The Best Teams Act Like Musicians


The Best Teams Act Like Musicians – 99U

  • Switch Chairs (and Roles) Often

“The aggregate personality is really crucial, and it’s something that you have to address with a group culture that is subtle and trusting enough that collective personality will naturally come into being,”

  • Play Your Part

“…worrying about the legitimacy of one’s contributions leads to a lot of unnecessary anxiety. Instead, understand that interpretation is embedded in the nature of the job itself.”

 

  • Don’t Compare

 

…be picky about your influences. Focus on specific qualities you admire in people rather than their overall personalities, speech patterns, résumés, or CVs.

 

  • Distribute Your Energy Wisely

 

“…Knowing where to put your energy can save you from burnout—and it’ll be healthier for your team overall. “

  • Anticipate Needs

 

“…anticipation is part prediction, part preparation. You predict what the person is going to say (even if it ends up being totally off-base), and you prepare your response accordingly.”

  • Don’t Assign: Nominate

 

“Instead of relying on higher-ups to delegate tasks, or waiting for others to volunteer time, try nominating someone once in a while.”

  • Sound Check Often

 

“…means you can be frank: what is the most glaring thing that needs fixing? What would you say to inspire your colleagues to do better?”

  • Know the Score

 

“…have a thorough understanding of what the other players are doing. That way, each person sees where he or she needs to play out, echo, draw back, move forward, hand off, or complement the other..”

  • Embrace Uncertainty

 

“…be inspired enough that you want to be leading it, and yet most of the time, you can’t.”

Advertisements

Go Small, Get Big– Interesting read on Small Teams, Big Innovations


I remember thinking at my first job that 10 people is all it takes to do great product.  I was told you do not know enough yet, to grow big we need to scale teams and get more people so that we can deliver more value to customer.

Fast forward 12 years, I am reiterating 10 People is all it takes. I am firm believer in power of a small agile team for product development.

Big Teams, Big Initiatives, Big Failures…

Interesting read:

Quiet but unsubtle innovation insurgencies are emerging in global enterprise. Instead of investing more in innovation process or cultural transformation, I’m observing more large organizations giving greater resources and responsibilities to ever-smaller teams. Innovation initiatives that were once handled by dozens a decade ago are now run by only handfuls. The median size of the core innovation group has dropped from a football/soccer eleven to a basketball five. Less apparently enables more.

Smart Innovators Value Smaller Teams Over Better Processes
Michael Schrage
Tue, 13 Dec 2011 18:36:55 GMT

Good Read – Five Common Strategy Mistakes


Interesting….

Five Common Strategy Mistakes

Mistake #1. Confusing marketing with strategy.

Mistake #2. Confusing competitive advantage with "what you’re good at."

Mistake #3: Pursuing size above all else, because if you’re the biggest, you’ll be more profitable.

Mistake #4. Thinking that "growth" or "reaching $1 billion in revenue" is a strategy.

Mistake #5. Focusing on high-growth markets, because that’s where the money is.

 Five Common Strategy Mistakes
Joan Magretta
Thu, 08 Dec 2011 18:15:41 GMT

When SMART is not smart enough


SMART – We have heard this many times in management presentations and/or have been advised that our goals should adhere to this standard.

So what is SMART goal –

S  – Specific

M – Measurable

A – Attainable

R – Relevant

T – Time-bound

Also, the goals should answer these questions (W’s) –

*Who:      Who is involved?

*What:     What do I want to accomplish?

*Where:    Identify a location.

*When:     Establish a time frame.

*Which:    Identify requirements and constraints.

*Why:      Specific reasons, purpose or benefits of accomplishing the goal.

Looks good. Now look a the Supper Committee that was formed in US to cut the deficit and analysis from HBR blog post what happened.

Takeaways –

    • Common goal + separate agendas = failure
    • Beware of Silos
    • Manage SMART goals by checking for agenda conflict and changing incentives.

