Review: Under New Management by David Burkus

Speed Review: Under New Management“Management,” declares business school professor and author David Burkus in the introduction to his new book, “needs new management.” According to Burkus, too many companies are clinging to old assumptions, old processes and old habits that have grown obsolete. In Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual, he introduces a number of modern, sometimes surprising, approaches to management that directly challenge past practices and attitudes.

Burkus describes, for example, how some companies let employees take as much time off as they want. There is no allocation and monitoring of vacation days: If you want to take a vacation, take a vacation. Burkus also describes the concept of paying employees to quit. The longer you’ve worked at a company, the more cash you will get paid for quitting (up to a certain threshold).

A sample of the other new management approaches covered in the book includes:
• Banning emails
• Eliminating managers
• Making salaries transparent
• Abandoning open-office layouts
• Putting customers second.

Although they may sound counter-intuitive, if not fanciful in some cases, all of the new approaches presented by Burkus have been successfully implemented. The concept of paying employees to quit, for example, was made famous by Zappos, which will pay $4,000 in cash if new employees quit their jobs. Amazon has pushed the concept even further, offering cash for quitting once a year (the offer is a one-off at Zappos). The first year, employees are offered $2,000 to quit, and the offer goes up $1,000 every year after that until it reaches $5,000. The annual offer then stays at the $5,000 level.

Eliminating managers is one of the more surprising concepts in the book, yet it has also been successfully implemented. Burkus describes how new employees at Valve Software, an online gaming development firm estimated to be valued at $3 to $4 billion, have to get used to the fact that no one will tell them what to do.

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Join us for our next Soundview Live webinar! 6/1 featuring Sydney Finkelstein

The Journey from Good Boss to Superboss

Date: Wednesday, June 1st
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Sydney Finkelstein

Click here to register!

What do football coach Bill Walsh, restaurateur Alice Waters, television executive Lorne Michaels, technology CEO Larry Ellison, and fashion pioneer Ralph Lauren have in common? They share a similar approach to finding, nurturing, leading, and even letting go of great people. The way they deal with talent makes them not merely success stories, but what Sydney Finkelstein calls superbosses.

In this Soundview Live webinar, The Journey from Good Boss to Superboss, Sydney Finkelstein shares the fascinating stories of superbosses and their protégés. He explores a phenomenon that never had a name before and shows how each of us can emulate the best tactics of superbosses to create our own powerful networks of extraordinary talent.

What You’ll Learn:

  • Identify and inspire promising newcomers
  • Nurture employees into highly successful careers
  • Customize coaching to each protégé’s needs
  • Expand professional networks to transform industries

How Hyper-Growth Companies Create Predictable Revenue

From Impossible to InevitableWhy are you struggling to grow your business when everyone else seems to be crushing their goals? If you needed to triple revenue within the next three years, would you know exactly how to do it? Doubling the size of your business, tripling it, even growing 10 times larger isn’t about magic. It’s not about privileges, luck or working harder.

From Impossible to Inevitable provides a template that the world’s fastest growing companies follow to achieve and sustain much, much faster growth.This template includes the seven ingredients of hyper-growth: Nail a Niche, Create Predictable Pipeline, Make Sales Scalable, Double Your Deal Size, Do the Time, Embrace Employee Ownership and Define Your Destiny to make a difference, for yourself and your company, no matter what you do or where you work. Authors Aaron Ross and Jason Lemkin take each ingredient and break it down into specific steps to guide you through implementation. From Impossible to Inevitable helps you take impossible goals and turn them into inevitable successes for your business and team. You will achieve success even bigger than you can imagine from where you’re sitting today.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• To understand and apply the seven ingredients of hyper-growth.
• How to specialize your sales process and scale your sales team.
• What it really means to “do the time” in today’s business environment.
• The difference between functional ownership and delegation.
• How to define your destiny in a new or existing business.

Review: Presence by Amy Cuddy

 In 2012, Harvard Business School professor and social psychologist Amy Cuddy presented a TED talk on power poses and how the body impacts the mind. Viewed by tens of millions of people, Cuddy’s TED talk is the second most-viewed talk in TED’s history. Her book is Presence: Bringing Your Boldest Self to Your Biggest Challenges. That Cuddy’s research resonates so broadly is not surprising, as it addresses head-on the anxiety and sense of powerlessness that most of us feel in the face of daunting challenges or high-pressure situations.

The desire for “do-overs,” for example, is an experience that most people have shared. They wish they could go back into the job interview room and convey, through much better words, why they are the best candidate; they wish they could have a second chance to pitch their venture to a panel of potential investors; they wish they could erase the reaction they had to a senior leader’s proposal and replace it with a reaction that would be impressive and memorable.

