Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 22, 2022

Weekly Pulse by William Meller - Week 22 2022
Weekly Pulse is content curation and highlights from readings, books, 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 - Radical Change, The Quiet Way
#2 - The Myth of Multitasking: Why Fewer Priorities Leads to Better Work
#3 - The AI Revolution
#4 - Why Every Executive Should Be Focusing on Culture Change Now
#5 - How The Most Successful Teams Bridge the Strategy-Execution Gap
#6 - The VUCA World
#7 - Book Notes: Agile Product Management with Scrum - Roman Pichler


Radical Change, The Quiet Way

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Debra E. Meyerson
Year: 2001

Summary: At one point or another, many managers experience a pang of conscience—a yearning to confront the basic or hidden assumptions, interests, practices, or values within an organization that they feel are stodgy, unfair, even downright wrong. But despite feeling at odds with aspects of the prevailing culture, they genuinely like their jobs and want to continue to succeed in them, so they work quietly to challenge prevailing wisdom and gently provoke their organizational cultures to adapt. 

3 Highlights:

"... Even the smallest forms of disruptive self-expression can be exquisitely powerful..."

"... Tempered radicals bear no banners; they sound no trumpets. Their ends are sweeping, but their means are mundane..."

"... They often work individually yet pull people together. Instead of stridently pressing their agendas, they start conversations. Rather than battling powerful foes, they seek powerful friends. And in the face of setbacks, they keep going..."



The Myth of Multitasking

Source:  James Clear Site
Author:  James Clear
Year: 2015

Summary: Yes, we are capable of doing two things at the same time. It is possible, for example, to watch TV while cooking dinner or to answer an email while talking on the phone. What is impossible, however, is concentrating on two tasks at once. Multitasking forces your brain to switch back and forth very quickly from one task to another.

3 Highlights:

"... Doing more things does not drive faster or better results. Doing better things drives better results. Even more accurately, doing one thing as best you can drive better results..."

"... I think we need to say no to being busy and say yes to being committed to our craft..."

"... And the more I study people who are able to do that, people who are masters of their craft, the more I notice that they have one thing in common. The people who do the most valuable work have a remarkable willingness to say no to distractions and focus on their one thing..."



The AI Revolution

Source: Wait But Why
Author: Tim Urban
Year: 2015

Summary: What we do know is that humans’ utter dominance on this Earth suggests a clear rule: with intelligence comes power. This means a powerful AI when we create it, will be the most powerful being in the history of life on Earth, and all living things, including humans, will be entirely at its whim—and this might happen in the next few decades.

3 Highlights:

"... If our meager brains were able to invent wifi, then something 100 or 1,000 or 1 billion times smarter than we are should have no problem controlling the positioning of each and every atom in the world in any way it likes, at any time..."

"... When it comes to something like a computer that improves itself, we might seem far away but actually be just one tweak of the system away from having it become 1,000 times more effective and zooming upward to human-level intelligence..."

"... The idea is that we’d build a computer whose two major skills would be doing research on AI and coding changes into itself—allowing it to not only learn but to improve its own architecture. We’d teach computers to be computer scientists so they could bootstrap their own development. And that would be their main job—figuring out how to make themselves smarter..."



Why Every Executive Should Be Focusing on Culture Change Now

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Rose Hollister, Kathryn Tecosky, Michael Watkins, and Cindy Wolpert
Year: 2021

Summary: As the global community emerges from the COVID-19 pandemic, business leaders must lay the foundation for their organizations to thrive in a very different world. To make transformation a reality in their businesses post-pandemic, leaders must build a strong culture to support it.

3 Highlights:

"... For these reasons, leaders must take a proactive approach to build the right culture now and avoid the need to reshape culture in parallel with the large-scale organizational transformation..."

"... Customer centricity and ecosystem focus are the critical reference points for defining organizational strategy and priorities. These elements are the “North and South Stars” by which the organization orients itself and pursues opportunity through focusing on the customer and the network..."

"... Failing to involve critical stakeholders and have them understand why change is necessary can seriously hamper change efforts. Anxiety, cynicism, and resistance inevitably build when people don’t understand the case for change..."



How The Most Successful Teams Bridge the Strategy-Execution Gap

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Nathan Wiita and Orla Leonard
Year: 2017

Summary: Research shows that the most successful senior teams create a permeable membrane between the organization’s mission and its day-to-day activities. They are agile in course-correcting when the needs of the business change, and are more easily prepared to shift organizational resources to ensure that the strategy is executed. 

3 Highlights:

"... The ability to prioritize is a key ingredient to a team’s success. Being intentional about the best and highest use of the team’s time is the key lever in getting results..."

"... High-performing teams, compared to lower-performing teams, spend 54% more time first setting direction, and crafting a vision that serves as a guiding light for decisions regarding resources..."

"... They spend more time strategizing and translating that strategy into actionable goals and interacting with key stakeholders to ascertain and anticipate roadblocks and opportunities..."



The VUCA World

Source: Article of the Week

According to the U.S. Army Heritage and Education Center, it was in 1991, during the conference "Developing Strategic Leadership: The U.S. Army War College Experience", Herbert F. Barber defined strategic leadership within a volatile, uncertain, complex, and ambiguous global environment. 

However, it was just an Army War College Study Project published in 1992 that attributes the use of the terminology to General Thurman who characterized the strategic leadership environment in terms of volatility, uncertainty, complexity, and ambiguity.

Scott Berinato at Harvard Business Review, says that executives have taken to using the military acronym VUCA–Volatility, Uncertainty, Complexity, Ambiguity–to describe the world in which they operate and to ask that question: In a VUCA world, what’s the point of strategy?



Book Notes: Agile Product Management with Scrum - Roman Pichler

Source: Book Notes of the Week

In Agile Product Management with Scrum, leading Scrum consultant Roman Pichler uses real-world examples to demonstrate how product owners can create successful products with Scrum. 

He describes a broad range of agile product management practices, including making agile product discovery work, taking advantage of emergent requirements, creating the minimal marketable product, leveraging early customer feedback, and working closely with the development team.

Benefitting from Pichler’s extensive experience, you’ll learn how Scrum product ownership differs from traditional product management and how to avoid and overcome the common challenges that Scrum product owners face.




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