MANAGING in the

NEW WORLD

Traditionally, management expertise has been considered as a transferable skill from one industry to another. The belief is that leadership skills required across industries would be relatively similar, so someone with a proven track record in one field, can easily transfer the skill somewhere else. This theory though has been lately challenged with several studies contesting that people with specific domain knowledge tend to outperform the generalists, such as hospitals being run by doctors doing better than those run by professional managers. No doubt there exist several skills such as critical thinking, talent management, written and oral communications, motivational skill and problem-solving that transcend domains. But even within these tasks, there remains a vast difference in how one executes the task depending on whether it is a manufacturing concern, political party or hospital. So, for all leadership development or education programmes, two things must be established right from the outset. One is that domain knowledge undoubtedly does matter. Secondly, the management training being provided, must elicit problem solving depending on simulated conditions where specific information on particular industry will be needed. This is all the more crucial now that youngsters are constantly moving on, so not settling down enough to build robust domain knowledge on any specific area.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/11/can-you-be-a-great-leader-without-technical-expertise?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_monthly&utm_campaign=leadership&referral=00206&spMailingID=18515683&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1141760078&spReportId=MTE0MTc2MDA3OAS2

Uploaded Date:24 November 2017

The latest HBR list on best performing CEOs has been released. Unlike several other similar rankings, this business research is more comprehensive as it also looks into the ESG category which includes-Environmental, Social and Governance- and not just financials. Jeff Bezos of Amazon would have topped had it only been for financials as was till 2014, but with ESG accounting for a fifth of the categorization, the topper for the first time was Pablo Isla, the CEO of Inditex which is the mother company behind several retail brands such as Zara, Massimo Dutti, Oysho and Bershka. Inditex’s global expansion has been phenomenal, leading to an average of a store a day being opened on way to becoming the leading brand from Spain. The list shows great consistency with the two of the top three remaining the same, and sixteen being retained among the top quartile. Seventy-two among the hundred are repeats, while twenty-three are appearing for a fourth successive year. Of this list, thirty-two are engineering grads while twenty-nine possess an MBA degree. The average age to be a CEO it seems is forty-four, while a fifth of the total number are leading companies from outside their countries of birth.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/11/the-best-performing-ceos-in-the-world-2017?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_monthly&utm_campaign=leadership&referral=00206&spMailingID=18515683&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1141760078&spReportId=MTE0MTc2MDA3OAS2

Uploaded Date:24 November 2017

Over the last one year, several global giants in their respective fields such as Coca-Cola and China Petroleum have changed their CEOs. These companies and several others have made the change due to their reasoning that the older style of management is no longer conducive to the expected disruption across industries. Organizational transformation could be on the business model, operations, work culture, corporate strategy or hierarchy. It is not comprised of a series of incremental changes, but a complete reboot that needs to be sustainable while altering the future course. The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has been through more than seven hundred such business transformations in recent years, so certain insights have emerged on why some of them have been successful. One tactic followed across the board is that CEOs must strike a balance between near-term and future objectives. Transformative CEOs must also be able to reset investor expectations to be on the bolder side. A clear purpose must be in place for why the efforts must go towards the change. Digitization and agility should be part of the process. The talent recruitment by the CEO must aim at diversity especially towards the top end of the hierarchy. The leadership style must be inclusive of all and be hands-on towards the execution. The study also suggests that almost all entities require a rejig of some sort or the other. Winners may be separated from the others through a set of predictable factors. Usually external hires tend to do better at transformation than internal promotes. During this transformative journey, a sideways glance must be cast continuously on the revenue growth as well. Finally, the CEO must adopt a four-part strategy. These parts will include the preparation for the journey, arranging for its funds, constant improvisation for the future and organizing a sustainable route for long-term performance.

