How to lead your organizations into places where none has gone before?
The most circulated article on LinkedIn in this past week on leadership development is a fun piece in Forbes magazine on leadership lessons from Star Trek's Captain James T. Kirk. The article makes some interesting points about developing leaders like Captain Kirk, and the article may be a fun conversation to share among colleagues, as the five takeaways are worth noting:
Learn from organizations that have exploded traditional hierarchy — and learned to rule without bosses and manage without managers
The "modern" organization was founded on the principle of control — a central authority sets direction, corrals information, curtails decision-making power, and punishes deviations from the norm. That might have worked in a world in which standardization, predictability, conformity, and discipline were enough to mass produce profits. But it doesn't work in a world of constant change, competition from everyone and everywhere, and commoditized knowledge. And it certainly doesn't work in a world in which there is so much hunger for greater humanity, freedom, voice, and meaning. We've reached a real inflection point when it comes to how we organize human effort. The most inspiring organizations today are actively experimenting with what gets people out of bed in the morning — and what fires up their imagination, initiative, and passion. And the best bosses understand that their power comes not from maintaining control, but from devising ways to unleash more freedom, creativity, and contribution. The long-running experiments in organizational democracy and radical autonomy may have been "born this way," but they offer up a set of insights and approaches for rethinking and redistributing the work of leadership for any organization. Read the article "When nobody (and everybody) is the boss"
Strong listening skills can make a critical difference in the performance of senior executives, but few are able to cultivate them
Good listening — the active and disciplined activity of probing and challenging the information garnered from others to improve its quality and quantity — is the key to building a base of knowledge that generates fresh insights and ideas. Put more strongly, good listening, in my experience, can often mean the difference between success and failure in business ventures (and hence between a longer career and a shorter one). Listening is a valuable skill that most executives spend little time cultivating. Three kinds of behavior exhibited by many great listeners are: 1) show respect; 2) keep quiet; and 3) challenge assumptions. By showing respect to our conversation partners, remaining quiet so they can speak, and actively opening ourselves up to facts that undermine our beliefs, we can all better cultivate this valuable skill. Read McKinsey article "The executive's guide to better listening"
When are people individuals and when are they part of a group? An important point in leader and leadership development.
As America's recent financial crisis worsened, politicians, pundits, and the public debated who to blame: Does the fault lie with particular executives, fund managers, or regulatory officials — or should we blame the banks themselves, or even Wall Street as a whole? Where, in this reckoning, does the individual stop and the group begin? It is a question that, in recent years, has come up again and again, says Adam Waytz, an assistant professor of management and organizations at the Kellogg School of Management. The issue at hand is essentially whether groups have minds: whether they can intend, think, feel, or plan as a single entity. A small number of studies had investigated how people make judgments about the mind of a group, and a much larger body of work had addressed how people make judgments about the minds of individual members of groups. There was no research, however, connecting the two, asking when we judge that the mind — and the accompanying credit or blame — rests with a company or its chief executive, a politician or his party. And it's an important aspect to consider when looking at developing leadership, as well as leaders, in an organization. Read the Kellogg article "Making Up Our Minds"
Cornerstone OnDemand announced the acquisition of Sonar, a cloud-based talent management solution provider serving small businesses globally and headquartered in New Zealand. The acquisition will combine two of the talent management industry's most innovative providers and allows Cornerstone to strengthen its ability to serve clients of all sizes. Additionally, Cornerstone expects that the acquisition will accelerate the company's momentum in the small business (SMB) market. Sonar6 will bring more than 375 global clients to Cornerstone. The recent consolidation in the talent management space has disrupted the market over the past few months (such as Salesforce.com acquiring Rypple, SAP acquiring SuccessFactors & Plateau; Saba acquiring Comartis; Oracle acquiring Taleo & Learn.com ; and SumTotal acquiring GeoLearning). Read press release.
Continuous improvement, understanding complex systems, and promoting innovation are all part of the landscape of learning challenges today's companies face, and it's been a topic that Harvard Business School Prof. Amy Edmondson has published a good deal on. In her forthcoming book, to be published on April 3, Teaming: How Organizations Learn, Innovate, and Compete in the Knowledge Economy, Prof. Edmondson takes her analysis of organizational effectiveness a level deeper by showing that organizations thrive, or fail to thrive, based on how well the small groups within those organizations work. In most organizations, the work that produces value for customers is carried out by teams, and increasingly, by flexible team-like entities. The pace of change and the fluidity of most work structures means that it's not really about creating effective teams anymore, but instead about leading effective teaming as a process. Teaming shows that organizations learn when the flexible, fluid collaborations they encompass are able to learn. The problem is teams, and other dynamic groups, don't learn naturally. Edmondson outlines the factors that prevent them from doing so, such as interpersonal fear, irrational beliefs about failure, groupthink, problematic power dynamics, and information hoarding. With Teaming, leaders can shape these factors by encouraging reflection, creating psychological safety, and overcoming defensive interpersonal dynamics that inhibit the sharing of ideas. Buy now
Mental toughness is measured by how effectively individuals respond to stress, pressure and challenge, and it is increasingly becoming for some organizations a critical capability for certain roles. The challenge has historically been that identifying and developing this capability has been elusive. In the forthcoming book Developing Mental Toughness: Improving Performance, Wellbeing and Positive Behavior in Others, to be published on March 28, 2012, Prof. Peter Clough, Head of Psychology at Hull University, and Doug Strycharczyk, owner and Managing Director for AQR Ltd. an assessment organization, address this gap. The book covers the concept of mental toughness and traces its development from sports psychology into organizational development, health and education. This book covers the key skills and techniques required to recognize, use and develop mental toughness in others including evaluation, ROI and improving attention spans. Buy now
Global Competency within a Leadership Framework
Date: Monday, April 2, 2012 at 11:00am - 12:00 noon EDT
Presenter: Jo Danehl, Director, Account Management (Cartus) and Diane Mullen, Senior Training Consultant (Cartus) Register now
Making E-Learning Stick
Date: Tuesday, April 10, 2012, 1:00 PM EDT
Presenter: Carole Robin, Stanford Graduate School of Business Register now
Enterprise Learning! Summit 2012
Date: March 20-21, 2012
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Trends and Trendsetters in HR Shared Services
Date: March 28, 2012
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The Six Disciplines of Learning Transfer: Presented by ASTD in Partnership with Fort Hill Company
Date: April 4-5, 2012
Location: Atlanta, GA, United States Register now
Talent Management Summit
Date April 10-12, 2012
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Assessing & Developing High Potentials
Date: April 16-17, 2012
Location: Washington DC, US Register now
Date: April 16-18, 2012
Location: Sydney, Australia Register now
Learning TECH 2012
Date: April 23 - 25, 2012
Location: Chicago, IL, USA Register now
Delivering the Strategic Role of HR
Date: May 2, 2012
Location: New Zealand Register now
1st Annual People Effectiveness @ Work Conference
Date: May 8, 2012
Location: South Africa Register now
Corporate University Xchange's Global Leadership Congress
Date: May 15-17, 2012
Location: Philadelphia, PA, USA Register now
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