How to Manage Remote Direct Reports & #virtualteams (relevant for #culture too)

This is probably the best distillation of how to manage remote teams I’ve yet found.  It resonates strongly with my personal experience, and captures a lot of the best practices we used when I was with UBS. 

Do

  • Get to know your remote reports on a personal level by reserving a few minutes during meetings and calls for casual workplace conversations
  • Establish a schedule of communication both between you and your remote employee and between the remote employee and the rest of the team
  • Use video technology to spark spontaneous interactions among your team members

Don’t

  • Evaluate the job performance of remote workers differently from the way you assess co-located colleagues — apply the same metrics across your team
  • Worry too much about setting up constant in-person meetings with your remote workers — predictable visits are more important than frequent ones
  • Forget to acknowledge the work of remote workers so their efforts don’t go unnoticed

via How to Manage Remote Direct Reports – HBR.

via How to Manage Remote Direct Reports – HBR.

Closing the Gap Between #Strategy and Execution – #HBR #management

Excellent article from HBR on the importance of aligning the three core pillars of a successful business strategy:

  • Value Proposition
  • Profit Proposition
  • People Proposition

The article is excerpted from the new book “Blue Ocean Strategy“, and the main point it drives home is that while focusing on one or two of the above pillars can get your business success for a time, it’s only through alignment of all three that you can sustain success, and create structural barriers to imitators and rivals.

Another powerful point is that, depending on your business model, you may need to extend one or more of your pillars (such as People Proposition) to your partners, suppliers or clients in your value chain*.  That’s a very powerful concept and one that resonates strongly with me and my experience in fostering industry ecosystems, and in developing strategic partnerships.

via Closing the Gap Between Blue Ocean Strategy and Execution – HBR.

*PS, for those interested, Simon Wardley’s value chain posting from 2013 is outstanding.  Highly, highly recommended.

Jack Welch on #management and questions: avoid usual suspects, use the “inveterate cranks”

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”.

via The One Question Every Boss Should Ask | LinkedIn.

 

@swardley on the impact of CEOs (… and scenario planning)

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?

Bits or pieces?: On the impact of CEOs.