Happy Friday! Here are my May 24 Hot Topics and how they relate to advancing leadership or culture.
Hot Topic 1: We Are More Adaptable than Top Leaders Think.
Source: Harvard Business Review.
What it’s About: According to a recent HBR article, the Project on Managing the Future of Work at Harvard Business School, teamed up with the Boston Consulting Group’s Henderson Institute in 2018, to survey 6,500 business leaders and 11,000 workers about the various forces reshaping the nature of work. The responses revealed a surprising gap: While the executives were pessimistic about their employees’ ability to acquire the capabilities needed to thrive in an era of rapid change, the employees were not. The employees were actually focused on the benefits that change would bring and far more eager to learn new skills than their leaders gave them credit for.
Why it’s Important: This idea that people are automatically resistant to change, and mostly need to be coerced to move forward, has been perpetuated and given rise to the idea we need to manage the changing of others. What if we assumed people were eager to adapt, grow, and improve instead of resistant, fearful, and ambivalent? Most people are eager to learn and thrive, and I need to lead in that context rather than managing their change.
What it’s About: NPR reports that the main reason chief executives were ousted from their jobs in 2018 was due to misconduct and ethical lapses. Historically, it’s mostly been financial results that has driven the termination criteria, with boards too willing to close their eyes or cover up other “personal matters.” The #MeToo era has impacted governance. However, my view is that attention to purpose, values and culture conversations has changed expectations regarding the corner office as well.
Why it’s Important: Corporations and their CEOs have an obligation to contribute to the well-being of all stakeholders, not just shareholders. In Canada, fiduciary board responsibility extends beyond shareholder return. It would serve all boards in every jurisdiction to govern this way. Stories about the “bad boy” behavior of CEOs, while touting their brilliance in delivering double digit shareholder returns, used to be the quiet after dinner chuckle amongst board members as they sipped on 18 year old scotch. Most CEOs get paid a ridiculous amount of money relative to the average employee. Get financial performance and BE the values you expect from the organization, or get fired!
My Weekly Wine Recommendation (Thanks to Vivino):
[Picture and ratings provided by Vivino.]
And finally! Here’s Cecil’s Bleat of the Week!
“Truth – or more precisely, an accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for any good outcome.” – Ray Dalio.
Bye for now!
– Lorne Rubis
Incase you Missed It:
Monday’s Lead In podcast.
Wednesday’s Culture Cast podcast.