Source:https://www.bcg.com/en-in/publications/2017/transformations-people-organization-that-work-why.aspx

Uploaded Date:23 November 2017

Failure at work and broadly in life may be divided into three stages. They are the failures of tactics, strategy and vision. The tactical failures may also be categorized as the ‘How’ fails. In order to rectify this stage, one needs to record the process to get valuable business intelligence on reasons for the same. The final results must be evaluated against desired outcomes. Once this is done, a review is a must so the tactics may be altered. The second is the failure at corporate strategy. To do it better, it needs to be launched quickly, so as not to linger on an idea. As there may be unforeseen hurdles, the pilot must be relatively inexpensive so as not to commit too much of resource. Since time is previous, so failed initiatives need be revised rapidly as executed by Nintendo, Starbucks and 37 Signals. The failure at vision can question every known ounce of conventional wisdom as done long back by Ralph Waldo Emerson. To fix this, a reassessment needs to be made on life and how things can be improvised. One needs to fix aspects which are non-negotiable so will remain solid values throughout life and career. Criticism must be taken openly, as a way of fixing failures rather than by getting defensive. A last failure not yet discussed is the one of opportunity. If not grasped at the right time, they may go begging.

Source:https://www.entrepreneur.com/amphtml/278056

Uploaded Date:23 November 2017

A lot of companies are struggling at the art of being consumerists. While most companies remain pretty adept at going out and conducting research on their customer base, few of them are deriving meaningful business intelligence out of such exercises to forge some sort of competitive edge. Neuroscience is a field that is proving to be helpful in this regard. It requires a certain hypothesis to be developed before any study. This hypothesis must however not be so hardwired that the company cannot shake off the assumptions, even when they prove to be false. Consumers often do not really know what they want, as famously quipped by Henry Ford on the people wanting a better horse than a car. So directly asking the people does not always solve the issue. Instead innovative companies need to take decisions on the available data.

Source: http://innovationexcellence.com/blog/2017/11/05/the-art-of-strategic-observation/

Uploaded Date:16 November 2017

In the 1970s, Xerox pioneered a concept known as Employee Resource Groups (ERGs) where all the out-groups or historically excluded ones would get additional funding towards their efforts at greater equality. This included groups such as women, religious minorities, immigrants or the LGBTQ community. While most of these were successful to quite an extent, the overlying benefits could not be reached as even today the in-groups of white straight men tend to dominate the large corporate groups. That is why business consulting group Deloitte has taken on the initiative of educating the in-groups towards increasing diversity. As the talent pool in the US has changed, it is time for a rethink and the ERGs were seen as an anachronism. Increasing number of leaders are organically coming up who are women or immigrants, so the traditional majority is becoming a minority in some cases. The in-groups still remain in power and the future of more members of the out-group reaching the top echelons continues to be dictated by the latter. So the need to provide diversity lessons to the in-group as identified by Deloitte.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/08/deloittes-radical-attempt-to-reframe-diversity?utm_medium=email&utm_source=newsletter_daily&utm_campaign=dailyalert&referral=00563&spMailingID=17792212&spUserID=OTY0OTMwNTk5NwS2&spJobID=1080216301&spReportId=MTA4MDIxNjMwMQS2

Uploaded Date: 27 October 2017

Liberal Arts or Humanities students often get asked about what they wish to pursue in their respective careers. It is often wrongly assumed there are very few career choices after this. Yet a cursory glance at today’s requirements clearly confirms that not only is it a highly sought after a vocation, indeed people with knowledge of such fields actually have an edge in the digital age. In the past it was assumed that to get a job in the tech industry, one had to be from one of the STEM fields. Now a lot of previously difficult tasks can be done using online tools such as programming from Git Hub. While economists often underestimate cultural factors behind decision making, humanities grads have deep insights on human nature and a resultant empathy. Reading literature helps people in understand specifics as opposed to others treating people as mere abstractions. A management consulting expert has written the book Sense-making where he has illustrated the importance of understanding people to gain a foothold in the market. That explains why a lot of organizations such as Airbnb, Facebook, Alibaba, Slack and YouTube were founded by Liberal Arts majors. Ultimately Inter-disciplinary studies can only be beneficial for businesses and larger human problems.

Source:https://hbr.org/2017/07/liberal-arts-in-the-data-age

Uploaded Date:21 October 2017

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