The Super Committee’s Two Failures
Morten T. Hansen
Tue, 22 Nov 2011 21:54:20 GMT

Fire All the Managers–Good Podcast


Democratization of the management. Good example of a company doing it.

An interview with Gary Hamel, director of the Management Innovation eXchange and author of the HBR article First, Let’s Fire All the Managers.

Download this podcast

Fire All the Managers
HBR IdeaCast
Thu, 17 Nov 2011 23:51:37 GMT

Idolize Bill Gates, Not Steve Jobs


Good Article….

Apple is undoubtedly the gold standard of today’s tech world. In fact, it’s probably the gold standard of American industry at the moment. Its innovative design, user interface, and ecosystem make it a titan in any category it enters. And it’s clear that Steve Jobs was the reason Apple rose to its current heights from the brink of bankruptcy. In the wake of his death, HBR espoused his greatness — something I’ve done as well. And he was great. Steve Jobs has likely been our generation’s most important leader in the world of business. But Steve Jobs is not the most important leader from the world of business. While Jobs should be who MBAs and industrial designers try to emulate, I’m not sure he’s who we should idolize. That respect should be bestowed on someone we talk less and less about, Bill Gates.

Both Jobs and Gates had immeasurable impacts on the world. Apple ushered in the era of personal computing in many respects. Microsoft’s platform made it possible for a generation of computer scientists to learn and flourish. Apple seems to have perfected the art of delivering fantastic consumer products. Microsoft has worked diligently to make the enterprise more and more efficient. Regardless of which camp you fall in today, it’s impossible to deny each corporation’s contribution. Jobs and Gates each deeply respected each other’s contributions.

But at the end of his life, Steve Jobs worried about Apple, Inc. Walter Isaacson quoted the wizard of Cupertino saying, “Hewlett and Packard built a great company, and they thought they had left it in good hands. But now it’s being dismembered and destroyed. I hope I’ve left a stronger legacy so that will never happen at Apple.” At the end of his life, Jobs saw his legacy as Apple.

Bill Gates stepped away from Microsoft in 2006 and, despite the company’s growing troubles in the face of the mobile disruption, has devoted his genius to solving the world’s biggest problems, despite the fact that solving those problems doesn’t create profit or fame.* Gates committed his talents to eliminating diseases, increasing development standards, and generally fighting inequality.

Since 1994, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation amassed an endowment of over $31 billion in funds to fight the world’s most difficult issues. But it hasn’t merely accumulated funds, the foundation has already given away over $25 billion. Those aren’t trivial numbers. In seventeen years, the foundation has raised and given away more than one-tenth of Apple’s extraordinary market capitalization. While the developed world takes things like clean water, basic healthcare, and the availability of food for granted — there are billions of human beings that don’t have such fundamental resources.

Ghandi famously said, “Be the change you want to see in the world.” I don’t doubt that, in recent years, both Gates and Jobs did just that. Jobs made the world more beautiful and the billion of us with resources loved him for it. Gates is making the world ideal, and the billions of us with no voice will be forever impacted.

Yesterday, I read a note Gates wrote to members of the Harvard community. It speaks for itself:

I hope you will reflect on what you’ve done with your talent and energy. I hope you will judge yourselves not on your professional accomplishments alone, but also on how well you work to address the world’s deepest inequities, on how well you treat people a world away who have nothing in common with you but their humanity.

Those are not the words of a leader of business. Those are the words of a leader of people. Those are the words of an idol.

As much as I love Apple, Inc, I would happily give up my iPhone to put food on the plates of starving children. Steve Jobs turned his company into a decade long leader in the truly new space of mobile computing. Bill Gates decided to eliminate malaria. Who do you think we should be putting up on a pedestal for our children to emulate?

*While you might disagree with that claim, a quick reference of Google trends shows that since leaving Microsoft, Bill Gates star has dramatically faded — and in 2010 was eclipsed by that of Jobs.

wessel.jpg

Idolize Bill Gates, Not Steve Jobs
Maxwell Wessel
Tue, 01 Nov 2011 16:29:40 GMT