INNOVATION & Creativity Conquers Uncertainty. Here’s How To Hire For It

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: years ago when I began my PhD work I began by finding and analyzing churches that are creatively sharing the Good News. One of the most important factors is hiring creative people. But hiring committees often err on the side of the safe bet. Here is an excerpt from a new research-based book that explains how do you spot someone that’s creative and get them on your team.

by Chaka Booker, Forbes Magazine, 6/1/20.

…According to an annual global study conducted by IBM, 80% of CEOs anticipate this increase in complexity, but only 49% believe their organizations are prepared to deal with it. The same research shows that creative thinking has become a prerequisite for success. Clearly, organizations need talent that see things differently than others. They need creative thinkers who can help move organizations in unanticipated and ultimately successful directions.

Interviewing for creativity

Determining if someone is creative isn’t easy. Even when asked to describe their own creativity, people find it difficult to do so. Steve Jobs echoed this sentiment during an interview for Wired magazine in 1996, “When you ask creative people how they did something, they feel a little guilty because they didn’t really do it, they just saw something. It seemed obvious to them after a while.”

Most interview questions don’t acknowledge this reality and instead ask candidates to give examples of creative solutions they’ve generated in their work experience. These types of questions focus primarily on ideas and results, not on the process. Assessing ideas and results, however, requires understanding the candidate’s context. A candidate may describe something that was creative within their context, but to you it may seem lackluster. Or, vice versa, it may seem creative but was par for the course.

This is a problem you cannot solve. Regardless of your understanding of the candidate’s context, your opening question still needs to be a traditional one. Start by asking any of the following standard creativity questions: 

  • Have you had a project which required you to think “outside the box”? If so, what ideas did you generate and what was the result?
  • Have you come up with an innovative idea or solution recently at work If so, what resulted from the idea?
  • Have you faced a problem at work that you solved in a unique way? If so, what was the outcome?

Asking one or two of these questions is still valuable because it sets the foundation for addressing the challenge that Steve Jobs identified. Next you need to ask questions that specifically help you understand the candidate’s mental process.

The link between artistic and professional creativity

Creativity is hard to assess because it is a mind state that people enter to generate results. It is often more recognizable when examined via the artistic creativity exhibited by musicians, poets, dancers, or other artists. For this reason, a considerable amount of research on creative mental processes has been done with artists. Fortunately, artistic creativity and the creativity needed in the working world are related. Studies have shown that whether a person is a chief operating officer or a sculptor, a similar mental shift occurs when they think creatively. Dr. Joel Lopata, a Professor of Psychology and Creativity at The Sheridan Institute of Technology and Advanced Learning, found that, “When artists—or people in general—work across domains…they are in what can be called a distinct creative mental space, which is distinct and different from a rational, logical, and analytical state.”

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/chakabooker/2020/06/01/creativity-conquers-uncertainty-heres-how-to-hire-for-it/#c928e4c7607d

STAFF & How Respecting Others’ Time Results In Better Performance For Everyone #ForbesMagazine

by John Hall, Forbes Magazine, 3/8/20.

Entrepreneurs are said to have egos. That’s a fair assessment — I don’t know a single founder who doesn’t have a need to be seen, to leave a mark on the world. But the entrepreneurs I know need something far more important than that: respect. They want people to understand how valuable their time is. The problem is that many of them fail to extend that same respect when it comes to their team members’ time.

As noted in a previous Forbes article, respect is the third most important thing employees look for when seeking a new job. While that may not be top of mind for you, it certainly is for others. Eighty percent of employees surveyed in a study cited in the Memphis Business Journal said that “lack of respect is a serious problem in the workplace” — and that it was getting worse. Another study found that 63% of those who don’t feel respected intend to leave their present job within two years.

You may think you don’t “waste” anyone’s time. Intentional or not, here are some common ways we’ve all done it:

  • Scheduling unnecessary or last-minute meetings
  • Going over the allotted time for a meeting 
  • Tardiness, such as arriving late or missing deadlines
  • Not respecting boundaries, such as calling a colleague at 11 p.m. or emailing at 6 a.m. on a Saturday 
  • Interrupting people when they’re speaking or clearly focused on their work — cues like wearing headphones or closing their office door signify interruptions aren’t welcome
  • Assigning or delegating a task to someone at the last second or when he’s already working at full capacity
  • Filling a person’s inbox with messages that have no real value
  • Not responding to important messages or keeping people updated on your progress
  • Breaking promises, such as having a reputation for canceling meetings at the last minute
  • Being unprepared, like arriving at a meeting without having reviewed the agenda

Not only are these actions disrespectful, but they’re also impacting others’ performance. 

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnhall/2020/03/08/how-respecting-others-time-results-in-better-performance-for-everyone/#b94d40e252f6

TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & 12 Phrases Transformational Leaders Use To Get Amazing Results.

Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I designed and launched a doctor of ministry degree in “transformational leadership,” because transformational leadership is becoming the most precise and effective way to describe a Christian leader who believes in sanctification. The transformational leader allows her or himself to be changed, as they change the organization and encourage change in others. Here’s a helpful overview of the mindset of a transformational leader.

By Terina Allen, Forbes Magazine, 1/4/20.

Here are 12 simple phrases that transformational leaders use to get amazing results by connecting more deeply with employees. 

1. I need your help.

Many so-called leaders view asking for help as some sort of weakness. This is flawed thinking, and they couldn’t be more wrong. In fact, asking for help is one of the greatest things you can do to show leadership strength…

2. May I help you? – or – How can I help you?

Be intentional about asking these questions. Leaders and supervisors shouldn’t assume that staff will just up and come to you when and if they need help. You need to make it clear that you really want to help and that you don’t view others as weaker or less competent for seeking out help in the first place…

3. I understand that… – or – I understand you…

When you engage in a conversation with one or more people and follow up with a phrase like “I understand that [fill in the blank with points of the conversation that you understood],” you are demonstrating that you indeed heard and received the message…

4. I respect you for… – or – I respect the way…

Most, if not all of us, want to be respected. And though you can do these very specific things to garner more respect from your colleagues, it’s critically important that you also demonstrate respect for them as well. Transformational leaders understand that showing respect requires more than lip service, but sometimes the words actually help too…

5. I trust that you can… – or – I trust that you will…

If you are a micromanager, force yourself to use this phrase at least once a week…

Employees want to use their talents and make contributions to goal accomplishments, and in order to do so, they need space to be creative, to think of options and to make the plays that will lead to the desired results. Tell your team members what the goals are. Share an outline of what the end should look like and then get out of the way and let them shine! Your staff will come to see that you actually do trust them, and they will become more invested and engaged in the process.

