Successful Leaders Don’t Need to be Present by Stephan De Villiers


http://switchandshift.com

If you’ve not read Stephan’s writings then welcome. For 21st century leaders, the over dependence on managers to make decisions is a bottleneck to progress. Though it may keep change resistant managers happy, it leaves many dissatisfied. Stephan offers up some insights to move away from the staleness inherent in inflated importance. This is part one of two.

If Your People are not Thinking, You are Failing as a Leader

Meet Gary.  He is the leader of a small organization and a very “hands on” guy.  He makes a point of knowing about every single detail in the organization and gets involved in the detail 90% of the time.  He further prides himself in his problem solving abilities. He is the “go to guy” and likes the fact that people look up to him when they have a problem. He gets involved in all the decision making processes in the organization.  In his mind he plays a vital role in solving problems and making important decisions.  Gary is convinced he is a very effective leader and his contribution plays an important role in the success of the organization.

Making People Dependant

The sad truth is Gary is not a very effective leader.  The way he leads people creates a culture of dependence on him as leader in the organization.  This results in people not thinking anymore, becoming lazy to solving problems and losing confidence to make decisions on their own.  Through his behaviour Gary stifles the creative genius of the people he leads.  By not affording them the opportunity to think and come up with solutions to problems and challenges, he has made them dependant.

Gary is not only doing the organization a disservice, but himself as well.  By focussing so much on solving other people’s problems, he neglects development areas in his personal leadership, such as coaching and setting direction.  He spends most of his time involved in problem solving mode, stealing time he could have spent more productively.

Successful Leaders Don’t Need to be Present

Successful leadership means your followers don’t need you around for them to be productive.  They can operate without you.  Once you set the direction, they move on their own accord towards the goal.  This means as leader you can spend your time on motivating, coaching and course correcting.  A successful leader allows people to make their own decisions.  It means they must be able to face problems and come up with solutions, without involving the leader in the process of getting to the solution. To achieve this, people in the organization must think for themselves.

People need to be trained to think. It may sound strange, because doesn’t thinking come rather naturally? The truth is very few people actually learn to think in terms of problem solving. Thinking skills like lateral thinking, thinking out of the box and analytical thinking, unfortunately does not come without training.

As a leader it is your job to help people to develop these skills. At first it will take a lot of effort and will not be easy, especially if your organization has a culture of dependency. It will also take effort from your side, because you will have to trust people to come up with solutions and make the right decisions. You will have to deal with wrong decisions and mistakes as part of the growing pains.

Being available as coach to guide and give advice will become your primary function during this transition. The good news is there is a process you can follow to make it easier to train people in their thinking processes.

The Think Training Process… Leer más “Successful Leaders Don’t Need to be Present by Stephan De Villiers”

The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day

What We Learn When We Audit Our Work

Taking all five types of work into perspective, we can audit our day and the types of work we engage in most.

My typical day includes 2-5 types of work, with the majority being Reactionary Work. I hate to admit it, but I find that Reactionary Work constantly bleeds over into my efforts to schedule myself (Planning Work) and the deep thinking required to solve problems (Problem-Solving Work).

I also find that, between nearly any type of work, I usually slip into a period of Reactionary Work that may include surfing the top of my email inbox, or a period of Insecurity Work, which usually comes in the form of scanning Twitter messages about our business.


http://the99percent.com
by Scott Belsky
Illustration: Oscar Ramos Orozco
Hacking work is all the rage these days, along with tips for managing email, taking notes, and running meetings. But, at a higher level, what can we learn from analyzing the different types of work we do and how we allocate our time?First, let’s take a look at the five kinds of work we do every day:

1. Reactionary Work
In the modern age, most of our day is consumed by Reactionary Work, during which we are focused only on responding to messages and requests – emails, text messages, Facebook messages, tweets, voicemails, and the list goes on. You are constantly reacting to what comes into you rather than being proactive in what matters most to you. Reactionary Work is necessary, but you can’t let it consume you.

