TEAMS & You need “deep domain experts” + “synthesis across domains”

Commentary by Prof. B.: Currently I am writing a new leadership course. As a busy church consultant/coach I’ve benefited from a deep expertise in my field. But, I also must partner with colleagues in other fields to write my courses for reasons this article and the research cited in it explains.

“Innovation Is About Networks, Not Nodes” by Greg Satell, Inc. Magazine, 12/2/17.

Exploring New Connections

For decades, creativity researchers have understood that deep domain expertise is essential for creativity. It is those that know a particular area very well who best understand which are the important problems, what approaches have already been used to try to solve them and what would be truly novel.

Yet it is also true that great breakthroughs arise through synthesis across domains. Darwin spent years studying fossils and morphology, but it was an essay about economics that broke the logjam and allowed him to put the pieces together. In much the same way, it was Watson and Crick’s broad approach that helped them win the race to discover the structure of DNA.

More recently, researchers analyzing 17.9 million scientific papers found that the most highly cited work is far more likely to come from a team of experts in one field that borrowed a small piece of insight from another. Innovation almost always involves a novel combination.

The only way to find that unlikely strand is to constantly make new connections. The more diverse information you come across, the more likely you are to find that seemingly random piece of insight that can help you…

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/greg-satell/innovation-is-about-networks-not-nodes.html

CONFLICT & Avoiding a Tough Talk With an Employee? Here’s Why You Need to Face It Head-On

by Bryan Falchuk, Inc. Magazine, 10/26/17.

…How To Do It Right

So what do you do to do this right? It is pretty simple, actually. Just tell them the truth as soon as you see it brewing. If it is something they can fix, then giving them the heads up allows them a chance to make things better before it is too late. And if it is about their role no longer being needed, just do the right thing, tell them that, and be supportive through the severance process.

The tough conversation might take an hour or two. While that may sound like more than you want to deal with, the alternative is months or even years of discomfort with residual costs for you, the employee and the organization that can go on for even longer. Do the math, and the answer of which path is better becomes obvious.

Let them leave with their dignity and career story intact. Let your other employees get on with their jobs free of the burden of an employee that no longer really fits in.

Read more: https://www.inc.com/bryan-falchuk/avoiding-a-tough-talk-with-an-employee-heres-why-you-need-to-face-it-head-on.html

GENERATIONS & The complete guide to Generation Z

by Ryan Jenkins, Inc. Magazine, 7/25/17.

No matter your age, technology is fundamentally re-shaping your behavior and expectations in a way you never thought possible. If technology has changed the way you live and work, imagine how it shaped an entire generation that has used technology as early as one year old.

Total game changer.

The next generation gives us data points into what’s next. Understanding who is Generation Z provides the necessary data to influence how a company must recruit, retain, and lead its employees in the future. (Read this to find out the eight ways Generation Z differs from Millennials.)

Rather than focusing on historical events, the below timeline covers how pivotal innovations and culture shifts have transformed Generation Z’s view of life and work. Generation Z begins in 1998 and the below provides the necessary context around how the oldest Generation Zers have grown up by charting the fictitious life journey of one individual. Let’s call this individual Jennifer Zahn or Jen Z for short–ah, get it?

Who Is Generation Z: A Timeline That Reveals How the 21st Century Shaped Them

1998: Jen Z is born.

Jen Z is raised by tech-savvy Generation X parents and many of her younger Generation Z peers are being raised by the tech-dependent Millennials. In fact, 38 percent of children today who are under two years old have used a mobile device for playing games, watching videos, or other media-related purposes. There was a relatively large technology gap between Millennials and their Baby Boomer parents, but Generation X has shrunk that gap with their Generation Z kids which has only accelerated the tech adoption of Generation Z.

Generation X’s independence, survival mentality, and skepticism towards leaders and institutions that they witness rise and fall during their youth will translate into parenting Generation Z with a focus on do-it-yourself mentality, hard work, and being realistic (especially since 62 percent of Generation Z doesn’t remember a time before the Great Recession).

  • Generation Z Mindset: Generation Z will approach work with a DIY, work hard, and pragmatic mindset.
  • Innovation Influencer: Parents

2006: Jen Z collaborates globally.

At age 8, Jen Z is an avid gamer which shapes her approach to collaboration. With 66 percent of Generation Z listing gaming as their main hobby, the International Olympic Committee is considering adding pro-gaming as an official sport, and Amazons $970 million acquisition of the live streaming video platform where viewers watch playthroughs of video games and other gaming-related events, Twitch, confirm the growth and importance of gaming among Generation Z…

Jen Z doesn’t think twice about turning on her Xbox, putting on a headset, and gaming alongside people around the world in real time as they strive for an epic Halo win. Because gaming isn’t hierarchical, Jen Z grasps the power and ease of virtual collaboration and reaching across borders to create powerful and diverse networks of global talent.

  • Generation Z Mindset: Generation Z gravitates towards gamified processes or procedures and are native to global communication and collaboration across virtual platforms.
  • Innovation Influencer: Xbox

2007: Jen Z becomes untethered.

