New Perspectives
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How to Infuse Your Culture With Inspiration

I recently had a powerful experience with one of our clients.  We
were involved in a “check-point” meeting – a monthly half-day with
the senior leadership team where we track progress against a core
strategy and related set of SMART metrics devised to drive value.

The company had a 20-year history in the trucking and logistics
industry – one known for demanding physical work and an inherent
culture of ‘machismo’.

The meeting was quite typical – identification of obstacles to executing
with excellence, and solutioning around those obstacles – toward a
renewed energy to execute.  Until the end of the meeting.  The last
two minutes.  After the formal agenda was complete.

At that point, the leader of the company – a 6’4” man with a thick
solid frame, who mirrored the nature of the industry – tough, no-
nonsense – said to the team “I just want to say how much I deeply
care about you all, and how grateful I am for your efforts….and I
want to give you all a hug – to show my appreciation”.

I was awestruck!  And what struck me most was his authenticity.
This wasn’t some contrived formulaic attempt to “play the part”.
It was genuine caring.  And each person felt his sincerity as they
experienced his “bear hug” of thanks.

This leader’s intention of compassion and gratitude, and the courage
to express it, filled the room.  It was palpable.  And the material
payoff: a high functioning team, deep in levels of trust and connection,
that experiences consistent double digit growth year over year.

So if this resonates with you, the question I invite you to consider
is, what steps might you take to inject compassion into your culture?

Wishing you a prosperous and fulfilling month –
 
Nick and the Strateco Team

 
 
Interested in learning about the evolution of a new paradigm in business?

Check out our white paper, Strategy + Leadership 2.0, to learn how Stakeholder Strategy and Purposeful Leadership are shaping the era of Capitalism 2.0

 

 
Three perspectives of significance on the changing landscape of business:
 
1.  Managing Our Way to Prosperity: No Holy Grail – Forbes
2.  Getting Past the Great Ideological Divide in Business Today – Time
3.  The Capitalist’s Dilemma – Clayton Christensen’s latest HBR article
 
Three quick yet powerful reads:
 
4.  Brilliant 2min read! – Don’t F*ck Up the Company Culture
5.  Help Leaders to be Less Useless at Strategy – Roger Martin’s latest in HBR
6.  Mixing Business and Social Good is Not a New Idea – HBR
 
A TED Talk from Simon Sinek:
 
7.  Why Good Leaders Make You Feel Safe
 
A story to remind us of our moral compass:

8.  Flash Boys: A Wall Street Revolt

 

 
1.  MANAGING OUR WAY TO PROSPERITY
     Forbes – May 2014
 
In another brilliant epilogue to this year’s Global Drucker Forum, Denning chats with Rita Gunther McGrath regarding her recent book, The End of Competitive Advantage.
 
McGrath explores questions, or often excuses, critical to organizational strategy: Are organizations just ‘too busy’ to do strategy?  Is it the transformation of strategy, or of management?  Do we have the tools to do strategy in the ‘new way’?
 
 
 
2.  GETTING PAST THE GREAT IDEOOGICAL DIVIDE IN BUSINESS TODAY
     TIME – May 2014
 
A prescient flashback from the 1940’s, the following quote from Peter Drucker captures the essence of a growing rift in business today: “What we need is not an ideology, but a science – a new science of industrial peace.”
 
On one side of this growing divide, champions of the classic Capitalism 1.0 mantra of ‘maximizing shareholder value’.  On the other, those with a view of business at large as having an obligation to provide benefit to its stakeholders.
 
‘Two-sides, fundamentally grounded in separate camps and pitted against the other’s philosophy.  A clash being waged by individuals blindly clinging to their own dogma.’
 
What might Drucker think of all this?  Read on to get a glimpse!
 
 
3.  THE CAPITALIST’S DILEMMA
     Clayten Christensen’s latest in HBR – May 2014
 
Is your organization at risk of failing to invest in innovation and thus missing out on opportunities for growth?  If so this ground breaking article, and the research behind it, are for you.
 
“In our view the crux of the problem is that investments in different types of innovation affect economies (and companies) in very different ways – but are evaluated using the same (flawed) metrics.”
 
Going further, and hence the ‘Dilemma’, he notes capital is no longer in short supply, and if companies want to maximize returns on it, they must stop behaving as if it were.
 
 
4.  DON’T F*CK UP THE COMPANY CULTURE
 
When it comes to building and sustaining an enduring culture of greatness, it doesn’t get much more straightforward than the title to this piece.

 
5.  HELP LEADERS BE LESS USELESS AT STRATEGY
     Roger Martin in HBR – May 2014
 
Once again Roger Martin brings his practical no nonsense thoughts on Strategy to the fore.  This two minute read provides three key takeaways to help you be better at Strategy tomorrow:
 
In essence leaders need to “Construct a more productive series of interactions on strategy”:
 
1.  Go early with the framing of the challenge you want to tackle
2.  Go back with the possibilities you generate
3.  Return a third-time when you’ve reverse engineered the possibilities
 
 
6.  MIXING BUSINESS AND SOCIAL GOOD IS NOT A NEW IDEA
     HBR – May 2014

As more and more business schools develop programs focused on leveraging business to do good, and companies strategically recruit talent that’s more interested in social impact than big bonuses, the shifting tides of modern day business and society are evident.
 
As these landscapes continue their dramatic transformation, perhaps leaders of today should look to those of the past who trail-blazed a history of business kindness.
 
This short yet powerful read reminds us there have been successful businesspeople throughout history who focused on creating a better life for their employees, and societies.
 
 
7.  WHY GOOD LEADERS MAKE YOU FEEL SAFE
     Simon Sinek – TED
 
Recorded in March at TED2014, this moving Talk from Sinek explores how great leaders build emotional bonds of trust with, and safe environments for, their followers.
 
As he explains, it’s all about the ‘environment’ a leader creates and the resulting ‘tribe’ which develops.
 
If you get it right, as in, if the people within the tribe ‘feel’ safe with a mutual trust and cooperation for one another, any tribe member has the capacity to do remarkable things.
 
 
8.  FLASH BOYS: A WALL STREET REVOLT
     By Michael Lewis
 
Flash Boys is about a Canadian hero of sorts who figures out the U.S. stock market’s been rigged for the benefit of insiders and that, post–financial crisis, the markets have become not more free but less, and more controlled by the big Wall Street banks.
 
The light that Lewis shines into the darkest corners of the financial world may not be good for anyone’s blood pressure as, in fact, this story is NON-fiction (check out this New York Time’s book review to get a flavour of the ongoing real world story).
 
Suffice to say however this is an uplifting read at heart as here are individuals who maintained their moral compass in the face of greed, and who after experiencing an institutionalized injustice, are willing to go to war to fix it.

 
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Strateco is a new breed of consulting firm that seamlessly integrates Strategy with Leadership.   We help organizations create, integrate, and execute winning strategies, while developing higher functioning leaders.   To get a sense of our philosophy download your PDF copy of our newly released white paper:  Strategy + Leadership 2.0

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