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Closing the Gender Wealth Gap

Harvard business - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 14:13

Thasunda Brown Duckett, CEO of Chase Consumer Banking, on empowering women through financial health.

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When Surprise Is a Good Negotiation Tactic

Harvard business - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 09:00

Signaling collaboration can lead to a more positive outcome.

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Doctor, Heal Thyself: Rare Disease Research

Harvard business - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 08:57

Dr. David Fajgenbaum has almost died five times from Castleman disease, a group of rare and deadly disorders of the lymph nodes. This led him to co-founding and managing the Castleman Disease Collaborative Network (CDCN) — a research collective to disrupt the broken, disorganized approach to disease research.

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Most Analytics Projects Don’t Require Much Data

Harvard business - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 08:00

Don’t make yours more ambitious than it needs to be.

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Universities Should Be Preparing Students for the Gig Economy

Harvard business - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 07:00

Full-time jobs aren’t the only way to be successful.

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7 Steps to Bulletproof Problem Solving

Leadershipnow - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 06:30

THE WORLD ECONOMIC FORUM’S Future of Jobs Report lists complex problem-solving as the number one skill for jobs in 2020. Organizations are looking for people that can define problems and form solid creative responses.

Like leaders themselves, good problem solvers are made, not born. Yet these skills are rarely taught. That’s where Bulletproof Problem Solving comes in. McKinsey alums Charles Conn and Rob McLean teach us how to be bulletproof problem solvers using a simple 7-steps approach.

The approach has its foundation in the hypothesis-driven structure of the scientific method. This process is not just applicable to business but is useful in finding solutions for personal problems as well. In the book they apply the process to individual problems such as, “Should I put solar panels on my roof?,” “What career should I choose?,” and “Is where I live affecting my health?” Business examples range from “Should my startup raise its prices?” and “Should we go to court?” to “Can obesity be reduced?”

This process can be applied to nearly every problem is responds well to the systematic problem-solving method that this approach provides.

The Seven Steps to Bullet-Proof Problem Solving are:

Step One: Define the Problem
How do you define a problem in a precise way to meet the decision maker’s needs? The important first step is to describe the context and the boundaries of the problem that is agreed upon by those involved in making the decision. A weak problem statement is a common problem. “Rushing into analysis with a vague problem statement is a clear formula for long hours and frustrated clients.”

Step Two: Disaggregate the Issues
How do you disaggregate the issues and develop hypotheses to be explored? Every problem needs to be broken down into its basic issues. “We employ logic trees of various types to elegantly disassemble problems into parts for analysis, driving alternative hypotheses of the answer.”

Step Three: Prioritize the Issues, Prune the Tree
How do you prioritize what to do and what not to do? Once you have defined the issues, you need to decide which ones are the most important or have the greatest impact on the final outcome.

Step Four: Build a Workplan and Timetable
How do you develop a workplan and assign analytical tasks? “Once the component parts are defined and prioritized, you then have to link each part to a plan for fact gathering and analysis. The workplan and timetable assigns team members to analytic tasks with specific outputs and completion dates.”

Step Five: Conduct Critical Analyses
How do you decide on the fact gathering and analysis to resolve the issues, while avoiding cognitive biases? Some problems don’t need complex analysis, others require more complex tools. A structured approach will help to eliminate bias and a massaging of the facts. Having a diverse team allows for different viewpoints to be brought together.

Step Six: Synthesize Findings from the Analysis
How do you go about synthesizing the findings to highlight insights? “Findings have to be assembled into a logical structure to test validity and then synthesized in a way that convinces others that you have a good solution.”

Step Seven: Prepare a Powerful Communication
How do you communicate them in a compelling way? Finally, a storyline needs to be developed that links your solution back to the original problem. Importantly, it needs to be told in a way your audience understands and is made relevant to them. In other words, tell a great story.

While this is presented in a linear way, the authors make a great point that you learn more about the problem as you go. You shouldn’t be so eager to get to the end that you don’t go back and refine previous steps. “While the process has a beginning and an end, we encourage you to think of problem solving as an iterative process rather than a linear one. At each stage we improve our understanding of the problem and use those greater insights to refine our earlier answers.”

