“Fit to Compete – Why Honest Conversations about Your Company’s Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy” – by Michael Beer – a Harvard Business Review Press Book
Another strategy receipt book? Not quite – the author is addressing a rather lateral topic on the hot strategy area. Organisational change towards agility and responsiveness is by far more read about than implemented. However, Michael Beer plans to change the order – by writing a book that is set to change the rules. “Fit to Compete” will transform the way the leaders should steer their businesses if they want to go for improved results.
Interestingly enough, “Fit to Compete” became extremely topical 9 months after its publication. With the dramatic economic impact of the coronavirus, the organisations are navigating uncharted waters. Almost no company operates now under normal conditions. That’s why I strongly believe that Beer’s honest conversations approach (and his other dozen recommendations) are now needed more than ever. Companies struggle to survive and mange their cash flows. This is the moment when unleashing the wild ideas and energy of your employees and collaborators looks more appropriate than ever. No leader or smart board of directors can manage such an economic reality in an conventional way. Employees need to be mobilized at their best if they are to contribute to the companies survival. And of course, the crisis offers s natural opportunity for fast and agile organisational changes…Read More »“Fit to Compete – Why Honest Conversations about Your Company’s Capabilities Are the Key to a Winning Strategy” – by Michael Beer – a Harvard Business Review Press Book
“Parents Who Lead – The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent wih Purpose, Fuel Your Career and Create a Richer Life” – a HBR Press Book Review
Before we become leaders, we are family members. Or is it the other way around? In their new book, Alyssa F. Westring and Stewart D. Friedman take their total leadership concept to a new level. “Parents Who Lead” transfer their Total Leadership concept inversely – from the he private into the worklives. The authors look at our values, what we put first in our private lives – and asknus to transfer this experiwnce in the work hours.
Sounds easy, right? After all, what is so difficult in trying to convince your colleague (who acts like a spoiled toddler) on the necessity of doing a task before all others? And it should be easy to show your boss how great you are when you constantly exceed your sales targets – by giving more than average discounts?
In practice, we are not leaving in an ideal world. And neither are companies. The projects are muddled with uncertainty, markets are changing constantly… And children grow continuously. So all in all, an ever changing game. So how do we stay ahead?
Alyssa F. Westring and Stewart D. Friedman argue that key to this is to persistently pursue the “four-win way” – moving from managing a zero sum game. We are constantly pursuing incremental gains in our lives – trying to do a little extra for our childr n, careers, goals and ourselves. It does not have to be a his way – and “Parents Who Lead” propose several specific tools to achieve this.Read More »“Parents Who Lead – The Leadership Approach You Need to Parent wih Purpose, Fuel Your Career and Create a Richer Life” – a HBR Press Book Review
“The Real Business of Blockchain – How Leaders Can Create Value in a New Digital Age”- an HBR Press Book Review
Blockchain seems to be a hot technology for various sectors: financial services, as well as long logistics chains and a host of other industries are putting in research efforts. The subtitle of the book (“How Leaders Can Create Value in a Digital Age”) points to a different direction. It looks ahead of the curve, at the moment and the applications of the Blockchain. Authors David Furlonger and Christophe Uzureau (both of Gartner, the world-renowned research and advisory company) look at the how the blockchain can really add value to a business – beyond the hype.
“The Real Business of Blockchain” is full of real world examples, from companies in the logistics/shipping sector (Maersk) to more mundane consumer goods ones (McDonalds or Starbucks). Wherever you have a lot of transactions with a material impact in the customer satisfaction, blockchain should come into play. After all, the cryptocurrencies promise secure, online and certified exchanges, based on the participants’ efforts. Why should not the modern companies use this promise?
“The Real Business of Blockchain” should not be mistaken for a shallow book. Based on serious research, it looks at all of the important aspects of the cryptocurrencies. For example, the 5 elements that make blockchain stand out are clearly spelled out and analyzed:Read More »“The Real Business of Blockchain – How Leaders Can Create Value in a New Digital Age”- an HBR Press Book Review
Agile methodologies implementations look deceptively simple. You take an organization, reset its’ ways it adds value, empower and support teams with resources and voila – you are rolling! “Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos” takes the agile to a new level, by using the wealth of knowledge available to one of the most astute consultants nowadays – Bain & Co.
One of the most widespread myths is that agile can be applied anytime, in almost every organization and – critical point – to all the processes at once. You probably guessed – this is wrong.
Agile is not a magic universal wand – and cannot be applied indiscriminately to everything. !“Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos” argues for a sensible balance between resources, customers specifications and the talent pool. Every organization has a natural tension between running smoothly its operations – and carefuly changing them via innovation. Agile should not be the ultimate goal – after all, it represents rather a pathway towards highly efficient operations.
The authors themselves went through the classical hypes and downs of the agile method. Darrel Rigby, as the head of Bain & Company’s global innovation practice, consulted and researched for many organizations what agile can achieve. On the other side, Sarah Elk, as the head of the firm’s Operating Model practice, is in a position to argue for the importance of a stable operations constellation. Steven H. Berez bridges the two worlds with his Information Technology practice experience. All three authors manage to do an interesting act of balance and bring very different points at table – with nice results.Read More »“Doing Agile Right: Transformation Without Chaos” – a HBR Press Book Review
“Bring Your Brain to Work – Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do it Well and Advance Your Career” by Art Markman – a HBR Press Book Review
Art Markman brings a new twist to a very hot topic – how to succeed in today’s fiercely competitive environment. As professionals, we are facing more and more often various questions: how do you cope with the unknown variables when interviewing for a job? How do you find the signs signalling it is time to move on your career? How does your boss think about your salary raise request?
There are many books on the market dealing generally with these topics. “Bring Your Brain to Work” tries to approach them from a different perspective.
The book draws on the modern cognitive science principles to support 3 major areas of our personal development: how to get a job, how to be promoted and how to advance your career. Whilst “Bring Your Brain to Work” has some good theory within, its goal is mostly practical. Art Markman takes a study case, logical approach to each of the above mentioned topics and dissects them one by one.Read More »“Bring Your Brain to Work – Using Cognitive Science to Get a Job, Do it Well and Advance Your Career” by Art Markman – a HBR Press Book Review
As an executive coach, Amy Jen Su brings to HBR a different perspective to personal development. Her experience with professionals around the globe, from middle management to the C level, led her to write “The Leader You Want to Be”. An interesting title, which turns upside down the classical personal development philosophy. Why? Usually the managers are oriented towards the organizational objectives – so they would try to mold themselves based on the organization’s culture, goals and pressures. Amy Jen Su advises on a different starting point in your re-invention journey. That point is coming from a reflection on your own values and strengths – and how one can leverage them to increase the impact. No need to say that this represents a fairly different approach to the classical career ladder one.Read More »“The Leader You Want to Be” by Amy Jen Su – a HBR Press Book Review