Archives For Leadership

I honestly believe that in this day and age of information ubiquity and nanosecond change, teamwork remains the one sustainable competitive advantage that has been largely untapped. I can say confidently that teamwork is almost always lacking within organizations that fail and often present within those that succeed.

Patrick Lencioni, Teamwork as a Competitive Advantage

Evan Fry and Dan Swartz – Taken by Fast Company

“There is an art” writes Rae Ann Fera of Fast Company, “to getting the most out of your teams of creative professionals. When the job is to conjure the next brilliant idea out of thin air, against deadline, via a combination of inspiration, hard work, experience, intuition, and confidence, getting the best work out of creative people on a consistent and efficient basis can be tricky business.”

Fera outlines 10 tips that Evan Fry and Dave Swartz put into practice in their roles of managing creatives at Crispin Porter + Bogusky:

  1. Set the Bar
  2. Identify and Leverage Traits of Individuals
  3. Cater to Strengths
  4. Keep Your Hands Dirty
  5. Suggest–But Don’t Necessarily Impose–a Process
  6. Create Healthy Confusion
  7. Encourage Switching Off to Switch On
  8. Keep Them Reproducing
  9. Make Retention a Conscious Choice
  10. Know When To–And Be Able To–Speak The Tough Truth.

Our atmosphere today is a digital one. These are therefore helpful guidelines for any organization regardless of one’s industry.

Read the full article here.

The good-to-great companies are more like hedgehogs – simple, dowdy creatures that know “one big thing” and stick to it. The comparison companies are more like foxes – crafty, cunning creatures that know many things yet lack consistency.

Jim Collins, Good to Great, p. 119

The Harvard Business Review listed a great post on failure on Monday. Scott Edinger, a consultant and the author of the article, principles for how to respond to failure well. I particularly enjoyed his first point: “Acknowledge the failure and put it in perspective.” This is much easier said and understood than obeyed. Edinger explains his point well,

You can’t begin to bounce back from a mistake if you don’t admit you’ve made it. As obvious as it sounds, it’s clearly not always easy to do. Research shows that owning up to their mistakes is the key factor separating those who handle failure well from those who don’t. Those who were derailed perseverated and didn’t talk to others about it. They made little attempt to rectify the consequences. Those who weren’t derailed did the opposite: They admitted their mistakes, accepted responsibility, and then took steps to fix the problem. And afterwards, they proceeded to forget about it and move on.

Edinger’s four other points are as follows:

Look for causes, not blame.

Before you wrack your brain to think up an appropriate response, take a break.

Get some help.

Refocus your efforts and take action.

Read the whole post here.