Weekly Newsletter: February 8

I collect articles from around the web for this weekly newsletter. It includes all the interesting things that I’ve seen over the week in management, leadership and strategy (plus any blog posts).

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Michael Porter

This week in Leadership

Culture Versus Morale: How To Avoid A Common Trap
“Culture should be viewed as the Operating System for your company, because it’s characterized by the things you do and repeat on a regular basis.”

Microsoft and the Case for the Insider CEO
“Strong evidence supports the notion that a well-groomed insider is a key to sustained company performance. In my analysis of 1,800 successions, for instance, I found that company performance was significantly better when insiders succeeded to the job of CEO.”

The ‘Moneyball’ Approach to Hiring CEOs
“The biggest shortcoming of executive recruitment, the researchers say, is the failure to apply “Meehl’s Rule:” Never meet a job candidate until you decide to make them an offer. The late Paul E. Meehl, a psychologist from the University of Minnesota, advised using relevant, quantifiable factors to judge candidates. Instead, height, body build, gender, accent and looks often get considered, the authors note.”

Eight Essential Questions for Every Corporate Innovator
“So I’ll pose a question now: What questions should corporate innovators use to increase their odds of success? There are some classics out there, such as Peter Drucker’s (“If we weren’t already doing it this way, is this the way we would start?”), Ted Levitt’s timeless contribution (“What business are we really in?”), and the question Andy Grove asked to transform Intel (“If the board brought in a new CEO, what do you think he would do?”). ”

Christy Wyatt of Good Technology, on Minding the Details
” But people look for symbols, and they look for meaning where maybe there isn’t any. So now we’re overcommunicating. You have to talk about the little stuff as well as the big stuff, just to make sure folks aren’t running away with ideas.”

This week in Management

Unlocking the Power of Stable Teams with Twitter’s SVP of Engineering
“This is Twitter Engineering SVP Chris Fry on history’s greatest example of successful hyper-growth, and the tactic that made it possible: stable team building.”

Employee Management in the “Big Data” Era
The main message ofThe Decoded Companyis that companies are missing a major opportunity for growth and profit—by not applying the same technologies used to identify, track, and sell customers to improve employee performance.

The Secret to a Better Workplace: A Lot Less Sitting
“Everyone knows that attracting and retaining top talent requires creating a work culture that keeps employees engaged. Sometimes that can be as easy as a walk in the park—or a meeting without chairs. If you want to promote a healthier, livelier workplace, it’s time to get your employees on their feet.”

Yes, You Really Do Need to Deal With That Slacker on Your Team
“Whether they intend it or not, slackers are productivity vampires, slowly draining your team of life. The worst of them blame others for their faults, maintain a toxic attitude, and even deliberately stir up trouble.”

The Mommy-Track Myth
“Workers with kids are just as productive as those without, according to a new study…. the more alarming wage gap might be the one between mothers and childless women: One recent paper found that women with kids make roughly 7 to 14 percent less than women without them.”

The Scaling Lesson from Facebook’s Miraculous 10-Year Rise
“Facebook’s organization kept growing, so we kept watching it for lessons that might apply to other situations. Here’s the main lesson we took away from its success: Effective scaling isn’t just about establishing the biggest footprint you can, and as fast as possible. It’s even more a challenge of spreading the mindset your great new solution requires.”

This week in Strategy

Strategy in a World of Constant Change
“His point, of course, is that when entirely new, transformative futures arrive (like the mouse in 1965) their effects take a long time to become evenly distributed — typically a long, long time even in the supposed fast-moving tech sector. Yes, Amazon is utterly transforming the way Americans shop, but 20 years after it was founded.”

Strategy is Dessert for Culture’s Feast. Innovation is the Main Course
“Unsurprisingly, Booz found that 84% of executives believe culture is critical to their business success while 60% of executives believe culture is more important than strategy or their operating model.”

The First Strategic Question Every Business Must Ask
“What business are you in? It seems like a straightforward question, and one that should take no time to answer. But the truth is that most company leaders are too narrow in defining their competitive landscape or market space. They fail to see the potential for “non-traditional” competitors.”

It’s Time to Put Your Strategy on a Diet
“David Packard once famously quipped, “More companies die from overeating than starvation.” As it turns out, recent studies about dieting show that Packard’s clever metaphor might be more instructive than he ever imagined — and they can provide modern leaders with important lessons about planning and strategy.”

Your stance on innovation depends upon where you sit
“Do leaders in different levels of the organization have to lead differently? Of course they do. A line supervisor has very different leadership challenges than the CEO. That’s where CCL’s leadership roadmap is useful in helping leaders figure out how they can grow and develop as their careers advance.”

Management.Disrupted is a blog about management beyond the production line. Thoughts on better management, leadership and strategy for knowledge work from Steve Pell.

Visit the website at www.managementdisrupted.com or follow me on Twitter @stevepell.

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