Issue 193 - April 2019
Which came first; the chicken or the egg? That's the age-old question of cause and effect. It's often difficult to know which is which. For example, do caring families create members who feel loved or do loving members create caring families? Is he unhappy because he's ungrateful or is he ungrateful because he's unhappy?
Do my punny Dad Jokes pull a groan muscle because they're the lowest form of humor or are they the lowest form of humor jest for the pun of it? Well, OK. Maybe that example doesn't quite make the point, but I do sometimes ponder the cause when I see my effect. And nobody wants to egg me on.
This issue features updates on my latest book project. This "readersourcing" approach revolves around very thoughtful and enormously useful input from over 600 readers on today's most relevant development topics. I've love to get your advice and guidance. Please click the links in this issue to view four outlines of possible books, rank order them, and give me your feedback on what is and isn't important. I'd also love for you to join our Book Advisory Panel -- and I am not above offering a little "payola" to reward your help!
As you'll read below, the four highest voted topics are Communication, Coaching, Culture Change, and Leading Change. Which comes first? Which causes which?
The second article in this issue could raise another chicken and egg question: do innovative and agile cultures create highly-trusted and engaged people or do highly-trusted and engaged people create innovative and agile cultures? You decide once you've read about this new research from Great Place to Work.
In all these examples there are convincing arguments for either cause or effect. Perhaps it depends on which you think is the chicken and which is the egg. Which circles us right back to which came first. 19th-century British novelist and satirist, Samuel Butler, decided that "a hen is only an egg's way of making another egg."
However you look at these topics, they're vital to personal, team, and organization effectiveness.
In the fall of 2017, I began a book development project by reviewing over ten years of blogs, research, and our workshop/retreat topics to identify core themes and topics most relevant in these turbulent times. Eight major topic areas emerged.
Over 100 panel members provided rich, deep, and thoughtful comments and suggestions on the four topics. Reading through this trove of insights and experiences yielded lots of ideas and paths for further research and chapter topics.
Would you like to be a Reader Leader?
Peter Drucker once said, "nothing is so useless as doing efficiently that which should not be done at all." I'd love to get your help as a Reader Leader in countering my inefficiency with greater effectiveness. Your "readersourcing" input boosts the odds that I'll end up with a more useful book or books. Take part in the survey now.
Are your own people your biggest barrier to higher innovation and agility? That's what recent research from Great Place to Work found in a study of 792 companies totaling about 500,000 employees.
In this new study, Innovation by All, Great Place to Work concluded organizations with high-trust cultures involve and engage many more employees than most organizations in the innovation process. These companies are much more agile and become masters rather than victims of change.
The study notes that discussions of innovation today focus on technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain tools, and automation. But "many leaders today are failing to fully tap their human potential, which paradoxically has increased even as machines have become more central to business."
"Innovation by All (IA) maximizes a company's human potential by tapping into the intelligence, skills, and passion of everyone in the organization. IA cultures "generate more high-quality ideas, realize greater speed in implementation, and achieve greater agility-- resulting in 5.5 times the revenue growth of peers with a less inclusive approach to innovation."
Here are a few study highlights:
An employee at one of the highly innovative organizations in the study said, "If another company were to come in, offer me three times more than what I'm making today, I couldn't leave because I know if I went there, I wouldn't have this," he says. "I'd be throwing away this foundation that I built here, and the whole company has this."
How innovative is your organization? Is your leadership boosting or blocking agility? How do you know?
Which development topics are your top priorities today; communication, coaching, culture change, or leading change? Perhaps your answer is yes; all of them?
As described above, I've been working on a book development project for the past 18 months. It started with eight development topic areas. After readers ranked ordered those, we ended up with those four topics. Readers then provided thoughtful and rich insights into each area. That input complemented my deep dive into decades of workshops/retreats, blogs, books, and my research database.
So, let's make this a win/win. I'll give you the key findings for each topic area. You can use these to guide your personal, team, or organization development. The "fee" I ask in return is you help me make up my mind; are these four separate books, two combined books, or one book? And what's your ranked priority for these four topics?
Key Development Topics and Findings
How are you, your team, or your organization doing on these key topics? Which ones are the most important to you?
I'd sure appreciate your advice on my new book project. How many books and what's their ranked priority? Click here to read the outlines and answer whatever questions you have the time or inclination to answer.
You're welcome and thank you!
This section summarizes last month's LinkedIn Updates and Twitter Tweets about online articles or blog posts that I've flagged as worth reading. These are usually posted on weekends when I am doing much of my reading for research, learning, or leisure. You can follow me on Twitter at https://twitter.com/JimClemmer
My original tweet commenting on the article follows each title and descriptor from the original source:
The items in each month's issue of The Leader Letter are first published in my weekly blog during the previous month.
If you read each blog post (or issue of The Leader Letter) as it's published over twelve months, you'll have read the equivalent of a leadership book. And you'll pick up a few practical leadership tips that help you use time more strategically and tame your E-Beast!
I am always delighted to hear from readers of The Leader Letter with feedback, reflections, suggestions, or differing points of view. Nobody is ever identified in The Leader Letter without their permission. I am also happy to explore customized, in-house adaptations of any of my material for your team or organization. Drop me an e-mail at Jim.Clemmer@ ClemmerGroup.com or connect with me on LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, or my blog!
Live, learn, laugh, and lead -- just for the L of it!
In this Issue:
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©2019 Jim Clemmer and The CLEMMER Group