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Showing posts with the label hbr

"Peter Drucker - Managing Oneself" on

IN THE INTRODUCTORY paragraph of this legendary paper for Harvard Business Review, Peter Drucker writes: We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you've got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you started out.  But with opportunity comes responsibility. Companies today aren't managing their employees' careers; knowledge workers must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers. It's up to you to carve out your place, to know when to change the course, and to keep yourself engaged and productive during a work life that may span some 50 years. To do those things well, you will need to cultivate a deep understanding of yourself - not only what your strengths and weaknesses are but also how you learn, how you work with others, what your values are, and where you can make the greatest contribution. Because only when you operate from strengths can you achieve true excellence. Marking a small foot

Our Decision-making Process That Short-circuits Reality

From Ivo Velitchkov's Enterprise Architecture blog - "Beliefs and Capabilities": [try here ] "From the observable data and experience we select some and affix meaning to it. This forms the basis of our assumptions. And then we come to conclusions which in turn influence our beliefs. Our beliefs are the basis of our actions which bring more data and experience from which we select some, affix meaning and so on. We tend to believe that we affix meaning to the observable data, oblivious of the selection we always make. In a similar way we believe that we draw conclusions by clear reasoning, while we actually always apply some assumptions." Beliefs and Capabilities: The Inference Cycle: See also: Go here for Chris Argyris's Harvard paper: Teaching Smart People How To Learn [PDF] Go here for SystemWiki entry - Ladder of Inference: Short Circuiting Reality Go here for Argyris's theories of action, double-loop learning and organizational le

HBR: Most Popular Articles of 2010

AN EXCITING YEAR IS DRAWING TO A CLOSE. Coming full circle of seasons it is winter again while the haven freezes over and a friend messaged from Leh in north-western Himalayas, "Its -15.4° C (4.2° F) here. Expect snow typing." I am almost sure it was meant to read "slow typing". HBR on their part collectively published some 1000+ articles over the last 365 days. Recently, one of the editors listed the top 10 most popular articles among them (try  here ). Listed below are the five articles that I liked most. 1. Why I Returned My iPad by Peter Bregman Peter Bregman stands in a two-hour queue-for-a-gadget for the first time to get his hands on iPad on its launch day. And within days, he is hooked. In this I-fear-I-might-loose-boredom post, Bregman talks about returning his iPad to Apple because it was "too good". He writes, "It's too easy. Too accessible. Both too fast and too long-lasting. For the most part, it does everything I could want. W

HBR: What Is The Work Of The CEO?

"The CEO is the link between the Inside that is 'the organization,' and the Outside of society, economy, technology, markets, and customers. Inside there are only costs. Results are only on the outside." -- Peter Drucker, "The American CEO" Alan ("A.G.") Lafley TOOK OVER AS CEO of Procter & Gamble in June 2000 when the FMCG behemoth was battling turbulent times. At 6pm on his first day at the office as the new (and first time) CEO he was facing a hostile press conference live on national television – like a "deer in the headlights" as he recalls. P&G stock price that had crashed from $86 to $60 in one day tanking Dow index by 374 points, went further down by 11% at the news of Lafely's appointment as the new chief. The headlines went from "P&G Investor Confidence Shot" to "We love their products, But we hate their stocks." to "Does P&G Still Matter?" Four years into working hard at try

HBR: Paths to Power by Jeff Pfeffer

"Power is the organization’s last dirty secret." ~ Rosabeth Moss Kanter POWER IS REQUIRED IF ONE WANTS TO GET ANYTHING DONE in any large organization. Unfortunately, Power doesn’t just fall into one’s lap: one will have to go after it and learn how to use it. Stanford University professor for Organizational Development, Prof. Jeffery Pfeffer, argues that being uncomfortable with Power Dynamics has cost career promotions (and sometimes, the job) to many talented people from premier organizations and institutes including Harvard and Sloan. Pfeffer offers a primer on why power matters, how to get it, and how to use it to advance your organization's agenda - and thus, in turn, how to furthering your career, not just incidentally. Powerful people prevail by using various techniques when push comes to shove. With examples from real-life and historical accounts from corporate and national political scenarios Pfeffer illustrates many of these techniques. (Interestingly, Pfeffer

"The Right Thing To Do" - Harvard Lectures on Moral Philosophy

PROF. MICHAEL SANDEL OPENED HIS FAMOUS CLASS ON "JUSTICE" and Moral and Political Philosophy at Harvard University, USA, with the following (cautionary) address: If you look at the syllabus, you would notice that we read a number of great and famous books. Books by Aristotle, John Locke, Immanuel Kant, John Stuart Mill, and others. [...] We will read these books, and we will debate these [philosophical] issues, and we will see how each informs and illuminates the other [school of thought]. This may sound appealing and interesting enough, but here I have to issue a warning: To read these books, in this way, as an exercise in self-knowledge, carries certain risks. Risks that are both personal and political. Risks that every student of Political Philosophy has known. These risks spring from the fact that philosophy teaches us, and unsettles us, by confronting us with what we already know . There is an irony: the difficulty of this course consists in the fact that it teaches

