Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 08, 2022

Weekly Pulse is a content curation and highlights from readings, books, videos, podcasts, insights, ramblings and other interesting things I discovered and digested during the week.

So, let's go with some discoveries from the week!

#1 - The Psychology Behind Meeting Overload
#2 - Strategy for a Digital World
#3 - This is My Brain on Coffee
#4 - Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great Resignation
#5 - Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System
#6 - The Dunning-Kruger Effect
#7 - Book Notes: Agile Career Development - Mary Ann Bopp, Diana A. Bing, Sheila Forte-Trammell

The Psychology Behind Meeting Overload

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Ashley Whillans, Dave Feldman, and Damian Wisniewski
Year: 2021
Summary: Bad meetings are the bane of the corporate world — and yet despite what appears to be an overwhelming consensus that they’re often unnecessary and unproductive, many workplaces continue to struggle to avoid them. The authors discuss the psychological pitfalls that lead us to schedule and attend too many meetings, and share strategies to help overcome those challenges.

3 Highlights:

"... To avoid meeting amnesia, schedule a short five-minute team debrief after key internal and external calls. These debriefs are especially important in a fully virtual environment..."

"... Scheduling and attending meetings can make us feel like we’ve accomplished something, and so we’re often loath to decline or cancel them, even if they are objectively not as important as our other work..."

"... We all fall prey to the Egocentric Bias from time to time — that is, the tendency to focus more on our own needs, desires, and perspectives. When it comes to meetings, this bias yields a phenomenon that we call “selfish urgency.” That is, leaders will schedule meetings whenever convenient for them, without necessarily considering their teams’ needs or schedules..."

Strategy for a Digital World

Source: McKinsey
Author: Simon Blackburn, Jeff Galvin, Laura LaBerge, and Evan Williams
Year: 2021

Summary: By accelerating digital adoption, the COVID-19 pandemic has widened the gap between the top and bottom companies on the power curve of economic profit, amplifying winner-takes-most dynamics and further separating digital leaders from also-rans. Competitive differentiation, now more than ever, emerges from superior digital capabilities and agile delivery.

3 Highlights:

"... Dynamic resource allocation shifts money, talent, and management attention to where they will deliver the most value to your company..."

"...  Legacy companies may find that remote working and the mass migration to digital channels has helped them discover unexpected savings from cheaper customer interactions and—in some cases—the ability to let go of real estate as they shift toward hybrid working..."

"... Using enterprise agility to meet rapidly changing customer needs can result, unsurprisingly, in a better customer journey..."

This is My Brain on Coffee

Source: Fast Company
Author: Daniel Pink
Year: 1998

Summary: Call Daniel Pink Mr. Coffee. He doesn’t just enjoy the stuff. He needs the stuff. But why? Simply because of the happy dance that in the brain cells perform whenever they meet caffeine molecules? Or is the need lodged somewhere deep in the subconscious?

3 Highlights:

"... The overall story is about preparation the night before because of the expectation of morning immobility, then the release of power and the start of the day, then the fact that this goes on every morning..."

"... Market your product to me using images of movement and achievement..."

"... INow that we’ve anthropomorphized this cup of coffee, let’s say that it’s thinking..."

Toxic Culture Is Driving the Great Resignation

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Donald Sull, Charles Sull, and Ben Zweig
Year: 2022

Summary: While resignation rates are high on average, they are not uniform across companies. The Great Resignation is affecting blue-collar and white-collar sectors with equal force. In general, corporate culture is a much more reliable predictor of industry-adjusted attrition than how employees assess their compensation.

3 Highlights:

"... A toxic corporate culture is the single best predictor of which companies suffered from high attrition in the first six months of the Great Resignation..."

"... This is not to argue that compensation and burnout don’t influence attrition — of course they do. The important point is that other aspects of culture appear to matter even more..."

"... Leaders who are serious about winning the war for talent during the Great Resignation and beyond, however, must do more. They should understand and address the elements of their culture that are causing employees to disengage and leave..."

Using the Balanced Scorecard as a Strategic Management System

Source: Harvard Business Review (Magazine Article)
Author: Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton
Year: 1996

Summary:  In 1992, Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton’s concept of the balanced scorecard revolutionized conventional thinking about performance metrics. By going beyond traditional measures of financial performance, the concept has given a generation of managers a better understanding of how their companies are really doing.

3 Highlights:

"... By relying on measurement, the scorecard forces managers to come to agreement on the 
metrics they will use to operationalize their lofty visions..."

"... The personal scorecard helps to communicate corporate and unit objectives to the people and teams performing the work..."

"... The balanced scorecard, with its specification of the causal relationships between performance drivers and objectives, allows corporate and business unit executives to use their periodic review sessions to evaluate the validity of the unit’s strategy and the quality of its execution...."

The Dunning-Kruger Effect

Source: William Meller - New article

Summary: The Dunning–Kruger effect is the cognitive bias whereby people with low ability at a task overestimate their ability or believe that they are smarter than they really are. The Dunning–Kruger can lead people to make bad decisions, such as choosing a career for which they are unfit or engaging in behavior dangerous for themselves or others due to being unaware or lacking the necessary skills.

3 Highlights:

"... The lesson of the effect was always about how we should be humble and cautious about ourselves..."

"... Another contributing factor is that sometimes a tiny bit of knowledge on a subject can lead people to mistakenly believe that they know all there is to know about it. In other words, just a little bit of knowledge can be a dangerous thing..."

"... As another result of the Dunning-Kruger effect, you may not know what you’re good at, because you assume that what comes easily to you also comes easily to everyone else..."

Book Notes: Agile Career Development - Mary Ann Bopp, Diana A. Bing, Sheila Forte-Trammell

Source: William Meller - Book Notes

How do you make career development work for both the employee and the business? This book is for every business leader who wants to create a high performing organization.

In Agile Career Development, three of IBM's leading HR innovators show how IBM has accomplished this by illustrating various lessons and approaches that can be applied to other organizations as well. Mary Ann Bopp, Sheila Forte-Trammell and Diana A. Bing explain the company’s ongoing programming. They discuss what it does, why and how.


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