Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 28, 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 – What You Don’t Know About Making Decisions
#2 – Scale vs Speed: Why Organizations Slow Down
#3 – Forgotten Stakeholders: Forming Team in an Outsourced IT Environment
#4 – Think Globally, Innovate Locally
#5 – How to Excel at Both Strategy and Execution

What You Don’t Know About Making Decisions

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: David A. Garvin and Michael A. Roberto

Summary: Most executives think of decision-making as a singular event that occurs at a particular point in time. In reality, though, decision-making is a process fraught with power plays, politics, personal nuances, and institutional history. Leaders who recognize this make far better decisions than those who persevere in the fantasy that decisions are events they alone control. That said, some decision-making processes are far more effective than others. 

3 Highlights:

“… During decision making, ask people to play functional or managerial roles different from their own; for example, lower-level employees assume a CEO’s perspective…

“… In addition to stimulating constructive conflict and showing consideration, bring the decision process to closure at the appropriate time

“… Conflict during decision making takes two forms: cognitive (relating to the substance of the work) and affective (stemming from inter-personal friction). The first is crucial to effec- tive decision making; the second, is destructive…” 

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Scale vs Speed: Why Organizations Slow Down

Source: Seth’s Blog
Author: Seth Godin

Summary: Boring as a strategy is an approach that Apple and a large number of famous brands have taken. As you cross the chasm, the bulk of your new customers doesn’t want innovation at all. They want promises kept, a lack of surprises and reasonable prices, and efficiency. Shipping your improvements on a regular schedule and bringing predictability to your offering allows you to reach more people and make a bigger impact

3 Highlights:

“… If you compare a Starbucks of ten years ago to a current one, they’re virtually the same. Compare this to the originals in Seattle, and the difference is startling. The same goes for the design of a typical McDonald’s. The same goes for Google. And Slack.

“… Apple launched the Mac with about a dozen full-time people working on its development. Today, they have more than a thousand times as many engineers and they haven’t launched a groundbreaking product in a while…” 

“… It’s not just famous big brands. Just about every organization hits a point where the pace of innovation slows as scale increases…” 

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Forgotten Stakeholders: Forming Team in an Outsourced IT Environment

Source: Mosaic Project Services
Author: Lynda Bourne

Summary: The paper outlines some of the reasons for outsourcing IT, and describes the risks to the organization of inadequate preparation and negotiation of contracts. It also outlines ways to ensure a more successful outsourcing relationship between client and supplier. In addressing alternatives to outsourcing, the paper identifies the importance of trust and commitment in relationships between organizations, between organizations and their employees, and between employees – particularly those in teams.

3 Highlights:

“… Throughout the paper, whether discussing outsourcing its reasons, risks, and dangers or discussing Strategic Alliances and Partnerships to managing stakeholders and forming teams in good or adverse situations, the common thread for success in any of these relationships has been trusting and commitment” 

“… This world engages specialists such as engineers, politicians, assassins, and the finance community to cause a change in society and in organizations. The specialists fulfill the narrow role they have been engaged to perform, but neglect those most affected by the change….” 

“… Tuckman’s model must be called to question as not being adequate in this new world. At the other end of the spectrum, it is unclear whether ‘punctuated equilibrium’ provides the answer. Whatever model best fits, it will probably be necessary to rethink the adages about leadership, which are so easy to say, but not so easy to do...” 

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Think Globally, Innovate Locally

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Satish Nambisan and Yadong Luo

Summary: Digitization and globalization are converging to transform innovation in multinationals across industries. Multinational companies are leveraging digital technologies to tap creative resources across their markets.

3 Highlights:

“… The dueling narratives of digital globalization and localization bring to the fore new and unique challenges for multinational companies seeking to optimize their digital innovation efforts…” 

“… The key takeaway from our research is the need for the leaders of multinationals to carefully (re)calibrate their innovative approaches and adjust the tight or loose coupling of their innovation sources and assets based on the extent and balance of those forces in their various foreign markets…” 

“…  The successful pursuit of innovation across borders in the post-pandemic world will increasingly depend on multinationals’ ability to master the nuances of tight and loose coupling…” 

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How to Excel at Both Strategy and Execution

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Paul Leinwand and Joachim Rotering

Summary: Research has shown that only about 8% of company leaders excel at both strategy and execution. But more and more, we need leaders who can do both. Leaders need to make sure the entire organization is motivated to go on the journey. Great leaders know that success stems from specific skills that come together in unique ways to do the challenging tasks in executing the strategy.

3 Highlights:

“… We believe there’s a tremendous upside for companies that can succeed at strategy through execution. The leaders who are able to be both visionaries and operators, and switch between these two mindsets, are the ones who can turn their organizations into super-competitors…” 

“… Over many years, Starbucks has built a capability to foster a relationship-driven, “employees-first” approach. It was Schultz who famously said ‘You can walk into [any type of retail store] and you can feel whether the proprietor or the merchant or the person behind the counter has a good feeling about his product. If you walk into a department store today, you are probably talking to a guy who is untrained; he was selling vacuum cleaners yesterday, and now he is in the apparel section. It just does not work’…” 

“… Leaders who master both strategy and execution start by building a bold but executable strategy. Next, they ensure that the company is investing behind the change. And last, they make sure the entire organization is motivated to go the journey…” 

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