HBR: Managing Oneself - by Peter Drucker

HISTORY'S GREAT ACHIEVERS - A NAPOLEON, A DA VINCI, A MOZART - have always managed themselves. That, in large measures, is what makes them great achievers. Addressing the knowledge workers in the new economy, Peter Drucker goes on to emphasize the needs for personal development, stating that they must, effectively, be their own chief executive officers in taking the responsibilities of developing their own careers; beginning by saying: We live in an age of unprecedented opportunity: If you've got ambition and smarts, you can rise to the top of your chosen profession, regardless of where you start. As the first of the series , the presentation that follows - within a max of 10 slides - captures the essence of Peter Drucker's legendary paper "Managing Oneself", which he published while stepping into the new century at the turn of the millennium. Peter F Drucker - Managing Oneself See also: Go here for the full article at HBR website, and go here to try it

"What would Peter do?" – A Tribute at Drucker Century

PETER F. DRUCKER WAS BORN IN AUSTRIA IN 1910, and would have completed a century this past Nov '09. It was celebrated all over by "Duckerites", among which one IIM professor said - if you have some time that you want to spend in a gainly manner then simply flip open any of Peter Drucker’s books and start reading. “ Classic Drucker ” was at an arm's length at that time and was worth giving a try. Apparently, the prof was right. What follows now is a brief intro before the main business. Originally, an investment banker from London, Drucker was first published in German in 1930. He then went on to write 39 books on management and wrote editorial for WSJ for 20 years. At the height of the financial chaos , one WSJ issue carried his picture on the front page titled "What would Peter do?" – as if the question was being put to, if you may, a body of knowledge collectively known as Peter F. Drucker . Drucker was also titled "the father of modern manageme

Leadership Speech of 'Guru' Greg Chappell

Greg Chappell at Mysore, Nov'09 [Source: self] BRIEF, ARTICULATE, NO-NONSENSE, ALL-BUSINESS 'Guru' Greg Chappell has a pleasantly lighter side to his otherwise tough-guy personality and the young Indian crowd of Software professionals at ILI, Mysore got the rare pleasure of interacting up close and personal with the Australian cricket legend during his leadership speech last week. Greg Chappell is a master tactician from southern Australia – apart from being the captain of Australia Test squad like his grandfather and elder brother, his illustrious career also includes joining breakaway leagues, fighting off nude opponents on the pitch, and the historically forgettable  under-arm delivery that Greg as the then captain of Australia instructed his younger brother Trevor Chappell to deliver as the final ball in '81 against NZ at MCG.

HBR: Short Overseas Assignments

HOW SHOULD ONE REPLY TO THAT seemingly casual email detailing titillating offer of servicing the client from onsite or onshore location for a few weeks or months to take the project to the next big level? The short answer is, reply by sleeping over it a couple of days, especially while one is been-there-done-that category. The recent HBR research article however goes on to urge you to deny it flatly. It is apparently less costly for the company to push for short-termed, employee-only transfer compared to a two-year global assignment having a settled designation for the similar tasks. The research running for a couple of years shows that these propositions are riddled with marriage troubles, depression, child behaviour issues, and other difficulties.

Mushroom Theory Leadership

Mushroom Management Theory: Keep employees in the dark and fearful, feed them manure and dung, watch them grow and when they grow enough, get them canned. (try here for more at urban dictionary) IN QUITE A CONTRAST TO THE PREVIOUS post on model leadership , this is not only a different type of leadership, it is found being practices widely as well. Referencing their publication for this month (June 2009), John Landry of Harvard Business Review writes that Lehman would not have happened if they would have allowed a freer flow of information, or made it easier for employees to raise their concerns. Industry observers have drawn parallels of Lehman explosion with implosions of Enron and WorldCom citing the same "keeping in dark" issues where information is not shared. But before that, a brief 'story':

HBR: "The Right Way To Be Fired"

NO EMPLOYMENT CONTRACT HAS A PERMANENCY CLAUSE. The category "permanent employee" is only to differentiate one from temps - both remain time-bound nonetheless. There may be a clause in the employment contract talking about retirement age of an employee, and rather misleadingly, that might go on to give an impression to the newly joined that her job is secure and permanent until the age of say 60 years. However, in reality that section of the employment terms is just another clause suggesting when would you be required to leave your present job. As the "globalization" story propagates to more and more regions and industries, it is getting increasingly important, especially to the optimistic lot like myself too young for that retirement age yet, that the realities of the impermanent nature of jobs and employment be realised, the sooner the better, such that one can make a more informed and rewarding career planning. They also call it acting "professional".