Archive for July, 2012

The KEY: The Corporate Epidemic – Stop the Hysteria!

Rob is a hard working manager. He is driven and has given his best to his company. He has been promoted because of the unique skillset he brings: technical engineering knowledge; passion for the customer; and effective people and presentation skills. By working hard in the trenches, Rob had climbed the ladder and taken on P&L responsibilities. Soon after taking a general manager role for his group, Rob produced significant growth and was recognized for his success. While his track record speaks for itself, I am on red alert three minutes into our call. Read here more about the corporate epidemic, the story of Rob and the lessons you must apply.

© Aviv Shahar

Top Pitfalls of Newly Promoted Executives

Here are 10 mistakes newly promoted executives make:

  1. Failure to realize you need to shift gears.
    You need to step back and reconfigure your world while you are accelerating to 180 miles an hour.
  2. Trying to keep your former peers as friends.
    You need to structure a series of individual and team conversations to build new ways of going forward and lead.
  3. Being too impressed with your success.
    You need to stay grounded and focused. You are in a new game. You need to win anew in new and broader ways. You need to help your people win anew.
  4. Moving too slowly. Too much deliberation to achieve consensus.
    You need to create a sense of forward movement, develop early wins and build confidence and credibility.
  5. Moving too rapidly. Ignoring the areas where you need to build coalitions and support.
    You need to identify where you can move swiftly and what requires further deliberation and cultivation of support, agreement and coalitions of willingness.
  6. Not listening.
    You need to engage, listen, and observe attentively to identify opportunities to create movement. You need to let your people know and feel that they can succeed and that their success is your success.
  7. Not delegating.
    You need to learn all over again how to let go, to delegate and to empower others. . You want to build trust and the great dividends of trust.
  8. Jumping in to fix problems.
    You need to differentiate the important from the urgent. Prioritize. Reframe problems in the context of your objectives and strategy.
  9. Relying solely or too much on what worked well for you in the past.
    You need to consciously and deliberately determine what practices you take forward and what you need to leave behind.
  10. Poor judgment on priorities and allocation of time and energy.
    You need to work on the short-term with the long-term in mind. And build the long term with practical focus on the here and now.

© Aviv Shahar

The LIBOR Higgs Connection

Connecting the dots and the kaleidoscoping art is a muscle I practice. I watch what appears on the canvas and wonder about the relationships between these seemingly unrelated data points.

Connecting the dots, deciphering themes and applying these themes to your work is a critical component in developing your strategic innovation.

On July 4th I noted an unusual occurrence. For many days prior to July 4th, the top item on Google news, NPR news and PBS was in one of three categories:

  • Political, geopolitical or war related,
  • Economic, stock market or financial,
  • Accidents or disasters related.

But on July 4th the top news was about the god particle. Scientists believe they found the long-elusive Higgs Boson particle that could explain why particles have mass, and therefore, why stars, planets, you, me, and other objects in the universe exist at all.

The second item on the news was the LIBOR investigation, discussing how Barclays, and probably other banks, manipulated the benchmark for interest rates on trillions of dollars of loans to individuals and businesses around the world.

Each of these items is fascinating for different reasons but my practice in the kaleidoscoping art is asking: what’s the connection? Are these seemingly unrelated news items, seeing that they happened to converge on the same day, potentially related at a meta-thematic level?

It occurred to me that both, one in the realm of physics and the universe, the other in the realm of global finance, represent a transition from what was concealed to what is now revealed.

The next step is to ask: where else do I see the pattern of “from concealment to revelation?” And there are off course many more examples…

As I connect more dots to recognize the pattern, new explorations join the inquiry:

  • How would this pattern play out in other fields?
  • What else is this pattern, if it plays out in full, likely to influence?
  • Where are the opportunities?
  • Who will be the losers and the winners?
  • In what ways will this influence my work and my clients?

And more… this is the type of inquiry you engage as you explore strategic innovation.

Connecting the dots is a critical discipline at an even simpler and more pragmatic level. If you lead a department or organization, most of the challenges you deal with today are byproducts and secondary results of decisions made by other people, in other departments and organizations two weeks, two months, or two years ago. Big part of the most vital work is to connect the dots, see threats, identify opportunities and make wise decisions.

That’s what I enjoy about the consulting and coaching work. I get to work with smart people on these great challenges.

© Aviv Shahar

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