Tag Archives: The Beacon Group

Top Navigate Publications

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Somehow, it seems to be that time of year already … back to school and back to business!
While you are ramping up, and tweaking your plans for the remaining months of 2015, allow us to be that little voice that constantly reminds you to step back and take stock. To help you do this, we have selected our three most popular Navigate publications (as determined by our readers), and have provided the links below.
In these issues, you will find important themes such as maintaining perspective and objectivity, anticipating predictable hurdles and keeping pace with rapidly accelerating and unfamiliar changes. If you have read these before, you may want a quick refresher. If you have not had the chance, now might be just the time to shake up your thinking.
Our three top Navigates are:
The Predictable Passages of Organizational Transformation – February 2015 read here
The Devastating Cost of Bias in Leadership – November 2013 read here
Blind Spots, Bias & Bravado – A Toxic Combination – September 2011 read here

this idea must die

A man with a puzzle on his head and a missing piece --- Image by © ImageZoo/Corbis

A man with a puzzle on his head and a missing piece — Image by © ImageZoo/Corbis

Are you left brained or right brained?

Before answering this question too quickly… are you sure that such a thing even exists?

If this intrigues you, you will enjoy (as I did) the Freakonomics podcast entitled “This Idea Must Die” which examines “scientific ideas” that are commonly accepted, but in fact really do need to be retired. Personally, I would love to do this same exercise with a business slant.

Back to the left-brain versus right-brain question. Many, if not all of us, probably have an opinion about whether we ourselves, our spouses, children, and/or friends are left-brained or right-brained, and we assume the left brain/right brain dichotomy is well grounded in scientific study. In reality, according to Sarah-Jayne Blakemore in the podcast, this concept swept into popular culture and was then reproduced so many times that it became perfectly natural for us to apply these labels and simply assume the science behind them. No one is arguing there aren’t important scientific facts behind the understanding of how different components of the brain control different functionality in human beings, however, the notion that we have a left and right side of our brains, which operate independently of one another, according to Blakemore “makes no psychological sense”. Interesting food for thought.

What commonly practiced and accepted business assumptions are you ready to see killed off or die?

Listen to the podcast here

debunking myths about the millennial divide

Co-workers in a meeting

When you Google millennials in the workplace, you find no shortage of articles describing how fundamentally different workers from this generation are, from all who came before. You’ll find articles on how they think differently, they act differently, they communicate and work differently, and that’s just the beginning.

According to a new report, however, when it comes to workplace preferences, perhaps generational differences aren’t as much of a factor as media accounts of millennial uniqueness might indicate. Perhaps it’s even time to stop sensationalizing the millennial divide, and start focusing instead on workplace environments and practices that foster productivity and success for all.

read the entire article here

leading a winning team

leading a winning team

After almost 30 years at the helm of English Football’s Manchester United, Sir Alex Ferguson is regarded by many to be the most successful, admired and respected manager in the history of the
game. After his retirement in 2013, Anita Alberse, along with Ferguson himself, set out to outline and detail the primary management principles which contributed to Ferguson’s long standing success within the game. Not surprisingly, these principals transition quite naturally over to a business application, two different yet similar worlds, where ultimate success hinges on the creation of a strong and dedicated work team. I’ve listed the principals below, however, the true insight lies in Alberse and Ferguson’s detailed descriptions of the implications and value of each one.
I highly encourage this read, especially for anyone who feels strongly about the parallels between sport and business leadership.

1. Start with the Foundation
2. Dare to Rebuild Your Team
3. Set High Standards – and Hold Everyone to Them
4. Never, Ever Cede Control
5. Match the Message to the Moment
6. Prepare to Win
7. Rely on the Power of Observation
8. Never Stop Adapting

Mindset of Exploration and Discovery

In the current context, the future is optimized when core organizational strategies are framed by a mindset of exploration and discovery, rather than one of exploitation and defense. A strategy based on the old model of exploiting a particular product, market segment, customer group or type of technology is fatally flawed in the world we now live in. Strategies based on the old model have a half-life that is shrinking and are a sure path to competitive disadvantage when events unfold in the unpredictable, non-linear and even irrational fashion in which they almost assuredly will.

A strategic mindset fueled by curiosity, exploration and discovery will produce a higher rate of opportunity creation than would ever be possible through the old methods. It is the more nimble, fleet of foot approach that is better suited to the times in which we live and the competitive marketplaces in which we do business. The choice has effectively been made for us by the context in which we have been asked to operate.

Insight, Intellect, and Practicality

The emphasis we have placed on the value of accumulated or stored knowledge we have worshiped in the past, is now a potentially dangerous source of false confidence. It is actually a rapidly depreciating asset, given the fact the half-life of anything new is shortening every day. To become a transformational leader and truly differentiate yourself, it has become increasingly important to work on your timely retrieval ability, rather than on your storage capacity. The more novel and different things you experience or have an interest in, the more likely your brain will be able to fill in the missing pieces and make the new connections that allow us to make sense out of apparent nonsense.

There are several new mindsets required for someone to thrive as a transformational business leader today. Regardless of the final destination we may choose for our organization, we know the starting point is the same. It all begins with the leader developing a rich and diversified experience repertoire from which new attitudes and new competencies can then flow. It is the complex combination of insight, intellect and practicality that together allow great leaders to not only have a superior radar system with which to detect signals, but also the ability to make rapid fire connections. It is based on their confidence, amplified by their adaptability and fuelled by their intellectual curiosity.

5 Challenges for the Modern Leader: Clarity and Credibility

This week, I am proposing 5 challenges facing modern leaders, and the respective competencies needed to face each challenge. If you like a specific post, please ‘like/favourite/share’ it. The post with the most amount of engagements will earn a follow up post outlining HOW TO DEVELOP COMPETENCIES RELATED TO THAT POST.

Clarity and Credibility

The second challenge modern leaders face is the ability to establish clarity and credibility. Are goals and intentions made clear? Do employees share their leaders’ vision. Has the leader established credibility?

And by credibility, I mean the implicit value attributed to the level of confidence the organization has in the leadership team’s ability. Specifically, it is the ability to navigate a chosen course to a safe and desirable destination, and the corresponding willingness of the members of the organization to fully invest themselves in making that journey.

The competencies needed for clarity and credibility are:

EQ- Emotional Intelligence. How you treat people; how you read and empathize with their emotions. This is HUGE.
DMQ- Decision Making Intelligence. The ability to frame and resolve wicked challenges.

Interested in how to develop EQ and DMQ? Like this post on Facebook or Twitter to warrant a detailed follow up post!