Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 20, 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 – The Discipline of Innovation
#2 – The Real Meaning of Freedom at Work
#3 – The Ivy Lee Method: Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity
#4 – 10 Things Your Corporate Culture Needs to Get Right
#5 – The Feedback Fallacy

The Discipline of Innovation

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: C.K. Prahalad and Gary Hamel

Summary: In the hyper competition for breakthrough solutions, managers worry too much about

characteristics and personality. A commitment to the systematic search for imaginative and useful ideas is what successful entrepreneurs share —not some special genius or trait. The key is to know where to look.

3 Highlights:

“… In innovation, as in any other endeavor, there is talent, there is ingenuity, and there is knowledge. But when all is said and done, what innovation requires is hard, focused, purposeful work. If diligence, persistence, and commitment are lacking, talent, ingenuity, and knowledge are of no avail.

“… Innovation is work rather than genius. It requires knowledge. It often requires ingenuity. And it requires focus. There are clearly people who are more talented innovators than others, but their talents lie in well-defined areas. Indeed, innovators rarely work in more than one area...”

“… Effective innovations start small. They are not grandiose…”

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The Real Meaning of Freedom at Work

Source: The Wall Street Journal
Author: Adam Grant

Summary: The debate about whether work should be in-person, remote-first, or hybrid is too narrow. Yes, people want the freedom to decide where they work. But they also want the freedom to decide who they work with, what they work on, and when they work. Real flexibility is having the autonomy to choose your people, your purpose, and your priorities.

3 Highlights:

“… To give people the freedom to learn, we need to work harder to open doors…

“… The biggest source of positive liberty may be the freedom to decide when and how much we work. If we’ve learned anything from the pandemic about going remote, it’s that people aren’t shirking from home—they’re working overtime...”

“… Flexible work is here to stay, but companies that resist it may not be. One of the biggest mistakes I saw companies make before Covid was failing to experiment with new forms of freedom. As employers contemplate a return to the workplace, a good place to start might be to ask people about the experiments they’ve run in the past year and a half and the ones they’d love to try moving forward…”

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The Ivy Lee Method: Daily Routine Experts Recommend for Peak Productivity

Source: James Clear Site
Author: James Clear

Summary: During his 15 minutes with each executive, Ivy Lee explained his simple daily routine for achieving peak productivity. The Ivy Lee Method of prioritizing your to-do list seems stupidly simple. How could something this simple be worth so much?

3 Highlights:

“… It’s simple enough to actually work…

“… It forces you to make tough decisions…”

“… It removes the friction of starting, and it requires you to single-task…”

Access the full Weekly Pulse reading here >>

10 Things Your Corporate Culture Needs to Get Right

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Donald Sull and Charles Sull 

Summary: Knowing what elements of culture matter most to employees can help leaders foster engagement as they transition to a new reality that will include more remote and hybrid work. What distinguishes a good corporate culture from a bad one in the eyes of employees? This is a trickier question than it might appear at first glance. Most leaders agree in principle that culture matters but have widely divergent views about which elements of culture are most important.

3 Highlights:

“… Understanding the elements of culture that matter most to employees can help leaders maintain employee engagement and a vibrant culture as they transition to the new normal...

“… Identifying toxic leaders, digging deeper to understand the context of their behavior, coaching them, or removing them from leadership positions are tangible actions organizations can take to root out people who are undermining corporate culture and potentially exposing the company to reputational or legal risk…”

“… The strong and varied language employees use to describe disrespect suggests how deeply it affects them. Employees describe being demeaned and degraded; viewed as disposable cogs in a wheel or robots; or treated like children, second-class citizens, crap, garbage, dirt, trash, scum, idiots, or cattle…”

Access the full Weekly Pulse reading here >>

The Feedback Fallacy

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Marcus Buckingham and Ashley Goodall

Summary: For years managers have been encouraged to candidly praise and criticize just about everything workers do. But it turns out that feedback does not help employees thrive. It’s also not the opposite of failure. Managers will never produce great performance by identifying what they think is a failure and telling people how to correct it. Neuroscience shows that we grow most when people focus on our strengths. 

3 Highlights:

“… How to give people feedback is one of the hottest topics in business today. The arguments for radical candor and unvarnished and pervasive transparency have a swagger to them, almost as if to imply that only the finest and bravest of us can face these truths with nerveless self-assurance, that those of us who recoil at the thought of working in a climate of continual judgment is condemned to mediocrity, and that as leaders our ability to look our colleagues squarely in the eye and lay out their faults without blinking is a measure of our integrity…”

“… We humans do not do well when someone whose intentions are unclear tells us where we stand, how good we “really” are, and what we must do to fix ourselves…”

“… Whenever you see one of your people do something that worked for you, that rocked your world just a little, stop for a minute and highlight it…”

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