Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 09, 2023

Weekly Pulse by William Meller | Week 09, 2023
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 - One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees 
#2 - How Tools Like ChatGPT Could Change Your Business
#3 - How Living Abroad Helps You Develop a Clearer Sense of Self
#4 - The Intermediate Plateau: How Can We Move Beyond It?
#5 - Digital Doesn’t Have to Be Disruptive
#6 - Power Skills: The PMI Pulse of the Profession 2023
#7 - Book Notes: The Art of Being Right - Arthur Schopenhauer

One More Time: How Do You Motivate Employees 

Source: Harvard Business Review 
Author: Frederick Herzberg
Year: 2008

Summary: Ask workers what makes them unhappy at work, and you’ll hear about an annoying boss, a low salary, an uncomfortable work space, or stupid rules. Managed badly, environmental factors make people miserable, and they can certainly be demotivating. But even if managed brilliantly, they don’t motivate anybody to work much harder or smarter. People are motivated, instead, by interesting work, challenges, and increasing responsibility. These intrinsic factors answer people’s deep-seated need for growth and achievement.

3 Highlights:

"... The truth? You and your organization have only limited power to motivate employees. Yes, unfair salaries may damage morale. But when you do offer fat paychecks and other extrinsic incentives, people won’t necessarily work harder or smarter..."

"... Most of us are motivated by intrinsic rewards: interesting, challenging work, and the opportunity to achieve and grow into greater responsibility..."

"... After all, few of us can afford to work for no salary. But the real key to motivating your employees is enabling them to activate their own internal generators. Otherwise, you’ll be stuck trying to recharge their batteries yourself—again and again..."

Generative AI is here: How tools like ChatGPT could change your business

Source: McKinsey
Author: Michael Chui, Roger Roberts, Lareina Yee
Year: 2022

Summary: Generative AI and other foundation models are changing the AI game, taking assistive technology to a new level, reducing application development time, and bringing powerful capabilities to nontechnical users.

3 Highlights:

"... The awe-inspiring results of generative AI might make it seem like a ready-set-go technology, but that’s not the case. Its nascency requires executives to proceed with an abundance of caution..."

"... In companies considering generative AI, executives will want to quickly identify the parts of their business where the technology could have the most immediate impact and implement a mechanism to monitor it, given that it is expected to evolve quickly..."

"... Meanwhile, it’s essential to encourage thoughtful innovation across the organization, standing up guardrails along with sandboxed environments for experimentation, many of which are readily available via the cloud, with more likely on the horizon..."

How Living Abroad Helps You Develop a Clearer Sense of Self

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Hajo Adam, Otilia Obodaru, Jackson G. Lu, William Maddux, and Adam D. Galinsky 
Year: 2018

Summary: In today’s increasingly globalized world, more and more people are choosing to live, work and study abroad — and this trend appears to be a good thing: Social science studies have shown that international experiences can enhance creativity, reduce intergroup bias, and promote career success. Researchers set out to examine whether and how international experiences can transform a person’s sense of self.

3 Highlights:

"... One interesting direction for future research would be to explore why living abroad does not lead to a clearer sense of self. A fairly common reaction of expatriates is to undergo an initial phase of “culture shock”—the “anxiety that results from losing all of our familiar signs and symbols of social intercourse’’..."

"... Studies have shown that in today’s complex vocational world, the vast majority of people will experience difficulty in making important career choices at some point in their lives, and deciding what to do with their careers after graduation is one of the biggest challenges for MBA students..."

"... One possible consequence is that a clearer sense of self might produce a better alignment between how people see themselves and how others see them, both of which are captured in 360-degree feedback systems..."

The Intermediate Plateau: What Causes It? How Can We Move Beyond It?

Source: Scott Young Website
Author: Scott Young 
Year: 2023

Summary: The intermediate plateau contrasts sharply with the beginning phase of immersive language learning. While those early efforts are marked by some intense difficulties, they are also a period of incredible progress. In a narrow window of time, you go from total incompetence to being able to do quite a bit.

3 Highlights:

"... The intermediate plateau shows up in almost every field. As a writer for over half my life, I still wish I were better at it. And yet it’s hard to tell whether my efforts are paying off in terms of better prose. Programmers, managers, architects, and doctors all have to deal with the difficulty of being neither a beginner nor the best..."

"... Exponential knowledge requires exponential effort..."

"... Despite my focus on learning, I’m firmly in the intermediate camp for all of the skills I’ve spent time on. Intermediacy is nothing to be ashamed of. For many skills, there’s a lot you can do with being “good enough” rather than world-class..."

Digital Doesn’t Have to Be Disruptive

Source: Harvard Business Review
Author: Nathan Furr and Andrew Shipilov
Year: 2019

Summary: Managers struggle to understand what digital transformation actually means for them in terms of which opportunities to pursue and which initiatives to prioritize. It’s not surprising that many of them expect it to involve a radical disruption of the business, huge new investments in technology, a complete switch from physical to virtual channels, and the acquisition of tech start-ups.

3 Highlights:

"... Trying to replace multiple complex, critical systems all at once invites disaster..."

"... Some companies have successfully responded to the digital challenge by making major changes to their manufacturing processes, distribution channels, or business models, but many others have fared equally well using a more incremental approach that leaves the core value proposition and supply chain essentially unchanged..."

"... Smart companies find synergies with start-ups but don’t destroy their culture..."

Power Skills: The PMI Pulse of the Profession 2023

Source: Article of the Week

The latest Pulse of the Profession® research was designed to explore the connections between power skills and project success.

Organizations that prioritize power skills see higher levels of project management maturity, benefits realization maturity, and organizational agility. 

To achieve organizational goals, project professionals must master communication, problem-solving, collaborative leadership, and strategic thinking.

Additionally, the report identifies ways for organizations to leverage these connections and increase project success and value. 

Book Notes: The Art of Being Right - Arthur Schopenhauer

Source: Book Notes of the Week

Without a doubt, Schopenhauer is one of the giants of Western philosophy. 

He represents a turning point from the quest to define the external world as something apart from our experience to a recognition of our experience as the medium of our world. 

Philosophy is a discourse, a conversation spread out over centuries that explores and develops different lines of thought. Schopenhauer embodies the moment in Western philosophy where the snake begins to eat its own tail, where the unreasoning insistence upon an external world is finally examined with due criticism and care. 

If you're looking for a book that will challenge your thinking, sharpen your rhetoric, and help you win any argument, then look no further than "The Art of Controversy" by Arthur Schopenhauer. 

I am incredibly grateful that you have taken the time to read this post. 

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Thank you again for reading and I hope to see you soon!

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