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Leadership & Organization Blog

Short and snackable insights on talent management, organizational design, agility, culture, change management, HR analytics and technology, leadership, and merger management from our experienced partners at the forefront of today’s trends.

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Hiring from unlikely sources as the talent pool shrinks

In today’s tight labor market, organizations are vying to fill open positions as the U.S. unemployment rate is at record lows. Increasingly, companies are turning to unexpected sources, such as ex-convicts, many never considered before for hard-to-fill jobs. Those with a prior criminal record, for instance, are being hired by some companies, such as Midwest manufacturers and 175-plus companies that have signed up at jobsforfelonshub.com. Others are lessening drug history requirements or ...

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A small nudge to create stunning team results

Could you boost your team’s creative thinking just by passing around warm mugs of tea? Responsible use of “nudges” – subtle interventions that guide choices without restricting them – can be the key to opening up creativity, innovation and great performance levels to individuals and ultimately organizations. We set up these ideas in two recent blog posts (here and here) about the technique of nudging to influence behavior and propel action. To demonstrate how subtle ...

Understanding the role of analytics in modern baseball

Baseball, more than any other sport, is a game of tradition and one that is notoriously resistant to change. Yet in the past 15 years, advanced analytics have assumed a central role in every front office. As the Houston Astros complete another 100-win season, the team’s General Manager, Jeff Luhnow – a former lapetitemort.info consultant and the man behind the 2017 World Series Champions – explains how analytics is dramatically changing America’s pastime. Baseball, of course, is a ...

New leaders: Tap your team ASAP

Transitioning to the C-suite is proving more challenging than ever as new leaders find they have very little time to adapt to today’s constantly changing business environment. Here’s one central piece of advice from hundreds of executives we have surveyed: Select your team of direct reports as quickly as possible. What’s clear is that success is driven by the ability to get the right team in place ASAP given the circumstances. Seventy-five percent of our survey respondents ...

When legal and compliance meet agile

A financial services client recently worried that as its teams get nimbler, they may neglect key legal and risk issues. A pharmaceutical company fretted that in enhancing patient and physician support, its teams were moving too fast for its legal and compliance experts. How should agile organizations, particularly in heavily regulated industries such as banking and healthcare, address legal, risk and compliance issues? And how can the legal department adopt a more agile approach, since the ...

Collide with your team for the best results

Collisions spark creativity, just as particles colliding with sufficient energy – a destructive act itself – sparks discovery of new and exotic particles that physicists have never observed before. Team members must learn to collide, to work together differently. Collision of ideas and perspectives fosters the emergence of unconventional collaboration and new solutions to tough challenges. Paradoxically, by bringing energy and co-creativity, creative collision can help destruct silos ...

Sleep more, work better: tips on getting more zzz’s

Sleep deprivation is a problem of epic proportions among professionals globally, but it is often neglected by organizations. I know the impact. I struggled with it for years when work dominated my life, undermining my sleeping patterns and, ultimately, my performance. During a decade-long period when sleep issues impacted every sphere of my life, I identified several potentially effective treatments for busy executives. Ultimately, the remedies did not lie solely in specialized assistance or ...

What heavy industry can teach you about agility

Organizational simplicity. Fast execution. Clear responsibilities. Fluid teams. Agile planning practices. Companies in every field are rushing to make these organizational changes to compete in today’s marketplace. But one industry that has been lagging more than most – heavy industry – is using innovative ideas borrowed from the tech sector to bolster performance and respond to increased environmental rules and the need for further cost savings. What one global chemical ...

Houston Astros: winning the World Series with advanced analytics

Professional sports teams traditionally have used their time-earned instincts to make critical player and on-the-field decisions. Increasingly, they’re relying on advanced data analytics to help. Consider the Houston Astros’ data-driven process that, in just four years, helped take the team from last place to winning Major League Baseball’s 2017 World Series. This practice required getting the organization to embrace data and analytics, translate it into ideas that matter and ...

Want happy customers? Focus on happy employees

It was 5:18 a.m. – after a five-hour, red-eye flight – when I arrived at the tony vineyard resort, where in three hours, I would face 15 participants in a two-day leadership training program. But the receptionist couldn’t find my reservation and didn’t seem to care much. When I got to my room 90 minutes later, a note of greeting read: “Hospitality and service as a way of life.” Oh, the irony! The incident spotlights that being customer-centric requires a ...

How to become an agile CIO

As more companies go fully digital and agile, they start to look more like technology companies. No matter the product or service they offer, companies must embrace that technology is shaping our world and today’s business cannot run without IT. CIOs can serve as catalysts by setting direction and establishing the system and infrastructure for people to do their jobs effectively in an agile organization. Their opportunity lies in becoming a product visionary, being much less of an IT ...

How to advance your talent plan to stay relevant

Corporations are under immense pressure to adapt to work-transforming automation and artificial intelligence technologies. These innovations are having a profound effect on the workforce in every industry, as relevant skills are in short supply. To proactively build a competitive workforce of the future requires gaining clarity on today’s workforce gaps and the future skills needed; a robust plan to supply the future demand; and rapid, disciplined execution. There are different ...

Right-skilling for your future workforce

The fourth Industrial Revolution, as some call it, has the potential to disrupt entire industries and trigger massive job loss through technological innovations, such as artificial intelligence, machine learning and 3D printing. Just consider the impact of driverless cars on the taxi and ride-sharing industry. This new age requires significant “right-skilling” – retraining your workforce and acquiring people with the right skills to fill the gaps. For right-skilling, ...

Your organization’s health: the ultimate competitive edge

Routine blood tests provide results that give an indication of how healthy you are, but to be able to really advise you on what needs to change, the doctor needs to understand what activities – practices – you are doing (or not doing) that produce these results. If one outcome of the check-up is that cholesterol levels are higher than they should be, chances are that dietary practices are the cause and reducing saturated fats could help. The same goes for organizations. Health ...

Change management: lessons from Japan

When it comes to evolution, “it is not the strongest or the most intelligent who will survive but those who can best manage change,” maintained naturalist Charles Darwin. So it is with modernizing and changing operating models within organizations. This can often be met with resistance by employees and exasperated further by cultural influences. In Japan, consensus building is a strong part of the culture and change management programs fail primarily from employee resistance at the ...