How the new leadership learns from those with a stake in their success.

How it was

The relationship between leader and followers has changed over the past 50-years and is still changing. Leaders used to command-and-control workers, who were seen to be basically lazy, having to be told exactly what to do, and motivated only by security and money.  Leaders had top-down authority and a tight rein on workers who could not be trusted to do good work without control.

In the ‘70s and ‘80s more democratic models emerged. Workers were seen as responsible and motivated to do a good job, even without tight controls, punishment, and reward. This led to a less rigid leader-follower relationship, one more focused on creating happier, productive workers. The tools for doing that, however, were unclear.

The New Leadership

Over the past decade or two, there has been even more change in how leadership is viewed. We see more emphasis now on a leader’s capacity to build and sustain an inclusive and high-trust relationship with a loyal, capable, and motivated followership. Continue reading How the new leadership learns from those with a stake in their success.

Preview, and join, discussion on how to frame and drive sales in a services business.

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Leaders of services businesses are often so busy either delivering their services or hustling to land their next client that they never get around to building a systematic way to deliver more value to current clients.

The best service business leaders create an unfair advantage by assigning engagement leaders to deliver on target, on time, and on budget to create satisfied clients and lay the groundwork for delivering more — much more — services. Leaders should develop explicit goals to extend, expand, and find new opportunities to deliver extraordinary value to their clients with the most growth potential.

Continue reading Preview, and join, discussion on how to frame and drive sales in a services business.

How three levels of human identity can be used to build relationships that work across difference.

Alliances_Across_Difference_CoverThe business case for Diversity and Inclusion programs in organizations has been building for decades. The increasingly global nature of business leaves us with an ever greater need to integrate cross-cultural skills and competencies into multiple levels of system in organizations across the world. As a result, education and change management plans that help leaders, managers and staff navigate their differences and use them to achieve better business results are more and more common.

Consequently the need has never been greater for organizations to have common language and frameworks to help individuals understand the complexities of communication dynamics posed by working across social group identities such as age, ability, gender, culture, class, race, sexual orientation, socioeconomic status, and more.

In her article Alliances Across Difference: Useful strategies for building effective relationships across difference,” Amber Mayes illustrates two critical foundational concepts: Levels of Human Identity and Social Power and Group Dynamics. As a consultant for over 15 years, she has used these concepts with leaders across sectors, industries and geographies to resolve conflict and unleash the power of diversity in organizations. Continue reading How three levels of human identity can be used to build relationships that work across difference.

Better Risk Data: Regulatory Mandate and Strategic Opportunity

Ray's coverBackground

It is well known that firms with inadequate systems for managing risk are liable to suffer serious breakdowns that interrupt operations and cost the companies dearly in terms of fines, remediation efforts, and damage to their reputations. But firms’ risk management systems are only as good as the data fed into them. What of firms that pay attention to the wrong metrics, employ error-prone data-collection practices, or rely on otherwise misleading data to manage their risks?

Approach

Better Risk Data: Regulatory Mandate and Strategic Opportunity, an article written by Promontory Financial Group’s Ray Strecker, Yoko Otani, and Stacy Coleman,  focuses on U.S. and global banking regulators’ increasing expectation that financial firms bolster their risk management by improving how they collect, manage, and assess data. But these best data practices for the financial sector are broadly applicable to firms, in every industry, that need to negotiate complex risks. This article demonstrates that firms should incorporate forward-looking, data-driven risk assessments into their routines of doing business. Continue reading Better Risk Data: Regulatory Mandate and Strategic Opportunity

How rational actors can reach agreement.

Thesis: In the face of the same data, two rational people will make the same decision.

Implication: When two people disagree on something it is likely that there is something one knows that the other does not.

Strategy: When two people disagree, each should strive to reveal what is relevant that s/he knows and that the other does not until both know everything that the other knows.

Conclusion: Agreement should be reached if both are rational; that is, neither is acting based on self-interest, emotion, fear, etc.

Implication: When you reach an impasse with someone on an important matter, reflect on what is important that you know that the other party might not know and offer to share it. Similarly, ask the other party what s/he knows that is important that you may not know. Continue reading How rational actors can reach agreement.

Market Lead Position Description

An organization counts on a Market Leader to:

  • Build and work with a top team to develop, maintain, and drive to achieve an annual plan for a well-defined portfolio of current and targeted customers.
  • Connect with established and emerging customers to develop a point of view as to where the market is and where it should go and then proactively and systematically drive towards those ends.
  • Develop, hold, and communicate a clear understanding of their organization, market, competition, partners, and market trends.

Over the course of a performance period, the organization counts on a Market Leader to always be able to present: Continue reading Market Lead Position Description

How to Drive Elite C-Suite Performance

In a traditional performance evaluation, someone is assigned to compile and review with each executive a summary of her/his strengths, contributions, growth, and opportunities for improvement. The traditional process has many weaknesses which are summarized in this article recently published by Flevy.com, such as:

  • Compiling a quality performance assessment is difficult; consequently it often gets put off to be done at the last minute but it also takes time to do a good job and time runs out.
  • Assessment content tends to be arbitrary based on ability, skills, and perspective of the reviewer and may not represent the best thinking or interests of the team.
  • Reviewers tend to avoid raising and dealing with tough matters that should be addressed aggressively because it is uncomfortable and they are not trained or motivated to do otherwise.

Continue reading How to Drive Elite C-Suite Performance