WHAT IS THE ONE MISTAKE YOU WITNESS LEADERS MAKING MOST FREQUENTLY?
Probably the one I have made over and over again in my own career—thinking that I need to have all the answers.
WHAT DO YOU SEE AS THE GREATEST CHALLENGE OF BUSINESS LEADERS TODAY?
One of the biggest challenges is creating, aligning and leading teams to resolve issues—rather than just being a workgroup of individual problem solvers.
In partnering with clients, I feel very fortunate to have the opportunity of listening to a number of informed executives evaluate and translate these challenges through their own leadership lens.
WHAT DO YOU SEE A SOCIAL MEDIA’S EFFECT ON THE WORLD OF BUSINESS?
People want to connect.
The emerging, connective, social network is so compelling it is no longer an elective. Candid feedback, multiple inputs, lateral solutions, broad-based decision making and the ability to quickly contribute are now ‘requirements’ of the contemporary workplace.
These all inform on how we design organizational structures, workflows, metrics, marketing campaigns, sales plans, informational constructs, roles, responsibilities and rewards.
WHAT’S YOUR FAVORITE BUSINESS BOOK AND WHY?
When I first read A Simpler Way by Margaret J. Wheatley and Myron Kellner-Rogers, I was stuck by the profound and immediate effect it had on my thinking.
My second thought was- “If this is a business book, how in heaven’s name do I personally use this in business?” The book is kind of out there and may not suit everyone. The authors use science, poetry, philosophy and other unconventional means to convey the message that there is a different way to work—and work together.
To pull a quote from the book that offers a taste of what it’s about: “There is a simpler way to organize human endeavor,” Wheatley and Kellner-Rogers write. “It requires a new way of being in the world. It requires being in the world without fear. Being in the world with play and creativity. Seeking after what’s possible. Being willing to learn and to be surprised.”
The book and the insights it provides on parallel and self-organizing systems and how they influence organizing human activities has become a touchstone work for me.
WHAT IS A PIECE OF ADVICE THAT YOU WERE GIVEN THAT HAS IMPACTED YOUR CAREER/LIFE?
I was ten years old and I remember learning that my grandfather had built his own house. When you’re a kid, every house looks huge to you, so I was pretty amazed that my grandfather could actually build such a thing.
“How did you know where to put the windows and doors?” I asked him.
As a future strategist and scenario planner, I have never forgotten his answer.
“Oh that was easy,” he said, “I lived in it before I built it.”
Live in it before you build it.
WHAT ARE THE MOST EFFECTIVE METHODS ORGANIZATIONS CAN USE TO HELP A NEW EMPLOYEE UNDERSTAND ITS CULTURE?
Never underestimate the power and long-lasting positive effects that a creative onboarding program can have on your new employees. As leaders, we are all taught about the importance of a firm handshake in making a great first impression. As a company, your onboarding program is your culture’s handshake.