2. Planning Work >>> Leer más “The 5 Types of Work That Fill Your Day”

Create a Buzz on LinkedIn — Without Buzzwords

Instead of stuffing your profile with buzzwords, use the new year as an excuse to clean out your profile and improve the way in which you showcase yourself. Highlight your skills, previous roles you’ve had and recommendations from those who’ve worked closely with you as key starting points to a better LinkedIn profile.


Melanie Wright | http://socialmediatoday.com

Since it’s early in the year and many of you have made resolutions to really use your LinkedIn profiles this year, we thought it would be a good idea to go over what NOT to do.

This past December, LinkedIn posted a blog that listed the top 10 overused buzzwords in LinkedIn profiles in the United States. At first glance, it’s easy to see how users get confused with the term “buzzword.” After all, it does sound like a good thing to use them to set you apart from the crowd. Unfortunately, that’s not the case.

According to LinkedIn the top 10 most overused buzzwords in 2011 were:

Stop the FAQ Page Bandage

Where Did the FAQ Page Come From?

We can look at the FAQ page as one of the early and rudimentary conceptualizations of user-centered websites. The FAQ page was the webmaster’s (that’s what they called themselves back in the day) only way to address the needs of the masses. Before Twitter, Facebook, or even contact forms, users who had questions about a site or a piece of information were simply and sadly out of luck.

The only thing that stood between them and giving up was a list of questions sites always seemed to have; and maybe, just maybe, their question would be included in the list.

In the days of the early web, the FAQ page was a powerful tool for keeping site visitors happy. And while the web has certainly evolved since then, for the most part, the FAQ page has not.


by Jason Gross
http://sixrevisions.com/user-interface/stop-the-faq-page-bandage/

Stop the FAQ Page Bandage

The evolution of the web and the way in which we design for it has brought around all kinds of patterns, standards and best practices. Sites have a relatively uniform information structure: We always start with a home page (also known as the front page or index page) as the default page, and we’ll have common pages such as a contact page, an about page, and so forth.

A lot of sites will have a web page dedicated to problem-solving, giving answers to frequently asked questions (FAQ). In a time where interactivity between the site operator and site visitors is at the forefront, and a time where site analytics allow us to know more about user behavior than ever before — has the FAQ page, been left behind? Leer más “Stop the FAQ Page Bandage”

Problem Solving Skills Different Than Intelligence

Professor Mylonadis suspects that the reason that our problem-solving ability in management is limited is because our models of problem-solving are devoid of people while actual problem-solving isn’t. As useful as a decision tree might be as an analytical abstraction, the issue is how do you actually define a problem with the help of others around you? Who should these people be? What kind of input should you be asking from them? Which part of that input should you disregard? Which part of that input should you take into account?

He says further, “If you look at engineering or architecture the ability of people to explain the problem they’re working on, and ask questions so they can get feedback is very high without their need to resort to either dogma or trivia. They are helped by reference to blueprints which are a highly codified way of communicating. Our equivalent in management is jargon. Like blueprints, jargon was invented to make our exchanges efficient (we all know what is meant by a “functional organization”.) But the analogy to the blueprint ends when jargon becomes meaningless. It is also a sure way of eradicating any arguments left standing from the onslaught of dogma or trivia.”


Putting More Smart People On A Problem Might Not Be The Answer
by Idris Mootee

Problem Solving Skills Different Than IntelligenceEarly breakfast in a Boston hotel and I’m ready for an executive workshop. There are so many decision to be made in one day and just over breakfast we’re made several important decisions on some strategic issues. I realize 70% of my time on a day-to-day basis are spent on problem solving – organizational, strategic, customers, people and resources etc. It is pretty much the biggest part of any managerial job. Problem solving skills development is therefore critical for young managers.

If you’re a well educated, highly intelligent person and have a well-respected job in your chosen career, it usually means you are a good problem solver both in professional and personal settings. Professor Yiorgos Mylonadis at London Business School research is finding otherwise. His recent research shows that people can be extremely well educated with many years of experience, they may be successful managers who have accomplished great things, but frequently their ability to solve a problem is severely limited. Leer más “Problem Solving Skills Different Than Intelligence”

Habits of Mind [Acá volcamos varios…]

This is still a work in progress (and feedback would be greatly appreciated), but I’ve decided to explicitly teach (and assess…more on that later) 4 “categories” of mathematics this year.