6. You are right. – or – I was wrong.

Leaders don’t always have the answers. Encourage your team to have respectful debate with you and with one another. Teams are formed when members feel comfortable with conflict and safe to disagree with one another and with the boss. Show your strength and courage as a leader by being willing to admit that someone else was right on something or that you were wrong. Allow some of your vulnerability to come through; it builds relationships.

Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/terinaallen/2020/01/04/12-phrases-transformational-leaders-use-to-get-amazing-results/#370344e77817

TRENDS & 6 Pop Culture Examples That Show Faith Isn’t Taboo Anymore.

by Paul Jankowski, Forbes Magazine, 1/2/19.

..,I’ve been studying the role faith plays in marketing to the New Heartland for over a decade. As one of the three core values this cohort, which makes up 60% of the country, prioritizes in their decision-making process, it’s important to explore its relevance in today’s society. 

…Get to a place where you understand the role faith plays.

Lately, entertainment and faith have been intersecting in ways that reflect a New Heartland state of mind. 

Faith and its connection to pop culture is gaining ground with both New Heartland and non-New Heartland personalities leading the way. 

… Here are 6 examples from 2019 of pop culture heavyweights leaning into faith, not away from it…

2. Eric Church Faces Monsters with Prayer 

2019 was the year of embracing faith in country music. Some notable songs featuring faith include Matt Stell’s “Prayed For You,” Blake Shelton’s “God’s Country” and Little Big Town’s“The Daughters,” fans were introduced to “Monsters” by Eric Church at the end of the summer. Church sings about the power of prayer when faced with difficult times. Since his first EP, “Sinners Like Me,” Church has danced with faith in his lyrics to much success. 

3. Chance the Rapper Gets Inspiration from Above 

Since Chance the Rapper declared himself as a Christian rapper in 2018, he has lived out the lifestyle very publicly. He uses Jesus’ name on network TV, volunteers for Kids of the Kingdom in his hometown of Chicago, and shares his message of faith through his music. His 2018 single, “Blessings,” opens with the line “I’m gon’ praise Him, praise Him ’til I’m gone. When the praises go up, the blessings come down.” 

  • 4. Dolly Parton Takes Traditional Values to a Non-Traditional Genre

    Swedish DJs Galantis and Dutch singer Mr. Probz approached Parton with a proposal to sing on their EDM remake of John Hiatt’s 80s hit, “Faith.” Many of her country songs have been re purposed as party mixes, but this is the first time she collaborated on a venture of this type outside of her bluegrass roots. Her collaborations following 18 years away from the stage are predominantly faith-focused. In addition to “Faith,” Parton joined forces with For King and Country earlier in 2019 on their song “God Only Knows.” 

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/pauljankowski/2020/01/02/6-pop-culture-examples-that-show-faith-isnt-taboo-anymore-brands-take-note/#2566ca465f27

    COACHING & 15 Essential Questions To Ask Your Mentor Or Coach

    Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: In my coaching of church leaders, pastors and denominational leaders I ask them to look over the following questions and ask me one at each coaching session.

    By Forbes Magazine Coaching Panel, 11/25/19.

    1. Can you help me identify my blind spots?

    2. Where are my areas of opportunity?

    3. What is holding me back from my next level?

    4. How can I make better decisions?

    5. Which skill should I focus on?

    6. How can I help you?

    7. What’s the most important leadership lesson you’ve learned?

    8. Who else should I speak to?

    9. What are my end goals?

    10. When I look in the mirror, how should I react to myself?

    11. Who coaches or mentors you?

    12. What might not work in our coaching relationship?

    13. What would you do if you were me?

    14. What are you noticing about me?

    15. Ask them your most ‘burning’ question.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/forbescoachescouncil/2019/11/25/15-essential-questions-to-ask-your-mentor-or-business-coach/

    ECONOMICS & Five Charts That Will Change The Way You Think About Racial Inequality

    by Mark Travers, Forbes Magazine, 10/10/19.

    Perhaps the best way to correct people’s misguided assumptions regarding racial economic inequality in America is to simply present them with the numbers. And, in this case, a picture might be worth more than a thousand words. 

    For the sake of argument, let’s assume that the average white family in the United States has $100. In those terms, how much money do you think a comparable black family has?

    …The answer is less than $10. Most Americans guess upwards of $80. This is the crux of a new article appearing in the journal Perspectives on Psychological Science. Specifically, a team of psychologists led by Michael Kraus of Yale University examined the extent to which people underestimate the degree of racial economic inequality in the United States. Their results are alarming, to say the least. 

    Key findings from their research are summarized in the five charts below. 

    Race inequality

    Figure 1. The chart above illustrates the extent to which Americans underestimate the racial wealth gap in the United States. (Data was collected using a nationally representative sample of 1,008 American adults.) Perceptions of black wealth when white wealth is set to $100 are shown by the diamonds within error bars. The actual ratio of black to white wealth is depicted by the diamonds toward the bottom of the chart. It is easy to see the arrant disconnect between perception and reality. It is also the case that most Americans think the racial wealth gap is decreasing over time when, in reality, it has remained relatively stable, and exceptionally unequal, for decades.

    Figure 2. The graph above depicts perception (diamonds with error bars) and reality (diamonds) of the racial wealth divide for people of varying levels of education. In both cases, the wealth gap decreases as education level increases. Still, the degree of overestimation is enormous. For instance, most Americans assume that the wealth gap between white and black families with post-graduate educations is virtually negligible. The truth is that black families with post-graduate degrees are still only worth about 30 cents to every white families’ dollar.

