Small teams drive results, The end of the COO? All about millennials, Why you hate work, Comedy and leadership

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Best of the week

If you’re short on time, there’s two great articles that I recommend this week. From Strategy+Business, a study looking at 100 years of the CEO. How the role has changed over the last century, and what’s likely to change in the near future.

The first line of this NYTimes feature Why You Hate Work makes the contention that “the way we’re working isn’t working”. Authors Tony Schwartz and Christine Porath back this up with stats showing that the vast majority (70%) of executives don’t have regular time for creative or strategic thinking, or even the ability to focus on one thing at at time.

This week in management…

Why You Hate Work
“Demand for our time is increasingly exceeding our capacity — draining us of the energy we need to bring our skill and talent fully to life. Increased competitiveness and a leaner, post-recession work force add to the pressures.” (NY Times)

Millennials Are Cynical Do-Gooders
“It’s tempting to caricature Millennial workers as bright-eyed idealists, given their loudly stated preference for having a social impact through their careers. Either that or as narcissists only out for themselves. But neither is quite true, according to a new paper from The Brookings Institution.” (Blogs at HBR)

Double Duty
“More and more companies are eliminating the chief operating officer position — and handing operating duties to the CFO.” (CFO Magazine)

Want results? Think Small
“While most people believe that “the more brainpower in the room, the better”, there is much scientific proof emerging that the exact opposite is true. In fact, throwing more people at a problem is one of the most common productivity traps that we fall into.” (Reuven Gorsht)

3 new job titles every company needs but no one has yet
“What would happen if businesses introduced new positions dedicated completely to imagining new ways to shake things up? Here’s what that might look like.” (Fast Company)

Share Your Financials to Engage Employees
“It’s surprisingly easy to generate this kind of engagement among employees when you make the economics of the business come alive by sharing some key financial numbers. It’s an open-book approach: people begin to watch these indicators. Then they figure out how to move them in the right direction.” (Blogs at HBR)

This week in leadership…

The Lives and Times of the CEO
“From 100 years back to a quarter century ahead, the evolution of the chief executive officer.” (Strategy+Business)

Leadership Myths and Truths. How Much Do You Know?
“Social scientists have been studying leadership for over 100 years. As a result, we know quite a bit about leaders and what makes for effective leadership.” (Psychology Today)

50 Years of Leadership: Women Rated As Effective Or More So Than Men
“Women are rated by others as being just as effective leaders as men, and sometimes they are rated more highly, according to a new review of the research. The conclusions are based on data from tens of thousands of leaders in studies that have been conducted over almost fifty years.” (Spring)

How to Get Your Employees to Go Beyond the Call of Duty
“A recent study shows that employees who work for humble leaders are more likely to work harder and come up with better ideas.” (Inc.)

3 Comedy Techniques That Can Improve Your Leadership Skills
“Learning comedy skills can help create an authentic, transparent culture and improve morale. How is this possible? Because comedy and great workplaces are founded on the same core principle: truth.” (Chief Executive)

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