Vocal mistakes for leaders, The crowd is wrong, Holes in holacracy, Corporate climbers

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Welcome to another week of Management Disrupted, my weekly newsletter on better management for the future of knowledge work.

A number of interesting articles this week, across a broad range of topics. I’m sure you’ll find something interesting and relevant to get you thinking about better management.

I hope it’s a great week for you.


Thinking about management for the future of work

Is Holacracy the future of work, or a management fad?
Regular readers of Management Disrupted will be familiar with Holacracy. It’s trending management idea that replaces the hierarchy with a system of self organising teams. As this article discusses, since Zappos adopted Holacracy, it’s been taken increasingly seriously. But as The Economist points out: “There is good reason to be sceptical. “Nine-tenths of the approximately 100 branded management ideas studied lost their popularity within a decade or so,” 

Are ‘tours-of-duty’ the way to fix workforce retention?
I’m a big fan of the tour-of-duty concept as a way to improve workforce retention. Basically, it’s not much more than setting out explicitly that both the employee and the company have agency and stand to benefit from the working relationship (over a defined period of time). This article talks about the concept in the context of LinkedIn and builds out the thinking.

Management skills

Four common vocal mistakes that leaders make
“Commanding respect as a leader means more than having a fancy job title and a corner office; it also means having the right tone of voice. Too often… leaders focus their attention on the words they want to deliver–reading and rereading a speech, going over PowerPoint bullet points, and making an agenda of meeting issues. While the words may be perfect, the tone with which you deliver the message can cause it to fall flat.”

Toxic talent management habits
“All organizations have problems, and they always involve people.” This opinion piece talks about five of the most toxic management habits: being unaware of one’s actual company culture, confusing employee engagement with happiness, ignoring the toxic effect of office politics, misunderstanding leadership and relying on intuition instead of data

More interesting research

‘Wisdom of the crowd’: The myths and realities
The latest research on when groups make better decisions than individuals. This research shows that groups can make very good decisions, but only under very specific circumstances. And the right circumstances are not consensus.

How much does your boss’s work life balance matter?
A survey on 19,000 employees shows that only 25% of leaders model sustainable work practices. Those employees with ‘sustainable’ leaders are “55% more engaged, 72% higher in health well being, 77% more satisfied at work, and 1.15 times more likely to stay at the company. They also reported more than twice the level of trust in their leaders.”

Ten tips to make you more powerful at work
A great round up of Stanford’s research on the topic. Tips cover working with power, acting with power and thinking with power.

What corporate climbers can teach us
Another look at how darker personality traits can help people climb the corporate ladder.

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