    Race and income

    Figure 4. The chart above includes perceptions of income inequality for Latinx and Asian racial groups, as well as for blacks. Comparing perceptions (diamonds with error bars) to reality (diamonds), most Americans underestimate wealth inequality for all groups, but the misperception is largest for the black and Latinx groups.

    Figure 5. What might cause the gross underestimation of racial economic inequality in the United States? While there are undoubtedly many factors at play, the researchers suggest that personal beliefs regarding the nature of success may contribute to the misperception. The chart above shows that people who believe in a “just world” (i.e., that people generally get what they deserve in life) are more likely overestimate the degree of economic equality between blacks and whites.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/traversmark/2019/10/01/five-charts-that-will-change-the-way-you-think-about-racial-inequality/#44b0bb645fb2

    PERSONALITY & Why Self-Compassion Beats Self-Esteem

    by Carley Sime, Forbes Magazine, 4/30/19.

    Firstly a definition of self-compassion. This is taken directly from a paper written by Kristin Neff, a hugely influential researcher in the field of self-compassion: 

    “Self-compassion entails being warm and understanding towards oneself when encountering suffering, inadequacy or failure, rather than ignoring one’s pain or flagellating oneself with self-criticism. Self-compassionate people recognize that being imperfect, failing, and experiencing life difficulties is inevitable, so they tend to be gentle with themselves when confronted with painful experiences rather than getting angry when life falls short of set ideals. People cannot always be or get exactly what they want. When this reality is denied or fought against suffering increases in the form of stress, frustration and self-criticism. When this reality is accepted with sympathy and kindness, greater emotional equanimity is experienced”

    Through her research, Neff has found that individuals who are self-compassionate often benefit in several ways. They tend to have better psychological health and also greater resilience when compared to those with lower levels of self-compassion. Neff also found that self-compassion is positively associated with life-satisfaction, emotional intelligence and social connectedness. What is it negatively associated with? Depression, anxiety, rumination, thought suppression and perfectionism. This means that individuals who are self-compassionate are less likely to experience these things. 

    If that hasn’t sold you on self-compassion then keep reading. Neff and colleagues also found that self-compassion was associated with greater wisdom, curiosity, exploration, happiness, optimism and positive affect. They also found a link between self-compassion and personal initiative, defined as a desire to grow and change in ways that lead to living a more productive and fulfilling life. They suggest that this finding is particularly important as it demonstrates how self-compassion leads to personal growth rather than self-indulgence

    Read more at …https://www.forbes.com/sites/carleysime/2019/04/30/why-self-compassion-beats-self-esteem/

    PREACHING & 7 Golden Tips To Make People Engage During Your Presentation

    by Paloma Cantero-Gomez, Forbes Magazine, 5/9/19.

    “…there are two types of speakers. Those who get nervous and those who are liars.” (Mark Twain).

    However, there are also thousands of different tips that can help you to rock it and even enjoy it. 

    1. Start with a shocking fact

    Such as a personal story from someone you know (or not) or an astonishing data that make everybody open wide their eyes. Beginning your presentation with something sharp and memorable will immediately get everyone’s attention and predispose the audience to believe this will be something worthy to listen to.

    2. Introduce your project/product by comparing to other more successful projects/products

    … A straightforward and impactful way to make the object or subject of your presentation seems incredibly important is to place it at the end of a list of memorable and successful things or hits. Showing the evolution from a historical perspective and proving your stuff to be the one step forward will may people prone to listen carefully.

    3. Make it interactive

    Ask your audience to stop you at any point. Make it a two-way experience getting your audience to feel that they are part of the process or the solution…

    4. Make the slide visual. Avoid text

    Put an important word in the center of every slide. Or even better. Put an icon or image that make your audience think about this word. White text over a dark background is always a catchy combination…

    5. Ask for questions. Praise people’s questions. Answer questions

    Get audience feedback in real-time… Many different tools can be used for this purpose. DirectPoll let you create quick polls that your audience can access and vote on from their mobile device while showing results in real time. 

    Praise people’s questions. This would make them believe they are smart and they got a good point. Everybody likes to feel intelligent.  Answer every question. Even if you do not have a very clear response. ’I am not sure but let me consult it and come back to you’ is always better than making people feel ignored. 

    Ask them if it is okay to move on. This will absolutely help all those undecided souls with a shy question in mind to finally formulate it!

    6. Take notes of people’s inputs

    …Writing down peoples’ comments and inputs provide them with this feeling of belonging. This is a very simple way to make them genuinely think that what they are saying really make a difference and it is taken into consideration as part of the solution.  

     7. Ask the audience for takeaways

    Every excellent presentation ends with a neat list of key takeaways. Engaging speakers do not provide them for free but work together with the audience, so actually, it is the audience who came up with the main findings…

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/palomacanterogomez/2019/05/09/the-7-golden-tips-to-make-people-engage-during-your-presentation/#384f86472f65

    #CommunicationCoaching

    SPEAKING & Your Audience Tunes Out After 10 Minutes. Here’s How To Keep Their Attention.

    by Carmine Gallo, Forbes Magazine, 2/28/19.

    Cognitive scientists have a reasonably good idea of when audiences will stop listening to a presentation. It occurs at the 10-minute mark...Neuroscientists have found that the best way to re-engage a person’s attention when it begins to wane is to change up the format of the content.

    1. Introduce Characters

    There aren’t too many commercially successful one-person plays. Few people can pull it off…. include members of the team. Hand off a portion of the presentation…

    2. Show Videos

    If you can’t bring someone else along, do the next big thing and show a video… Apple does this with nearly every keynote when they show a video of chief designer, Jony Ive, describing the features of a particular product…

    3. Use Props 

    Steve Jobs was a master at using props. In 1984, Jobs didn’t have to pull the first Macintosh out of a black bag like a magician. But he did. In 2001, Jobs didn’t have to pull the first iPod out of the pocket of his jeans. But he did. In 2008, Jobs didn’t have to pull the first MacBook Air from a manila envelope. But he did. Props are unexpected. They get attention.