We’ve all been there. Even 18th-century French philosopher and writer Denis Diderot experienced that emotion, which is why he coined the phase “l’esprit d’escalier” — staircase wit or, in an updated version, elevator wit. It refers to those perfect words that come to us only after we’ve left the meeting and are on our way out of the building. What happens, explains Cuddy, is we recover the presence that we lost under the pressure of the situation.

Presence, writes Cuddy, “is the state of being attuned to and able to comfortably express our true thoughts, feelings, values and potential.” Cuddy is not asking us to embark on a journey of self-discovery to the Peruvian mountains; she is simply helping us to succeed in that meeting, so that the wit occurs in the conference room and not on the staircase. The key to presence, writes Cuddy, is to feel personally powerful. Even social power — being in a position to control situations — will not overcome personal powerlessness. Personal power requires knowing our values and being true to our values. It requires an alignment of the various parts of ourselves: our thoughts, our feelings, our behaviors. Cuddy calls this “synchrony.”

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Join Us for a Webinar on 5/24: How to Manage Your Time and Accomplish Goals

How to Manage Your Time and Accomplish Goals
Date: Tuesday, May 24th
Time: 12:00 PM ET
Speaker: Chris Bailey

Register Today!

Productivity affects all of us; whether it be at home or in the office, there always seems to be a struggle to make time for all of life’s essential tasks.

In this Soundview Live webinar, How to Manage Your Time and Accomplish Goals, Chris Bailey takes us on his year-long journey to productivity. Through self-experimentation, Bailey offers counterintuitive insights on how to better-manage your time, attention and energy in order to accomplish more and not lose sight of the more meaningful things in life.

What You’ll Learn:

  • how to slow down to work more deliberately
  • how to shrink the unimportant and strive for imperfection
  • how to schedule less time for important tasks
  • the 20 second rule to distract yourself from the inevitable distractions
  • the concept of productive procrastination

Doing the Right Things Right: How the Effective Executive Spends Time

Image of Doing the Right Things RightInspired by Peter Drucker’s groundbreaking book The Effective Executive, Laura Stack details precisely how 21st-century leaders and managers can obtain profitable, productive results by managing the intersection of two critical values: effectiveness and efficiency.

Effectiveness, Stack says in Doing the Right Things Right, is identifying and achieving the best objectives for your organization — doing the right things. Efficiency is accomplishing them with the least amount of time, effort and cost — doing things right. If you’re not clear on both, you’re wasting your time. As Drucker put it, “There is nothing so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all.”

Stack’s 3T Leadership offers 12 practices that will enable executives to be effective and efficient, grouped into three areas where leaders spend their time: Strategic Thinking, Teamwork and Tactics. With her expert advice, Doing the Right Things Right will give you scores of new ideas on how you, your team and your organization can boost productivity.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The 12 practices to be both effective and efficient.
• The three activities that help you make sense of the 12 practices.
• Why executives have evolved from being bosses to team members in recent decades.
• Strategies to communicate better and motivate your team.
• How to use technology to make you more efficient, rather than letting it overwhelm you.

Click here for the full summary!

Review: The Storyteller’s Secret by Carmine Gallo

TheStorytellersSecretYour Story Is Your Most Valuable Asset

One day in Pakistan, Taliban enforcers boarded a school bus, found the young girl they were seeking and shot her, leaving her for dead. But Malala Yousafzai refused to die, and her story would become a rallying cry for women’s rights around the world. Yousafzai, explains communications author Carmine Gallo, is not just a survivor; she is a storyteller. She grew up in a family of storytellers — people would walk for miles to listen to the sermons of her grandfather — and through her speeches and her best-selling book, I Am Malala, Yousafzai continues to inspire and lead a global cause for justice.

The Storyteller’s Secret, the eighth book by the prolific Gallo, is, not surprisingly, filled with compelling stories but equally filled with specific tools for communicating more effectively. The book is divided into five parts, focusing on storytellers who “ignite our fire,” “educate,” “simplify,” “motivate” and “launch movements.” Each chapter within each part focuses on a specific tool, with stories or speeches by two or three speakers used as examples. The featured communicators run the gamut from the very famous (Steve Jobs, Bill Gates) to the not so famous (civil rights attorney Bryan Stevenson, entrepreneur Charles Michael Yim), all of whom have a story to tell.

