I’m intrigued by the concept of “job sharing” – the idea of two part-time, but overlapping, employees doing one job. Seems like a great way to combine complementary on-the-job skills and/or personalities(!) while also providing flexibility to staff. This article discusses how Swiss companies have made a common practice out of what the author says was an idea that originated in the US!? As a leader, it is worth understanding job sharing. It seems to hold merit as employees look for balance in their work and non-work lives.
Fast Company ($) - Jul 29, 2021
Is job sharing the solution to our flexible work problems?
Job sharing can help protect against burnout, let employees explore their interests, help with retention, and give everyone the flexibility they crave. So why aren’t more companies doing it?
strategy+business ($) - Jul 29, 2021
The surprising link between creativity and risk
The squeaky wheels in your organization may also be important sources of innovation.
“Unsuck”, as in “not suck” the life out of everyone involved, is the term that this post uses as the podcasters dissect the critical elements of any group meeting. I found the honest dialog around each of the individual meeting elements to be on point and compelling. However, the time allotments provided at the end of the podcast are simply not possible – without a careful picking and choosing of what elements to include (which is my suggestion). Worth listening to for anyone who runs lots of meetings each day.
Brave New Work - Jul 27, 2021
Unsuck your next work meeting w/ Sam Spurlin
If we’ve said it once, we’ve said it a thousand times: Meetings are the worst. Instead of being a meaningful work tool to help teams strategize efficiently, meetings more often block things—anything—from actually getting done.
strategy+business ($) - Jul 27, 2021
Rethinking total reward strategies
Pay, incentives, and benefits haven’t significantly changed for decades, but people’s preferences have. Employee compensation needs a rethink if companies are to attract and retain talent.
Ryan Gosha ($) - Jul 22, 2021
The type of Redundancies NOT to be eliminated — A Side Note.
This is a general guide to post-pandemic business management.
McKinsey & Company - Jul 19, 2021
How Johnson & Johnson transformed its corporate business-technology operating model
Johnson & Johnson remodeled its technology–business partnership to elevate the employee experience.
Here is another article this week referencing an aspect of the decade long re-creation of Best Buy. Using remote work to grab our attention, this article describes the move toward ROWE (a results-only work environment) where worker autonomy is optimized by leveraging fully flexible work arrangements and structured negotiations between requestors and providers of work product (“both parties had to agree on a plan that balanced the urgency of the task and the reality of its executor’s workload”). The outcome was a shift from in-person surveillance to outcomes that reduced staff turnover. Unfortunately, the cultural experiment has since been reversed. We’ll see what happens. It’s a must-read for management aficionados!
The New Yorker - Jul 9, 2021
How to Achieve Sustainable Remote Work
Companies must move away from surveillance and visible busyness, and toward defined outcomes and trust.
HBR.org ($) - Jul 12, 2021
Your Company Needs a Digital Nomad Policy
The authors’ research shows that the number of Americans describing themselves as digital nomads rose by 49% between 2019 and 2020, and that unlike in previous years, traditional job holders made up a majority of these workers in 2020. Despite the large and growing number of these employees, few organizations have formal policies and programs for them.
Arthur D. Little - Jul 1, 2021
The Breakthrough Incubator: A proven approach
Many CEOs face something like the “$1 billion challenge”: how do I deliver the significant growth that the markets expect? For companies in established mature sectors with low singledigit growth prospects or where technological disruption is threatening to erode or even destroy the current business, this challenge is critical and even existential. Incremental growth through continuous improvement is simply not significant enough. While acquisition is one route, acquiring a $1 billion revenue business is both expensive and not without risk. Innovation is another route to growth, but creating new businesses requires “breakthroughs” and is unlikely to be delivered by core R&D.
Arthur D. Little - Jul 1, 2021
Conversion toward ultra-high efficiency
The conversion toward ultra-high efficiency is worth the effort, as we have found this level of efficiency can lead to operational savings of more than 25%. In this Viewpoint, we share some of the key elements incumbent companies must consider when facing the challenge of ultra-high efficiency.
This post awkwardly, but rather interestingly, moves from the Sex Pistols to Amazon to the healthcare industry! In it, the author explores what it means to adopt a completely different mindset to a situation or larger ecosystem. The article ultimately focuses on how to rethink systems change within healthcare. However, its main point is that we need to think differently to get out of the stasis of our current mindsets and to reimagine broken ecosystems.
John Singer ($) - Jul 6, 2021
The ‘Amazon Way’ of Strategy
In the nearly three decades that he led Amazon, Bezos developed a series of unusual leadership principles — which some argue are the backbone of his success. Talk to anyone who’s ever worked there, and you don’t have to wait long before you hear the phrase “customer obsession” as the why behind the business. For a company to be successful it had to have happy customers — at almost any cost.
