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Archive for the ‘Management’ Category

The Social Project ManagerIn The Social Project Manager, project management consultant Peter Taylor examines the shift from traditional, top-down project management toward a new socially oriented paradigm that encourages the free exchange of ideas at all levels. In keeping with the theme of being social and collaborative, Taylor invites industry experts to share their perspectives and offers his comments in response. Because projects are about people, not processes, and technology has changed the way people communicate in their everyday lives, social project management is set to become the new standard. As project managers’ responsibilities continue to grow, macromanaging by harnessing the abilities and contributions of their teams will become increasingly vital to delivering projects on time and on budget.

The author believes that:

  • People already use advanced tools, apps, and software to share and access information in their personal lives. By leveraging these emerging habits in the professional arena, managers can benefit their projects, teams, and organizations.
  • Projects are social by nature; therefore, any project can benefit from increased communication and collaboration. Centralized control and governance are still necessary, but the project’s scale and complexity will determine how much is appropriate.
  • Newer project management models integrate decentralized control, bottom-up planning and execution, global access to real-time information, and open communication to foster team empowerment, individual buy-in, and ownership of responsibility.
  • The structure of a suitably governed project plan combined with the richness of online social tools and techniques offer the ideal balance between traditional, authoritative project management and newer, more collaborative models.
  • Success requires choosing the right tool for the needs of the project or enterprise, orienting and educating team members on how to use it properly, and creating a culture where communication and collaboration are effective rather than distracting.
  • Globally distributed teams, increased market competition, and increased internal expectations will inevitably make social project management increasingly more vital. The more socially mature an organization is, the better positioned it will be for the future.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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120433648In Simple Is the New Smart, Rob Fazio emphasizes the importance of simplifying the pursuit of success. He offers working professionals and managers smart cuts for making inroads in their careers and achieving their goals, both at work and in life. His four foundations for success (psychological swagger, reading, leading, and accelerating) guide people to stay positive, be aware of their strengths and setbacks, build skills and abilities, and hold themselves accountable. Fazio develops these principles into 26 simple, straightforward strategies people can use to improve their focus and increase the probability of achieving their goals.

The author believes that:

In an increasingly complex world, it can be difficult for people to focus on what matters in life and in work. People can learn to reach their potential and achieve success through simplicity by following 26 small strategies, or smart cuts. These strategies constitute four foundations for success:

1. Psychological swagger. People’s attitudes greatly affect their ability to achieve their goals. It is important for professionals to banish doubts and insecurities, and instead focus on the positive. Learning to release control and adopting an ownership mindset can also help improve a person’s attitude.

2. Reading. People must be open to learning and able to develop self-awareness. They should acknowledge both their strengths and weaknesses, be aware of how others think of them, act with intention, and learn to be politically savvy.

3. Leading. Leaders are able to inspire innovation, motivate and persuade others, network, develop emotional intelligence, and master the art of conversation.

4. Accelerating. Effective leaders support a vision with a plan, build support for change, set priorities, refocus following setbacks, manage stress, and encourage others on the road to finding solutions.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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hiring-greatness

In Hiring Greatness, David E. Perry and Mark J. Haluska draw upon 45 years of collective experience to provide an inside view of the executive recruiting process. They show how organizations can develop a structured, comprehensive approach to executive recruiting—finding, hiring, and retaining the best executives while avoiding the judgment errors that have cost some companies billions of dollars. All of the principles, tools, and techniques are illustrated using the story of Perry’s 1,000th search project.

