Weekly newsletter: January 19

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

How to Create Meaning at Work When the Outcome Isn’t Always Meaningful
“There’s a lot of talk these days about the importance of finding meaning at work. Tammy Erickson, who writes about millennial employees and studies their sources of motivation, has gone so far as to declare that for many younger workers, “meaning is the new money.”

Your Employees Want the Negative Feedback You Hate to Give
“A significantly larger number (57%) preferred corrective feedback; only 43% preferred praise/recognition. Well, perhaps that’s not surprising, since our most emphatic finding related to which kind of feedback had the most impact on people’s job performance. When asked what was most helpful in their career, fully 72% said they thought their performance would improve if their managers would provide corrective feedback.”

How a quiet walk saves your creativity (and sanity)
“Our days are short on sunlight and packed with too much stimulation. Here’s why a walk outside (even when the weather is gross) can refresh your focus.”


Lolly Daskal – Building Relationships and High Performing Teams
“Employees are attracted to organizations that will value them and that make a difference in the world. When they are capable of doing that they will attract the best people. Business is better when relationships are better. Culture is great when the people have a say.”

Five Signs Your Mentor is Giving You Bad Advice
“Sheryl Sandberg something said during the panel conversation after her speech that really got me thinking. She told us that, although mentors played a key role in her success, she learned not to believe everything they told her. She warned that, even when someone wants to help you, they still can give you bad advice. So it is your responsibility, both for your own good and that of others, to think critically about what you’re told, and at times, to ignore it.”

Leadership Gone Viral
“What makes my heart go pitter-patter over Francis is that in less than nine months, he has quickly and effectively signaled who he is—and what he cares about—to billions of people. Rather than lead remotely, Francis has used symbolic leadership, which amplifies and accelerates change by ensuring that every word and deed is carefully selected for maximum impact.”

This week in Management

Hierarchy is Good. Hierarchy is Essential. And Less Isn’t Always Better
“Organizations and people need hierarchy. While there is no doubt that some hierarchies are better designed than others, an interesting test is what happens when there is little or no consensus about who has more — and less — power. Gruenfeld and Tiedens describe a series of studies showing that when such agreement is absent (so the nature of the formal or informal pecking order is not clear), members become less committed to their groups, less productive and effective, dysfunctional competition for status emerge, and coordination and cooperation suffer.”

Management in Networks
“the new reality is that networks are the new companies. The company no longer offers the stability it once did as innovative disruption comes from all corners. Economic value is getting redistributed to creative workers and then diffused through networks. Knowledge networks differ from company hierarchies. One major difference is that cooperation, not collaboration, is the optimal behaviour in a knowledge network. In networks, cooperation trumps collaboration.”

Why Aren’t we Better at Managing People? – Professor Bill Harley
“As US scholars looked to the East for inspiration about how to fix productivity problems in US manufacturing, they saw Japanese companies investing in their employees and treating them as valued resources, while seeking to foster employee commitment and build strong cultures.”

Motivating People to Perform at Their Peak
“People are more likely to explore new possibilities when their motivational state is in sync with specific rewards or punishments they could receive. For example, in a positive talent-development culture, an ambitious employee is inclined to develop new skills or take on a stretch assignment to advance. In a more negative culture, someone who receives little praise and lots of critical feedback is motivated to explore new job opportunities elsewhere.”

How Great Companies Attract Top Talent
“Another pattern among top companies — organizational culture is not just a priority, but a strategic imperative. Employers understand that a strong culture attracts the right kind employees. We see this with both large and small companies, from Google (last year’s top pick among large companies) to much smaller Badger Mining Corp.”

This week in Strategy

Why data-driven policies ruin work
“What do the baltimore police force, wall street traders, and public schools have in common? Each has been hoodwinked by metrics.”

What’s Good for Women is Good for Business
“This week The Shriver Report launched a groundbreaking report, A Woman’s Nation Pushes Back from the Brink,” which describes the tremendous challenges women face in the US workforce. It makes the case that despite the promotion of high-profile women CEOs, there is still a significant wage and career gap for working women, leading to poverty, family crisis, and education problems with our children.”

Maximizing the Impact of Outsider CEOs
“Bottom Line: Although external CEOs are typically brought in during times of upheaval to provide a fresh perspective, outsider CEOs may drive far more meaningful strategic changes when they join a new company during relatively stable times.”

Ed deHaan: How to Rebuild Trust After a Scandal
“Do shareholders care if a tarnished company tries to rebuild its reputation by helping disaster victims, veterans, or under-served communities?
Surprisingly, the answer may be yes. A new study, coauthored by Ed deHaan of Stanford Graduate School of Business, suggests that rebuilding “reputation capital” goes well beyond relations with investors and creditors – and shareholders know it.”

How the New Generation of Leaders is Preparing for the Future
“Today’s environment compels business leaders to reflect on the challenges ahead and ask: Where are we headed? But perhaps the more important question is: How do we prepare ourselves to get there?
To address these questions DDI partnered with CNBC and the Young Presidents’ Organization (YPO) to conduct a special poll among YPO’s member base of over 20,000 CEOs, in 120 countries, aged 45 or younger.”



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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