I like this focus on reducing what the authors call “coordination complexity”. Beyond the simple administrivia and extreme time sink of many transactional encounters (and… acknowledging that this may be moving beyond the intent of the article), I think that much bureaucracy and debilitating power dynamics play out in process bottlenecks and/or with gatekeepers. This article explores how to simplify, if not automate, the interactions at the boundary of person-to-person or group-to-group work. I really appreciate the continued push to reckon with complexity and to think through new models that enable more time and more freedom for the life-giving aspects of work!
MIT Sloan Management Review ($) - Jun 28, 2021
Why Companies Must Embrace Microservices and Modular Thinking
Organizations can reduce coordination complexity with modular thinking, microservices, and APIs.
In the classic struggle to foster corporate innovation, we are faced with the need to both exploit our current business model (or products, etc…) as well as to explore new paradigms. However, it is hard to do both well within the same wine skin! Therefore, we seek ways to create skunkworks projects. This article suggests that an innovation hub is the way to make innovation a permanent and recurring part of your business ecosystem. It goes on to share the advantages of doing so while citing well known examples of such hubs.
YBF Ventures ($) - Jun 16, 2021
What comes next? The Resurgence of Innovation Hubs for Business & Industry
What can you do today that you couldn’t do a year ago?
Fast Company ($) - Jun 11, 2021
How permissionless organization design gives your company an advantage
In a time of exponential growth in technology, we need to rethink the org.
With a keen interest in self-organizing management, I always like reading about the Rendanheyi model. This very short post explores Haier’s use of MEs (microenterprises) organized around its customers. The ME has “three essential rights: the right to make decisions, the right to hire talent, and the right to distribute compensation”. Some day in the future, I’d like to experience being part of an organization using this organizing model, or something comparable.
Lina_HMI ($) - Jun 8, 2021
The Global Applicability of Rendanheyi
As a senior partner at McKinsey & Company (US), the top three management consulting firms in the world and the “Goldman Sachs of the consulting world,” Aaron De Smet is particularly interested in the Rendanheyi management model that has “blossomed” around the world in recent years. On May 27th, he interviewed Mr. Zhang Ruimin, Chairman of the Board and CEO of Haier Group, to discuss Haier’s innovative management model and to seek a “golden key” to replicate it in global companies.
HBR.org ($) - Jun 7, 2021
How to Successfully Scale a Flat Organization
Many startups today have adopted a “self-directed” model, which includes flat organizational structures, minimal hierarchy, self-management, and an emphasis on empowerment. When these companies are small, this model confers all sorts of advantages. But it’s hard for companies to stick to that model when they grow and scale.
Forrester - Jun 1, 2021
Organizational Change Is About Orchestrating Organizational Systems
New technology creates adoption curves, and these curves regulate the pace of an organization generating future value. The ability to manage these adoption curves will dictate that pace and therefore the nature and composition of how organizations scale. This is organizational change management. It is how to decompose these “adoption curves” that sets apart those with competitive pace and those without it. Under a future fit strategy, there are three critical aspects organizations must consider as they explore what “at scale” means to them in pursuit of embracing and delivering adaptivity, creativity, and resiliency.
I’m intrigued by FCT (financial cycle time) – especially if it is truly a measure of how fast a company can sense and respond to its environment. The article draws some parallels to productivity. Being fully transparent, I’m not close enough to the topic to gauge the worthiness of FCT or PCT (production cycle time)! However, I have corporate colleagues who are working to benchmark business unit productivity. It’s messy. I need to learn more about this topic – and this post has piqued my interest.
Duke Corporate Education - Jun 1, 2021
Built for Speed
The latest research shines a light on some of the world’s quickest-moving companies.
Medium ($) - May 26, 2021
Evolutionary Organisational Path
The Laloux Culture Model is widely used as a guiding tool in agile transformation of companies and broader agile related discussions. The model not only distinguishes different management models in various types of organisations, but describes culture change that accompanies organisational evolution.
The “A” in AVUCA (Accelerating. Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous) is somewhat new to me, so I thought it was worth a mention. This post is a foray into the “C” for “Complexity”, and what it entails. I feel like I need to be so much more familiar with the individual dimensions of AVUCA environments. I liken the need for this better understanding to my need to understand the differences in mental health/illness, and how much my understanding helps me to walk alongside those who are navigating uncertain futures.
Medium ($) - May 26, 2021
What makes problems complex and how can we approach complex problems?
It is Accelerating. Volatile. Uncertain. Complex. Ambiguous.
Management Innovation is novel principles, processes, and practices that alter both the system and the way that organizations perform work
All Time Favorites
California Management Review ($) - Apr 1, 2008
McKinsey & Company - Apr 1, 2006