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 – Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Diversity
#2 – The Future of Work After COVID-19
#3 – Free Agent Nation
#4 – Strategy as a Way of Life
#5 – Crucibles of Leadership
Making Differences Matter: A New Paradigm for Managing Diversity
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: David A. Thomas and Robin J. Ely
Summary: Why should companies concern themselves with diversity? Until recently, many managers answered this question with the assertion that discrimination is wrong, both legally and morally. But today managers are voicing a second notion as well. A more diverse workforce, they say, will increase organizational effectiveness.
“… Companies in which the third paradigm is emerging have leaders and managers who take responsibility for removing the barriers that block employees from using the full range of their competencies, cultural or otherwise. Racism, homophobia, sexism, and sexual harassment are the most obvious forms of dominance that decrease individual and organizational effectiveness—and third-paradigm leaders have zero tolerance for them.…“
“… They assured her that her authentic style of leadership was precisely what they wanted her to bring to the job....”
“… Few things are faster at killing a shift to a new way of thinking about diversity than feelings of broken trust. Therefore, managers of organizations that are successfully shifting to the learning-and-effectiveness paradigm take one more step: they make sure their organizations remain “safe” places for employees to be themselves.…”
I was reading this one from the printed magazine, but you can find it here:
The Future of Work After COVID-19
Author: Susan Lund, Anu Madgavkar, James Manyika, Sven Smit, Kweilin Ellingrud, and Olivia Robinson
Summary: The COVID-19 pandemic disrupted labor markets globally during 2020. The short-term consequences were sudden and often severe: Millions of people were furloughed or lost jobs, and others rapidly adjusted to working from home as offices closed. Many other workers were deemed essential and continued to work in hospitals and grocery stores, on garbage trucks, and in warehouses, yet under new protocols to reduce the spread of the novel coronavirus.
“… The scale of workforce transitions set off by COVID-19’s influence on labor trends increases the urgency for businesses and policymakers to take steps to support additional training and education programs for workers. Companies and governments exhibited extraordinary flexibility and adaptability in responding to the pandemic with purpose and innovation that they might also harness to retool the workforce in ways that point to a brighter future of work…“
“… Some companies are already planning to shift to flexible workspaces after positive experiences with remote work during the pandemic, a move that will reduce the overall space they need and bring fewer workers into offices each day...”
“… The computer-based office work arena includes offices of all sizes and administrative workspaces in hospitals, courts, and factories. Work in this arena requires only moderate physical proximity to others and a moderate number of human interactions…”
Free Agent Nation
Source: Fast Company
Author: Daniel Pink
Summary: Welcome to Free Agent, U.S.A. Federal census takers can’t tell you how many people actually live here. Government mapmakers have yet to give it an official location. But if you go look for it, as I did, you can’t miss it. It’s out there, from coast to coast, and it’s growing every day.
“… A few months ago I was working in the White House. Now I tell people I’m working in the Pink House, since my office is on the third floor of our compact home in Washington, DC. For many years, I’d held down a job — often one that people considered a good job…“
“… But majority of public attitudes still can’t see it. For example, during my first month as a free agent, I described my switch to a friend, and he responded, I really admire you for doing that. Most people wouldn’t be able to handle the change in status…”
“… Or take public policy. While the private sector eagerly fashions this new free-agent infrastructure (in 1996, for example, Staples opened two new superstores every week), the public sector barely recognizes the forces driving all this construction…”
Strategy as a Way of Life
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Ikujiro Nonaka and Hirotaka Takeuchi
Summary: We live in a world of discontinuity and uncertainty, where norms are rapidly disintegrating and businesses are losing their footing. We live in a time of flux and fluidity when mandates for growth are driving high-velocity, unrelenting change. Businesses must root strategy in moral purpose to thrive in a complex, rapidly changing world.
“… Strategy is as fundamental as thinking good thoughts, doing the right thing, and practicing self-reflection and self-discipline in everyday life...“
“… The future is hazy and unpredictable, which is why leaders need to tell stories about where they are headed — it allows others in the organization to follow…”
“… Last but not least, strategy is about making choices. It is about choosing the future we want to make, and that future must extend beyond the narrow interests of the company…”
Crucibles of Leadership
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Warren G. Bennis and Robert J. Thomas
Summary: As lifelong students of leadership, we are fascinated with the notion of what makes a leader. Why is it that certain people seem to naturally inspire confidence, loyalty, and hard work, while others stumble, again and again? It’s a timeless question, and there’s no simple answer. But we have come to believe it has something to do with the different ways that people deal with adversity.
“… These attributes allow leaders to grow from their crucibles, instead of being destroyed by them—to find an opportunity where others might find only despair. This is the stuff of true leadership….“
“… A crucible is, by definition, a transformative experience through which an individual comes to a new or an altered sense of identity…”
“… It is the combination of hardiness and ability to grasp context that, above all, allows a person to not only survive an ordeal, but to learn from it, and to emerge stronger, more engaged, and more committed than ever…”
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