The author believes that:

  • Defining value. Companies must understand that hiring the right senior executive is the most important decision they will make. They must assess what experience and qualities are important, find people with these attributes, and convince the best candidate to join the firm. Under the right circumstances, hiring an executive search professional (ESP) is critical.
  • Set up the search committee. Companies must organize an appropriate search committee and select the best possible chair, who will direct the search, including managing the relationship with the ESP.
  • Prepare. A clear understanding of the roles and responsibilities of the job is vital to success. A detailed job description is the foundational document, followed by a position profile designed to appeal to the best candidates. A confidential candidate brief will allow candidates to summarize their fitness for the position.
  • Position the opportunity. Proper research increases the likelihood of attracting the right executive. Top prospects should then be recruited directly and earnestly.
  • Find the right fit. Planning for a robust but quick interview process is crucial. Character, intellect, business intelligence, leadership, and emotional intelligence should be assessed. The process should include a face-to-face interview with two recruiters, an interview with the search chair, an interview with the chair and hiring authority, a final interview with the search committee, and a business presentation by the finalist candidate.
  • Carry out due diligence. Checking references is critical in the hiring process to separate fact from fiction and distinguish real stars from professional interviewees. The best references are from people with recent, first-hand experience with the candidate.
  • Seal the deal. Successful offers must meet the needs of the individual as well as the firm. Counteroffers should be anticipated and headed off early in the process.

To learn more, please visit www.bizsum.com

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superbossesThere are a few lucky people in the world today who have been managed and mentored by excellent bosses. These bosses motivate, coach, and inspire employees in consistent but unconventional ways. Sydney Finkelstein researched how these leaders operate and documented his finding in Superbosses, which outlines the differences between traditional managers and these unique leaders and highlights their best practices. The result is a playbook that others can use to enhance their own managerial and leadership skills.

Superbosses are a unique category of supervisor. They recruit, motivate, coach, and inspire employees in consistent but unconventional ways. Research conducted by Sydney Finkelstein highlights the following facts about superbosses:

  • Superbosses typically fall into one of three categories: Iconoclasts, Glorious Bastards, and Nurturers. Iconoclasts are fixated on their work, Glorious Bastards are focused on winning at all costs, and Nurturers guide their employees to reach their maximum potential.
  • Superbosses share five characteristics. They are highly confident, competitive, imaginative, authentic, and they possess high levels of integrity.
  • When hiring, superbosses follow their own rules. They look for people with unusual intelligence, creativity, and extreme flexibility. Superbosses tend to be opportunistic when it comes to hiring.
  • Superbosses become talent magnets. As star employees leave for other opportunities, there is a continual pipeline of new, promising talent waiting in the wings.
  • Superbosses expect world class performance from employees. They inspire performance and instill self-confidence in their protégés.
  • Superbosses are innovators and expect employees to be innovative also. They encourage risk taking and rule breaking, view failure as opportunities, and refuse to accept complacency.
  • Superbosses embrace the apprenticeship model. They offer mentoring to employees and take responsibility for their growth and development.
  • Superbosses are skilled delegators. They understand the details of their businesses. After delegating tasks, they leave employees alone if things are going well. If things go awry they step in and take action.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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InBecoming the Boss Becoming the Boss, Lindsey Pollak provides insight on leadership styles, communicating, and resolving people issues for those who aspire to become business leaders, especially individuals in the millennial generation. The book covers preparation, personal branding, essential leadership qualities, prioritizing, delegating, and career growth. It also discusses the value of having mentors and mentoring others.

According to Pollak:

  • Before leading others, leaders must learn to lead themselves. They can build the right mind-sets and attitudes by reading, networking, training, and practicing leadership in their everyday lives. They must then craft their own personal leadership brands that incorporate four essential elements: visibility, differentiation, consistency, and authenticity.
  • By attending to their online personas, leaders can work to eliminate negative information and build positive virtual brands. Social media sites such as LinkedIn and Twitter can be useful places to post professional biographies and links.
    The best leaders are good listeners. Listening helps leaders learn about their employees, communicate their expectations, and show others that they value outside input.
  • Leaders must communicate using the most effective and appropriate methods available. Conveying very sensitive information in person is usually the best choice. Emailing is appropriate for nearly all communications, but phone calls work best for urgent matters. Texting and instant messaging are quick and effective communication methods, but they should be reserved for casual interactions.
  • Leaders must delegate and prioritize tasks in order of their importance. They should give their full attention to each task rather than multitasking, and assign any work that does not require their personal attention to their employees.
  • Mentors help leaders achieve their career goals. There are five types of mentors: traditional, co-mentors, sponsors, peers, and parents.
  • Professional growth never ends. Leaders who decide to be great, stay humble, make committed decisions, and make their own rules are the most likely to reach their goals.