At age 9, Jen Z is given her first cell phone for the primary purpose of safety and logistics. However, she is soon exposed to the new smartphone that mom and dad own. Today, the average age for a child getting their first smartphone is 10.3 years-old. Smartphones mobilized Generation Z to text, socialize, and game on the go.

Also at this time, YouTube is growing in popularity and thanks to the easy to use Flip Video camera, Jen Z is empowered to create and share videos. Three-quarters of Generation Z watch YouTube at least weekly. YouTube becomes a go-to resource for entertainment, information, and how-tos.

  • Generation Z Mindset: Generation Z is a video and mobile-centric generation where their mobile devices serve as the remote control of their lives.
  • Innovation Influencer: Smartphone and YouTube

2008: Jen Z extends her digital communication.

At age 10, Jen Z doesn’t meet the age requirements of Facebook but that doesn’t stop her from lying about her age in order to create an account and begin communicating with friends. While Millennials helped push social media into the mainstream, Generation Z can’t remember a world where social media didn’t exist. Today, 39 percent of kids get a social media account at 11.4 years-old.

Millennials were digital pioneers, but Generation Z is the true digital natives. They have not had to adapt to technology because the only world they know is a hyper-connected one where 2 out of 7 people on the planet use Facebook.

  • Generation Z Mindset: Generation Z is quick to adopt new communication channels and prefers real-time, transparent, and collaborative digital communications.
  • Innovation Influencer: Facebook

2009: Jen Z benefits from content curation.

At age 11, Jen Z enters middle school with a smart device and the world’s information curated into blank search boxes. Jen Z and her peers have become adept researchers and very resourceful due to their early Internet access. In fact, 43% of Generation Zteens prefer a digital approach to learning and find it easiest to learn from the Internet.

Generation Z treats the Internet as their external brain and therefore approach problems in a whole new way, unlike any generation before them. They do not consider parents or teachers as the authority but rather the Internet as the authority.

  • Generation Z Mindset: Generation Z wants teachers and managers to not be the sole source of their learning but rather supplement their learning — coaching them through their questions, mistakes, and successes.
  • Innovation Influencer: Search Engines

2010: Jen Z lives an interconnected life…

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/ryan-jenkins/complete-guide-to-who-is-generation-z.html

QUITTING & 79% of Employees Quit Because They’re not Appreciated. Try These 4 Things Before You Say Good-Bye

by Todd Nordstrom, Inc. Magazine, 9/19/17.

…The Society of Human Resource Management Association, or SHRM reports that only 38 percent of employees feel very satisfied with their current job. Gallup shows that nearly 70 percent of employees are not engaged in their work. But what struck me about the responses I received was how many people are frustrated and angry at work simply because of the way their boss manages people. “Micromanaging,” was a word often used in responses. “A focus on only the negative,” was another. However the most common response I received was, “…a lack of appreciation.”

…I suggest four things that can positively transform culture, and negative boss behavior.

1. Serve the Recipient of Your Work.

It’s common, especially with a leader that is focused on finding the negative in situations, to assume your job is to make them happy on a daily basis. However, in these situations many employees overlook the true recipient of their work.

My friend Mark Sanborn wrote a book about understanding the impact you can have by serving the recipient of your work, titled, The Fred Factor. The book follows a postal carrier who truly goes out of his way to serve his ‘clients’, even though his extra effort wouldn’t get him a raise, extra accolades, or a promotion. He served the people on his route.

2. Stop Meeting Expectations and Exceed Them.

Research shows that 88 percent of award-winning projects begin with an employee asking the question, “What difference could I make that someone would love?”

The word “love” doesn’t mean just living up to your job description. It means going above and beyond. Before you quit seek new employment, ask yourself if you’ve truly created a difference that someone loves.

3. View The World From Their Eyes, With Their Goals, and Take Action.

If you think your boss is a jerk, it’s tough to see the world through their lens. But my friend, Bestselling Author Rory Vaden, may have said it best when he was quoted as saying, “Only hurt people, hurt people.”

Try to see the world through the eyes of your jerky boss. What are they trying to achieve, and who are they trying to impress? Your boss may have a worse boss, and a negative perception of leadership because that’s the only thing they know. Step into their shoes. Offer to help them reach their goal and impress the people they’re worried about.

4. Appreciate.

You may not live day-to-day in a culture of appreciation. But that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t practice it. Research shows recognition and appreciation is the number one thing employees say their boss could do that would inspire them to produce great work. If your boss isn’t handing out accolades, it doesn’t mean you can’t…

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/todd-nordstrom/79-percent-of-employees-quit-because-theyre-not-ap.html

EVALUATION & Researchers List Top 10 “Bad Boss” Behaviors #TransformationalLeadership

Commentary by Prof. B: I encourage my students to do yearly 360° reviews of their leadership. This includes asking direct reports to anonymously evaluate them on a Likert scale and track changes. But what questions should be asked? The following study yields 10 suitable questions you should include to ascertain if you have “bad boss” behavior.

