shocked, and defensive at first. But then I really stepped back and listened to what they were saying. I really thought I was a terrific leader because if you looked at all the metrics, we were successful. But I learned very profoundly in that moment that if there is not shared ownership of the work, both our successes and our failures, people aren’t going to have a satisfying experience.

Laurel’s honest discussion about what she heard and learned that day and how she used that information to change her management style demonstrates that managers can address their weaknesses and improve their people skills. It begins with a manager acknowledging that they need to change in a certain area and then making the needed changes.

This concludes the August 2012 edition of the Management Journey Carnival.


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