Management Week in Review for April 2, 2011

Note from Artevery week, I share three thought-provoking management posts for the week. This week’s selections feature content on: moving forward, taking steps to ensure that your company will appeal to the best and brightest of the Facebook Generation and some thoughts on Enchantment with Guy Kawasaki along with some new productivity tools.  Enjoy!

From Rosabeth Moss Kanter writing at HBR Blogs, Four Reasons Any Action is Better than None.  The short translation…get up, get moving and don’t let anyone slow you down.  Professor Kanter offers some good encouragement for all of us to get it in gear. My only addition to her guidance is to beware of too much activity with no vector. I’ve seen as many struggling companies where everyone was moving at a frenetic pace in no particular direction, as I have companies where people were standing still.  Nonetheless, great encouragement.

From the post:Companies heading downhill have passive cultures. Unmade decisions pile up. Opportunities are lost. No one wants to risk making a mistake. It becomes easier to sit it out than get into the game.” And, “In contrast, in companies with high levels of innovation, people take initiative. They start new things. They don’t wait to be told.”

From Gary Hamel at Gary Hamel’s Management 2.0 (WSJ): The Facebook Generation vs the Fortune 500. Must read guidance from my favorite “management innovation,” guru, on ensuring that your company and your practices appeal to the best and brightest of the Facebook generation.

From the post: “I compiled a list of 12 work-relevant characteristics of online life. These are the post-bureaucratic realities that tomorrow’s employees will use as yardsticks in determining whether your company is “with it” or “past it.”

At Work Smart w. Amber Mac: Enchantment with Guy Kawasaki (video): This is a new feature at Fast Company, offering some insights and product overviews in an appropriately fast fashion. This inaugural episode includes a one minute clip on some new e-mail social/productivity tools and two minutes with Kawasaki on Enchantment. (FYI, I love the book!).  An interesting use of 3-minutes of your time.

From the post:“In this inaugural edition of Work Smart 3, our series on productivity and streamlining your work life, host Amber Mac talks Enchantment with noted influencer Guy Kawasaki. But first, Mac shares another enchanting way to make your email life easier: Xobni, which is in-box spelled backwards.”

OK, that’s it for the week. Enjoy your weekend. I’ll be back next week with the latest Leadership Caffeine post and much more.

Art Petty coaches, trains and speaks on leadership development, high performance team development, feedback and decision-making. Drop Art a note to talk about a workshop program, speaking opportunity coaching need.

Mind Your Knowledge Gap: Why Social Media is Essential to Your Career

This is a wake-up call to my mid to late 30 to 40 something (and older) contemporaries.  It’s time to figure out what all the noise is about social media and how to leverage it for yourself, your career and your organization.

It’s not going away.  It may change and morph, but there’s a whole new world of conversations and interactions going on and if you are not plugged in, you are tuned out and wandering aimlessly.

Do You Tweet?

If I had $100 for every conversation that included something like (with a tone of disdain), “Twitter sounds ridiculous.  Why do I want to know that someone is taking a shower or what they ate for breakfast,” I would be well on my way to recovering a few losses in my 401K. 

I’m two months new to Twitter and amazed at the quality of the conversations and the number of great professionals that I’ve met.  I’m also flabbergasted to think about the conversations, resources and talented professionals that I was missing out on prior to joining. 

Are You LinkedIn?

Or another exchange that I had with a brilliant and talented and dear friend the other day, “I only signed up for LinkedIn because I was looking for someone.  I hope this isn’t a mistake.” 

Sigh. Instead of a mistake, in the right hands, this is a remarkably powerful research tool and the most efficient way to-date to connect with and maintain a dialogue with former and current colleagues.  The only mistake is not to take advantage of it.

Thought About Marketing Lately?

I chat with many experienced marketing professionals that still view their jobs and their profession through the eyes of individuals that grew up and never left the teaching and prevailing wisdom of the 80’s. 

Meanwhile, Seth Godin (Tribes) and Guy Kawaskai (Reality Check) and David Meerman Scott (World Wide Rave) and others are serving up powerful arguments that the processes of reaching people, building visibility, building brands and establishing credibility are all different.   

The Younger Generation, Blogging and On-Line Learning:

As the MySpace/Facebook generation asserts itself in the workforce (see my post: In Hopeful Praise of the Millennials), the relevance of old approaches of working, leading and promoting will fade into history. 

In my own case, a mere two years ago, I wasn’t certain about blogging and the prospective value from the time it would take in my daily schedule.  Now, I’m a raving advocate for the medium as a means of establishing a dialogue with sharp people and for building your brand. The time commitment is down to less than one hour several times per week.  I’m also curious about what’s next.

I am an education junkie (and passionate about great universities and great educators) and love the chance to bring a heavy dose of pragmatism into my MBA classrooms.  I  was slightly cynical about the potential of on-line education and wondered what all of the noise was about. In following the old adage, “if you want to learn something, sign up to teach it,” I did.  Three times. 

Once you rethink and acclimate to the communication dynamics, the potential to integrate on-line and live education is remarkable.  In my hybrid class (one week face to face the next on-line) in Project Management this past winter, the on-line portion provided the ability to research and share perspectives much broader and deeper than any I’ve ever witnessed in a straight classroom setting.

The Bottom-Line For Now:

I’ll be back on this topic sometime soon. 

My advice to you or for your doubting colleagues is to show them the networking and research power of social media.  Highlight examples of brand-building and thought leadership development that cost nothing but time.  Showcase the savings from eliminating many interruption-marketing techniques in favor of the new approaches.  Invite them to Twitter and show them how to filter out the noise and focus on connecting with the many, many sharp people.

There are no silver bullets in life or business, but there are sure-fire ways to fail.  One of the best is to start acting like some of our parents and avoid what we don’t understand.  

Hey, by the way, join me on Twitter or connect with me on LinkedIn.  The conversations are great. 

Now, if I could just figure out what all of the fuss is about Facebook.  I just don’t get it…