Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 24, 2022

Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 24, 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 - The Real Reason People Won’t Change
#2 - The Role of Core Competencies in the Corporation
#3 - To Start a New Habit, Make It Easy
#4 - What to Do When Industry Disruption Threatens Your Career
#5 - Many Strategies Fail Because They’re Not Actually Strategies
#6 - How to Make Remote Brainstorming Work?
#7 - Book Notes: Enterprise-Scale Agile Software - James Schiel


The Real Reason People Won’t Change

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Robert Kegan and Lisa Laskow Lahey
Year: 2001

Summary: Every manager is familiar with the employee who just won’t change. Sometimes it’s easy to see why—the employee fears a shift in power, the need to learn new skills or the stress of having to join a new team. In other cases, such resistance is far more puzzling. An employee has the skills and smarts to make a change with ease, has shown a deep commitment to the company, genuinely supports the change—and yet, inexplicably, does nothing.

3 Highlights:

"... Helping people overcome their limitations to become more successful at work is at the very heart of effective management...."

"... Employees are almost always tremendously relieved when they discover just why they feel as if they are rolling a boulder up a hill only to have it roll back down again..."

"... Because big assumptions are held as fact, they actually inform what people see, leading them to systematically (but unconsciously) attend to certain data and avoid or ignore other data...."



The Role of Core Competencies in the Corporation

Source:  Research-Technology Management
Author:  C. K. Prahalad
Year: 1993

Summary: Core competence is the collective learning in the organization, especially the capacity to coordinate diverse production skills and integrate streams of technologies. It is also a commitment to working across organizational boundaries. Organizing around core competencies requires a radical change in a corporate organization.

3 Highlights:

"... Dramatic growth will take place when we focus on the organization rather than on technology alone..."

"... Value creation is not just catching up with the performance, it is the active management of the opportunity gap as well...."

"... Innovation is the fundamental job of a general manager..."



To Start a New Habit, Make It Easy

Source: The New York Times
Author: Tara Parker-Pope
Year: 2021

Summary: Whether your goal for the new year is to lose weight, start exercising or focus on self-care, ask yourself: How can I make this easier?
In the scientific study of habit formation, the thing that makes it harder for you to achieve your goal is called friction.

3 Highlights:

"... Friction typically comes in three forms — distance, time, and effort..."

"... Pandemic life has altered many of our routines — so friction that used to be there may have disappeared, and new challenges may have added new friction..."

"... Ask yourself, What would make it easier for me to do this..."



What to Do When Industry Disruption Threatens Your Career

Source: MIT Sloan Management Review
Author: Boris Groysberg, Whitney Johnson, and Eric Lin
Year: 2019

Summary: Disruption scholars have focused on how established companies, complacent in their industry position, fail to anticipate their collapse. The companies wither not because they are surpassed in their core capabilities but because they don’t recognize that the competencies that once made them distinctive no longer define success. When your industry becomes volatile, diagnose your own exposure — and then act. 

3 Highlights:

"... The volatility of the industry you work in directly affects the vulnerability of your career. The more things change in your field, the more likely that what you know today will be valued less tomorrow..."

"... After World War II, managers who climbed the corporate ladder often had an expectation of implicitly guaranteed lifetime employment, as an inducement to deepen their institutional knowledge and their commitment to the company..."

"... With externally driven volatility, in contrast, individuals and companies face similar risks. For companies, such as those in the green energy industry, it’s clear how cheaper alternatives can erode their value proposition..."



Smart Leaders Focus on Execution First and Strategy Second

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Rosabeth Moss Kanter
Year: 2017

Summary: What is the perfect strategy? In this piece, the author argues that what matters most is not having the best strategy, but rather, how you implement the strategy you’ve got.  A strategy is never excellent in and of itself; it is shaped, enhanced, or limited by the implementation. When a strategy looks brilliant, it’s because of the quality of execution.

3 Highlights:

"... They question everything, overhauling traditional organizational structures and processes if need be..."

"... They keep their relationships with frontline managers tight but the rules of execution lose..."

"... They quickly modify their strategies when things don’t go as planned (and things rarely go as planned..."



How to Make Remote Brainstorming Work?

Source: Article of the Week

Organizing a brainstorming session doesn't have to be an upsetting task. Many of us no longer work together in the same room, but we still need to share ideas.

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: Enterprise-Scale Agile Software - James Schiel

Source: Book Notes of the Week

This book by James Schiel organizes the knowledge accumulated during the largest implementation of agile development and Scrum ever attempted by the time in 2009.

Enterprise-Scale Agile Software Development is the collective sum of knowledge accumulated during the full-scale transition of a 1400-person organization to agile development-considered the largest implementation of agile development and Scrum ever attempted anywhere in the world.

In my opinion, if you read a book written in 2009 now (in 2022), you will be impressed that we have been discussing the same topics for more than a decade.




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