    4. Give Demos

    Former Apple evangelist and venture capitalist, Guy Kawasaki, says demonstrations should start with “shock and awe.” In other words, don’t build up to a crescendo. Show off the coolest thing about your product in the first sixty seconds…

    5. Invite Questions

    A presentation shouldn’t be about you. It’s about your audience and how your product or service will improve their lives… Change it up by pausing and inviting questions before you move on to the next section.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/carminegallo/2019/02/28/your-audience-tunes-out-after-10-minutes-heres-how-to-keep-their-attention/#15109dee7364

    SERVANT LEADERSHIP & Presidential Historian Says Forming a Guiding Coalition & Having Empathy Make For Great Leadership.

    Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: When undertaking change the second step is to form a guiding coalition which includes people who are not in favor of the change. This guiding coalition will therefore be able to craft a plan that is amicable to both those pushing for change and those who are part of the status quo. This strategy (from Harvard professor John Kotter), is supported in a new book by noted presidential historian Doris Kearns Goodwin. Studying presidential history, she found the best presidential leaders had people who disagreed with them on their Cabinets, which gave the president a fuller perspective.

    Doris Kearns Goodwin: Empathy Makes For Great Leadership

    by John Baldoni, Forbes Magazine, 3/15/19.

    In discussing her new book, Leadership in Turbulent Times, Doris Kearns Goodwin has said that empathy is one of, if the not the best, attribute for leaders. Goodwin, a noted presidential historian, defines empathy as an ability to understand another’s point of view. That definition is correct as far as it goes, but when you dive more deeply empathy as defined by the psychological community is the ability to put yourself in the shoes of another.

    …When a leader can see beyond his own point of view, she demonstrates a more rounded worldview. Such leaders know that their opinion is not the only opinion. Empathetic leaders seek out alternate views. They push their staffs not to respond in the affirmative, but to be open to debate on critical issues.

    So how can a leader demonstrate empathy?

    Think of yourself as part of the community, not THE entire community. The leaders Kearns profiles were self-absorbed. They understood that people opposed them. None more than Abraham Lincoln. Not only did he govern when the nation was split, but he also peopled his Cabinet with individuals who opposed him. Why? Because he knew he needed their perspective as well as their ideas to help him restore the Union.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/johnbaldoni/2019/03/15/doris-kearns-goodwin-empathy-makes-for-great-leadership/#714081605747

    TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & An Introduction by Carley Sime: The Secret To Transformational Leadership

    Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: Among the many leadership approaches there are a few that rise above the rest. One is transformational leadership. Below is one of the best introductions to this style of leadership. The article also includes one of its major aspects, which Carly Sime calls it’s secret. Read and be introduced.

    Carley Sime, Forbes Magazine, 2/5/19.

    Of the many styles of leadership transformational is perhaps the most coveted. Transformational leaders enhance morale and motivation among followers, they are able to encourage them towards working for a collective good and beyond working solely out of self-interest. The effects of transformational leadership are highly desirable for the followers and the organization itself. Transformational leadership has a high payout as it positively impacts innovation, the heart of success and growth within an organization. It also increases organizational performance as well as job performance and satisfaction too. This could easily be seen as the holy grail of leadership, especially when compared to the transactional kind we have all probably known. Transactional leaders tend to over-rely on their authority as a means to get followers to perform. They’ll tell you what to do and use reward and punishment as their main leadership tools.

    Transformational leaders, on the other hand, tend to lead with inspiration as opposed to authority.  Extraversion and agreeableness are two of the big five personality traits that positively predict transformational leadership. Extraversion appears to be linked to transformational leadership because it lends itself to charismatic expressiveness which is highly influential, persuasive and mobilizing. It also leads to individuals being sociable and dominant. Agreeable individuals find ease in showing consideration for others and in the case of transformational leaders, they have idealized influence over their followers. This means they behave in a way that gains the admiration and respect of those around them and sets them apart as trustworthy and a role model.

    When we pair agreeableness with extraversion we can see why these traits are positive predictors of transformational leaders. However, there is something else that sits below any traits, actions or behaviors that predict this kind of leadership. That something is self-esteem and it often doesn’t get the airtime it deserves considering it sits underneath the things transformational leadership is built upon.

    There is a strong and significant relationship between self-esteem and transformational leadership. In order to adopt transformational leadership behaviors, it appears that an individual first needs to have high levels of self-esteem. Transformational leadership behaviors will be more difficult and less natural to adopt without this. Self-esteem in this context refers to a person believing in themselves as a significant, worthy and also capable member of a team or organization. A person with high self-esteem has self-respect and can accurately assess strengths and weaknesses. A person with low self-esteem is the opposite, they see themselves as inadequate and unworthy and are also unable to accurately assess their strengths and weaknesses. Leaders with high self-esteem may find transmitting enthusiasm and positivity to their followers more natural too.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/carleysime/2019/02/05/the-secret-to-transformational-leadership/#644bcd771846

    OUTLOOK & How to Move Beyond a Victim Mindset

    by Terina Allen, Forbes Magazine, 10/1/18.

    … A victim mindset is formed over time and determined by the aggregate of what we regularly think, how we speak, where we focus our attention and the language we choose to use. Avoid allowing your mind to obsess over all the wrong that may have been done to you and channel that energy into more effectively overcoming obstacles and removing barriers.

    Just as you can find many people who have had it better than you, if you look objectively, you will also find many people who have had it worse than you. While your feelings and thinking about the wrongdoing may be valid, dwelling on it too much will surely prevent you from realizing your potential. You can spend so much time lamenting the horrible things in your past that it prevents you from taking the steps you need to create a better future and advance your career.

    Before you advance your life and career, you will need to change your mindset. Here are some things that can help you do that.

