Leadership lessons from your inner child – Douglas Ready

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Doug Ready

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Doug Ready

From the MIT Sloan Management Review.

By tapping into their inner child, leaders can blend the bold thinking and action of childhood while maintaining responsibility to the bottom line — an important balance in digital leadership.

When I turned five, I got a new bike. I didn’t know how to ride it, but I took it to a nearby hill anyway, a willing warrior, ready to ride. Was I prepared? Would I be brave enough to overcome the anxiety of facing the unknown? The truth is those questions never occurred to me at the time. Reflecting on this experience decades later, I realized I wasn’t just a willing warrior — I was an ecstatically enthusiastic one. Today, I can’t help but wonder why it seemed so much easier to take on significant new challenges as a five-year-old than it is for me now. As a child, did I have gifts that I somehow lost over the years? Was I foolish then and more responsible now? Upon further reflection, I have come to realize that I’ve been fighting a decades-long battle to not lose many of those gifts that made it relatively easy to learn new things when I was young.

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What Trump and Pelosi can learn from a different kind of shutdown that crippled the nation – Tom Kochan, Joel Cutcher-Gershenfeld

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

MIT Sloan Professor Thomas Kochan

From The Conversation

Two sides of a dispute are at an impasse.

Both refuse to negotiate until the other side gives in to their central demand, with no reason to compromise. Animosity between the parties deepens as they hurl personal insults. The stalemate seems intractable as public costs mount.

While this may sound like it’s describing the government shutdown, it’s also what happens during an unsanctioned job action – sometimes called a “wildcat strike” – in which workers walk out or slow down work over a serious disagreement with management. The company won’t negotiate until the “illegal” action ends, while the workers want a solution to their core issues first.

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How to train your brain to make your dreams come true – Tara Swart

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer, Tara Swart

From the Daily Mail

As a successful doctor of psychiatry and neuroscience, it looked as if I had it all: I was married to a fellow psychiatrist and had a job working for the NHS. We were a carefree young couple, with a great social life and lots of opportunity to travel the world. Everyone assumed I was in complete control of my life.

But I was running on autopilot, and when I reached my mid-30s everything fell apart. I had become increasingly unhappy in my work, worn down by the long hours and workload and the sense of not being able to make a real difference to my patients.

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5 facets of performance management for the future- Michael Schrage and Bryan Hancock

Michael Schrage, Research Fellow, MIT Center for Digital Business

From HR People + Strategy

The business value of traditional performance management models is collapsing. Instead of clarifying expectations and building morale, legacy annual appraisal models of performance management can alienate talented and typical employees alike. While personal and enterprise tools and technologies for performance enhancement have radically improved; performance management systems have not.

Recognizing these realities, growing numbers of companies are tying performance management more closely to operational success and less closely to their operations’ calendar. This shift—toward making performance management more business-value relevant—is having a dramatic effect on how human capital is managed in the enterprise. Findings from the 2019 Performance Management Global Executive Study and Research Project, sponsored by McKinsey & Company, identifies five key facets of smart investment in performance assessment, accountability, and capability:

1. On-Demand Feedback
Formal feedback processes have typically been periodic, perfunctory, and problematic. Continuousness is now becoming king. Just as people rely on Google Maps or Waze to manage real-time expectations around travel, employees need to be able to manage real-time expectations around work.

Performance management tools and platforms should facilitate ongoing feedback on individuals’ progress, growth, and development opportunities. Feedback will increasingly be automated, customized, visualized, and communicated in different ways. Executives must determine how best to define the feedback experience for their workforce. Culture will matter more. Senior management must develop shared perspectives on performance management’s purpose in their organization.

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The enabling power of trust – Douglas Ready

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Doug Ready

MIT Sloan Senior Lecturer Doug Ready

From MIT Sloan Management Review

What will it take to become a great leader in the digital economy? What will be the differentiating skill sets (what individuals will need to do) and mind-sets (how they will need to think and behave) that will shed light on what it will take to lead next-generation organizations effectively? We have set out to address these important questions as the foundation for MIT Sloan Management Review’s newest Big Ideas Initiative: The Future of Leadership in the Digital Economy.

Since it is impossible to know the future with certainty, we started by establishing a hypothesis about what skills and attributes this future leader might possess. We laid that hypothesis out in my first blog post, “Leading Into the Future,” in which we indicated that there will be both contextual elements (meaning fit for purpose for the digital economy) and core enabling elements (meaning traits that are so important that they form the cultural fabric of an organization). Merged together, we believe these core and contextual elements will help define what great leadership will look and feel like in the digital economy.

This was a good start, but an insufficient one, because we need to bridge the gap between what we know to be true today and what we believe will be true tomorrow. To help build that bridge, we will soon be distributing a global survey to thousands of practicing managers and leaders from around the world to get their views on this matter. We have also begun conducting in-depth interviews with CEOs, C-suite team members, heads of digitalization, senior line and functional leaders, and other thought leaders in all things digital.

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