OD Network Connections February 2015
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Matt MInahan, Ed.D.
Vice Chair
Sherry Duda
Magdy Mansour
Yasmeen Burns
Christina Bell
Jaya Bohlmann
Marco Cassone
Loretta Hobbs
Norm Jones
Martha Kesler
Kris Lea
Zoe MacLeod
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Each month, the Organization Development Network shares with its members articles from a number of journals to support the advancement of our members' OD practice.
Table of Contents

The Latest in OD:
Running Your Business:
The Latest in OD
Article1What Leaders Can Learn About Teamwork and Developing High Performance Teams From Organization Development Practitioners
D.D. Warrick , OD Practitioner

The ability of organizations to be skilled at teamwork and building high performanceteams is a major key to competitive advantage and may very well determine thefuture success or failure of many organizations. The payoffs of teamwork are welldocumented (see for example, Katzenback & Smith, 1993; LaFasto & Larson, 2001;McShane & Von Glinow, 2010; Hellriegel & Slocum, 2011; Levi, 2011). Teamwork cansignificantly improve performance, effectiveness, efficiency, morale, job satisfaction,unity of purpose, communications, innovative thinking, quality, speed in gettingthings done, and loyalty to an organization. By contrast, organizations that are notskilled at teamwork are sure to underutilize their potential and are just as sure to sufferthe many internal and external consequences that a lack of teamwork brings. Itmakes sense that organizations of all types and sizes from the private, public, nonprofit,athletic, military, and other sectors should make teamwork a high priority andthat leaders should be trained to be skilled in developing high performance teams.
Article26 Ways to Keep Good Leaders from Leaving Your Team
Tim Stevens, Fast Company

You've been in a job where it felt like no one wanted you to think or contribute, where you were just supposed to get your work done, haven't you? You were wired to make a difference, to change the world, to influence the people around you - but you were stuck in a position where you were assembling widgets. You had ideas to contribute and solutions to propose, but no one ever asked.
Now many of you are beyond that. You are in a job where you are making decisions and creating a culture for others. You have the ability to perpetuate the worker-as-widget-builder world or to find a different way where leaders are discovered and raw talent is developed. You do that by considering the "loose/tight principle."
Article3Most HR Data is Bad Data
Marcus Buckingham, Harvard Business Review

How good a rater do you think you are? If you were my manager and you watched my performance for an entire year, how accurate do you think your ratings of me would be on attributes such as my "promotability" or "potential?"
How about more specific attributes such as my customer focus or my learning agility? Do you think that you're one of those people who, with enough time spent observing me, could reliably rate these aspects of my performance on a 1-to-5 scale? And how about the people around you - your peers, direct reports or your boss? Do you think that with enough training they could become reliable raters of you?
Article4New Report Finds a 'Diversity Dividend' at Work
Joann S. Lublin, The Wall Street Journal

Is there such a thing as a diversity dividend?
A new study of 366 public companies in the U.S., Canada, U.K., Brazil, Mexico and Chile by McKinsey & Co., a major management consultancy, found a statistically significant relationship between companies with women and minorities in their upper ranks and better financial performance as measured by earnings before interest and tax, or EBIT.
The findings could further fuel employers' efforts to increase the ranks of women and people of color for executive suites and boardrooms - an issue where some progress is being made, albeit slowly.
Article5Matching Organizational Capabilities to Design Execution
Soren Petersen, The Huffington Post

"Seat of the pants" decision making accounts for 90 percent of an organization's frontline actions, while 10 percent reflects their stated strategic intent. Therefore, those in the organizational frontline trenches might be forgiven for wondering: "What the heck were they thinking?"
Fortunately, leaders, managers and frontline creative professionals no longer have to reinvent the wheel every time they want to launch a new offering. This past decade of research has provided excellent methods for identifying and describing key success parameters, such as Organizational Renewal, Business Model Experimentation, Inspirational Design Briefing and Minimal Viable Products. What remains is to connect these parameters so that all stakeholders can co-create an offering that most profitably leverages their organization's capabilities.

