Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 36, 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 – How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea
#2 – The Hard Truth About Business Model Innovation
#3 – Skilled Incompetence
#4 – To Start a New Habit, Make It Easy
#5 – The CEO View: Defending a Good Company from Bad Investors

How to Pitch a Brilliant Idea

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Kimberly D. Elsbach

Summary: Coming up with creative ideas is easy, but selling them to strangers is hard. Ultimately, the pitch will always remain an imperfect process for communicating creative ideas. But by being aware of stereotyping processes and the value of collaboration, both pitchers and catchers can understand the difference between a pitch and a hit.

3 Highlights:

“… Showrunners deliberately level the power differential between themselves and their catchers; artists invert the differential, and neophytes exploit it...

“… If they rely too heavily on stereotypes, idea buyers might overlook creative individuals who can truly deliver the goods….

“… All too often, entrepreneurs, sales executives, and marketing managers go to great lengths to show how their new business plans or creative concepts are practical and high margin—only to be rejected by corporate decision-makers who don’t seem to understand the real value of the ideas. Why does this happen?...” 

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The Hard Truth About Business Model Innovation

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Clayton M. Christensen, Tomas Bartman, and Derek van Bever

Summary: Many attempts at business model innovation fail. To change that, executives need to understand how business models develop through predictable stages over time — and then apply that understanding to key decisions about new business models.

3 Highlights:

“… Executives sometimes prefer to invest in their existing businesses because those investments seem less risky than trying to create entirely new businesses. But our understanding of the business model journey allows us to see that, over the long term, the greatest innovation risk a company can take is to decide not to create new businesses that decouple the company’s future from that of its current business units...

“… Once a new business is launched, it must remain independent throughout the duration of its journey, but maintaining autonomy requires ongoing leadership attention…”

“… Determining whether an opportunity aligns to a business’s existing priorities is not an exact science, but there are questions that managers should ask to gauge how closely an opportunity aligns to the existing priorities…”

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Skilled Incompetence

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Chris Argyris

Summary: The ability to get along with others is always an asset, right? Wrong. By adeptly avoiding conflict with coworkers, some executives eventually wreak organizational havoc. And it’s their very adeptness that’s the problem. The explanation for this lies in what I call skilled incompetence, whereby managers use practised routine behaviour (skill) to produce what they do not intend (incompetence).

3 Highlights:

“…  The ambiguity and imprecision cover the speaker who can’t know ahead of time what is too far…” 

“… When people send mixed messages, they usually do it spontaneously and with no sign that the message is mixed. Indeed, if they did appear to hesitate, they would defeat their purpose of maintaining control. Even worse, they might appear weak…” 

“… No one wants to launder linen in public. While they are sending mixed messages during a meeting, people rarely reflect on their actions or talk about how the organizational culture, including the meeting, makes discussing the undiscussable difficult...” 

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To Start a New Habit, Make It Easy

Source: The New York Times
Author: Tara Parker-Pope

Summary: Whether your goal for the new year is to lose weight, start exercising or focus on self-care, ask yourself: How can I make this easier?

In the scientific study of habit formation, the thing that makes it harder for you to achieve your goal is called friction.

3 Highlights:

“… Friction typically comes in three forms — distance, time, and effort…

“… Pandemic life has altered many of our routines — so friction that used to be there may have disappeared, and new challenges may have added new friction…

“… Ask yourself, What would make it easier for me to do this…”

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The CEO View: Defending a Good Company from Bad Investors

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Sarah Cliffe

Summary: A conversation with former Allergan CEO David Pyot. David Pyott had been the CEO of Allergan for nearly 17 years in April 2014, when Valeant Pharmaceuticals and Pershing Square Capital Management initiated the hostile takeover bid described in the accompanying article “The Error at the Heart of Corporate Leadership.” He was the company’s sole representative during the takeover discussions. When it became clear that the bid could not be fended off indefinitely, Pyott, with his board’s blessing, negotiated a deal whereby Allergan would be acquired by Actavis (a company whose business model, like Allergan’s, was growth-oriented).

3 Highlights:

“… And then everyone—the board, the investors, the lab technicians, the sales­people—will watch you see if you’re serious. It will take a lot of fortitude and determination. It’s not impossible, but it’s extremely difficult…” 

“… Look at it from a societal point of view: A lot of the unrest we’ve seen over the past year is rooted in the idea that wealthy, powerful people are disproportionately benefiting from the changes happening in society…” 

“… Fortunately or unfortunately, I’m very stubborn…”

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