Anyone who has invested time in renovating an older home understands surprises and conundrums emerge every time a wall or ceiling is breached. There are parallels in the world of management where the twists and turns of the marketplace demand change. Great tradespeople and great managers find a way through wicked problems using creativity and critical thinking. Here are seven lessons I was reminded of during a recent renovation project.
Once you’ve reached the level of managing managers on your team, your professional development focus shifts considerably. It’s up to you to provide the environment, context, and motivation that serves as rocket fuel for your new managers.
In my experience, most strategy discussions go sideways. After all, they are typically about change and we're wired to fear and resist change. There are however some practices you can adopt to help strengthen the quality of these essential and sometimes existential discussions. Here are 5:
It’s no secret that top leaders and their management teams struggle with strategy. After all, choosing a direction, saying “no” to other opportunities and then creating a blueprint for organization-wide involvement is one of the most difficult challenges of organizational life. This challenge is made easier however, when leadership ensures all employees have the opportunity to internalize and develop an emotional connection to the strategy.
I love curious managers, teams, and individuals. Curiosity is the stardust of creation in our organizations. And while the questions and the explorations and the discoveries are all fascinating, what we as organizational leaders have our sights set on, is realizing ideas that turn into changes that promote positive outcomes. Here are three ideas to help improve your ideas-to-outcomes results:
Great management teams are hungry to win in the moment and relentless at building for the future. It takes discipline and deliberate efforts to separate the here and now from an imagined but uncertain future—yet success over time demands this effort and discipline. Here are four big behaviors of management teams succeeding today while fighting hard for a great future:
There are few activities in our organizations more important than developing emerging leaders. A healthy, full pipeline of leadership talent is essential to sustain success and navigate a complex world. The Foundation + 4 Pillars framework helps guide managers in pursuit of this critical work.
In reality, the work of strategy is some of the most challenging thinking work a firm’s members will do. And truth be told, it’s never really finished. Strategy is a process, not an event, and the work of evaluating, diagnosing, and choosing are never-ending activities.
You’ll rarely meet a CEO or top executive suggesting, “What we need to do is slow down.” This counter-intuitive guidance in a world seemingly spinning faster-and-faster flies in the face of conventional thinking and practice, yet in matters of strategy, slowing down to move faster, is often the recipe for success
Sometimes the simplest solutions are the best. Ideas are the engines of innovation, yet too often they are visible for just a flash of time. In reality, we need ways to curate and develop ideas. Try building an idea lab. All you need to get started is a few spare walls, some low-cost materials and some starter ideas! Just be careful, as you may very well change your firm's future in the process.