To learn more, please visit http://www.bizsum.com

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91717331Change is endemic in the modern corporate setting, and employees who are continually learning are better equipped to evolve with this change. In Managers as Mentors, Chip R. Bell and Marshall Goldsmith present a mentoring guide that assists managers in taking on coaching roles to enhance the skills and abilities of associates. The authors emphasize that protégés are meant to develop into confident individuals who assume greater roles, and that the mentor/protégé connection is a partnership in which both parties gain valuable insights throughout the process. Managers as Mentors explores the full range of mentoring, from creating empathy, sharing knowledge, and effective listening to stimulating curiosity, assessing performance, and letting the protégé independently exercise newly-mastered skills.

According to the authors:

  • The best mentors recognize that their relationships are based on mutual interests, interdependence, and respect. The communication between mentor and protégé must be honest, straightforward, and open.
  • Protégés learn best when they are tutored in an atmosphere of trust and acceptance. Some may bring anxiety to the relationship, and this is a learning barrier because it suppresses risk taking. The mentor must overcome this by building rapport to a level where the protégé is willing to take rational risks.
  • A motivated protégé is one who will learn. Learners are better prepared psychologically if they accept the “why” of learning before they hear the “what” and the “how.”
  • Communication without judgment is essential to mentoring. Mentors should express themselves to protégés in terms of acceptance and affirmation in order to eliminate protégé defensiveness and encourage freer expression.
  • Mentors must remember that discussions are opportunities to augment their learning, not lecture. Good mentors yield the pulpit as much as possible to allow their protégés to think for themselves.
  • Listening is essential to mentoring. Mentors should give undivided attention to their protégés, deny distractions, and make their protégés the absolute focus of their energies. This fosters greater understanding by ensuring that communication between the two parties becomes the foundation of intellectual linkage.
  • A certain level of dependency is unavoidable in the mentor/protégé relationship, but it can be harmful if permitted to become too influential. To avoid hindering growth and development, alternative routes to learning must be explored.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Monday Morning Leadership, Power Mentoring, The Complete Guide to Mentoring

 

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91260023In The New Workforce Challenge, Andrés Hatum aims to help companies meet the challenge of absorbing the technologically savvy millennial generation into the workforce at the very time that organizations are changing faster than ever before in response to the turbulence they face worldwide. Hatum examines how firms are organizing for the future, the impact of the new organizational forms on the workplace, and the practices that firms are putting into place to attract, develop, and retain the new generation of workers. Hatum believes that the workplace and workforce need to be analyzed together in order to present the big picture. By shedding light on recent changes that organizations have gone through and likely changes to come in the future, companies can better understand how to manage the new workforce.

In his book, Hatum informs readers that:

  • Successful firms are adaptable and innovative; they combine changes in structure, such as decentralization, delayering, and project forms of organizing; processes, such as horizontal communication, investments in information technology, and new human resource (HR) practices; and firm boundaries, such as downscoping, outsourcing, and greater use of strategic alliances.
  • Agile and virtual firms will shape the marketplace and at the same time will influence and be influenced by the new workforce.
  • Heterogeneity and diversity characterize the new workforce and have replaced the previously homogeneous workforce.
  • Millennials, the generation born between 1979 and 1997, value work-life integration and a flexible workplace.
  • There are four main values that drive Millennials: multitasking, desire to integrate work and personal life, concern for society and the environment, and access to technology.
  • Companies’ are relying less on their brands to attract and retain employees and more on their Employee Value Propositions (EVPs), which consist of the features that allow companies to promote themselves outwardly and generate loyalty internally.
  • Millennial learning characteristics can be described with the acronym EPIC, which stands for: Experiential, Participatory, Image-rich, and Connected.

To download three free summaries, please visit our site.

Related book summaries in the BBS library: Keeping the Millennials, Managing the Millennials, The Trophy Kids Grow Up

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