Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 51, 2022

Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 51, 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 - Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey
#2 - If You Encounter Any of These “Monster” Managers … Run
#3 - Having Trouble With Your Strategy Then Map It
#4 - AI in the Workplace: Paving the Way For Man-Machine Collaboration
#5 - The New Productivity Challenge
#6 - What is Kanban
#7 - Book Notes: Doing Agile Right - Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steve Berez


Management Time: Who’s Got the Monkey

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: William Oncken Jr. and Donald L. Wass
Year: 1999

Summary: Why is it that managers are typically running out of time while their subordinates are typically running out of work? Here we shall explore the meaning of management time as it relates to the interaction between managers and their bosses, their peers, and their subordinates. 

3 Highlights:

"... The burdens of subordinates always seem to end up on the manager’s back. Here’s how to get rid of them..."

"... Because in each instance the manager and the subordinate assume at the outset, wittingly or unwittingly, that the matter under consideration is a joint problem. The monkey in each case begins its career astride both their backs. All it has to do is move the wrong leg, and—presto!—the subordinate deftly disappears. The manager is thus left with another acquisition for his menagerie. Of course, monkeys can be trained not to move the wrong leg. But it is easier to prevent them from straddling backs in the first place..."

"... The manager can now see, with the clarity of a revelation on a mountaintop, that the more he gets caught up, the more he will fall behind...."



If You Encounter Any of These “Monster” Managers … Run

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Sulagna Misra
Year: 2021

Summary: In this (funny) article we are going to meet these managers: the ghost, the zombie, the werewolf, the vampire, and Sauron, the eye that sees all. If you find yourself dealing with one of these monster managers on a daily, here are some tips on how to fight them off.

3 Highlights:

"... No, your manager is not actually haunting your office. The truth is, this type of manager might just not be that interested in being a leader..."

"... The mummy is typically brand new to being the boss. They were promoted last week, and suddenly they’re wearing new clothes, they smell different, and they have a fancy new tomb office..."

"... When you are on the other side of one of their outbursts, try to stay calm and remind yourself that their temper has nothing to do with you...."



Having Trouble With Your Strategy Then Map It

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Robert S. Kaplan and David P. Norton
Year: 2000

Summary: Imagine that you are a general taking your troops into foreign territory. Obviously, you would need detailed maps showing the important towns and villages, the surrounding landscape, key structures like bridges and tunnels, and the roads and highways that traverse the region. Without such information, you couldn’t communicate your campaign strategy to your field officers and the rest of your troops.

3 Highlights:

"... The best way to build strategy maps is from the top down, starting with the destination and then charting the routes that will lead there..."

"... An important caveat to remember here is that while many companies espouse a strategy that calls for innovation or for developing value-adding customer relationships, they mistakenly choose to measure only the cost and quality of their operations – and not their innovations or their customer management processes..."

"... Strategy implies the movement of an organization from its present position to a desirable but uncertain future position..."



AI in the Workplace: Paving the Way For Man-Machine Collaboration

Source: CIO
Author: Clint Boulton
Year: 2018

Summary: There’s little question AI-driven automation is poised to disrupt enterprises worldwide. The question is what you, as a CIO, are doing to prepare for a world where man and machines work together.

3 Highlights:

"... Fears of the rise of robots swooping in to steal jobs abound, stoked by the confluence of artificial intelligence, machine learning, and other technologies that automate routine tasks traditionally performed by humans..."

"... The reality is that job replacement will happen more gradually than the media headlines suggest, and eventually, AI will create more jobs than it eliminates..."

"... Such statistics contradict the panic-inducing headlines that millions of jobs will evaporate. One reason for this is that people tend to conflate job automation with automation of certain tasks, which is a much more accurate snapshot of the current corporate climate, Roth says. In other words, robots and other machines aren’t replacing humans outright, but sharing the workload..."



The New Productivity Challenge

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Peter F. Drucker
Year: 2018

Summary: The single greatest challenge facing managers in the developed countries of the world is to raise the productivity of knowledge and service workers. This challenge, which will dominate the management agenda for the next several decades, will ultimately determine the competitive performance of companies. Even more important, it will determine the very fabric of society and the quality of life in every industrialized nation.

3 Highlights:

"... Obtaining major productivity gains in production-type service work usually requires contracting it out to a company that has no other business, understands this work, respects it, and offers opportunities for low-skilled workers to advance..."

"... The organizations in which this work is being done, the hospitals that own the beds, for in- stance, or the colleges whose students need to be fed, neither understand it nor respect it enough to devote the time and hard work that is required to make it more productive...."

"... d what we have learned during the past 100 years about increasing productivity applies to such work with a minimum of adaptation..."



What is Kanban

Source: Article of the Week

Kanban is a popular Lean workflow management method for visualizing, defining, managing, and improving services that deliver knowledge work.

It all started in the early 1940s. 

In the late 1940s, Toyota introduced “just in time” manufacturing to its production. 

The approach represents a pull system. 

As a result, production is based on customer demand rather than the usual push method of producing goods and pushing them to the market.



Book Notes: Doing Agile Right - Darrell Rigby, Sarah Elk, and Steve Berez

Source: Book Notes of the Week

Agile isn't a goal in itself, it's a means to achieve high performance. Doing Agile Right is a must-have guide for any company trying to make the transition or to sustain agility.

Today, agile is hailed as the essential bridge across this chasm, with the potential to transform a company and catapult it to the head of the pack.

Not so fast. In this clear-eyed, indispensable book, Bain & Company thought leader Darrell Rigby and his colleagues Sarah Elk and Steve Berez provide a much-needed reality check. 

They dispel the myths and misconceptions that have accompanied agile's rise to prominence - the idea that it can reshape an organization all at once, for instance, or that it should be used in every function and for all types of work. 




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