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 – Fair Process: Managing in the Knowledge Economy
#2 – Dunbar’s Number: Why We Can Only Maintain 150 Relationships
#3 – Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change
#4 – Life Is Not a Game
#5 – To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say, and How and When You Say It
Fair Process: Managing in the Knowledge Economy
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: W. Chan Kim and Renée Mauborgne
Summary: When employees don’t trust managers to make good decisions or to behave with integrity, their motivation is seriously compromised. Their distrust and its attendant lack of engagement is a huge, unrecognized problem in most organizations. This issue has always mattered, but it matters now more than ever because knowledge-based organizations are totally dependent on the commitment and ideas of their employees.
“… Unfortunately, neither integrity nor good judgment can be magically conferred on all the managers in an organization...“
“… People care about the decisions you make, but they care even more about the process you used along the way…“
“… Fair process reaches into a dimension of human psychology that hasn’t been fully explored in conventional manage- ment practice. Yet every company can tap into the voluntary cooperation of its people by building trust through fair processes....”
Dunbar’s Number: Why We Can Only Maintain 150 Relationships
Source: BBC Future
Author: Tim Smedley
Summary: If you’ve ever been romantically rejected by someone who just wanted to be friends, you may have delivered a version of this line: “I’ve got enough friends already.” Your implication, of course, is that people only have enough emotional bandwidth for a certain number of buddies. The theory of Dunbar’s number holds that we can only really maintain about 150 connections at once. But is the rule true in today’s world of social media?
“… It makes sense that there’s a finite number of friends most individuals can have. What’s less clear is whether that capacity is being expanded, or contracted, by the ever-shifting ways people interact online....“
“… Those aged 18–24 have much larger online social networks than those aged 55 and above. And the primacy of physical contact in the social brain hypothesis may apply less to young people who have never known life without the internet, for whom digital relationships may be just as meaningful as analog ones…”
“… There is a balance between the number of connections you have and the intimacy of those connections…”
Meeting the Challenge of Disruptive Change
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Clayton M. Christensen and Michael Overdorf
Summary: These are scary times for managers in big companies. Even before the Internet and globalization, their track record for dealing with major, disruptive change was not good. Not one of the minicomputer companies succeeded in the personal computer business. Medical and business schools are struggling—and failing—to change their curricula fast enough to train the types of doctors and managers their markets need.
“… If the answers to those questions are no, it’s okay. Understanding a problem is the most crucial step in solving it. Wishful thinking about these issues can set teams that need to innovate on a course fraught with roadblocks, second-guessing, and frustration…”
“… The reason that innovation often seems to be so difficult for established companies is that they employ highly capable people and then set them to work within organizational structures whose processes and values weren’t designed for the task at hand…”
“… Often, it seems, financial analysts have a better intuition about the value of resources than they do about the value of processes...”
Life Is Not a Game
Source: Get Rich Slowly
Author: Michael Laurence
Summary: You hear the phrase “the game of life” all the time. For one, that which is important in life can’t be competed over. While each of us has our own specific vision of the good life, we can all agree a good life tends to have certain characteristics: living by a set of ethics, maintaining meaningful relationships, having time to pursue hobbies, and fulfilling work.
“… Comparing yourself to others has no good outcome. Either you look around and consider yourself inferior to your peers…”
“… Maybe you’re one of the .01% who is incredibly smart, affluent, charming, and physically attractive, who finds a wonderful spouse and has a bunch of cute kids who end up in the Ivy Leagues. If that’s the case, I’m happy for you…”
“… However, it’s difficult to have a good life when every time we fail we feel shame and embarrassment as we compare ourselves, unfavorably, to people we deem more successful…”
To Sound Like a Leader, Think About What You Say, and How and When You Say It
Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Rebecca Shambaugh
Summary: Whether you are an associate manager or a senior executive, what you say, how you say it, when you say it, to whom you say it, and whether you say it within the proper context are critical components of your strategic leadership potential. This “executive voice” is less about your performance and more about your strategic instincts and your awareness of the signals you send in daily interactions and communications. Developing an executive voice can mean the difference between success and failure in your communication and leadership style.
“… While coaching a wide range of executives, I’ve seen firsthand that most feel frustrated when people point out challenges but don’t offer any resolutions…”
“… It can be uncomfortable to recognize and admit personal challenges regarding your executive voice, and at first you may get pushback when making suggestions to improve the executive voice of those on your team…”
“… You can show up more strategically by doing your homework and taking the lead in analyzing situations…”
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