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Categories: Blogs

Why Reverse Mentoring Works and How to Do It Right

Harvard business - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 06:05

It’s much more than teaching executives social media.

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Great Leaders Focus on the Why and the What—Not the How

Greatleaders hipbydan - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 06:00

Guest post by Steve Coughran:
In my two decades of business experience, I have encountered many different flavors of leadership. Some leaders are strong-willed and autocratic, some are open-minded and democratic, some employ laissez-faire, employee-centric leadership styles, and most fall somewhere in the middle. While leadership style varies, in my experience, leaders across the board provide employees with a sincere depiction of the Why, an explicit description of the What, and freedom on the How.
Many of you reading are likely familiar with Simon Sinek’s Start with Why. His premise suggests that great leaders motivate with the “Why”, a deep-rooted purpose, before defining the “What”, the product or service, or the “How”, the process.  Expanding on Sinek’s thoughts, I believe that not only do great leaders deprioritize the “how,” but the most influential bosses leave the “how” to their employees to figure out.
Have you ever been in a work situation where your boss or manager is explaining in specific detail how to do your job? It’s frustrating when managers live in the weeds. Poor leaders provide specificity around how to complete a task but fail to share the big picture, the why, behind the request.  No one likes to be micromanaged. Unfortunately, many leaders result to meddling with the process in attempts to maintain a false sense of power. Micromanagers focus explicitly on the how, which often results in short-term success at the expense of the long-term strategy, overall scalability, and employee satisfaction.
Great leaders give little input on the how. Of course, this approach first requires leaders to equip employees with the tools and skills to solve for the how. They must invest heavily in training to ensure employees are prepared to think through the processes.
Training alone, however, isn’t enough to produce the desired results. After reinforcing the why and enabling employees, they get specific about the what. Great leaders share explicit expectations. When I first launched a high-end design build firm, I learned the hard way the importance of clearly communicating expectations. I was feeling on top of the world as my company flourished; customers were lining up for projects, and I had a diverse and talented staff to uphold my brand. To maintain this status, I was also working like a dog, putting in eighty-hour workweeks to keep up with demand. I jumped at my first opportunity to take a two-week vacation, leaving the company reins in the hands of one of my top managers. We were working on a high-end project, but I trusted my employees. I gave little instruction—my manager knew the business as well as I did—and was off to relax on a beach in Mexico and forget about work for a while.
I returned frustrated with the lack of progress. While I was away, the high-end project suffered from operational issues that led to cost overruns and schedule delays resulting in an upset client and some delayed payments. While I was upset with my team, I too was responsible for the situation. What did I count on my managers and employees to do while I was away? More importantly, how would I ensure they held up their end of the bargain? I failed to create an accountability structure. Through this experience, I learned a critical lesson: strong leaders follow up.
Great leaders build accountability structures that clearly define the desired results. Results are laid out specifically and comprehensively, often incorporating qualitative and quantitative data. By leaving little room for confusion, leaders establish fair expectations, which provide a foundation for equitable evaluation and constructive feedback. They create a “return and report” culture where employees are sent off with an understanding of the overarching strategy and the goals of the assignment. They present their findings after independently problem solving.
Giving employees freedom shows that you trust them (which according to research is critical for workplace engagement and productivity). Additionally, by encouraging employees to think, leaders boost their team’s development. Seeing how the employee problem solves allows his or her manager to clearly examine their comprehension of the task, the big picture, and detect any gaps in understanding or skills. They can then address these knowledge gaps with training and coaching, bringing the employees’ development full circle.
As we all continue along the journey to become the best leaders we can be, keep in mind Simon Sinek’s words of wisdom, “There is a difference between giving direction and giving directions.” Emphasize your purpose, explain your product or service, and leave the rest to your well-equipped team. 
About the author:  Author, CFO of an international billion-dollar company, and management consultant, Steve Coughran has over two decades of experience driving business excellence. His newest book is Outsizing: Strategies to Grow your Business, Profits, and Potential.  For more information visit www.SteveCoughran.com.
Categories: Blogs

Celebrate Your Successes Through Micro Victories

Hr Bartender - Thu, 10/03/2019 - 02:57

I ran across an old Harvard Business Review article about “The Power of Small Wins” and it really stuck with me. How many times do we hear that we’re supposed to focus on BIG – big thinking, big ideas, big wins, etc.? You get the point. I don’t believe we can forget the importance of the small things too.

