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 – Values in Tension: Ethics Away From Home
#2 – The Journey to an Agile Organization
#3 – Creating the Lean Startup
#4 – Closing the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
#5 – How to Protect Your Job in a Recession
Values in Tension: Ethics Away From Home
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Thomas Donaldson
Summary: When we leave home and cross our nation’s boundaries, moral clarity often blurs. Without a backdrop of shared attitudes, and without familiar laws and judicial procedures that define standards of ethical conduct, certainty is elusive. Should a company invest in a foreign country where civil and political rights are violated?
“… In a global business environment, values in tension are the rule rather than the exception. Without a company’s commitment, statements of values and codes of ethics end up as empty platitudes that provide managers with no foundation for behaving ethically. Employees need and deserve more, and responsible members of the global business community can set examples for others to follow.…“
“… Many people think of values as soft; to some, they are usually unspoken....”
“… Individual managers will not be able to wipe out corruption in a host country, no matter how many bribes they turn down. When a host country’s tax system, import and export procedures, and procurement practices favor unethical players, companies must take action.…”
The Journey to an Agile Organization
Author: Daniel Brosseau, Sherina Ebrahim, Christopher Handscomb, and Shail Thaker
Summary: Any enterprise-wide agile transformation needs to be both comprehensive and iterative. That is, it should be comprehensive in that it touches on strategy, structure, people, process, and technology, and iterative in that not everything can be planned upfront.
“… Most transformations start with building the top team’s understanding and aspirations, creating a blueprint to identify how agility will add value, and learning through agile pilots…“
“… Nothing convinces skeptical executives like teams of their own employees having verifiable impact through agile working...”
“… Successful agile transformations need strong and aligned leadership from the top. A compelling, commonly understood and jointly owned aspiration is critical for success…”
Creating the Lean Startup
Author: Eric Ries
Summary: Ries, a serial entrepreneur, co-founded IMVU, an online social network that made the Inc. 500 last year. Through trial and error at IMVU, Ries developed a methodical approach to launching companies that go beyond bootstrapping. Now he’s creating a movement. How Eric Ries developed a scientific method for launching profitable companies
“… The Lean Startup method builds capital-efficient companies because it allows start-ups to recognize that it’s time to pivot—or change direction—sooner, creating less waste of time and money…“
“… We would look to eliminate waste, not build castles in the sky. We would respond to failures and setbacks with honesty and learning, not with recriminations and blame. Most of all, we would stop wasting people’s time…”
“… Each experiment essentially follows a three-step process: Build, measure, learn…”
Closing the Gap Between Strategy and Execution
Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Donald N. Sull
Summary: In an ideal world, managers could formulate a long-term strategy, methodically implement it and then sustain the resulting competitive advantage. In fast-paced industries, companies should think of strategy as an iterative loop with four steps: making sense of a situation, making choices, making things happen and making revisions.
“… Managers need to recognize emerging patterns in order to anticipate new opportunities and threats. But spotting such patterns also requires people to revise and sometimes even abandon their existing mental models, and therein lies the rub...“
“… But most markets frequently generate high levels of strategically relevant information. In such industries — call them volatile, unpredictable, turbulent, high-velocity, hyper-competitive, chaotic, or uncertain — the complex interactions of multiple variables (geopolitics, technical innovation, capital market swings, competitive dynamics, shifting consumer preferences, and so on) influence a company’s best course of action and ultimate performance…”
“… Managers who master the strategy loop’s four types of discussions will be able to spot emerging opportunities, seize them and make mid-course corrections more effectively than others who stumble through those steps…”
How to Protect Your Job in a Recession
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Janet Banks and Diane Coutu
Summary: As the economy softens, corporate downsizing appears almost inevitable. Don’t panic yet, though. While layoff decisions might seem beyond your control, there’s plenty you can do to make sure you retain your job.
“… If you want to survive, act like a survivor. Be confident and cheerful. Stay focused on the future by concentrating on the customer, without whom nobody will have a job. ….“
“… Many forces are beyond your control in a recession, but if you direct your energy toward developing a strategy, you’ll have a better chance of riding out the storm. …”
“… Perhaps you want to go back to school, start your own business, join a smaller firm, or become a minister. That may require some downsizing of your own…”
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