Twelve Against the Gods – an old history book. Already have this one in my collection, happily. Finally, some benefit to being a book nut and buying everything at the library used book sales…. probably got my copy for $0.25. (and no, you can’t borrow my copy 🙂 )
As a leader, how do you avoid insularity, with either too many “yes men” or just silence? Get out of your chair, out of your office, and talk with people. Suppliers, customers, staff at all levels. In his words, “avoid the usual suspects, and make sure you draw in people who are sworn change agents and inveterate cranks”.
Interesting posting yesterday from Simon Wardley on his Bits or pieces blog. As always, an excellent article. I’m paraphrasing heavily, but Wardley makes that argument that, statistically, “strong” CEO’s (and by extension other senior managers and board members) do not disproportionately benefit a firm’s long term success. He further argues that as a consequence, resistance against legislating more diversity on management and boards is specious. I strongly agree that more diversity = better. Some further analysis would help illustrate the connections, but it’s no matter. On the question of diversity, he’s right.
With all that said, I found the most interesting bit buried in the middle, about the interplay of situational awareness and competition. I’ve included his chart here for reference. (Wardley’s “Awareness vs. Action” figure in the jump).
Favorite quote: “Without … [scenario planning], strategic play appears to be more about copying others, gut feel, story telling and astrology than it is to chess.” Outstanding. Although, I might add “stubborn determination” as a strategic play for start-ups, turn-arounds and SMBs generally.
That leaves the question open, however, about how to efficiently apply those methods to much, much smaller organizations. Can you? If not, when does an org transition from gut feel and stubborn determination to something more… methodical?