1. Skills (I know how to…)
2. Concepts (I understand and can explain why…)
3. Connections (I see and can explain the relationship between…)
4. Mathematical Habits of Mind (I can use and appreciate the process of…)

I’ve decided not to use the term “problem solving” because I believe this term is often misused to include be limited to solving problems and because the motivation for problem solving skills seems to be to solely help you get an answer. While I believe that they can be very helpful in finding answers, I see mathematical habits of mind as also being mathematical in and of themselves. So…while searching for patterns may help you solve a problem it is also DOING mathematics.


Description unavailable

This is still a work in progress (and feedback would be greatly appreciated), but I’ve decided to explicitly teach (and assess…more on that later) 4 “categories” of mathematics this year.

  1. Skills (I know how to…)
  2. Concepts (I understand and can explain why…)
  3. Connections (I see and can explain the relationship between…)
  4. Mathematical Habits of Mind (I can use and appreciate the process of…)

I’ve decided not to use the term “problem solving” because I believe this term is often misused to include be limited to solving problems and because the motivation for problem solving skills seems to be to solely help you get an answer.  While I believe that they can be very helpful in finding answers, I see mathematical habits of mind as also being mathematical in and of themselves.  So…while searching for patterns may help you solve a problem it is also DOING mathematics.

Here’s the current version of the mathematical habits of mind I think are important.  I hope to explore (in varying depths) every one of these and have already shared the list with my 6th graders.

This is definitely a work in progress and some of these are based on work by Cuoco, Driscoll, Schoenfeld, and others.

@font-face { font-family: “Cambria”; }p.MsoNormal, li.MsoNormal, div.MsoNormal { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman“; }a:link, span.MsoHyperlink { color: blue; text-decoration: underline; }a:visited, span.MsoHyperlinkFollowed { color: purple; text-decoration: underline; }p.MsoListParagraph, li.MsoListParagraph, div.MsoListParagraph { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt 0.5in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpFirst { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt 0.5in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpMiddle { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt 0.5in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }p.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, li.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast, div.MsoListParagraphCxSpLast { margin: 0in 0in 0.0001pt 0.5in; font-size: 12pt; font-family: “Times New Roman”; }div.Section1 { page: Section1; }ol { margin-bottom: 0in; }ul { margin-bottom: 0in; } Leer más “Habits of Mind [Acá volcamos varios…]”

The future of innovation and interdisciplinary teams

Interdisciplinary Innovation

Innovation is a concept That Occupies the space of ITS own in the creation and business development. It is without doubt the most important competitive factor today and in coming years.

It begins by thinking about innovation to Arrive at Innovative thinking. Many of the traditional Methodologies Fail to Respond to new challenges and new approaches are required.

Think design is not new . What is new is reflectance , explore the ” design thinking ” .

Traditionally , the entities Organizations Were Viewed systemic levels of analysis ranging from the individual to the organization , through the groups. There is an entry point and one exit.

Although Can and Should These levels exist as a reference, the approach Focuses more on Interaction and multiple points of entry and exit information. The knowledge needs more management.


Rendering of human brain.
Image via Wikipedia

Interdisciplinary Innovation

Innovation is a concept That Occupies the space of ITS own in the creation and business development. It is without doubt the most important competitive factor today and in coming years.

It begins by thinking about innovation to Arrive at Innovative thinking. Many of the traditional Methodologies Fail to Respond to new challenges and new approaches are required.

Think design is not new . What is new is reflectance , explore the ” design thinking ” .

Traditionally , the entities Organizations Were Viewed systemic levels of analysis ranging from the individual to the organization , through the groups. There is an entry point and one exit.

Although Can and Should These levels exist as a reference, the approach Focuses more on Interaction and multiple points of entry and exit information. The knowledge needs more management. Leer más “The future of innovation and interdisciplinary teams”