Monday, July 2, 2012

13 Tips to Improve Leadership Agility and Other Top Innovative Management Articles

Every week, we publish an exciting summary of the best articles, videos, events, and posts that relate to innovative management. This week, check out these summaries of 6 GREAT articles that inspire better management. Enjoy!

“You want to free up the abilities of everybody to contribute ideas, because everybody has ideas, and you need to create a climate in which that will happen. The role of a creative leader is not ‘command and control’, it’s more like ‘climate control’.” – Sir Ken Robinson

The Management 2.0 Hackathon: Using the inspiration of the web to hack management

The Management 2.0 Hackathon was designed to deeply explore a simple idea: How can we apply the principles of the Web—which is already adaptable, innovative, and inspiring—and use them to reinvent management for the future?

The Management 2.0 Hackathon, a joint collaborative effort by the MIX, Saba, and the Enterprise 2.0 Conference, was inspired by hacakathons in the world of software development. A management hackathon is a short, intense, coordinated effort to develop useful hacks—innovative ideas or solutions—that can be implemented by organizations to overcome barriers to progress and innovation.

Charisma: who has it, and how to get it

Are you simply born with charisma, or can anyone be taught the art of ‘lighting up a room’?
The word comes from the Greek “gift”, befitting the notion that allure is something you’re born with, and can’t earn. It’s the “It” that differentiated Baroness Thatcher from John Major, George W Bush from John Kerry, Lady Gaga at the O2 from her hundreds of imitators performing to tiny audiences in bar back rooms.
But, as Fox Cabane points out in her new book The Charisma Myth: How Anyone Can Master the Art and Science of Personal Magnetism, it was also the difference between Marilyn Monroe and her alter-ego Norma Jean Baker. In 1955, the film star rode the New York subway, unnoticed by her fellow passengers because, she explained, she had chosen to adopt “Baker” mode. But when she emerged onto the city pavements, she asked an accompanying journalist: “Do you want to see her?” She fluffed her hair, struck a pose.

Suddenly, onlookers reported, magic seemed to flow from her. “That shows that charisma isn’t innate, it can be controlled at will,” Fox Cabane says.

Want to Build Engagement? Be Inclusive

Crowd-sourcing. Co-creation. User-generated content. No matter which of those buzzwords you prefer, the underlying idea is essentially the same: In the world of commercial media, more and more companies are inviting users to help produce the content that they use. What is Facebook, after all, but an immense platform that allows users to operate simultaneously as generators and consumers of information? Or think of the way that most mainstream media outlets now encourage their readers and viewers to submit news tips, video clips, and the like. In short, the line between professional producers and amateur consumers has blurred considerably in recent years.

A similar shift is under way in certain quarters of the business world. Leaders at some companies have begun to include employees — not just senior executives, corporate spokespeople, and other authorized communicators — in the work of telling their company story. "Employee-generated content" is one term for this practice. Our term for it is inclusion, and it's one element of a new leadership model that we call organizational conversation.

Leadership Agility: How to Improve it

The importance of being an agile leader is not a new concept, however mastering it continues to be challenging.

Here are some suggested ways to improve your leadership agility:
  1. Don’t attend meetings that are not critical to your role
  2. Leave cell phone off during work time or check it at specific times – not all the time
  3. Close email temporarily to concentrate on getting your project done
  4. Sign out of Instant Messenger
  5. Don’t take on more responsibilities that prevent you from getting your core work done
  6. Read emails once; act immediately or delete them
  7. Stop micromanaging and doing other people’s work
  8. Avoid over-scheduling yourself
  9. Block out work time on your calendar
  10. Focus on one project at a time
  11. Do not take work home – give yourself time to recharge
  12. Give your attention to the phone call or meeting and quit multitasking
  13. Take your lunch break and give yourself a mental break

The Secret to Powerful Communication in Two Words

If I had to sum up in two words everything I’ve learned in 25 years of work on communications, rhetoric, public speaking, speechwriting, and body language, those two words would be: charismatic storytelling.
Charismatic because in an over-stimulated, impatient world, it’s passion and charisma that get attention. But passion alone doesn’t get you to charisma; that magic ingredient takes a little additional work.
Storytelling, because we’ve already got way too much information to take in, so the only thing we remember these days is stories. And oh yes, that’s the way it has always been.

Dream No Small Dreams

Some people are born with a knack for languages or math, while other folks are gifted artists or natural athletes, and still others are born with financial advantages or “special connections.” BUT, even these advantages don’t guarantee success. Our country is filled with people born with similar gifts, but even the gifted won’t succeed if they don’t exhibit the passion, self-assurance, and the fortitude to pursue their dreams. As someone once said, “Those at the top of the mountain didn’t fall there.”

Yes, some folks have had a head start. They had the basic necessities of life: nurturing parents, access to a good education, wonderful role models to emulate, and an upbringing that embraced good values. Yet the country is also packed with people who did not have these advantages but instead, overcame numerous adversities to realize their dreams.
Be prepared (to work to succeed).
Be persistent.
Be optimistic.
Be honest.
Be yourself.