Article6As the Traditional Workplace Breaks Down, Will Leaders Adapt?
Benjamin Hay and Anna Gowdridge, The Guardian

The B Team, a global not-for-profit that encourages businesses to be more socially and environmentally sustainable, believes the future workforce and the world in which it works will be radically different. But what does this mean for future leaders?
As the traditional workplace changes, traditional styles of leadership will also need to adapt to remain effective and achieve the best results. As Malcolm Gladwell's quote pointed out in an article for Forbes, "10 Ways Millennials are Creating the Future of Work," the millennial generation is more about "the network" than "the hierarchy." A generation weaned on open, leaderless platforms such as Reddit and Twitter will naturally care more about collaboration inside and outside the workplace.
Given this, future leaders will need to mirror this open, accessible and collaborative approach as traditional hierarchies slowly shift and breakdown.
Article7Left Brain, Right Brain: Does HR Have a Split Personality?
Meghan Biro, Forbes.com

Imagine a big desk. It's loaded with two huge stacks of work, one on the left side, one on the right. Left side: the administrative pile, dense with data - numbers, stats, metrics, talent analytics. Right side: the strategic side - a yea-high stack of CVs and digital resumes, people strategies, some highlight pens poking through, paper clips, notes like topics for C-suite. ...
Traditionally, HR - a career role dedicated to the art of finding the right people strategies - covers both sides, whether or not we're better suited to one side or the other. But a recent study by Bersin by Deloitte found that nearly 50 percent of the business and HR leaders it surveyed said their companies are ill-prepared to deliver programs that align with business needs. Between the sea change wrought by the Cloud and Big Data, and the ever-increasing strategic needs of organizations, covering both sides spreads us way too thin.

Article8Why Improving Emotional IQs Makes for Better IT Leaders
Rich Hein, CIO

In 1995, author Daniel Goleman released his best-selling book "Emotional Intelligence." In it he argued that noncognitive skills could be as, or more, important than IQ. Additional research confirmed that people with the highest IQs outperform those with average IQs only 20 percent of the time.
Even more interesting was data that reported people with average IQs outperformed those with the highest IQs a stunning 70 percent of the time. This fact illustrates how the smartest person in the room isn't necessarily the best person to lead and manage your development teams or your IT department. "The EQ [emotional IQ] of managers is particularly significant in the IT world. Keeping skilled workers is critical and the data suggests the EQ of the leader affects retention," says Adele B. Lynn, founder and owner of The Adele Lynn Leadership Group.

Article9How Second City Wants to Change Your Corporate Culture
Zoe Galland, Crain's Chicago Business

Second City, the Chicago improv troupe that launched the careers of Tina Fey, Bill Murray and many other comic actors, wants to apply one of the key rules of improvisation-saying "yes, and" to fellow actors-to business.
In a new book published last week by Second City executives, "Yes, And," the authors promote a concept becoming more widely known outside of improvisational theater ... . The rule is simple: In "Yes, And," actors are encouraged to go along with any ideas that other people onstage think of and add to them, no matter how outlandish or silly they seem.
"Yes, And" was written by Second City Executive Vice President Kelly Leonard and Tom Yorton, CEO of Second City's business division, Second City Works. The authors believe the rule can help companies be more innovative, push employees to be more imaginative and improve executives' leadership skills.

Running Your Business

Article10How to Pitch Your Business to Customers, Investors or Anyone Else

Nicole Fallon, BusinessNewsDaily


A great elevator pitch - the 30-second speech that tells someone about your business in a nutshell - is one of the most important tools an entrepreneur can have. It's a fast, effective way to grab the attention of someone who might be able to help you grow your company.

But what do you do once you have someone's attention? Successful sellers and marketers know that the best sales tactic is to demonstrate the benefits for the person to whom you're pitching. But the way you execute your pitch will vary greatly depending on who the recipient is - a potential client isn't going to be interested in the same things as a venture capitalist.

HumorThemHumor Them. A Well-Timed Laugh Speaks Volumes.

Joe Costello, Entrepreneur


Laughter and a healthy sense of humor are among the most overlooked, underutilized communications tools at a CEO's disposal.Plenty of studies show that the levels of stress hormones like cortisol and epinephrine decrease during laughter. Some experts say that a raucous bout of laughter may trigger a response in kind. And researchers are studying its health benefits.

At an annual convention for local government officials in New Jersey last year, a panel of politicians discussed the importance of leaders using humor and how its use can ease tensions in heated meetings and even make officials seem more approachable. The same could be said for leadership at any level.


LastArticle7 Ways to Dial Down Doubt and Crank Up Creativity

Sam Harrison, Fast Company


"I doubt it." How many times have you uttered those words? More importantly, how many times have doubts and fears prevented you from pursuing fresh ideas or launching creative projects?

"All of us, whether we are in show business or not, have little voices that tell us we're not good enough and we don't deserve it," Ellen DeGeneres told the New York Times earlier this year.

I call those little voices of self-doubt the Negative News Network. Here are seven tips for pulling the plug on this insidious internal broadcasting system.