Small activities can lead to big change. I’d like to think we know that.

But what we might forget to do is congratulate ourselves for accomplishing those small steps. I know that I’m guilty of this. I take on a big project and break it down into small steps to make it much more manageable. Or a set a big goal for myself and establish milestones for accomplishing the goal. Then I don’t celebrate my success until the big thing is done. Why not give ourselves a little pat on the back or some form of reward as we’re accomplishing those smaller milestones?

I recently heard this term called “micro-victories” also called “micro-wins”. It sounds exactly like what I’m describing – a way to celebrate a small victory or success. The reason I’m bringing this up is to encourage us to celebrate our micro-wins at every level.

On a personal level: When we set goals for ourselves, we need to think about celebrating our success. Sometimes the goals we set for ourselves are private and we don’t really make a public statement about them until they’ve been accomplished. Getting a professional certification is an example. I know many people who keep their studying on the down-low because they don’t want the added pressure of having to tell people the outcome of the exam. So, they wait until they pass and say, “I did it! Yea me!” Which is fine but be sure to celebrate some successes along the way, like passing a sample quiz or completing a certification prep course.

On a team level: Many times, when we work on a team or a project, we have smaller milestones that must be accomplished along the way. For example, during a software implementation, there are many steps that must happen before the project is considered completed. The team should celebrate achieving those milestones. The project lead or department manager should encourage employees to celebrate those moments. Not only does it provide a level of recognition for the team’s hard work to date, but it encourages the team to stay focused and motivated on the big, hairy, audacious goal (BHAG).

On an organizational level: Speaking of BHAGs, companies create big goals for themselves all the time. Those big goals are made up of several small ones. Organizations should provide regular status reports to employees where goals are concerned and use those updates as a way to celebrate what’s been accomplished so far. Especially when the big goal is something that might take years. Equally important is the need to celebrate successes when there could be a small shift or adjustment in the big plan. The last thing companies want is employees to perceive that shift as a sign of failure (when it’s not) and potentially demotivate the team.

Micro-victories or micro-celebrations are a great way for individuals, teams, and organizations to recognize their successes, stay focused on the big picture, and keep motivation at a high level. Because all of those little steps will be what creates the “next BIG thing” in the organization.

Image captured by Sharlyn Lauby at the 34th Street Graffiti Wall in Gainesville, FL

The post Celebrate Your Successes Through Micro Victories appeared first on hr bartender.

Categories: Blogs

How to Improve Your Company’s Net Promoter Score

Harvard business - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 10:23

Give customers the chance to evaluate you at exactly the right moment.

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Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development

Harvard business - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 08:00

Retaining knowledge is just as important as learning it.

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Apple, Facebook, Amazon, Google – Who Won the Summer? Plus, WeWork’s Fall from Grace

Harvard business - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 07:06

After Hours is back for Season 3! Youngme, Felix, and Mihir debate which of the Big Tech companies (Apple, Facebook, Amazon, or Google) had the best/worst summer, before digging into the WeWork saga.

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Preparation Is the New Leadership Differentiator

Eblingroup - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 07:06

In watching and working with top executives and their teams over the past few years, I’ve come to a fresh conclusion. Preparation is the new leadership differentiator.

You might argue that preparation has always been important. I would agree with you on that but would contend that preparation is in shorter supply than it used to be. As pretty much every organization continues on its quest to do more with less, it’s become common for executives and managers to show up for meetings and conversations only partially prepared or even fully unprepared. 

The first few times they do there might be murmured apologies for not being ready. Then it becomes the accepted norm for both the leader and the people they’re meeting with. Then the slope gets slipperier as a culture of poor preparation flows from the top down into the rest of the organization. Everyone has become “so busy” that winging it (and the rework that comes with it) becomes the new normal.

