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04.30.16

LeadershipNow 140: April 2016 Compilation

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twitter Here are a selection of tweets from April 2016 that you might have missed:
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Posted by Michael McKinney at 09:03 AM
| Comments (0) | LeadershipNow 140

04.25.16

Making Sense of Speed, Agility and Innovation

Leading Forum
This is a post by Jeffrey Phillips and Alex Verjovsky authors of Outmaneuver: OutThink, don’t OutSpend

Every executive knows that speed is important. Meg Whitman at Hewlett-Packard declared recently that “the future belongs to the fast.” But is speed enough? If you can simply accelerate the current activities, products and strategies that your business implements, will that help you win in the future?

Or what about being more “agile.” Agile was originally a software technique, meant to shorten software development times and make the development team more accountable to customer needs. From there, everyone is adopting the concept of “agile.” There’s agile marketing, introduced by thought leaders at CMG. Can agile help you win more? Of course. Is it, by itself, enough? Probably not.

Or, think about innovation. There’s probably no other topic that has the same level of emphasis across industries and geographies. Everyone knows innovation is important. But again, if you can innovate successfully, is that enough? Do any of these factors, by themselves, help your company win?

We believe that each of these factors is important, but left to themselves, implemented in a discrete fashion, without integration or coordination they won’t make a significant difference. But if you could create a framework in which each of these activities were a vital component leading to a completely new way to compete, then you’d see a significant impact on your revenues, profits and market share.

Maneuver Strategy

Fortunately, such an integrated framework exists. In our book OutManeuver we detail a new competitive strategy that leverages speed, agility, insight and innovation to win the most at the least possible cost. Maneuver stands in opposition to existing “attrition” strategy, where firms fight expensive battles over small differences in market share based on essentially similar products. Feature to feature competition fought over a fixed market leads to commoditization and price wars, ignoring differentiators like speed, agility and innovation that may open new markets or create new alternatives.

Maneuver, like attrition, is a military strategy that has been adapted to business competition, yet to date attrition has been the predominant business strategy. That’s because attrition requires less planning and less insight, and is often easier to implement initially, because it simply copies what competitors are doing and seeks to damage or destroy competitors. Maneuver, on the other hand, seeks to identify and win valuable but unoccupied markets, segments or channels, or, if attacking a competitor is required, discovering vulnerabilities that can be exploited at the least possible cost. Thus, while attrition requires little upfront thinking, it has a high cost of implementation, while maneuver requires more reconnaissance and intelligence and has a lower cost of execution.

The “what” and the “why”

In truth, factors like speed, agility and innovation aren’t all that valuable by themselves. They are enablers to a larger capability – maneuver strategy. Many corporations are focusing on the “how” – more speed, more agility and more innovation, without thinking about the “why.” Speed, agility and innovation aren’t required in an attrition strategy, but are definitely important in a maneuver strategy. But without the appropriate strategy, speed, agility and innovation may not pay off. OutManeuver develops the importance and applicability of maneuver strategy, and demonstrates how to use enablers like speed, agility, insight and innovation to win more at the least possible cost. So, the next time someone tells you that the “future belongs to the fast,” or that you must increase your innovation output, ask them about their strategy. If your corporate strategy is based on attrition, there’s little need for more speed or innovation, because attrition is an expensive but broad based battle against incumbents. Instead, you could assist with a rethinking of strategy, to introduce maneuver strategy and tactics, which will leverage speed, agility and innovation and reinforce new strategic thinking, to win more at less cost.

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Leadership
Jeffrey Phillips and Alex Verjovsky are the authors of Outmaneuver: OutThink, don’t OutSpend. Phillips leads OVO Innovation, an innovation consulting company in Raleigh, NC. Verjovsky is a consultant, an entrepreneur, and a pioneer in the biodiesel market.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 11:58 PM
| Comments (0) | Leading Forum

04.12.16

Booknotes: Bob Benmosche - Good For the Money

Booknotes ☙ Bob Benmosche came out of retirement in August 2009 to lead American International Group’s turnaround. Although few doubted it was even possible, under his leadership, AIG repaid the $182.3 billion taxpayer bailout, with the government claiming a profit of more than $20 billion.

☙ His my-way-or-the-highway style worked well in this turnaround/crisis situation. He was just what AIG needed. A colorful and outspoken leader, his memoirs are full of colorful stories. Throughout his career he dedicated a great deal of time to leadership development throughout the organizations he led. Benmosche died of lung cancer on February 27, 2015 six months after he left AIG. Here are some quotes from his memoir, Good For the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America:

☙ Within any organization, leadership is indeed a shared responsibility. That idea must become part of the entire operation’s DNA. People must feel they have the freedom to do all kinds of things, including making mistakes, or they will never succeed.

