Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Innovative Management Update - Week of March 5, 2012

Every week, we try and publish an exciting summary of the best articles, videos, events, and posts that relate to innovative management. This week, check out these 7 articles that inspire innovative management. Enjoy!

1. The Alchemy and Mystery of Leadership

You will never know the impact you have on most of your team members, but you will have an impact. Set a good example. Treat people right. Leave the world better than you found it.

2. Highly Flawed, Messy, Chaotic - Gotta Love #Management!

1. How managers, and everyone, is highly talented and highly flawed. Even the best performers are highly flawed. What does this mean? It means that we need to be tolerant and flexible to bring out everyone's talents. And it means that great teaming, collaboration, and collective work can only happen if we don't let idiosyncrasies get in the way. Relationships - friendship even - do not require full agreement. In fact, they are richer when we challenge each other. The idea that we are highly talented and highly flawed does not excuse us for being annoying or inadequate managers.

2. Management is, by its nature, messy and chaotic and will always be. Get over it and then love it. Managing people is neither a linear nor logical practice. We know this! So why do we expect people who report to us - or our bosses and peers - to act logically and predictably? Human systems are more like the weather than they are like a manufacturing line - they are chaotic, unpredictable, and sensitive. This messiness and chaos are not conditions that get in the way of management - they are the reasons that management is needed.

3. Reward Value, Not Face Time

Too many companies continue to operate by the premise that their employees can't be fully trusted, and so treat them as children, who must be continuously monitored.

The solution is to hire people you're prepared to trust, and then treat them as adults, capable of making responsible adult choices. Do that, and it's a good bet they will. Indeed, considerable evidence suggests that the more confidence managers have in their people, the better they perform.

4. The Evolution of a Point Guard

Beyond the mystique and the mania lies a more basic story — of perseverance, hard work and self-belief. 

5. Trust or Mistrust: What Should Be Key Mindset for Open Innovation?

What happens when these mindsets collide when it comes to open innovation?

6. When to Share Sensitive Information with Your Team

Being the boss means you are often privy to information that your team isn't.

There are of course times when you are not allowed to share the news — your company has been acquired but the deal is not finished, or someone on your team is being let go. But there are a whole host of instances when it is up to you. At those times, you're likely to feel pressure from one side or another. "It's very rare people don't want to know the news even if it's bad," says Michael Useem, the William and Jacalyn Egan Professor of Management at the Wharton School and author of "Four Lessons in Adaptive Leadership." But it's important to assess each situation individually and to remember it's not your job to coddle employees. "We're not their parents, we're their bosses," says Linda Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and coauthor of Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader. Telling or not depends on the situation, but these guidelines can help you make the decision.

7. Lessons in Gaming: Jury out on Zamzee, other forms of 'gamification'

While gamification is a relatively new concept, the science of human motivation is not. And critics of the gamification concept - and even proponents who feel the concepts are misapplied - say many examples so far fundamentally misunderstand what drives behavior.

The most basic mistake is thinking that people play games for external rewards like points and badges, whereas in fact people play games because games are intrinsically fun or rewarding. The points are just a way of keeping score, an almost incidental add-on to the process. Sudoku has no points, for instance, but that hasn't stopped millions from playing.

"Actual games and gamification are at complete opposite poles on the motivation continuum," said Kathy Sierra, a writer and game developer. This isn't a big problem when rewards and points are applied to rote work, like chores or brushing your teeth. After all, there's little worry of making those things less engaging.