When it comes to successfully leading today’s organizations, one skill that’s been growing in importance and need is the ability to manage change. While many of us have read about various organizations to understand how they’ve dealt with change, I’d like to share an experiment done with crows to highlight some key lessons we can glean from this research on how to embrace change.
In his TED talk, Joshua Klein describes an experiment he performed to understand the nature of intelligence found in crows. For his experiment, Klein created a vending machine that would dispense peanuts when a coin was dropped into the coin slot. At first, he placed the peanuts on a feeding tray above the coin slot, along with a number of coins, to help attract the interest of the nearby crows.
Once Klein saw that the birds had become comfortable eating peanuts on the vending machine, he removed the peanuts from the feeding tray, leaving only the coins behind. When the other birds and squirrels inspected the device and found only coins on the tray, they left to forage for food elsewhere. The crows, on the other hand, used their beaks to push the coins around in order to see if they could find a peanut.
Naturally, this action caused one of the coins to fall into the coin slot, resulting in the machine dispensing a peanut. In a short period of time, the crows caught on that Click here to continue reading »”How To Embrace Change In Today’s Organizations”
Since writing about the nature of success and failure, I’ve had a number of colleagues express interest in discussing the process of experimentation with me, given my background in the sciences field. While experimentation is certainly a cornerstone in science, these conversations also allowed me to remind others of another valuable skill we can glean from science – that of learning about observation.
The act of observation requires that we look beyond ourselves and what we know, to identify and discover ideas, insights, and lessons that we can learn from those around us and from the surrounding environment. Through observation, we can develop a sense of mindfulness that can help to inform and shape our understanding about a particular situation or process.
It’s an idea that I was reminded of while reading Nobel laureate Dr. James Watson’s book, “Avoid Boring People: Lessons From A Life In Science” and the lessons he shares with the reader from his experiences both in and outside of the lab.
Although the lessons he shares are clearly directed towards those in the sciences field, some of the insights he shares can also benefit leaders in how to become more effective in guiding their organizations in today’s faster-paced and complex world. Click here to continue reading »”Lessons On Effective Leadership From A Nobel Laureate”
The following is a guest post by contributing editor of strategy+business Sally Helgesen.
The intense focus on corporate change during the last decade has given us a greater appreciation of the role that culture plays in organizations. Change efforts can succeed only if the culture is engaged; getting the strategy and other formal elements right is never enough.
And culture is vested in people — how they work, what they believe, how they behave and communicate, and what they ask of themselves. It’s the bedrock reality of an organization, its true ground. When culture is harnessed, extraordinary transformations can occur.
Many of this year’s business books recognize culture’s role as the essential driver of effective change. But frequently their suggestions for engaging the levers of culture are limited to exhortation: Be more open! Behave less hierarchically! Become a change agent! By contrast, the two books reviewed below offer highly specific ways of engaging culture to build more effective, productive, and innovative organizations.
The first edition of Productive Workplaces: Dignity, Meaning, and Community in the 21st Century by Marvin R. Weibord is a highly personal, sometimes idiosyncratic account of Weisbord’s own quest to become a better leader, and a wise and timeless contribution to the literature of work that a quarter-century later is the year’s best business book on organizational culture.
In the new edition, updated and expanded, Weisbord Click here to continue reading »”Engaging Culture One Conversation At A Time”
The following is a guest post by Sonia Di Maulo.
“The Apple in the Orchard” is a story about finding the courage to emerge as a leader, a story I orginally viewed as my own. However, as I run workshops, continue to speak about my book, and get feedback, I realize that it’s everyone’s story.
There have been many interpretations of the story. And this is by design. The story is meant to help you rediscover your natural ability to connect in a meaningful way and to then propel you to action.
- If you are ready to hear this message, then the story is yours.
- If you are meant to do something that you have yet to do, then the story is yours.
- If you have a desire to interact with the people around you in a more connected way, then the story is yours.
- If you are looking for the courage to emerge or if you have “taken the leap” and are in a period of self-awareness or a journey of self-discovery, then the story is yours.
Those who have read the book have identified the following themes in the story: Click here to continue reading »”3 Lessons From Nature On Sustainability, Collaboration, and Growth”