March 10, 2014
We might not have holographic conference calls or teleporting commutes (yet), but corporate anthropology can give us a realistic glimpse of our futures in the workplace.
Everything you thought you knew about the workplace is already outdated, according to this article from fastcompany.com, written by Dana Ardi.
Gone are the days when decisions were made from the top down and when all anyone was expected to do was simply “their job.” As a Corporate Anthropologist, I study the cultures of organizations–how they evolve and intersect with what’s happening right now, and how the people in them influence and shape their communities.
The talent pool will grow
As the use of robotics and automation technology increase, humans will no longer be asked to perform rote tasks. That means the nature of jobs will change. Greater connectivity means we will have greater access to talent literally all over the planet.
A new form of labor pool and market where individuals, project teams, or even entrepreneurial companies (that are really just teams of teams) from all over the world will bid on high-value tasks and opportunities. This new dynamic will not only increase the efficiency of organizations, it will also change the notion of what “managing” means. It will also create competitive pressures for organizations to embrace global languages and cultural awareness as a way to appeal to the most talented workers.
Collaboration will be the norm
The type of company–and people–that will thrive in this new environment will embrace collaboration and teamwork. I call them the Betas. The old-fashioned Alpha way of doing business–top-down, command-and-control–will no longer be viable.
As Alpha methods die out, employers will be looking for innovators, technologists, and big thinkers. Data managers will remain in high demand as will people with the skills to manage a diverse workforce.
A rise in “limited contracts”
Specialization will be even more essential
Social networks become a way to partner
Everyone will become an entrepreneur
Individual contribution, not pay grade, will be rewarded
Read the bolded points above by clicking here…
March 7, 2014
What was the secret of Abraham Lincoln’s success in dealing with people?
Incredibly, this is not just a question that a business journalist would ask. Dale Carnegie himself–the legendary author of How to Win Friends and Influence People–asked the exact same question on page 8 of that famous book.
Carnegie was in a unique position to know the answer. Four years before How to Win Friends came out, he authored a book called Lincoln the Unknown, which he spent three years working on.
How Lincoln Practiced Patience
The point is that Carnegie–America’s preeminent expert on networking, arguably the person who first codified networking as a skill–analyzed Lincoln’s life for his people skills.
As an example, Carnegie cites a letter Lincoln wrote to a general who disobeyed his orders during the Civil War. Here’s a snippet:
“I do not believe you appreciate the magnitude of the misfortune involved in Lee’s escape. He was within your easy grasp, and to have closed upon him would, in connection with our other late successes, have ended the war. As it is, the war will be prolonged indefinitely. If you could not safely attack Lee last Monday, how can you possibly do so South of the river, when you can take with you very few more than two thirds of the force you then had in hand? It would be unreasonable to expect, and I do not expect you can now effect much. Your golden opportunity is gone, and I am distressed immeasureably because of it.”
Clearly, this is a stern rebuke. You could even argue that it is personal.
But the lesson Carnegie has to offer is a simple one. The lesson is that Lincoln never sent the letter. It was found among his papers after his death.
Continue this article from Inc.com, written by Ilan Mochari, by clicking here…
March 6, 2014
Providing companies with resources to support organisational transformation projects continues to be the main areas of demand for CKI People. Whether they be in project management, change, learning & development strategy, instructional design or training the key driver for resourcing support is transformation projects, typically underpinned by system changes. That said, we are cautiously optimistic about some recent enquires into leadership and management development, however it is early days yet. I really do hope that we start to see a swing back to investing in leadership training given the articles I’ve read over recent weeks indicate a less than favourable view of leadership capability in Australia.
In fact, when reviewing the list of articles on the BLOG this month and combining this with daily media releases of yet more job losses and business failures, it would be easy to feel that there wasn’t much to look forward to for 2014. So I’ve decided to channel my inner Pollyanna and play the glad game… we at CKI People are glad about: our valued clients; our amazing consulting and contracting network; our (expanding) team; the health and wellbeing of our families; and living in the lucky country, Australia. OK, so maybe all a bit clichéd but the point is… one of the key determinants for personal success is optimism… so channel yours today!
Let March Madness begin….
March 4, 2014
Studies show that strategic thinking is the most important element of leadership. But how do you instill the trait in others at your company? Find out how by reading this piece from Inc.com, written by Will Yakowicz.
What leadership skill do your employees, colleagues, and peers view as the most important for you to have? According Robert Kabacoff, the vice president of research at Management Research Group, a company that creates business assessment tools, it’s the ability to plan strategically.
He has research to back it up: In the Harvard Business Review, he cites a 2013 study by his company in which 97 percent of a group of 10,000 senior executives said strategic thinking is the most critical leadership skill for an organization’s success. In another study, he writes, 60,000 managers and executives in more than 140 countries rated a strategic approach to leadership as more effective than other attributes including innovation, persuasion, communication, and results orientation.
But what’s so great about strategic thinking? Kabacoff says that as a skill, it’s all about being able to see, predict, and plan ahead: “Strategic leaders take a broad, long-range approach to problem-solving and decision-making that involves objective analysis, thinking ahead, and planning. That means being able to think in multiple time frames, identifying what they are trying to accomplish over time and what has to happen now, in six months, in a year, in three years, to get there,” he writes. “It also means thinking systemically. That is, identifying the impact of their decisions on various segments of the organization–including internal departments, personnel, suppliers, and customers.”
As a leader, you also need to pass strategic thinking to your employees, Kabacoff says. He suggests instilling the skill in your best managers first, and they will help pass it along to other natural leaders within your company’s ranks. Below, read his five tips for how to carry out this process.
Dish out information.
Create a mentor program.
Create a philosophy.
Reward thinking, not reaction.
Ask “why” and “when.”
Read the details of the bolded points above here…
February 28, 2014
Australian middle managers are under-skilled, and for the most part companies know it. New research from the Australian Institute of Management and Monash University has found 83% of employees rated their middle manager’s leadership skills as average or below average.
Middle managers were also ranked poorly in terms of communication skills, strategic influence and their ability to oversee staff performance.
The survey of almost 2000 people including chief executives, senior executives, middle managers and aspiring managers revealed the scale of underinvestment in middle management skills.
But while their leadership qualities were poor, many middle managers were at least self-aware of this shortcoming, with 63% also saying their own leadership skills were average or below.
However, when it came to communication skills, middle managers thought they had it down pat, when in reality their colleagues disagreed.
More than 50% of their colleagues believed the communication skills of middle managers were subpar.
AIM executive general manager Tony Gleeson told SmartCompany middle managers are lowering the productivity of Australian workplaces.
“There’s been a real lack of investment in management to give these people the necessary leadership skills,” he says.
“They need people to mentor them and be given the time to observe and learn from others in leadership roles to help them grow and understand.”
Gleeson says middle managers are frequently people who have been noticed for having a high level of technical capability, but this doesn’t always amount to having strong management skills.
For the current situation to improve, businesses need to develop a clear understanding of the skills and roles needing to be filled by middle managers in the organisation and generate frameworks to allow people to progress and enhance their skillset.
“Businesses need their own frameworks for the development of people, especially at the lower levels of management, and then a mentoring scheme and a targeted education program,” he says.
To continue this article from smartcompany.com.au, and written by Yolanda Redrup click here…