How Can You Tell Someone Has Horrible Leadership Skills? This New Study Just Revealed the Top 10 ‘Bad Boss’ Behaviors
by Marcel Schwantes, Inc. Magazine, 9/9/17.

So what’s your bad bosshorror story? You know you have one. Bad boss behaviors that lead to horrific employee disengagement and turnover are rampant, and study upon study has confirmed this epidemic. The most recent example is via an employee survey conducted by BambooHR.

They asked more than 1,000 US-based employees to rate 24 ‘typical boss behaviors’ from ‘totally acceptable’ to ‘totally unacceptable. Can you guess the worst behavior a boss can have in the workplace?

…Here’s a summary of the findings from the survey, which you can compare with the boss that currently bullies you or steals your thunder.

Bad Boss Behavior | Percentage who call it unacceptable or a deal breaker

Your boss takes credit for your work 63%
Your boss doesn’t trust or empower you 62
Your boss doesn’t care if you’re overworked 58
Your boss doesn’t advocate for you when it comes to compensation 57
Your boss hires and/or promotes the wrong people 56
Your boss doesn’t back you up when there’s a dispute 55
Your boss doesn’t provide proper direction on assignments/roles 54
Your boss micromanages and doesn’t allow you “freedom to work” 53
Your boss focuses more on your weaknesses than strengths 53
Your boss doesn’t set clear expectations 52

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/marcel-schwantes/a-new-survey-finds-that-63-percent-of-employees-ab.html

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GRIT & The less talented you are, the more successful you may become

Want Your Kids to Succeed in School and Life? Science Says to Instill This 1 Thing Above All Else

by Melanie Curtin, Inc. Magazine, 10/23/17.

…Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University came up with this concept, and it’s basically the belief that you can improve your ability to learn–that it’s not fixed. Thus instead of “I’m smart” or, “I’m dumb,” (fixed states), it’s, “When I’m challenged, I get stronger.”

The reason this matters is that if a kid believes they’re “dumb” because, say, they got a wrong answer, they tend to stop trying. They become afraid of failing. But when kids in Dweck’s research studies read and learn about the brain (particularly how it grows in response to challenge), they become more brave, more resilient, more likely to try even harder things, more … gritty.

Why? Because they start to see that simply doing the hard thing helps them expand. That it doesn’t matter whether you get the answer right–it just matters that you try, and keep trying.

It’s a lesson we can all take to heart, especially since grit research showed something else totally fascinating: there is no relationship or an inverse relationship between grit and talent. Hang on and make sure you got that last part — inverse means the less talented you are, the more gritty you are likely to be … which may be exactly what leads to your success.

In other words, data backs up the fact that you truly don’t have to be the best in the class, or get into the most prestigious tech accelerator, or be the most talented graphic designer at your firm to succeed.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/according-to-science-this-1-thing-predicts-a-stude.html

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GRIT & How do you instill perseverance? #AngelaDuckworth #YouAreNotDumb

Want Your Kids to Succeed in School and Life? Science Says to Instill This 1 Thing Above All Else
by Melanie Curtin, Inc. Magazine, 10/23/17.

As she (Angela Lee Duckworth) explained in her TED talk, the research question was always the same: “Who is successful here, and why?”

As it turned out, there was an answer. One trait rose above all others. In contexts as disparate as West Point, the National Spelling Bee, private companies, and low-income schools, the one characteristic that emerged as highly predictive of success wasn’t IQ. It wasn’t social intelligence, nor was it good looks, physical health, or socioeconomic status.

What was it?

Grit.

As Duckworth defines it, grit is, “passion and perseverance for long-term projects; having stamina; sticking with your future, day in, day out … and working really hard to make that future a reality.” (my emphasis)

How do you instill grit?

According to Duckworth, part of the answer lies in establishing a “growth mindset.”

Dr. Carol Dweck of Stanford University came up with this concept, and it’s basically the belief that you can improve your ability to learn–that it’s not fixed. Thus instead of “I’m smart” or, “I’m dumb,” (fixed states), it’s, “When I’m challenged, I get stronger.”

The reason this matters is that if a kid believes they’re “dumb” because, say, they got a wrong answer, they tend to stop trying. They become afraid of failing. But when kids in Dweck’s research studies read and learn about the brain (particularly how it grows in response to challenge), they become more brave, more resilient, more likely to try even harder things, more … gritty.

Why? Because they start to see that simply doing the hard thing helps them expand. That it doesn’t matter whether you get the answer right–it just matters that you try, and keep trying.

It’s a lesson we can all take to heart, especially since grit research showed something else totally fascinating: there is no relationship or an inverse relationship between grit and talent. Hang on and make sure you got that last part — inverse means the less talented you are, the more gritty you are likely to be … which may be exactly what leads to your success.

In other words, data backs up the fact that you truly don’t have to be the best in the class, or get into the most prestigious tech accelerator, or be the most talented graphic designer at your firm to succeed.

Read more at … https://www.inc.com/melanie-curtin/according-to-science-this-1-thing-predicts-a-stude.html

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