In this article, Amanda Setili explains why conflicting opinions are a necessary part of growth.
Back when I was applying for admission to Harvard Business School, one of the essays I had to complete was “when did you confront an ethical dilemma and how did you handle it?”
I remember being stuck on this question for quite a while, because as a young engineer, it seemed to me that every question had a correct answer. There are no ethical dilemmas, because once you find the right answer, everything is clear… or so I mistakenly thought.
Fortunately, I somehow managed to answer that essay question and get admitted. HBS quickly corrected my lack of understanding. Day after day, I sat in a classroom with 90 people who were all smart, and yet had completely different solutions to any given problem. Time after time, I thought: Wow. I would never have thought of what s/he just said.
The world, I learned, has many shades of gray.
These days, I worry whether too many businesses—and professionals—close themselves off from this sort of valuable learning. How many times in recent years have you sat in a room with other talented folks who think utterly differently than you do? How many times have you been encouraged to disagree and debate with your peers? My guess: not often.
Key points include:
- Challenging consensus
- Challenging bias
- The value of different opinions
Read the full post, The Case for More Disagreements, on LinkedIn.
Amanda Setili draws attention to the problems that arise when there is not a process in place to understand evolving customer needs and develop new offerings to meet those needs.
Have you ever been on a team that has spent weeks trying to solve a problem, and then one day it dawns on you that you are each trying to solve a different problem?
To illustrate, imagine a company whose leadership is frustrated by their lack of growth, so they assemble a team to come up with a solution. The Operations VP says the problem is, “We don’t hear about any new innovation until it’s already pretty much coming at us.” Sales says, “Our products are too expensive.” Marketing complains, “We’re undifferentiated in the marketplace.” And the CEO muses out loud, “The real problem is that our revenues are flat when our competitors are all growing at 7 to 10% each year.”
Those are all symptoms. None are the actual problem, which might be something along the lines of: they lack a process for understanding evolving customer needs and developing new offerings to meet those needs.
In the example I cited above, the team could have discovered this problem by going through a series of “why” questions something like this:
Key points include:
- Flat sales
- Product line-up
Read the full article, Before Your Team Tries to Solve a Problem, Make Sure You Agree on What It Is, on LinkedIn.
Christy Johnson provides two valuable resources with reviews of tools to help guide your team through the current pandemic situation and maintain productivity, boost morale, and ensure effective communication.
The internet is saturated with ‘remote work tips and tricks,’ ’10 ways to stay focused,’ ‘best home office tools and gear,’ and other guides to make remote work more productive. At Artemis Connection, we believe there is something missing: research-based tools to foster employee morale and effective team communication and collaboration. Through our focus groups and interviews, we have seen that companies who foster morale and an accepting culture outperform the competition. That’s why we’ve compiled our list of the top remote work tools to foster collaboration and effective communication.
And of course, if you’re interested in research-based tips to maximize your productivity as a remote organization, check out our Navigating the New World of Remote Work report.
Key points in the resources include:
- Team communication tools
- Tools to establish employee routines
- Tools to show employee appreciation
- How to make remote work work for you
- Management considerations
- How to innovate virtually
- Logistical solutions
Read the full article, Tools to Foster Collaboration & Effective Communication Remotely, and access the links to the PDFs on Artemisconnection.com
Gaelle Lamotte’s company blog identifies the issues that can stop the execution of strategies and provides a framework to drive alignment and focus.
How often do you win with your strategy? Strategy development is useful for defining long-term goals. A good strategy is only as good as the capability to implement it and how well it delivers the desired outcome. Various research concludes: Organizations on average realize only 50 – 63% of the financial performance promised by their strategies. Others suggest that the figure is in fact less than 30%. Regardless of the data reviewed, it is not good news.
Key points in the framework include:
- Action plans
- Connecting people
Download the free PDF, Improve Your Ability to Execute Your Strategies, on the Strategy Management Partners website.