      Surround yourself with uplifting and supportive people who will offer a listening ear. Turn to these friends from time to time for your pity party (we all need these sometime) but then allow them to nudge you through it so you don’t get stuck.
      Intentionally choose to use more positive and forward-thinking language in your communications.
      Adopt a growth mindset as opposed to a fixed mindset. Those with a growth mindset tend to better prepare for and respond to change. They also tend to be better equipped to overcome challenges and persevere through them.
      Read inspirational material and resist the temptation to wallow in regret. Regret can cause you to inadvertently become trapped in a cycle of negative thinking and speaking that holds you back.
      Utilize any employment assistance programs or services your organization may offer, or reach out for professional advice and counseling as necessary – especially if you just can’t move beyond the negative thinking or forces in your life.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/terinaallen/2018/10/01/4-unmistakable-signs-you-have-a-victim-mindset-and-how-you-can-move-beyond-it/#64663fe3e0f0

    FREE WILL & How To Run an Organization With (Almost) No Rules & Avoid “Boarding School Aspects” of Leadership

    Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’ve analyzed/advised mega-churches to micro-churches.  Among the recurring themes in healthy churches is the leader’s ability to encourage the Holy Spirit to develop in volunteers, staff and congregants.  This doesn’t mean an organization devoid of rules, but rather an environment where the Holy Spirit is encouraged to direct Christians rather than the organization directing them.

    For example, I worked for an organization that dictated (but eventually only strongly urged) its employees to dress up when at work. While the outside world saw a nicely dressed and united workforce, among the employees there was almost universal contempt and disconnection with the administration.  Semler points out such policies reflect “boarding schools aspects” of leadership rather than.  Watch this insightful TED talk to understand why and then consider a more Spirit-led alternative.

    Ricardo Semler, “How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules” (by , Forbes Magazine, 6/30/18).

    • Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler doesn’t believe in rules. At least, he doesn’t believe companies need to impose a host of strict guidelines in order to run efficiently. In fact, he thinks employees will work better if they don’t have to report their vacation days or be told what to wear. He wants to dissolve what he calls the “boarding school aspects” of business, just to see what happens. In his TED talk, Semler dives into what a company with fewer rules would look like, and how it would affect corporate and employee success.

    Watch more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2018/06/30/7-ted-talks-that-will-inspire-you-to-be-a-better-leader

    TED TALKS & 7 Short Videos That Will Help You Be A Better Leader

    by , Forbes Magazine, 6/30/18.

     

    1. John Clarkson, “How Should A CEO Lead? A Musical Exploration”

    • In this TED talk, John Clarkson, former CEO of The Boston Consulting Group, creates various musical analogies for strong leadership…

    2. Simon Sinek, “Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe”

    • Management theorist Simon Sinek affirms that building and creating trust is the foundation of any good leader, but requires a lot of responsibility… after all, trust and accountability are the cornerstones of strong leadership.

    3. Dan Ariely, “What Makes Us Feel Good About Our Work?”

    • All of us have, at one point, wondered what exactly it is that’s so fulfilling about our work. Luckily, we have Dan Ariely, a behavioral economist, to break it down for us. He understands that no one is purely motivated by a paycheck alone, and things such as pride and creativity are as motivating…

    4. Shawn Achor, “The Happy Secret To Better Work”

    • In the same vein as Ariely, psychologist Shawn Achor explores what it means to be happy in your job. Surprisingly, he discusses how it isn’t our work that affects our happiness, but the other way around…

    5. Charlene Li, “Efficient Leadership in the Digital Era”

    • …Charlene Li uses her knowledge as a CEO and Principal Analyst at the Altimeter Group to explore how we can be better leaders in this new, digital era. She recognizes that innovation and quick decisions have become more crucial to successful businesses than ever before, and in her speech breaks down how empowering employees can help foster better decision making.

    6. Ricardo Semler, “How To Run A Company With (Almost) No Rules”

    • Brazilian CEO Ricardo Semler doesn’t believe in rules. At least, he doesn’t believe companies need to impose a host of strict guidelines in order to run efficiently. In fact, he thinks employees will work better if they don’t have to report their vacation days or be told what to wear. He wants to dissolve what he calls the “boarding school aspects” of business, just to see what happens. In his TED talk, Semler dives into what a company with fewer rules would look like, and how it would affect corporate and employee success.

    7. Roselinde Torres, “What It Takes to be A Great Leader”

    • Roselinde Torres has spent nearly three decades observing great leaders doing what they do best, and she’s come up with three questions she believes are crucial for CEOs to ask in order to be successful. Torres is focused on what makes a great leader, and though the answer isn’t black and white, she spends her TED talk breaking down what does and doesn’t work for leaders in the 21st century.

    Read and watch more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/christinecomaford/2018/06/30/7-ted-talks-that-will-inspire-you-to-be-a-better-leader/

    TRANSFORMATIONAL LEADERSHIP & Lead Like A Gardener, Not A Commander

    by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 6/17/18. 

    In Team of Teams, by General Stanley McChrystal and his colleagues (2015, Penguin Publishing Group), McChrystal explains had to unlearn what it means to be a leader. A great deal of what he thought he knew about how the world worked and his role as a commander had to be discarded.

    I began to view effective leadership in the new environment as more akin to gardening than chess,” he writes. “The move-by-move control that seemed natural to military operations proved less effective than nurturing the organization— its structure, processes, and culture— to enable the subordinate components to function with ‘smart autonomy.’ It wasn’t total autonomy, because the efforts of every part of the team were tightly linked to a common concept for the fight, but it allowed those forces to be enabled with a constant flow of ‘shared consciousness’ from across the force, and it freed them to execute actions in pursuit of the overall strategy as best they saw fit. Within our Task Force, as in a garden, the outcome was less dependent on the initial planting than on consistent maintenance. Watering, weeding, and protecting plants from rabbits and disease are essential for success. The gardener cannot actually ‘grow’ tomatoes, squash, or beans— she can only foster an environment in which the plants do so.”

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/06/17/ten-agile-axioms-that-make-managers-anxious/#51ae8abc4619

    #DMin

    AGILE ORGANIZATION & Talent Drives Strategy, Not Vice Versa in the Agile Organization.

    by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 6/17/1.

