We’ve all watched the docudramas and YouTube videos – The suspect is speeding away believing he can out-run or out-smart the police, the officers in chase call for the deployment of the spike strips, and soon the tires are flat and forward motion has stopped or greatly degraded. How is the spike strip relevant to the business world?
As spike strips are to tires, complacency it to an organization: it deflates innovation, stifles creativity and impedes or stops the organization’s forward movement, what we call Transformation. This can occur at all levels in the organization or, in its most damaging form, it can afflict the organization as a whole. We’ve seen the impact of organization-wide complacency: Motorola’s comfort level with analog and refusal to embrace digital; Nokia snubbing the touch screen on mobile devices; Circuit City, Sears, K-Mart, the list goes on and on. These corporations were once leaders in their industries!
My family can tell you that I consider myself one of the great armchair innovators. Among the many things I believe I invented before they were actually invented is the Keurig coffee dispenser, Netflix (streaming AND original content), and the Amazing Race. The problem I always told myself was that I never had access to the resources required to put my ideas into the market. So when I secured a position managing innovation at a global mega-company, I was excited. Here, I would finally have the opportunity to launch my great ideas, become massively famous, and change the world. Boy, did I have a lot to learn.
What soon became clear was that managing innovation for a mega-organization is not about creating great ideas. Of course we had our chance to develop some ideas, but mostly our role was to capture the ideas of leadership, cut through the noise, politics, and disruptions, and push them forward.
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David Lee, Executive Director of the MSS Business Transformation Institute, uses Mozart in the Jungle to explain the study in the evolution of the leaders from the previous conductor dealing with a new reality to the new conductor trying to reach his potential as well as the potential of the organization he is leading. Looking at what it takes to be a leader in today’s exponentially changing environment, leaders must also look at the evolution of leadership. Lee covers a brief history of organizational development and the evolution of leadership theory, and how it relates to being a conductor of a symphony. Lee uses studies about command and control environments and how they affect productivity short-term and long-term. Ultimately, leaders account for at least 70% of variance in employee engagement scores. Lee highlights his personal stories of working with two different leaders and analyzes who would be a better fit for business in today’s complex world.
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Purpose Driven Strategy has become a prime topic of management in the last decade due in no small part to the popular books like Start with Why by Simon Sinek; Firms of Endearment by Raj Sisodia; Leading with Purpose by Mark Koehler; Purpose: The Starting Point of Great Companies, by Nikos Mourkogiannis; and the Progress Principle by Teresa M. Amabile & Steven J. Kramer. Executive seminars are held about it, business models are built on it, and consulting companies have established whole practice lines dedicated to it. This concept of Purpose Driven Strategy is a fundamental change to the approach expressed by Milton Friedman when he said: “There is one and only one social responsibility of business-to use its resources and engage in activities designed to increase its profits so long as it stays within the rules of the game.” In a sense, it is a new type of Humanism where organizations don’t just work for their shareholders but for the betterment of all the stakeholders and the community at large. David Lee, Executive Director of the MSS Business Transformation Institute, explains how businesses are leading with purpose rather than profits and are becoming highly successful. This article shows businesses how to lead with purpose.
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David Lee, Executive Director of MSS Business Transformation Institute, compares how planning in a complex organization is often like battling the waves of the ocean. Lee quotes Dwight D. Eisenhower, “In preparing for battle, I have always found that plans are useless but planning is indispensable.”
After organizations have started their new business, assessed the many options available, the landscape of business seems to change faster than you can change. Now you have many products across multiple markets and numerous partners and when you make a decision your competitors are countering. Forces you have no control over and seem far away are having major impacts on your business while opportunities you may never have considered are coming your way. Meanwhile, there may also be disruptors you cannot see or predict creating new types of competition. Lee, one of the leading instructors in PROSCI™ Change Management in the United States, shows how leaders can adapt in a complex world.
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The legal system is often considered to be the most complex and convoluted system to deal with. Upfront fees and costly hourly rates for lawyers can make it difficult to come up with the money to pay for the services. Many people do not understand their rights as citizens and as a result, do not know they could receive a reduced fine, have a ticket dismissed, or not be required to appear in court, and without paying substantial legal fees in the process. In a world that continually seeks free or discounted services, artificial intelligence may provide the answer.
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