Leaders who show up prepared differentiate themselves from those who don’t. How can you be that prepared leader even when your plate is overfull? Here are three best practices that I see my best prepared executive coaching clients follow:

Book the time: The best prepared leaders book the time to prepare. Most of them do that through three lenses of time – short-term, medium-term and long-term. Their short-term preparation is focused on the next one or two days. They book somewhere between 45 and 90 minutes every couple of days to do the reading, thinking or writing they need to do to be ready for the commitments on their calendar in the next 48 hours. Their medium-term preparation is focused on the next one or two weeks. They book about 30 to 60 minutes a week to scan their calendar for the next couple of weeks with the goal of flagging commitments that they need to start preparing for further in advance.  Finally, long-term preparation is focused on three months ahead. This is handled with a monthly session to scan for commitments like a major presentation or project that will require a sequenced plan of multiple sessions to prepare. They then book the time on their calendar to do that longer-term preparation.

Don’t overcommit: The best prepared leaders don’t overcommit themselves. They have a clear point of view on the tasks and initiatives that are the highest and best uses of their time and attention and commit accordingly. They don’t overcommit by agreeing to do things that aren’t aligned with their highest and best use. They’d rather say no and create a short-term, small disappointment than say yes and create a bigger disappointment down the road by not being able to follow through in a meaningful way.

Get the picture: The best prepared leaders have busy days just like everyone else they’re working with. What differentiates them is that they have the habit of pausing throughout the day to mentally prepare themselves for what’s coming next on their calendar. They do this by walking through a simple two-minute visualization exercise that enables them to get the picture of what they’re trying to accomplish in the next meeting and how they need to show up to make that outcome likely. As they consider the “what”, they remind themselves of what success in that meeting would look like in terms of information shared, problems solved, lessons learned, agreements made or inspiration generated. They then focus on the “how” of the energy they’ll need to project to lead the group to that outcome. Are they transmitting, receiving or demonstrating a balance between the two? How will their body language, tone of voice and choice of language reflect their intent? Two-minute sessions of just-in-time preparation on the “what” and “how” helps make the best leaders fully effective throughout their busy days.

What’s working or not working for you on being a prepared leader? What best practices would you add to the three I’ve shared here?

If you liked what you read here, subscribe here to get my latest ideas on how to lead and live at your best.

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Governing in the Exponential Age

Harvard business - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 07:00

Tony Blair, former Prime Minister of the UK, joins Azeem Azhar in conversation about how the technology industry and policy makers can work together to amplify their potential to serve the public good. Regulating big tech, as Blair explains, is only a small part of the solution in a necessary effort to transform our society and economy for the exponential age.

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Entrepreneurs Who Sleep More Are Better at Spotting Good Ideas

Harvard business - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 06:05

Exhaustion shouldn’t be a badge of honor.

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Emerging Skill for Leaders: Making All Feel Welcome & On Equal Ground...

Hr Capitalis - Wed, 10/02/2019 - 05:57
I read this post recently by William Wiggins at Fistful of Talent on Transgenderism. It's a simple, insightful piece on being aware. Prior to reading William's post, I finished Super Pumped: The Battle for Uber by Mike Isaac. It's the... Kris Dunn
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Introducing Season 3

Harvard business - Tue, 10/01/2019 - 11:28

In a world of overwhelming choices, being decisive is harder and more important than ever. In the new season of FOMO Sapiens, Patrick J. McGinnis speaks with a diverse and fascinating set of leaders in business, politics, and culture about how they make decisions in their busy lives. In doing so, he uncovers the answer to a fundamental question: How can you find the power to choose what you actually want and the courage to miss out on the rest?

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Your Employment Brand (Once Done Right) Probably Needs Less Refreshing Than You Think...

Hr Capitalis - Tue, 10/01/2019 - 10:49
Quick post today related to employment branding and HR marketing. The big thought is this: You get sick of your own stuff at a much more rapid pace than the marketplace does. Trust me, I'm somewhat of an expert related... Kris Dunn
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Reskilling Workers Is a Central Part of Corporate Social Responsibility

Harvard business - Tue, 10/01/2019 - 10:12

It’ll benefit your workforce, your company, and your community.

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Can Gimlet Turn a Podcast Network Into a Disruptive Platform?

Harvard business - Tue, 10/01/2019 - 09:47

Harvard Business School professors John Deighton and Jeffrey Rayport discuss how two former public radio producers launch the Gimlet Media podcast network, entering the last frontier of digital media. How can they turn a content supplier into a disruptive platform?

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