TanveerNaseer.com

Leadership Coach, Speaker, and Writer

A Lesson In Innovation From The Red Planet

Innovation-lesson-NASA-mars-roverIn the past week or so, there’s been much discussion and debate over the merits of disruption and with it, how we view and understand what it means to innovate.

There’s one organization that’s familiar with dealing with the unknown and consequently, upending our understanding of what’s possible and what’s not – NASA, the National Aeronautical and Space Administration. For almost 60 years, they’ve had to figure out how to do things that had never been done before, and challenge our assumptions of what we’re capable of achieving.

In this guest piece by author, documentary producer and director Rod Pyle, you’ll learn about the challenges NASA recently faced in trying to send new robotic rovers to explore to surface of the planet Mars. Even if you’re not a space enthusiast like myself, I’m sure you’ll enjoy the story and insights Rod shares in this piece, as it reminds us not only of what true innovation looks like, but of our ability to transform the seemingly impossible into our new reality.

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“EDL! EDL! EDL!” was the joyous cry that rang out across the central quad at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory on the night of August 5, 2012. NASA’s Curiosity rover had successfully landed on Mars, and shortly thereafter, the entire landing team spilled out of the control center to proudly shout the initials of Entry, Descent and Landing, thereby proclaiming their success, as the press looked on in amusement. It was a wonderful moment for the normally staid engineering team.

Landing on Mars is a huge engineering challenge. Everything seems to Click here to continue reading »”A Lesson In Innovation From The Red Planet”

How Leaders Promote Collaborative Environment

Promoting-collaboration-through-leadership

When it comes to thriving in today’s fast-changing, interconnected global economy, one of the attributes of organizational success that often comes up is ensuring that we promote greater collaboration among the various teams and departments within our workplace.

Indeed, the ability to foster collaboration in your organization has become a critical leadership competency as technological, process-driven differentiators give way to people-centric ones in today’s knowledge-based global economy.

Unfortunately, while leaders may state that they want to engender a more collaborative environment in their organization, they don’t realize how often own actions are actually serving to stifle collaboration, promote the growth of silos, and ultimately hindering their organization’s ability to innovate or incur any real forward momentum.

Time and time again, I’ve met with leaders who are eager to champion collaboration among their different teams and departments, but who unknowingly create or reinforce barriers that prevent their employees from challenging their assumptions or beliefs of how things can be done.

Although in some cases, the actions and behaviours are specific to a particular situation, there are nonetheless some common missteps these leaders share which have only served to impede collaboration among their employees.

To address and prevent these common mistakes from happening in your organization, I’d like to share the following four measures that leaders should take to ensure that they’re creating an environment where employees are compelled to dedicate their discretionary efforts to the shared purpose of their organization.

1. Define at the start what to expect from one another
At the start of any new initiative – whether it’s the development of a new product or service line, a change initiative to improve things, or coming up with an action plan to address a current crisis, there’s the natural and understandable tendency for all involved parties to Click here to continue reading »”How Leaders Promote Collaborative Environment”

3 Personal Lessons On How To Succeed At Leadership

Personal-leadership-lessons-from-writing

Over the past two weeks, I’ve had the distinct honour of being recognized by two organizations for my work in the field of leadership. The first came from Inc. Magazine which recognized me as one of the Top 100 Leadership and Management Experts, putting me alongside such leadership heavyweights as Sir Richard Branson, Vineet Nayar, Rosabeth Moss Kanter, Peter F. Drucker, and placing one spot below Bill Gates.

The second recognition I received came from Kelly Services in their list of the “Top 7 Blogs Every Manager Should Read”, where I found myself being included alongside such preeminent sites as the Harvard Business Review, Bloomberg Businessweek’s Management Blog, The Gallup Blog, and Seth Godin to name a few.

Naturally, I took to my various networks to share this news, both to invite others to join me in celebrating these recognitions, but also as an opportunity for me to express my appreciation for the continued support and encouragement I’ve received over the years that has helped to place me in such esteemed company.

Among the various congratulatory wishes, renowned leadership expert, best-selling author, and award-winning leadership speaker Jim Kouzes posed an interesting question to me – looking back at the journey that has lead to me such accolades and recognition, “what would you say are the 3 to 5 lessons you’ve learned along the way?”

Although my reply to Jim’s query focused on some of the lessons I’ve learned from writing this blog for the past 5 years, I realized that some of these lessons also apply to the field of leadership, in how they can guide us to become the kind of leader our employees need us to be so they can succeed and thrive.

So here now are 3 lessons I’d like to share from my own experiences to ensure that we’re not only successful in our efforts to guide and inspire those we lead, but that we’re able to achieve the underlying vision and drive that defines why we commit ourselves to serving those under our care. Click here to continue reading »”3 Personal Lessons On How To Succeed At Leadership”

Revealing Leadership Insights From Thinkers50

Leadership-insights-Thinkers50

The following is a guest piece from Thinkers50 creators Stuart Crainer and Des Dearlove.

Business best practice never stands still. State of the art management and leadership techniques are continually evolving. Think about it: how organizations are run in 2014 is radically different from how they were run just ten years ago. Technology has clearly paid a huge part in this, but the biggest driver of change in how organizations are run is the ceaseless quest for improvement; to manage more efficiently and effectively to better achieve business results.

Improvements come from bright ideas. There is nothing quite so practical as a great idea. The ideas which inspire and influence business practitioners often have their origins in the ideas and work of the thinkers celebrated in the Thinkers50, the biennial ranking of business thinkers.

From blue ocean strategy to Michael Porter’s five forces, Vijay Govindarajan’s reverse innovation to Richard D’Aveni’s hypercompetition, great thinkers and their ideas directly effect how companies are run and how business people think about and practice business.

Think of Peter Drucker who topped the first Thinkers50 ranking in 2001. Drucker was writing about knowledge workers in Click here to continue reading »”Revealing Leadership Insights From Thinkers50″

Leading Through The Power Of “And”

Power-of-And-in-Leadership

When it comes to discussions on leadership, there are certain constants or inevitable statements that you’re likely to come across. One of the most common of these stems from the ongoing debate over whether culture is more important than strategy in terms of the organization’s long-term success and viability.

Unfortunately, the popularity of debating the merits of one tactic over the other has recently given rise to a whole new set of either/or scenarios where leaders are encouraged to adopt one approach at the expense of the other. To date, some of the either/or scenarios I’ve seen debated include:

  • vision vs. strategy
  • knowledge vs. action
  • people vs. results
  • thinking vs. doing
  • managing Millennials vs. every other workplace generation

Of course, it’s understandable why there’s a growing appeal for this approach – given the increasing complexity of leading organizations in today’s interconnected global economy, it’s only natural that we want to find quick answers to help us navigate these often choppy waters.

And yet, the problem with these zero-sum models is that they not only misdirect our focus from more urgent issues, but they also create more harm than good for the following reasons:

1. It overlooks the dualistic nature of these approaches
I’ve read recently a few articles where people have argued that the fast-pace of today’s market demands less focus on knowledge and thinking and more on action and doing. Of course, it’s easy to argue for a take-charge bravado when you’re not leading an organization still suffering from risk aversion thanks to the difficulties faced over the last few years.

That’s not to say that we need to do the inverse – of waiting until we have all our ducks in a row before we release our collective efforts out into the world. Rather, it means Click here to continue reading »”Leading Through The Power Of “And””

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