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April 9, 2009

News & Opinion: ChangeThis: Issue 57

By: Dylan Schleicher @ 2:21 PM – Filed under: Management & Workplace Culture

The 57th issue of ChangeThis has been published for your perusal and enjoyment. Excerpts and links below.
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Hit the Ground Running by Jason Jennings
"Taking charge has never been easy.
New leaders are expected to diagnose correctly, land on a brilliant strategy, pull together a powerful team, and inspire everyone to execute. Unfortunately, long lead times are gone. The months that leaders used to get for pondering, debating, or hiring outside consultants has shrunk to days.
New leaders are expected stop the bleeding, decide who's in and who's out, make the strategic choices, and start racking up their wins right away. Shareholders, employees, customers, and communities believe that if you're tapped to lead you'd better be able to hit the ground running from day one.
I started looking for a database of dos and don'ts for new leaders learned the hard way through years of trial and error and discovered there's virtually no reliable data available. Ninety-three percent of executives admit that their organization has never kept any records of the steps that led to their best or worst management decisions.
So I started from scratch."
Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.
Calling All Corporate Couch Potatoes: Put Down the Doritos and Get Moving! Or, How Managers Can Succeed in Uncertain Times by Jeanne Liedtka
"I am convinced that a good many of the 'survival strategies' that organizations are adopting are just wrong. Tragically wrong. For more than three years, my colleagues and I have been studying a set of managers who successfully grew their businesses in the face of uncertainty and scarcity. And they taught us an alternative path—a road less traveled—that suggests that growth needn't come with a high price tag and lots of risk. Their approach is custom made for today's climate of risk-aversion and limited capital. It may sound counterintuitive at first—and you've got to be willing to entertain a different view of reality to understand it. But once you've wrapped your head around this different worldview—this 'alternative reality'—you'll wonder why you didn't see it sooner.
[...]
Your biggest challenge is not to find a way to trim another 10% off your work force; it is to make dealing with instability your sweet spot; to hone your ability to leverage surprise and uncertainty rather than just react. In doing so, you just might find a new set of possibilities that wouldn't exist in a stable, predictable world. Opportunities that you'd never find sitting on that couch."
Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.
Righteous Anger: "Mad as Hell" at "Greed is Good" by Robert J. Bies & Thomas M. Tripp
"It is easy to wallow in the magnitude of the current catastrophe. But to prevent the next catastrophe, we must examine how and why the fall occurred. After all, the best solution is not to pad the ground, but to prevent the slip—more accurately, to prevent the many slips that culminate in the final slip before the fall. Corporate leaders have slipped, repeatedly. And finally—inevitably—they fell, hard. On us. After so many slips and slides, they should have seen the fall was coming, and done something about it.
But they didn't, and so here we are. So, what's next? How do leaders prevent the next slip? That is, what can leaders do to defuse the current anger and lessen its likelihood in the future? The answer is to treat people fairly, and when that fails, rebuild the trust.
Sounds too simple? It's not, but it is basic. This is why when the cynics and critics say that that is warmed-over recommendations from the past, we reply: Go back to basics; we know what works. In fact, what got us in this mess were leaders ignoring those tried-and-true basics."
Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.
Built To Fade: The Advent of the Biodegradable Brand by John Dumbrille
"I might feel good about myself as I sip on a mouthful of 'green' this or that, but this sanctimoniousness should be seen as more than an innocuous behavioral tic. The diversion of attention into a me-brand-good pseudo experience, the holy grail of brand building, is actually part of the problem.
When green brands manage to nurture egocentric self-cherishing among its users through packaging and advertising, a fundamental, environmental disjoin has taken place."
Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.
The Recognition Microscope: Fuel for Human Acceleration by Adrian Gostick & Chester Elton
"Can recognition be analyzed under a microscope?
Categorized here as a business manifesto, you might assume that recognition ROI—what we call the return on 'Carrots'—would be the first order of conversation. In other words, how purpose-based recognition can boost your bottom line, motivate employees to achieve, and create high-performance teams. And, because most readers here are searching for quick, easy to execute applications, you may even assume that a prescriptive 'how-to' focus should warrant an initial discussion. Or, maybe even more to the point, scientific research should be presented to qualify the case for the most effective human performance accelerant in existence—recognition. The ROI is astounding. The application is easily trainable. And, now there's global research proving that recognition accelerates human performance to a level beyond comparison in every culture studied—the impact has no boundaries, and the way humans respond to recognition reveals an outstanding driver of performance. All that said, the most revealing analysis under the microscope must begin within ourselves—the results of which we can all qualify, quantify, and measure."
Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.
The Corporate Guy and His Quest for Success by Steven Mark Stone
For the first time in history, the lives of hundreds of millions of people around the world are tethered securely to one big honkin' global economic engine. But, do we really want a life strapped to a high octane go-fast engine? Or is it something else entirely that we're after? "The Corporate Guy" takes an honest look at his life in the corporate world and finds 7 Secrets to Success and Happiness.
"There was this young Corporate Guy,
And all of him was neatly pressed.
All except his Walking Hat,
Which was very old, soft and wrinkled.
He loved his Walking Hat,
But he didn't wear this hat very often anymore.
These days, he wears mighty fine, high gloss, spit shine,
On his black wing-tip shoes, like Executives wear."
Click here to visit the site.
Click here to download the PDF.

About Dylan Schleicher


Dylan Schleicher has been a part of the 800-CEO-READ claque since 2003. Even though he's stayed on at the company, he has not stayed put. After beginning in shipping & receiving, he joined customer service and accounting before moving into his current, highly elliptical orbit of duties overseeing the ChangeThis and In the Books websites, the company's annual review of books and in-house design. He lives with his wife and two children in the Washington Heights neighborhood on Milwaukee's West Side.