☙ If it ain’t broke, break it and make it better.

Play the hand that’s dealt you. If there’s a less-than-perfect opportunity, but it’s the only one on the horizon, you grab it and make the best of it you can.

☙ If you have no choking chain of debt around your neck, you don’t have to be obligated to do things that don’t make sense. If you do not have that financial freedom, you find yourself trapped in life.

☙ Could the nation’s crisis been handled differently? But we needed to do something. But instead of just acting, and moving forward and fixing, we started to play the blame game. That’s where we failed. We failed by saying we’re going to create laws, we’re going to put people in jail, there should be a law against people who make bad judgments. If that happened the entire country would be in jail because all of us made mistakes in our lives. That’s the issue I have. It’s not with the actions the nation took; it was the blaming and the viciousness that went on after the actions were taken.

☙ I needed employees to stay with proper compensation. The expertise of those who understood the deals was crucial to undoing the damage.

☙ I understood the public’s anger. But there is a difference between appreciating the outrage and becoming captive of it. There was no way we were going to save this company if I dwelled on it. My responsibility was to rebuild, not atone. Bad business practices got us into the mess, but the country had to be reassured that good practices could get us out of it again.

☙ These bonuses are not rewards at all; they’re part of one’s normal compensation.

☙ Being yourself is never a mistake. Even if what you do is sometimes taken the wrong way.

☙ When you talk to people about what you’re doing, just tell them the truth. Don’t sugarcoat it. Tell it like it is. And if you manage to do what you’re saying you’re going to do, if you can pull that part off, it will pay off for you over and over.

☙ Sometimes, the most obvious observations simply need to be verbalized.

Leadership Vertigo
Buy at AMZN

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 06:53 PM
| Comments (0) | Leaders

04.07.16

The One Ingredient You Must Demonstrate in Your Leadership

Perry Noble suggests that there is one ingredient that would make a lot of leadership issues go away. In The Most Excellent Way to Lead, he turns to the advice of the apostle Paul in 1 Corinthians 13.

Love
Paul had a lot to say about leadership and rightly so. Leadership comes to us naturally but without some guidance it’s not just easy to get it wrong, it's highly probable. In Paul’s first letter to the Corinthian church, he is discussing – in chapter 12 – how people should work together and points out that we all have roles but that none is more important or better than another. Just different.

And then at the end of chapter 12 he lists some of the roles needed in the church, but then he says in chapter 13 that no matter who you think you are or how gifted you think you are, if you can’t do it in love—outgoing concern for others—then you are nothing. Your leadership doesn't matter. You aren’t doing it right.

It sounds like Paul is just saying play nicer, but he’s talking about serving others in some of the most difficult ways possible.
“The most excellent way to lead is also the most difficult. It goes against our natural tendencies and the culture we live in, and it highlights the fact that leadership is ultimately about the leader.”
Paul is taking about being patient with others when your patience has run out.

Being kind when they don’t deserve it.

Being supportive of other people’s success and helpful when they stumble.

Looking out for the best interests of other’s before yourself.

Never keeping a tally of other people’s failures and wrong behaviors.

Always seeking the truth even when gossip is more believable.

Choosing to trust others when it would be easier to be suspicious of them.

Being optimistic even when circumstances compel you to do otherwise.

And never giving up on people even when you are discouraged.

Noble does a good job explaining each of these and more both on a personal level and organizationally. “The way we look at other people is important,” writes Noble, “and when we see them through the lens of love, our capacity to lead significantly increases.” Without love, as Simon Sinek has pointed out, “people are forced to spend too much time and energy protecting themselves from each other.”

Mark Sanborn adds, “when we allow love to define who we are as we work, we become irresistible leaders with a contagious passion for what we do.”

This is how we get things done through others. This is how we develop others and allow them to flourish under our leadership. It’s how we build more leaders to carry on after we are gone.

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Posted by Michael McKinney at 10:02 AM
| Comments (0) | Leadership

04.01.16

First Look: Leadership Books for April 2016

Here's a look at some of the best leadership books to be released in April.

  The Third Wave: An Entrepreneur's Vision of the Future by Steve Case
  Good for the Money: My Fight to Pay Back America by Bob Benmosche
  Negotiating the Nonnegotiable: How to Resolve Your Most Emotionally Charged Conflicts by Daniel Shapiro
  The Ideal Team Player: How to Recognize and Cultivate The Three Essential Virtues by Patrick M. Lencioni
  The Three-Box Solution: A Strategy for Leading Innovation by Vijay Govindarajan

Third Wave Benmosche Nonnegotiable Team Player Under New Management

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“Books serve to show a man that those original thoughts of his aren’t very new after all.”
— Abraham Lincoln


Posted by Michael McKinney at 05:29 AM
| Comments (0) | Books



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