After the tough winter season most of us have had this year, it’s understandable that many of us are eager for Springtime weather to finally take hold so we might once again enjoy a warm sun under blue skies.
Of course, it’s not just the return of warm weather that many of us associate with the arrival of Spring. There’s also that sense of renewal and rejuvenation that comes with this time of the year; of being more open to making changes that will spur on new opportunities for growth and success.
This mood makes for a great motivator, not only for us to tackle the chores of spring cleaning where we clear our homes of undesired clutter, but also as a driving force for us to find new ways to streamline and better manage the unending demands on our time, energy, and resources.
Indeed, one of the hallmarks of our digital age is the pursuit of simplification – where we use our smartphones and other technological devices to help us simplify both the way we work and how we get things done.
In fact, one of the findings in this year’s Global Human Capital Trends from Deloitte found that some organizations “are starting to treat “time capital” with the same seriousness as financial capital”; that how we use our time is becoming an increasingly critical and prized resource that has a tangible connection to our collective success and long-term growth.
In many ways, this finding is not surprising as being able to simplify issues or situations helps us feel like we have a better handle on things. Through simplification, we can gain a better vantage point to understand what’s going on and what we need to do going forward.
So in keeping with the themes of spring cleaning and simplifying the way we work, I’d like to share this straightforward framework that can help you ascertain how you can go about decluttering the way you and your employees work in today’s faster-paced and ever-changing work environment by asking yourself the following three questions. Click here to continue reading »”How To Simplify The Way We Work”
The following is a guest piece by Innovation Excellence co-founder Rowan Gibson.
Today’s corporate leaders are under intense pressure to deliver continuous business growth. But where exactly is this growth supposed to come from? What most companies understand now is that the only way to drive profitable growth and wealth creation over the longer term is to innovate.
In my new book “The 4 Lenses of Innovation”, I outline four proven ways to generate the new strategic opportunities that will power your company’s future growth. One of them is the ability to look at your organization not as a collection of business units but as a portfolio of embedded competencies and assets that can potentially be repurposed, redeployed, or recombined to create new value.
By viewing your business through this particular lens, it’s possible to spot and exploit important new opportunities for expanding the boundaries of your business that you otherwise may have missed.
Let’s start with a simple question: how would you define your company? Most senior executives respond to this question by describing what the company is or what it does. For example, they might say, “We’re a bank,” or “We make office furniture,” or “We’re in the pharmaceutical business.”
This is quite understandable. It’s the most simple and straightforward reply to the question. But that’s not the way radical innovators envisage their organizations.
For example, if you Click here to continue reading »”How To Discover Your Organization’s Next Big Growth Opportunities”
As a writer, there’s a natural tendency to examine events to see how they can shape our understanding of things and generate ideas that can be shared with others. It’s from that perspective that this piece that came to mind on the news of the passing of one of my childhood heroes, Leonard Nimoy, and what insights could be gleaned on looking back at the impact his life has had on so many around the world.
As is the case with many scientists, Star Trek inspired within me a deep love for both real-world science and science fiction. But it’s not just scientists who have been singing their praises for Leonard Nimoy’s work. Indeed, people from all walks of life have been joining in the choruses of expressing gratitude for the influence his work – and in particular his portrayal of the legendary character Mr. Spock – has had on their lives.
Granted, for some, it might be hard to appreciate what’s behind all these tributes from people all over the world, not to mention heads of state and leaders of some of the world’s largest organizations. That is, of course, until we recognize that in those tributes we see people talking less about his work playing the fictional character Mr. Spock, and more about how his work influenced them.
Of how the character he gave life to inspired so many to challenge themselves to not only believe in a better tomorrow, but to become active participants in making that idea a reality.
It’s from that lens that I decided to write my own personal tribute to this childhood hero of mine, by sharing some stories from his life and what lessons we can learn from them about how we can use our leadership to bring out the best in those we lead, as well as inspire them to commit to the vision we have for the future.
1. Find opportunities to address the needs of others
One of the common statements being shared about Leonard Nimoy was how generous a person he was both to the people he worked with and to the numerous fans he met over the course of his life.
Some of the best examples of this can be seen in the efforts he made on behalf of Click here to continue reading »”The Leadership Legacy Of A Childhood Hero”
When it comes to discussions on the state of today’s leadership, one topic that understandably comes up is the issue of women in leadership. Specifically, why there continues to be so few women holding senior-level leadership positions in both the private and public sectors.
It’s an issue that’s been weighing on mind over the past few months in light of the growing number of stories of women encountering sexual harassment and outright misogynistic attitudes on university campuses, as well as in many growing, high-demand sectors like the gaming industry and software engineering.
In light of such stories, the issue of women in leadership is no longer just about the efficacy of implementing quotas to address the current gender imbalance, or whether women need to do more to get ahead in predominantly-male work environments. Indeed, when it comes to discussions on gender or visible minorities in leadership, we can no longer relegate it as simply being a “women’s issue” or a minority group’s problem to address.
Rather, we need to recognize that this is an all-hands-on-deck societal issue and a leadership issue.
After all, how else can we ensure that we’re bringing out the best in those we lead if we’re intentionally leaving so much of that potential behind? [Share on Twitter] How can we truly tap into the collective talents, creativity, and insights of those around us if we continue to allow conditions to persist that hold so many back from bringing their full selves to work?
We have to remember that our job as leaders is to listen to others – especially to those who are different from us – so we can gain Click here to continue reading »”Women In Leadership Is Not A Zero-Sum Game”
In my previous piece, I discussed why leadership should be hard in the context of how so many leaders I’ve work with are now struggling to find balance between the rising demands on their attention and resources, and having the time to assess their leadership and what they need to do going forward.
Given how that piece was based on my own reflections of this past year, I was delighted to see its message resonating with so many of my readers. Among the many comments I received regarding that piece were questions about some of the strategies I use for reflection and increasing my sense of self-awareness.
Now before I share the strategies I use for reflection and review, I’d like to first briefly point out the findings of a recent study for why it’s so important for leaders – in light of the growing demands for their time, attention, and resources – to use reflection in their leadership.
Dr. David Zes and Dr. Dana Landis analyzed self-assessments from almost 7 000 professionals in about 500 publicly traded companies looking for gaps in how individuals viewed their competencies as compared to how their colleagues viewed their performance. This data was then compared against the return on investment for the company’s stock over a period of almost two and a half years.
Through their analysis, the researchers found that the employees that worked at poorly performing companies had on average 20% more blind spots as compared to those who worked at financially strong companies. Also, employees at poor-performing companies were 79% more likely to demonstrate low levels of self-awareness as compared to employees who worked at companies that were delivering a strong return on investment.
What their study’s findings revealed is that self-awareness Click here to continue reading »”How To Increase Self-Awareness In Our Leadership”