For example, although Steve Jobs is recognized for his innovative genius and intense personality, the Jobs in this book (Gallo has written two books about Jobs) is first and foremost a superb communicator. In one of the most iconic speeches given by a businessperson, Jobs introduced “three new products” that would revolutionize the world: an iPod, a phone and an Internet communicator. These three products, the audience soon discovered, were actually one product, the iPhone.

Another Jobs example demonstrates that a story doesn’t have to be long to be effective. Jobs took just one sentence to tell a story that John Scully, the Pepsi Company CEO Jobs was trying to recruit, could not resist: “Do you want to sell sugar water for the rest of your life, or do you want to come with me and change the world?” Each chapter begins with a story, followed by a section that focuses on “The Storyteller’s Tools,” before closing with “The Storyteller’s Secret,” which recaps the core lesson of the chapter.

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Develop a Sharper Focus: Smart Practice in the Mental Gym

Apart from sports that favor physical traits, almost anyone can achieve the highest levels of performance with smart practice, Daniel Goleman suggests in Focus. Smart practice always includes a feedback loop that lets you recognize errors and correct them –– this is why dancers use mirrors. Ideally that feedback comes from someone with an expert eye. If you practice without feedback, you don’t get top ranks. The feedback and the concentration matter –– not just the hours.

Learning how to improve any skill requires top-down focus. Neuroplasticity, the strengthening of old brain circuits and building of new ones for a skill we are practicing, requires our paying attention.

Daydreaming defeats practice; those who browse TV while working out will never reach top ranks. Paying full attention seems to boost the mind’s processing speed, strengthen synaptic connections, and expand or create neural networks for what we are practicing. At least at first. But as you master how to execute the new routine, repeated practice transfers control of that skill from the top-down system for intentional focus to bottom-up circuits that eventually make its execution effortless. At that point you don’t need to think about it –– you can do the routine well enough on automatic.

Focused attention, like a strained muscle, gets fatigued. Anders Ericsson, a Florida State University psychologist, found world-class competitors –– whether weight lifters, pianists or a dog-sled team –– tend to limit arduous practice to about four hours a day. Rest and restoring physical and mental energy get built into their training regimen. They seek to push themselves and their bodies to the max, but not so much that their focus gets diminished in the practice session. Optimal practice maintains optimal concentration.

 

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How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace

You know you can do more with your career. And the future is going to demand more of you. The problem is you are so busy keeping up with the day-to-day that you can’t prepare for tomorrow. Stretch: How to Future-Proof Yourself for Tomorrow’s Workplace gives you the confidence and knowledge you need to achieve your goals in an ever-changing world. Karie Willyerd and Barbara Mistick — established experts and the collective winners of dozens of awards in the field of personal development and learning — offer evidence-based guidance on obtaining the skills you will need to thrive in tomorrow’s workplace.

Stretch offers advice, valuable insights, anecdotes and recommendations to make achieving your goals practical and within reach. To remain relevant in spite of change, you need to know how to learn in any situation, open your thinking to a world beyond where you are now, connect to the people who can help you make your future happen, seek experiences that will prepare you for tomorrow and stay motivated through the ups and downs of a career so you can bounce forward.

Stretch offers five practices to help you start, enhance and lengthen your career by anticipating the needs of tomorrow’s work environment. Don’t become obsolete. Instead, stretch to achieve your potential.

IN THIS SUMMARY, YOU WILL LEARN:
• The global megatrends that will affect your future.
• The three stretch imperatives and the five practices that will allow you to fulfill those imperatives.
• The top 10 capabilities you will need for the future.

Review: Small Data By Martin Lindstrom

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The focus on big data — the aggregation and analysis of a seemingly bottomless pool of data on what we buy, what we watch, what websites we navigate and even whom we talk to on social media — is nearing “craze” proportions. Into the fray steps marketing iconoclast Martin Lindstrom, who argues that businesses need to put the databases and algorithms aside for a bit and focus instead on a different kind of data — data about the kind of magnets people have on their refrigerators, for example, or why single young men really buy Roombas (vacuum cleaning robots), or why store clerks began wearing T-shirts with Apple logos even though the store was not an Apple store.

These are all examples of what Lindstrom calls “small data,” and are taken from some of Lindstrom’s actual client projects as described in his fascinating new book, Small Data. As a branding consultant, Lindstrom spends 300 days a year traveling to people’s homes and workplaces to better understand who they are, why they do what they do and how this information — this “small data” — can help his clients serve them better. Lindstrom doesn’t just talk to his customers. He goes into their kitchens and their bedrooms, he looks through their drawers and purses (with permission), he examines the art they have on their walls — all in the hunt for the breakthrough clues that will lead to better products and services or more successful stores.

Click here to read this review in full.

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