Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 13, 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 – We Need Better Managers, Not More Technocrats
#2 – Successfully Transitioning to New Leadership Roles
#3 – Warning: Habits May Be Good For You
#4 – The Great Leap: Driving Innovation From the Base of the Pyramid
#5 – Getting Serious About Diversity


We Need Better Managers, Not More Technocrats

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Didier Bonnet and George Westerman

Summary: Business model innovation is hard. But managers make it harder when they think about it only as radical industry reinvention. While revolutionary business model changes can be valuable, you don’t necessarily need to transform your industry. You don’t need to destroy your current business model. There is another way to make money from business model innovation. 

3 Highlights:

“… Digital technology is changing the way companies work, and the way customers expect them to work. Many opportunities exist to profit from digital business models. But building radically new ones can be expensive, difficult, and highly risky…

“… Yet huge opportunities exist in using digital technology to evolve your business model by rethinking your existing products, economic models, and digital assets...”

“… Digital technology is changing the way companies work and the way customers expect them to work…”

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Successfully Transitioning to New Leadership Roles

Source: McKinsey
Author: Scott Keller

Summary: Leadership transition is more common and important than ever. Every leadership transition creates uncertainty. Will the new leader uncover and seize opportunities and assemble the right team? Will the changes be sustainable? Will a worthy successor be developed? These questions boil down to one: Will the leader be successful?

3 Highlights:

“… Newly appointed leaders should take stock of their situation in five areas and then take action to deal with them. They should also clearly state not only what they will do but what they won’t, as well as forget the idea that they have only 100 days to make an impact…

“…  As leaders take action, they should not only be clear about what will stop and start but also adopt a philosophy from the world of good housekeeping: one thing in, one thing out. When people propose new initiatives, leaders should ask what the company will stop doing to free up the time, money, resources, and focus needed to implement them well...”

“… A year into her role, not everything had gone according to plan: unforeseen economic changes dictated a strategic decision to focus more on the consumer business…”

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Warning: Habits May Be Good For You

Source: New York Times
Author: Charles Duhigg

Summary: This article describes with some stories how Eric Ries developed a scientific method for launching profitable companies, realizing when a company was going to fail, and creating what was known as Lean Startup.

3 Highlights:

“… Habits are formed when the memory associates specific actions with specific places or moods…

“… Our capacity to develop such habits is an invaluable evolutionary advantage. But when they run amok, things can become tricky…”

“… Those and other studies revealed that as much as 45 percent of what we do every day is habitual that is, performed almost without thinking in the same location or at the same time each day, usually because of subtle cues…”

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The Great Leap: Driving Innovation From the Base of the Pyramid

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Clayton M. Christensen

Summary: As multinationals unrelentingly seek new growth to satisfy shareholders, they increasingly hear concerns from many quarters about environmental degradation, labor exploitation, cultural hegemony, and local autonomy. What is to be done? Must corporations’ thirst for growth and profits serve only to exacerbate the antiglobalization movement?

3 Highlights:

“… Economist Joseph Schumpeter’s term “creative destruction” has become justifiably well known in recent years, but it tells only half the story. Before the destruction of industry leaders occurs as a result of disruptive innovation, a long period of “creative creation” typically can be discerned...

“… We’ve learned, however, that companies are profitably disrupting traditional approaches to business problems in such industries as telecommunications, consumer electronics, and energy production, to name just a few. These and many other opportunities are ready to explode in the coming years…”

“… Our thinking about the potential rewards resulting from a great leap to the base of the pyramid extends this concept as a framework not just for corporate growth but also for more balanced macroeconomic development. Indeed, the great leap holds the potential to address the root causes of antiglobalization sentiments…”

Access the full Weekly Pulse reading here >>


Getting Serious About Diversity

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Robin J. Ely and David A. Thomas

Summary: Four actions are key for leaders: building trust and creating a workplace where people feel free to express themselves; actively combating bias and systems of oppression; embracing a variety of styles and voices inside the organization, and using employees’ identity-related knowledge and experiences to learn how best to accomplish the firm’s core work.

3 Highlights:

“… Managers may believe they’re giving helpful feedback when they tell a large Black man to smile more so that his white colleagues won’t fear him, when they ask a Latina who advocates passionately for a project to dial it down, when they encourage a no-nonsense white woman to be “nicer,” or when they urge a soft-spoken woman of East Asian descent to speak more forcefully. But all such messages communicate that these employees must be ever-mindful of how others see them in relation to stereotyped images of their group, making it harder for them to bring their talents and perspectives to the table….

“… Companies will not reap benefits from diversity unless they build a culture that insists on equality. Treating differences as a source of knowledge and connection lays the groundwork for such a culture. But as part of that process, firms may have to make financial investments that they won’t recoup, at least in the short run, and more will be required of top leaders, managers, and rank-and-file employees alike…”

“…  We should make the necessary investment because doing so honors our own and others’ humanity and gives our lives meaning…”

Access the full Weekly Pulse reading here >>


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