Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 05, 2022

The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.
The Weekly Pulse is my content curation and my highlights from readings, books, podcasts, insights, and everything I discovered during the week.

So, let’s go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 – Negotiating Your Next Job
#2 – Getting Brand Communities Right
#3 – How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity
#4 – Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyperefficiency
#5 – Maximizing Agile Productivity to Meet Shareholder Commitments

Negotiating Your Next Job

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Hannah Riley Bowles and Bobbi Thomason

Summary: When you’re seeking to advance your career—by joining a different company or moving into a new role with your current employer—it’s important to think strategically about not just what you want but how to get it. In this article, the authors draw on their work coaching executives and their cross-cultural research to propose four steps that can help you prepare to negotiate.

3 Highlights:

“… Think broadly about your long-term career goals instead of focusing narrowly on the offer at hand or the question of pay and benefits…

“…  Be mindful of what type of opportunity you’re asking for—something standard, an unusual arrangement for yourself, or a chance to take your organization in a new direction—and tailor your arguments accordingly…”

“… Arm yourself with the necessary information to reduce ambiguity about what’s possible and with whom to negotiate, and connect with people who can be helpful in making your case, and approach negotiations as an opportunity to enhance your working relationships…”

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Getting Brand Communities Right

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Susan Fournier and Lara Lee

Summary: Marketers are trying to increase customer loyalty, marketing efficiency, and brand authenticity by building communities around their brands. Few companies, however, understand what brand communities require and how they work. Drawing from their research and experience at Harley-Davidson, the authors bring some common misconceptions about brand communities and new approaches to leveraging those communities.

3 Highlights:

“… Managers often think that a brand community must be tightly controlled. In reality, a robust community defies managerial control. Effective brand stewards can, however, create an environment in which a community can thrive—by, for example, designing multiple experiences that appeal to different audiences…

“… Another common misconception is that a brand community exists to serve the business. An effective brand community exists to serve its members, who participate in order to fulfill many kinds of needs, such as building relationships, cultivating new interests, and contributing to society. Strong communities work to understand people’s needs and to engage participants by offering a variety of roles…”

“… Many managers think of a brand community in terms of marketing strategy. In fact, for a community to have the greatest impact, it must be framed as a corporate strategy. Realizing this, Harley-Davidson, for example, retooled every aspect of its organization to support building and maintaining its brand community and treated all community-related activities not just as marketing expenses but as a company-wide investment…”

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How Pixar Fosters Collective Creativity

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Ed Catmull

Summary: Many people believe that good ideas are rarer and more valuable than good people. Ed Catmull, president of Pixar and Disney Animation Studios, couldn’t disagree more. That notion, he says, is rooted in a misguided view of creativity that exaggerates the importance of the initial idea in developing an original product. 

3 Highlights:

“… You get great creative people, you bet big on them, you give them enormous leeway and support, and you provide them with an environment in which they can get honest feedback from everyone…

“… Empower your creatives. Give your creative people control over every stage of idea development…”

“… The most efficient way to resolve the numerous problems that arise in any complex project is to trust people to address difficulties directly, without having to get permission. So, give everyone the freedom to communicate with anyone…”

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Getting Things Done Guru David Allen and His Cult of Hyperefficiency

Source: Wired
Author: Gary Wolf

Summary: Allen’s approach is not inspirational, instead, it is detailed and dry. But within his advice about how to label a file folder or how many minutes to allot to an incoming email, there is a spiritual promise. He says there is a state of blessed calm available to those who have taken careful measures of their habits and made all the changes suggested by reason. Nirvana comes in routine steps, as an algorithm drives a machine.

3 Highlights:

“… Humans have a problem with stuff. Allen defines stuff as anything we want or need to do. A tax form has the same status as a marriage proposal; a book to write is no different than a grocery list. It’s all stuff…

“… He compares the person working at a desk with a person walking through the forest. There is a surfeit of things that one could possibly pay attention to, and the primary task is to pick out, from the surrounding environment, those signals that require processing. Any email could be either a snake in the grass or a berry…”

“… Allen says his goal is to be free from worrying about anything he has to do. His techniques allow him the pleasure of having, much of the time, nothing on his mind…”

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Maximizing Agile Productivity to Meet Shareholder Commitments

Source: McKinsey
Author: Paula Castilho, Khushpreet Kaur, Mel Liddicoat, Selim Sulos, and Tolga Oguz

Summary: Organizations of all sizes use agile transformations to facilitate faster decision-making and business impact. However, agile methodologies do not always translate perfectly to large organizations, especially those that are engaged in complex transformations with preset productivity goals. 

3 Highlights:

“… One way to boost the productivity of agile teams throughout the transformation is to assess the agile maturity of teams early on and adopt lean principles and automation to redistribute freed-up team members to launch additional agile teams and accelerate delivery…

“… Classic agile methodology does not always translate perfectly to large, complex transformations with preset goals. A value-focused, centralized approach is key to harvesting the benefits of agile ways of working without compromising on organizations’ financial goals…”

“… Typical agile-transformation offices focus on rolling out agile methodologies, helping the organization build new capabilities, and generally producing impact. But organizations that have committed to achieving specific results need to track and test agile teams’ work—frequently—through the lens of financial performance…”

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