51wc-selovl-_sx342_bo1204203200_ November 29

What you can learn from ‘Innovation’ by Richard Foster (1986, 267 pages)

‘Innovation – The Attacker’s Advantage‘ is an old book.  Written in 1986, the author talks about the rise of compact disks and the new science of biotechnology.  However, there is much to be learned from this book. One of the main points that this book makes, is that all technology has its natural limits and […]

a9js_1_20160808240560571 November 22

What you can learn from ‘Talent is Overated’ by Geoff Colvin (2016, 206 pages)

What separates the truly exceptional from the rest of us?  Is it talent or is it hard work? In ‘Talent is Overrated’ Geoff argues that while there are some qualities that make us more predisposed to certain achievements, it only when people spend a lot of time (10,000+ hours) in deliberate practice that they can become world […]

screenshot_51 November 18

Leadership hack 017 – you can only fix what you can see

The amount work expected of leaders keep growing, increasing the chance that important tasks are missed.  As companies adopt a flatter, agiler, structure leaders get more responsibility and more people to work with.  It is now very easy for one of your many spinning plates to drop crashing to the ground. The way we manage tasks […]

51xg0ja2sel-_sx329_bo1204203200_ November 13

What you can learn from ‘Turn the Ship Around!’ by David Marquet (2012, 216 pages)

How do you truly empower your team? A lot has been said about empowerment and engagement (see three books I reviewed recently Team of Teams, Followership, and The Heart of Change).  What is different about David’s ‘Turn the Ship Around’ is that David uses his highly compelling personal story, turning around one of the worst performing submarines in […]

15diagram November 11

Leadership hack 016 – what 80/20 actually means

5There is much advice out there ‘don’t boil the ocean‘ or be ‘80/20‘.  A lot of people think that this means just do 80% of the work.  Few understand its true meaning that you should only focus on the very small, but very significant 20% of the work which creates 80% of the impact. Understanding that […]

megaphone November 06

Leadership hack 015 – there are three ways to get people to do something

When you want somebody to do something, you have three choices: Rely on altruism by appealing to their better nature Threaten adverse consequences if they don’t do it Re-frame the request to highlight mutual benefit Each of these approaches has advantages and drawbacks, and the effectiveness of each will differ with context. Altruism is incredibly powerful, but you need a […]

41ytdvpqohl November 04

What you could learn from ‘The Strategy Book’ by Max McKeown (2012, 226 pages)

  “Strategy is about moving from where you are to where you want to be.  Smart strategy is the shortest route to desirable ends with available means.” Max McKeown Strategy, historically a Greek military term (see below), is now used very loosely to describe any plan of action to achieve a long term aim (see here). In […]

41dzkbwhtal-_sx339_bo1204203200_ October 31

What could you learn from ‘Ambidextrous Leadership Driving Strategic Innovation’ by Maria Potoroczyn (2013, 100 pages)

Balancing exploitation and exploration is a critical for business (see here).  Maria argues that Ambidextrous leadership is needed to balance the requirements of exploitation and exploration. In her dissertation, Maria exposes the conflict present in many organisations – the need to drive innovation initiatives, as well as maintain the profitability of core business.  She goes […]

questions October 28

Leadership hack – 014 asking questions is more powerful than telling people what to do

Evidence suggest that if you tell people exactly what to do, they will be less motivated, less likely to improvise if things go wrong and you will experience poorer results – see The Human Side Of Enterprise, published in 1960! So, if you are not going to tell people exactly what to do, how do […]

41c6vfedoul-_sx318_bo1204203200_ October 24

What you could learn from ‘The Innovation Book’ by Max McKeown (2014, 245 pages)

What is innovation? How do you and your company become more innovative?  How do you lead and manage creative people?  How to you turn your companies best ideas into reality? All of these questions are challenging for leaders in large organisations.  Max McKeown’s ‘The Innovation Book’ is an excellent resource to help you answer these […]

b08cb585ba638e7df80c6efeadca8ed5-exploration-exploitation-final-v2-screencap October 21

Leadership hack 013 – balancing exploitation with exploration

Success only lasts so long.  If you, or your company, are successful others will imitate, and competition will erode your advantage.  Therefore, to remain successful, you need to capitalise on your current success, and use then redeploy the resources from this success and invest them where they while hopefully generate future growth. Exploitation is defined as ‘the action […]

fox October 14

Leadership hack 013 – be the fox and not the hedgehog

‘The fox knows many things, but the hedgehog knows one big thing’. Isaiah Berlin Are you someone who sees the world very clearly?  Do you have firmly held views one subject?  Or do you operate in shades of grey, where there are no right answers? The rise of popularism in politics is clear.  The US […]