    Talent Drives Strategy, Not Vice Versa

    “The central premise of a talent-driven company is that talent drives strategy, as opposed to strategy being dictated to talent.,” says the book, Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First (HBRP, 2018) by Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, and his colleagues Dennis Carey and Ram Charan, “The wrong talent inevitably produces the wrong strategy, and fails to deliver. Numbers like sales and earnings are the result of placing the right people in the right jobs where their talents flourish and they can create value that ultimately shows up in the numbers.”

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/06/17/ten-agile-axioms-that-make-managers-anxious/#51ae8abc4619

    AGILE AT SCALE & Its 3 Laws Explained + 10 Agile Axioms That Make Leaders Anxious (and they should!)

    by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 6/17/18. 

    If at first an idea is not absurd, there is no hope for it. —Albert Einstein

    In June 2018,  a time when “Agile at Scale” is emblazoned on the front cover of Harvard Business Review (read the original “Agile at Scale” HBR article here), the management journal with quasi-papal status, the era when managers could confidently ridicule agile management practices is fading fast. Instead, most managers have themselves grasped the need to be agile: a recent Deloitte survey of more than 10,000 business and HR leaders across 140 countries revealed that nearly all surveyed respondents (94%) report that “agility and collaboration” are critical to their organization’s success. Yet only 6% say that they are “highly agile today.” So, what’s the problem? Why the 88% gap between aspiration and actuality.

    …The three Laws of Agile are simple—first, an obsession with continuously adding more value for customers; second, small teams working on small tasks in short iterative work cycles delivering value to customers; and third, coordinating work in a fluid, interactive network.

    …The Laws of Agile are simple but their implementation is often difficult. That’s in part because they are at odds with some of the basic assumptions and attitudes that have prevailed in managing large organizations for at least a century. For example, Agile makes more money by not focusing on making money. In Agile, control is enhanced by letting go of control. Agile leaders act more like gardeners than commanders. And that’s just the beginning.

    For the traditional manager, counter-intuitive ideas like these abound. This is not the way people say big firms are run. This is not by and large what business schools teach…

    First Law Of Agile: The Law Of The Customer

    1. Firms Make More Money By Not Focusing On Making Money

    For several millennia, the notion that businesses exist to make money was seen as one of the immutable truths of the universe. Milton Friedman, the Nobel Prize winning economist, wrote in his article in the New York Times on September 13, 1970 that any business executives who pursued a goal other than making money for their firm were “unwitting pup­pets of the intellectual forces that have been undermining the basis of a free society these past decades.” Today, many public companies embrace maximizing shareholder value as their main goal, even though Jack Welch and many others have called it “the dumbest idea in the world.”

    A growing number of companies have chosen a different goal. They have accepted Peter Drucker’s 1954 dictum that “there is only one valid purpose of a firm: to create a customer.” When delighting their customers through continuous innovation becomes the bottom line, making money is the result, not the goal, of the firm’s activities.

    The interesting thing is that when firms operate this way, they make a lot more money than companies that focus directly on making money, including the five largest and fastest growing firms on the planet (by market cap): Amazon, Apple, Facebook, Google and Microsoft, now worth over $2 trillion. It involves a shift from a focus on inanimate things (money, products outputs) to a focus on people (human outcomes, experiences, impact)

    Yet let’s face it: setting aside what many still see as an immutable truths of the universe doesn’t come easily.

    1. There Are No Internal Customers

    It’s common in many big bureaucracies to talk of internal customers. One unit services another unit and regards the other unit as its internal customer, who in due course becomes a producer for the ultimate customer or end-user. …

    In Agile management, there is no such thing as an “internal customer.” The only purpose of work is the ultimate customer or end-user. Under the Law of the Customer, the original producers not only meet the needs the internal customers: they are given a clear line of sight as to what value is being provided for the ultimate customer. Satisfying so-called internal customers is merely feeding the bureaucratic beast. It is a pretend-version of Agile.

    1. There Are No B2B Organizations

    The situation is the same when a firm is providing products or services to another firm which acts as an intermediary for ultimate end user. The customers are the end-users who ultimately experience the products and services. Merely satisfying the needs of the intermediary is not enough for sustainability…

    Similarly, Microsoft for many years saw the customers of its Windows program as the big retailers like Dell and HP. More recently, they have come to realize that their customer is really the end-user, not these intermediaries: there is now an immense effort to reach out to, undestand and interact with these millions of end-users.

    1. Making Better Products May Not Make More Money

    Making products better, faster cheaper, more convenient or more personalized is a good thing. But in a marketplace where competitors are often quick to match improvements to existing products and services and where power in the marketplace has decisively shifted to customers, it can be difficult for firms to monetize those improvements. Amid intense competition, customers with choices and access to reliable information are frequently able to demand that quality improvements be forthcoming at no cost, or even lower cost.

    Making better products through operational Agility is an increasingly-necessary foundation for the survival of a firm. But it’s not enough for the firm to thrive. To make a lot of money, the company has to go further. It has to delight non-customers—those who are not already customers. That’s because there are usually vastly more non-customers than customers. They are non-customers for a reason: their needs are not being met. If the company can find a way to meet their needs, then a whole vast new ocean of potential customers opens up, in which there is usually very little competition. If the firm can appeal to both customers and non-customers, it can make a great deal of money. “Instead of being slightly better than everybody else in a crowded and established field, it’s often more valuable to create a new market and totally dominate it,” writes David Brooks in the New York Times. “The profit margins are much bigger, and the value to society is often bigger, too.”

    The Second Law Of Agile: The Law Of The Small Teams

       5.  Forget Economies of Scale: Your Market Is One Person

    The 20th Century firm tended to be focused on generic products to achieve economies of scale. By contrast, Agile is about generating instant, intimate, frictionless incremental value at scale. That’s the new performance requirement. When firms do this, as shown by the experience of Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google they make a great deal of money.

