Category Archives: leadership

September 28

What you could learn from ‘Thinking fast and slow’ by Daniel Kahneman (2012, 300 pages)

What is intuition?  How do humans think?  Are humans rational or irrational and can we predict them? In the past economist built models that assumed that human beings are perfectly rational (what behavioural scientists joking refer to as ‘Homo Economicus’).  Daniel Kahneman, a Noble Prize-winning author, showed that Homo Economicus does not exist and that […]

September 13

What leaders can learn from Google’s Project Oxygen

Google ran an experiment to prove that managers are unhelpful.  The found something different – the right managers can be very helpful. Google established the 10 Oxygen behaviours of Google’s best managers (behaviours 3 and 6 have been updated and behaviours 9 and 10 are new): Is a good coach Empowers team and does not […]

August 09

Leadership hack 024 – is getting better more important than getting work done?

“Improving daily work is even more important than doing daily work” Gene Kim You never have enough time and resources, so you throw everything at the task at hand – getting the product shipped or the problem fixed. We have all been there.  It is very, very easy to focus relentlessly on getting your work […]

July 27

What you could learn from ‘Agile at Scale’ this months HBR (May/Jun 18)

In brief analysis of the top articles in the most recent Harvard Business Review.

July 26

Leadership hack 023 – setting team norms helps your team perform after the honeymoon has ended

Building great teams is notoriously difficult.  Setting an agreed list of team norms can help teams become more productive faster. Teams take time and investment to become high-performing (see here).   The most challenging phase is what Tuckman called the ‘storming’ phase.  Once the team has formed and after the honeymoon period is over, team members soon get […]

July 23

What you could learn from ‘Beyond Measure’ by Margaret Heffernan (2015, 100 pages)

Creating a culture that allows constructive conflict to flourish will lead to better solutions, more value for customers and more value for your business.  In her book ‘Beyond Measure’ Margaret Hefferman suggest that there are many small changes to improve your company’s culture. Difference makes a difference.  Teams need to include people with differences in […]

July 20

Leadership hack 022 – it’s OK, teams change

I have found it helpful to use Tuckman’s (1965) stages of team development (expanded by Edison) to show how teams change over time, and it is normal for teams to dip and rise in performance.

July 19

What you could learn from ‘Drive’ By Daniel Pink (2009, 202 pages)

Few books lead to new organisational paradigms.  Daniel’s book ‘Drive’ and his theories on motivation have catapulted Netflix and Spotify to global success. Drive suggest that there is a gap between what research has shown increases motivation, and what business do.  Daniel indicates that the current motivation model (carrot and stick) is no longer suitable […]

July 13

Leadership hack 021 – getting out of the comfort zone

Encouraging your team to adopt a ‘growth mindset‘ will benefit you, your team and your bottom line (see HBR article here).  When Satya Nadella took over as Microsoft’s CEO spent considerable time and energy encouraging those around him to adopt a growth mindset (see this HBR article), and while he has also made some great strategic decisions (e.g., Azure, reducing Windows’ […]

July 12

What you could learn from ‘The CEO next door’ by Botelho and Powell (2018, 250 pages)

What makes a successful CEO?  By studying 2600 CEOs, the Botelho and Powell suggest that there are four defining behaviours that separate successful CEOs from the rest.

July 06

Leadership hack 020 – how to help new team members hit the ground running

Much has been written about how to build and maintain high-performing teams (see here and here).  What is less well covered is how to bring on new members into a high-performing team. When someone new joins the team, you are probably thinking about the following: Getting them up to speed as quickly as possible Making the experience great so […]

July 06

What you could learn from ‘Only the paranoid survive’ by Andrew Gove (1997, 184 pages)

What happens when the fundamentals that underpin your industry change?  How do you see change coming?  How do you separate the signal from the noise? How do you lead your organisation through the change?

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