Thursday, August 16, 2012

Building Trust, Innovating, and Must-read Books

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 7 GREAT articles that inspire better management. Enjoy!


How Leaders Build Trust*

Companies with high levels of trust enjoy higher stock prices, improved profits, and better retention of key employees. Here's what trustworthy companies do to strengthen ties.
Trust me. When's the last time you actually believed those words on the job? If your answer is a long time ago, you're not alone. In fact, many people instinctively recoil from those two words--especially when uttered by business leaders or professional colleagues.

A sign of the times, perhaps, but there's a ray of hope--good news, in fact, for leaders looking to make quick progress in building trust in their organizations.

25 Books the Most Successful Microsoft Leaders Read and Do

Here’s the top 10
  1. Blue Ocean: How to Create Uncontested Market Space and Make Competition Irrelevant, by W. Chan Kim and Renee Mauborgne
  2.  Business Model Generation: A Handbook for Visionaries, Game Changers, and Challengers, by Alexander Osterwalder and Yves Pigneur
  3. Consumption Economics: The New Rules of Tech, by J.B. Wood, Tood Hewlin, and Thomas Lah
  4. Crucial Conversations, by Kerry Patterson, Joseph Grenny, Ron McMillan, and Al Switzler
  5. Dealing with People You Can't Stand, Dr. Rick Brinkman and Dr. Rick Kirschner
  6. Emotional Intelligence, by Daniel Goleman
  7. Flawless Execution, by James D. Murphy
  8. Get Them on Your Side, by Samuel B. Bacharach
  9. Go Put Your Strengths to Work: 6 Powerful Steps to Achieve Outstanding Performance, by Marcus Buckingham
  10. Good to Great, by Jim Collins


What I’ve learned about bees, leadership, and life

Some of the lessons …learned from keeping bees are:

  • The pace is frenetic and picks up when there is an emergency.   Lead at one level below chaos.
  • Worker bees want to touch the queen every three days Being known, appreciated, and successful is important to individuals in an organization.
  • You may be a complete individual, but you are also a social being.  We are social beings, wanting to belong and be a part of a greater good.
  • Some bees learn to rob other hives of honey. Don’t wait, get busy or get out and get on.
  • If a hive isn’t cared for, the bees will move on.
  • Leaders who create a successful organization and who express their genuine appreciation for their followers generally are more successful. Are you tired of or embarrassed by any employees? How are you making them successful and appreciated?

Can You Truly MultiTask? *

Start training yourself to focus on one task at a time and you'll be surprised at how productive you really can be.
After decades of using the term "multitasking" as a positive on resumes and in our personal lives, recent research shows that we just can't do it. Literally. Not just we shouldn't, but we can't. Multiple studies confirm that because the brain focuses on concepts sequentially and not on two things at once, it must disengage from one activity in order to engage in another — and it takes several tenths of a second for the brain to make this switch.

The Collaborative Organization

ChangeThis – and Download
“The use of these new social and collaborative technologies and strategies are being deployed and implemented to solve many of these problems within the enterprise today. But, collaboration doesn’t just benefit employees while they are at work, it also benefits them in their personal lives as well. Imagine being able to connect and engage employees so that their lives at work are easier. What do you think would happen to employees if we improved their work life? I believe that collaboration at work will improve the lives of employees outside of work. Employees will feel less stressed about the work they do, will be more passionate about their work, will understand how their contributions impact the organization as a whole, will be able to connect with their coworkers around topics of interest and passion, and will be able to work from multiple physical locations. Yes, all these things mean that employees will have more time to spend with their family and less time stressing about and worrying about what’s going on at work.

While this message is great and powerful, I realize that it was not enough for leaders and executives. No, leaders and executives need more than that. The only way to make an idea an action is to put business value, strategy, and tactics behind it.”

The Seven Deadly Sins of Innovation Leaders

The sole purpose of a business is to grow. This can take on many dimensions – profits, revenues, market share, brand or community influence just to name a few. The road to growth is very simple. Innovation is required to drive growth. You make something better or new (products, services, solutions, etc.) and you sell to someone better or new (markets, segments, channels, etc.). Basically that’s it the rest is just fine print.
It sounds easy enough but of course it isn’t. This is because there are seven underlying issues, deadly sins if you will, that make leading innovation difficult and completely different from everything else you do in your business. But there is hope—simple things you can do to avoid the anguish and misery that often accompany the wide range of chaotic activities that produce valuable innovation.

  1. First Deadly Sin: Believing You Can See the Future
  2. Second Deadly Sin: Choosing Big Over Fast
  3. Third Deadly Sin: Mistaking Your Managers for Innovators
  4. Fourth Deadly Sin: Having More Ambition than Capability
  5. Fifth Deadly Sin – Starting at the Center and Moving Out
  6. Sixth Deadly Sin: Listening to the Wrong Customers
  7. Seventh Deadly Sin: Failing to Connect the Dots

How to go from being an Up-and-Comer to having “Made It”


  1. You can find mentors in the most unexpected places.
  2.  Even mentors can use a little mentoring.
  3. Above all else, stay true to you.
  4. Everything you need to know, you’ve probably already heard.
  5. Get down to business and use the tools at your disposal.
After connecting with DailyCandy editor-in-chief Ashley Parrish about how they select the winners of “Start Small, Go Big,” competition I appreciate the uncommon sense and directional simplicity of the questions entrants have to answer (which are below). Whether you plan to start small and go big, you’re a passionate startup, or a multimillion dollar household brand, the following five questions are applicable and a good reality check:

  1. The world needs my business because?
  2. My big idea moment was?
  3. My greatest challenge so far has been?
  4. The most creative business solution I’ve used so far is… and the outcome was?
  5. As a small business owner, I’ve had to think outside the box, and a specific example is?