    Thus Agile organizations focus on providing intimate value, with an effective “market of one”, i.e. a level of customization and customer service at which a customer feels that he or she is an exclusive or preferred customer of the firm. For example, search engines are used by billions of people every day across the globe. However, each user gets customized search results based on their locations and refer to places nearby, weather forecast, or traffic condition…

    1. Don’t Scale Up: Descale Complexity Down

    A key Agile theme concerns descaling work, i.e. a presumption that in a volatile, complex, uncertain and ambiguous world, big difficult problems need to be disaggregated into small batches and performed by small cross-functional autonomous teams, working iteratively in short cycles in a state of flow, with fast feedback from customers and end-users…

    Instead of constructing a big complex organization to handle complexity, the organization disaggregates the problem into tiny pieces so that it can be put together in minuscule increments and adjusted in the light of new, and rapidly changing, information about both the technology and the customer…

    1. Control Is Enhanced By Letting Go Of Control.

    In Agile management, there’s a presumption that in a volatile, rapidly changing world, big difficult problems should—to the extent possible—be disaggregated into small batches and performed by small self-organizing teams. The thought of self-organizing teams tends to make managers worry about losing control. What they need to understand is that they are giving up the illusion of control, rather than actual control. In a complex, rapidly changing environment, explicit efforts to impose control and predictability are doomed. Detailed reports may create the semblance of control, but the reality is often very different from what is in those reports.

    The solution to reconciling disciplined execution and innovation lies in giving greater freedom to those people doing the work to exercise their talents and creativity, but doing so within short cycles so that those doing the work can themselves see whether they are making progress or not.

    1. Agile Is A Mindset, Not A Process

    Traditional managers typically approach Agile saying, “Show me the process so that I can implement it.” The problem is that Agile is a mindset, not a process. If it is approached as a process with the old mindset, nothing good happens.

    But surely, people ask, there must be some model that we can follow. There is much allure for instance in the Spotify model as presented in the charming videos prepared by Henrik Nyberg. So there is a cry: “Let’s implement the Spotify model!”  There’s just one problem: as former Spotify coach, Joakim Sundén, often explains, not even Spotify implements the Spotify model. For one thing, the videos are several years old. Second, Spotify continues to rapidly evolve and improve its model. In a pair of visits in 2016, we noticed significant differences even within a period of several months.

    1. Talent Drives Strategy, Not Vice Versa

    “The central premise of a talent-driven company is that talent drives strategy, as opposed to strategy being dictated to talent.,” says the book, Talent Wins: The New Playbook for Putting People First (HBRP, 2018) by Dominic Barton, the global managing partner of McKinsey & Company, and his colleagues Dennis Carey and Ram Charan, “The wrong talent inevitably produces the wrong strategy, and fails to deliver. Numbers like sales and earnings are the result of placing the right people in the right jobs where their talents flourish and they can create value that ultimately shows up in the numbers.”

    The Third Law Of Agile: The Law Of The Network

        9. The Top-Down Organizational Pyramid Is Finished

    Success in today’s marketplace requires nimbleness, flexibility, adaptability and agility—everything that the 20th Century corporation was not. These firms were built for strength, with high walls and moats for the defense of the status quo. Their very raison d’être was to prevent change.

    Turning a top-down pyramid into a flexible network is tricky. At the heart of 20th Century management thinking is the notion of a corporation as an efficient steady-state machine aimed at exploiting its existing business model. “Traditional, MBA-style thinking,” as Google executives, Eric Schmidt and Jonathan Rosenberg, write in their book, How Google Works, “dictates that you build up a sustainable competitive advantage over rivals and then close the fortress and defend it with boiling oil and flaming arrows.”

    By contrast, when the whole organization truly embraces Agile, the organization is an organic living network of high-performance teams. In these organizations, managers recognize that competence resides throughout the organization and that innovation can come from anywhere. The whole organization, including the top, is obsessed with delivering more value to customers. Agile teams take initiative on their own and interact with other Agile teams to solve common problems. In effect, the whole organization shares a common mindset in which organization is viewed and operated as a network of high-performance teams.

    1. Lead Like A Gardener, Not A Commander

    In Team of Teams, by General Stanley McChrystal and his colleagues (2015, Penguin Publishing Group), McChrystal explains had to unlearn what it means to be a leader. A great deal of what he thought he knew about how the world worked and his role as a commander had to be discarded.

    I began to view effective leadership in the new environment as more akin to gardening than chess,” he writes. “The move-by-move control that seemed natural to military operations proved less effective than nurturing the organization— its structure, processes, and culture— to enable the subordinate components to function with ‘smart autonomy.’ It wasn’t total autonomy, because the efforts of every part of the team were tightly linked to a common concept for the fight, but it allowed those forces to be enabled with a constant flow of ‘shared consciousness’ from across the force, and it freed them to execute actions in pursuit of the overall strategy as best they saw fit. Within our Task Force, as in a garden, the outcome was less dependent on the initial planting than on consistent maintenance. Watering, weeding, and protecting plants from rabbits and disease are essential for success. The gardener cannot actually ‘grow’ tomatoes, squash, or beans— she can only foster an environment in which the plants do so.”

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2018/06/17/ten-agile-axioms-that-make-managers-anxious/#51ae8abc4619

    And read also:

    HBR Embraces Agile At Scale

    Explaining Agile

    Why Agile Is Eating The World

    #Dmin

    FOLLOWERSHIP & Why Managing Up Is A Skill Set You Need

    Commentary by Dr. Whitesel: I’m currently writing a course for a Doctor of Ministry program on interim ministry. An interim leader usually finds oneself in a unique position. They are accountable to stakeholders. But they also are accountable to long-serving informal leaders who they must influence by managing up. Here’s a helpful introduction to the principle via an interview witH Mary Abbajay’s author of the new book MANAGING UP: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss.

    By Roger Dean Duncan, Forbes Magazine, 5/27/18.

    … as an alternative to the futile search for the perfect boss, you might consider working better with the boss you have.

    That’s the premise of Mary Abbajay’s new book MANAGING UP: How to Move Up, Win at Work, and Succeed with Any Type of Boss.

