Posts Tagged ‘Harvard Business Review’

What Anonymous Feedback Will (and Won’t) Tell You

Need to do an employee survey? Conventional wisdom says it should completed confidentially. What is the problem? Lack of trust if employees can’t provide constructive criticism in an open manner. Some great insight in the HBR article below.

A survey evaluating a team’s performance can be a powerful tool for making that team more effective. And the first message that consultants and HR professionals often communicate on these surveys is: “To ensure that the team gets the best data and feels protected, we will make sure responses are confidential.” The widespread assumption is that if team members know their answers are confidential, they will respond honestly. But if you ask for confidential feedback, it might create the very results you are trying to avoid.

If team members are reluctant to have their names associated with their responses, then you’ve already identified what is probably the most significant problem in your team — lack of trust. Leaders routinely insist that team members be accountable as a team, so the logic follows that they should also be accountable for giving good, critical feedback. But enabling respondents to comment without being linked to their responses actually catalyzes the situation the survey is designed to overcome: It seeks to create increased accountability using a process that lacks transparency and precludes accountability.

via What Anonymous Feedback Will (and Won’t) Tell You – Roger Schwarz – Harvard Business Review.


What is the real cost of email?

Tom Cochran  believes that email is the most abused method of communication in every office environment. And the widespread perception that it has no incremental cost is chronically damaging workplace efficiency. According to Tom, the challenge we are facing isn’t an aversion to technology, but change. I think that sums it up very well.

Tom suggests there is an entrenched level of comfort with email, making it habitual and a communications crutch. We have to take a holistic view and see email as one of many channels for collaboration. Adopt a breadth of tools to connect people, teach them the appropriate use of each and encourage smarter use of the right technology.

I also find that an open office environment creates less of a dependency on email as “literally” walls come down and teams naturally collaborate.

More here: Email Is Not Free – Tom Cochran – Harvard Business Review.

Top Salespeople Use LinkedIn to Sell More

Steve W. Martin (Harvard Business Review) recently interviewed 54 top salespeople about how they use LinkedIn to research accounts, prospect for leads, and generate sales. All of the study participants sell technology-based products to the IT departments of mid to large size companies.

Image representing LinkedIn as depicted in Cru...

Image via CrunchBase

The study included three types of salespeople: 33% were inside salespeople who sell exclusively over the phone, 41% were outside field reps responsible for acquiring new accounts, and 26% were outside field reps who managed existing client account.

More: Top Salespeople Use LinkedIn to Sell More – Steve W. Martin – Harvard Business Review.

How to get ahead.I disagree.

This is a very disturbing article from Harvard Business Review. Here is one tidbit.

First, remember “A-B-D” — always be disagreeable:

People who are disagreeable earn more than people who are agreeable, and the gap is biggest among men, according to an analysis of four surveys spanning almost 20 years. Men who are significantly less agreeable than average earn 18.31% more than men who are significantly more agreeable than average, while the comparable figure for women is 5.47%, says the study, led by Beth A. Livingston of Cornell. Men’s disagreeable behavior “conforms to expectations of ‘masculine’ behavior,” the authors say.

via Ouch: A Year’s Worth of Occasionally Disturbing Research on How to Get Ahead – Andrew O’Connell – Harvard Business Review.

From there, a long list of pretty disagreeable items continue. I kept looking for something redeeming. Nothing. Hmmm. If this is the list of what to do, I object.

Are we willing to say “no”?

December 22, 2012 2 comments

Now this is pretty big I think. And … I agree that we rarely pay attention to it. We must have a focus and that requires saying no to certain things, certain clients, and more.

Self control is the ability to say no, in the face of temptation, and to take sustained action, despite the difficulty of a given challenge. At its heart, self-control requires the ability to delay gratification. More commonly, it’s called discipline, or will. Without self-control, we can’t accomplish almost anything of enduring value. And we rarely pay much attention to it.

The Skill that Matters Most – Tony Schwartz – Harvard Business Review

What if we focused on building this skill? What results would be different for us?

As a great leader, do you pay attention to politics?

September 28, 2012 Leave a comment

Linda A. Hill and Kent Lineback, authors of “Being the Boss: The 3 Imperatives for Becoming a Great Leader,” describe the three types of networks you need to succeed. Harvard Business Review video with Linda A. Hill, the Wallace Brett Donham Professor Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Kent Lineback who has spent many years as a manager and an executive in business and government.

A very honest conversation about politics in organizations and why it is important not to ignore it. You may be a CIO or a part of the C-Suite, a VP, a Director, a manager or team player. Should you ignore the politics of relationships?

Can disrupting routines create innovation?

September 20, 2012 Leave a comment

Frank Barrett, author of “Yes to the Mess,” describes why being uncomfortable spurs creative thinking. I love it because he uses examples from Jazz innovators to describe how disrupting routines creates innovation.

There is a great story about Miles Davis and an innovation he brought to jazz. What was the result of this innovation? The highest selling jazz album in history to this date. And this was in 1959.

Worth a quick 3 minutes of you time.

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