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″
The following is a guest post by Daniel Diermeier. Daniel is the IBM Professor of Regulation and Competitive Practices at the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University and the director of the Ford Motor Company Center for Global Citizenship.
Daniel’s work has been featured in numerous publications, including The Wall Street Journal, The Economist, Business Week, and Newsweek. He has served as an advisor to Abbott, Accenture, CIBC, ConAgra, Johnson & Johnson, Kraft, McDonald’s, and Shell. After reading his new book, Reputation Rules: Strategies for Building Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset, I invited Daniel to share his insights on crisis management and its impact on an organization’s reputation with my readers.
Business, it seems, has entered the age of crisis. Almost every day, another venerable company or institution finds itself in the headlines, and usually not in a flattering context. In addition to a long list of global corporations, public sector institutions and non-profits are increasing forced to deal with serious crises. Yet, despite this significant change in business climate, the nature of corporate crises is frequently misunderstood. Such misconceptions can lead to severe management mistakes in a crisis situation.
First, all too often crisis management is viewed as the sole responsibility of the public relations or the legal department. This approach overlooks the fact that crisis need to be viewed as business issues closely connected to a company’s identity and position in the market-place. Managing these challenges frequently requires a trade-off between different risks such as legal and reputational risks. By delegating these decisions to any functional unit managers effectively abdicate their responsibility.
Delegation to functional experts also makes it much less likely that crises are prevented before they occur – the most effective form of crisis management. The reason is that Click here to continue reading »”Crisis Management Essentials”
The following is a guest post by John Warrillow. John writes a regular business column for several publications, including Inc Magazine, The Globe and Mail, and BNET. John is also the author of the book “Built to Sell: Creating A Business That Can Thrive Without You”, which is set to go through it’s second printing this week. Included in this 2nd edition of his book is a new section that provides examples and his own personal experiences with the various steps described in his book on how you can build a business you can sell (you can read my review of the first edition of John’s book here).
Following the release of my book “Built to Sell” last year, I’ve had the opportunity to talk with several business owners about their companies and the challenges they face as their business grows and evolves.
As Tanveer writes about leadership and managing employees, I thought I’d share some of the questions I often get asked by business leaders about managing customer expectations, developing their employees and how to involve your team in the process of selling your business when the time comes to put it on the selling block.
Q: These days, there’s a lot of talk about the importance of customer service and doing whatever it takes to make them happy. How do I balance this against not spreading my company resources too thin?
A: I’m a big believer in leading your customers, not following them. If Steve Jobs had listened to his customers, he would have never developed the iPod. Nobody would have told Jobs in a focus group that they want a thousand songs in their pocket because it’s impossible for most people to imagine something that doesn’t exist, if not knowing what your company is capable of creating.
That’s why I think companies need to focus on Click here to continue reading »”Are You Building A Business Or A Job?”
No matter what field or industry you work in, we’ve all had the experience of working for someone who was clearly not fit for the leadership role. In some cases, this was manifested in their inability to make key decisions and in the worst-case scenarios, it was like working with the boss from hell. Under these situations, it’s typical to wonder why someone who can’t effectively lead others would be given such a position. Now, thanks to two recent studies, some light has been cast on why these situations are more the rule than the exception.
In a recent survey conducted by CareerBuilder among over 2 000 US employers and almost 4 000 US employees, it was revealed that 58% of managers hadn’t received any form of management training. This finding most likely explains why 26% of these same managers admitted that they weren’t ready to become a leader when they took on these management roles.
Looking at the relationship between these managers and their employees, the survey authors found that managers cited motivating their employees and managing interpersonal conflicts between co-workers as the top challenges that they have to face as leaders in their organization.
As for the employees surveyed for this study, some of the top concerns they had about their manager were a lack of regular feedback, not listening to the concerns of the employees, and a failure to follow through on what their manager said they would do.
In another study, Bradford Thomas and Scott Erker from Development Dimensions International (DDI) conducted a survey of 1 130 supervisors and first-level managers to understand how they’re overcoming the challenges they face as leaders, and what obstacles might be preventing them from succeeding in these roles.
Like the CareerBuilder study, Thomas and Ecker also found that Click here to continue reading »”Becoming A Leader For All The Wrong Reasons”
Perhaps no issue has been stirring as much discussion in the leadership field as the continual lack of balanced representation of women in senior management. Faced with the discouraging reality that only 3% of the Fortune 500 CEOs are women, despite their growing numbers in the lower management positions, it’s not surprising why this topic is getting a lot attention, if not concern given the growing rate at which women now represent current graduates coming out of universities.
Granted, it’s difficult, if not impossible for me to truly speak with any authority as to the challenges women face in the business world. However, that doesn’t make this a topic that doesn’t matter to me, especially given my own relationships as a father, husband and brother who’d like to know the women in his life have just as many opportunities as he does irrespective of gender or other divisive social categorizations.
That’s why I’m delighted to share this story courtesy of Susan T. Spencer. Susan came upon my blog some months ago and in that time, we’ve been corresponding about the issues of women, leadership and the changing business environment. Susan has had plenty of experience working in various male-dominated industries – from serving as the VP and acting GM of the NFL franchise Philadelphia Eagles, to being the successful owner of several meat processing plants which had combined annual revenues of $50 million US.
She recently sent me an advance copy of her upcoming book “Briefcase Essentials”, which not only chronicles Click here to continue reading »”Women and Leadership – A Look From Inside The Boardroom”