Weekly Newsletter: January 12

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).

You can subscribe here.

This week in Leadership

Making Better Decisions over Time
“Executives handle a number of routine activities that lend themselves well to deliberate feedback and practice. Presentations to employees. Interaction with key managers. Meetings… But for the most consequential decisions that executives face, for which feedback cycles are longer and results less precise, coaching is a much less apt metaphor.”

Karen Abramson, on Going to the Front Lines 
“I learned I’d better be really careful about what I say, because everybody’s paying attention to every little word. If I were seen having a conversation with somebody in the hallway, people assumed they were my best friend, though it was the first time I had talked to them all month. Everything was under a magnifying glass in a way it hadn’t been before.”

The Keys to Leadership: Your Brain and My Grandmother
“As we enter the new year, those aspiring to lead would do well to start thinking in new ways. Set aside the usual choices on the bookshelf and dive into the latest studies on the brain. It turns out that some tried and true pieces of wisdom are tried and true for good reasons.”

Research: We Should Speak Up About Ethical Violations More Often 
“The primary predictor of corporate rectitude is creating a culture where employees regularly feel both motivated and able to hold people accountable for garden variety complaints — when they do, our study shows they are six times more likely to blow the whistle on major corporate ethics violations.”

Nobel-winning scientists are 25 times more likely than average to engage in the arts 
“If you want to foster those creative, problem solving skills, the solution isn’t learning to code – it’s learning to paint. Or play an instrument. Or write poetry. Or sculpt. The field doesn’t matter”

This week in Management

Hayagreeva Rao and Robert Sutton: How Do You Scale Excellence? 
“You should have a little less structure than you think you need. Then, wait for things to break a little bit as a sign that you should add just a little bit more. Greene called this light structure “running a little bit hot.” If you’re a little bit too heavy, it feels like you’re walking in muck. And, if you’re way too light, things fall apart. So, the ideal condition for scaling is that little things should be breaking all the time, but not the big things.”

Good Behavior Is Just As Contagious As Bad Habits
“An ambitious project is showing that small groups of peers, whether they are in Kenya or Kentucky, can successfully hold each other to achieving life-saving health goals.”

Thinking for the Future 
“If you and your skills are a complement to the computer, your wage and labor market prospects are likely to be cheery. If your skills do not complement the computer, you may want to address that mismatch.”

For a More Flexible Workforce, Hire Self-Aware People
“When it comes to discovering what makes people tick, a good way to start is with helping them understand themselves.”

Why Meetings Should Cost Employees Money
“If stand-up meetings aren’t short enough, you might consider this method of meetings from one of Gowalla’s original employees.”

Can performance be quantified? Wearable tech in the office 
“Companies from Hitachi to Walt Disney World resort are using wearable tech to track staff and improve collaboration and customer service, according to a report by management researcher H. James Wilson.”

Stop Basing Pay on Performance Reviews
“Performance reviews that are tied to compensation create a blame-oriented culture. It’s well known that they reinforce hierarchy, undermine collegiality, work against cooperative problem solving, discourage straight talk, and too easily become politicized. They’re self-defeating and demoralizing for all concerned. Even high performers suffer, because when their pay bumps up against the top of the salary range, their supervisors have to stop giving them raises, regardless of achievement.”

The neuroscience of how sleep deprivation can kill you
“If you don’t get enough sleep, research suggests that you’ll be worse at dealing with information, more likely to cheat people, and unable to clean up your brain.”

This week in Strategy

The open-office trap  
“In 2011, the organizational psychologist Matthew Davis reviewed more than a hundred studies about office environments. He found that, though open offices often fostered a symbolic sense of organizational mission, making employees feel like part of a more laid-back, innovative enterprise, they were damaging to the workers’ attention spans, productivity, creative thinking, and satisfaction.”

Free Your Innovation Culture
“To avoid rigidly mandating people while guiding them toward an innovative culture, successful executives can use a variety of guardrail-inspired tactics. Here are seven best practices that have proven effective for transforming employees into smart risk-takers.”

Why innovators need a word other than failure
“I’ll worship at the church of experimentation, rather than at the church of failure, thanks very much.”

Write down your failures. You just might learn something.
“If you only celebrate your successes, you’re missing a huge opportunity to learn from your mistakes. Here’s how a “Failure Wall” can change that.”

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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