    Rodger Dean Duncan: There seem to be countless books, TED talks, workshops and YouTube videos on how to lead and manage downward. But your book provides one of the few treatments on how to manage upward. Why is there such an imbalance?

    Mary Abbajay: The simple truth is that in America, nobody wants to think of himself as a “follower.” We are obsessed with leadership. It’s part of our cultural and sociological narrative and identity. We talk incessantly about leadership. We teach it, we preach it, we spend more than $14 billion a year on it. But we rarely spend much time discussing or validating the other (and equally important) side of the relationship: followership…

    Duncan: Most every leader was once a follower. What are the two or three key things a follower should learn (and practice) in preparation for being an effective leader?

    Abbajay: Leadership in the 21st century is much more about influence than authority, so learning to appreciate and adapt to people with different perspectives, priorities, and personalities is a key skill to develop. Managing up allows you to practice navigating and influencing people who approach work differently than you. Learn how to look beyond your own needs and perspectives and consider the needs and perspectives of others. If nothing else, by managing up, you will learn what kind of manager you want to be and what kind of manager you don’t want to be.

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/rodgerdeanduncan/2018/05/26/why-managing-up-is-a-skillset-you-need/#57cadd9637fd

    STRATEGY & Moving To Blue Ocean Strategy: A Five-Step Process To Make The Shift

    by Steve Denning, Forbes Magazine, 7/25/17.

    In 2005, Blue Ocean Strategy, Expanded Edition: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make the Competition Irrelevant, a book by Professors W. Chan Kim and Rénee Mauborgne, launched a revolution in business strategy. After all, which firm would not to be operating in “uncontested market space,” where “competition was irrelevant”? Instead of struggling to survive in the bloody shark-infested “Red Oceans” of vicious competition, why not move to the “Blue Oceans” where there was little or no competition?

    What inspired the authors was not “dividing up markets or the globe,” but rather organizations and individuals that created “new frontiers of opportunity, growth, and jobs,” where success was not about fighting for a bigger slice of an existing, often shrinking pie, but about “creating a larger economic pie for all.” The book was a publishing sensation. It sold more than 4 million copies and has been translated into 44 different languages.

    Now, 12 years later, the authors offer an exciting new book that synthesizes their experience in assisting with the implementation of Blue Ocean strategy. The book, Blue Ocean Shift: Beyond Competing – Proven Steps to Inspire Confidence and Seize New Growth, is published this week by Hachette. It includes the experience of organizations large and small, for profit, nonprofit and governments.

    In their work since the launch of their 2005 book, the authors have found three key components in successful Blue Ocean shifts:

    • Mindset: The authors found that, as in the world of Agile management, Blue Ocean strategy is fundamentally a shift in mindset. It involves “expanding mental horizons and shifting understanding of where opportunity lies.”

    • Tools: Successful implementers of Blue Ocean strategy have used practical tools to systematically “translate blue ocean thinking into commercially compelling new offerings.” Sporadic, one-off “Blue Ocean strategy” is one thing: systematically adopting Blue Ocean thinking is another.

    • Human-ness: Successful implementers exemplify “a humanistic process, which inspires people’s confidence to own and drive the process to own and drive the process for effective execution.”

    … The Five Step Process

    The book offers a five-step process for systematically reproducing such strategic triumphs, and shows how a Blue Ocean initiative can be successfully launched in even the most bureaucratic organization that is trapped in a bloody Red Ocean. The five steps are:

    1. Choosing the right place to start and constructing the right Blue Ocean team for the initiative.

    2. Getting clear about the current state of play

    3. Uncovering the hidden pain points that limit the current size of the industry and discovering an ocean of non-customers.

    4. Systematically reconstructing market boundaries and developing alternative Blue Ocean opportunities.

    5. Selecting the right Blue Ocean move, conducting rapid market tests, finalizing, and launching the shift.

    Though this process, the organization is able to move from the limitations of competing within the existing industry (“settlers”) to migrate towards greater value improvement (“migrators”) and eventually towards creating new value for people who are not already customers (the “pioneers” of marketing-creating innovation.)

    Professors Kim & Mauborgne (Hachette)

    From settlers and migrators to pioneers: Image from from Blue Ocean Shift by Professors Kim & Mauborgne

    The Trap Of Mere Product Improvement

    In the process, the book shows how to move beyond the trap of merely focusing on making things better for existing customers. Thus, usually product improvement doesn’t lead to large new markets of those who were formerly non-customers. If it does, that is a happy accident, rather than the main goal. To get more consistent success in generating market-creating innovations, an explicit focus onattracting non-customers is needed. This includes (a) soon-to-be non-customers; (b) refusing non-customers and (c) unexplored non-customers.

    Professors Kim & Mauborgne (Hachette)

    Categories of non-customers: Image from Blue Ocean Shift by Professors Kim & Mauborgne

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/stevedenning/2017/09/24/moving-to-blue-ocean-strategy-a-five-step-process-to-make-the-shift/#5d7740327f11

    non-churchgoers innovation adapters

    MANAGEMENT & 8 Differences Between Strong & Weak Managers, Told Through Cartoons #ForbesMagazine

    by John Youshaei, Forbes Magazine, 7/13/17.

    1. Strong Managers Focus On Progress; Weak Managers Focus On Process

    cartoon from EveryVowel.com

    Yes, you need some process to keep employees in check. But when you have too much, you kill creativity. This is what ultimately drives the success of any organization. Don’t destroy it. Don’t be afraid to adjust or remove processes to help your team push the envelope. Encouraging progress, not process, is essential for your company’s long term growth…

    3. Strong Managers Compete With Themselves; Weak Managers Compete With Others

    cartoon from EveryVowel.com

    4. Strong Managers Work For A Cause; Weak Managers Work For Applause

    cartoon from EveryVowel.com

    6. Strong Managers Respect Your Time; Weak Managers Waste It

    cartoon from EveryVowel.com

    Read more at … https://www.forbes.com/sites/jonyoushaei/2017/09/13/8-differences-between-strong-and-weak-managers-told-through-cartoons/#5cb1878723b0

    cartoons humor comic