OD Network Connections November 2014
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December 9, 2014
PD&E Webinar Series
2014 Board of Trustees
Marisa Sanchez, Ph.D.
Vice Chair
Norm Jones, Ph.D.
Immediate Past Chair
Matt Minahan, Ed. D.
Magdy Mansour
Sanjay Naik
Christina Bell
Yasmeen Burns
Sherry Duda
Elena Feliz
Mike Horne, Ph.D.
330 North Wabash Avenue
Suite 2000
Chicago, IL 60611

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

LessonsLessons Learned From Innovative Organizations: 9 Shared Characteristics

Robin Cook, Practicing OD


Between January of 1998 and April of 1999, fifteen professionals from across the U.S., aswell as from Canada and the U.K., came together to form the second class of the InnovationUniversity Best Practices Fellowship. During five sessions, each in a different city, we visitedor heard presentations from roughly 20 of the most innovative organizations in the world.This extraordinary opportunity to visit organizations such as Dell Computer, GSD&M, Nortel,Manco, Roberts Express, and Cirque du Soleil provided us with a wide variety of tremendouslearning experiences. In this article, I will briefly outline some key lessons the InnovationUniversity Fellows took away from the program.


OneIt's Not HR's Job to Be Strategic

Sean Graber, Harvard Business Review


Human-capital issues are top-of-mind for CEOs around the world - but their regard for the HR function remains perilously low: In a PwC study, only 34% said that HR is well prepared to capitalize on transformational trends (compared with 56% for finance). ...


Though many HR managers would take exception to those findings, they do, overwhelmingly, want more of a strategic voice than they have now. Look at any HR discussion forum, and you'll find some version of this question: How can HR get a "seat at the table" and become a strategic business partner?


TwoProtecting Workers from Infectious Disease

Roy Maurer, SHRM


In the wake of the recent Ebola scare in the United States, employers may want to assess their infection control programs to ensure workers' health and stay compliant with safety regulations.


"Rest assured, the vast majority of people will never come into contact with [Ebola], but the concern engendered by the news is a good reminder that there are many other common infectious diseases prevalent throughout our country and the world," said Langdon Dement, an environmental health and safety advisor with UL Workplace Health & Safety. More-common diseases such as influenza, pertussis (whooping cough), tuberculosis, various strains of hepatitis, rhinovirus and norovirus affect millions of people every year and could spread throughout an organization in a relatively short time, he said.

ThreeAn Open-Handed Vacation Policy Is a Great Perk for Employees

Matt Straz, Entrepreneur


We've all heard how taking time off can increase productivity. Breaks allow the mind to recharge and companies are beginning to allow more freedom in the workplace to help employees produce more inspired work.


So, how much time off should employees be allotted and is there a "sweet spot" that ensures optimum productivity? Here are a few practices to help determine where to set the bar.

FourCourage, Compassion and Resilience Make Great Workplaces

Michael Pern, Huffington Post


Most of what is taught in business schools and executive development programs, though certainly relevant, does not contribute significantly to the creation of workplaces that enable human beings to flourish and engage meaningfully in the success of their organizations.


With the massive and endlessly growing provision of advice and guidance and education on how to run successful and/or effective organizations, the question remains: Why haven't we become better at it?

Read More

FiveBring Agile to the Whole Organization

Jeff Gothelf, Harvard Business Review


Software has eaten the world. And as it continues to consume new and diverse industries it's transforming the way business is done. We are all in the "software business" now, regardless of the product or service we provide, forcing us to re-examine how we structure and manage our organizations.


When I ask managers if their organizations practice "agile" they almost always say yes. Probing a bit deeper reveals that most of this agility starts and ends with the product development teams - specifically software engineering. There is rarely a mention of "agile in the HR group" or "continuous improvement in finance." And yet, it is in these infrastructural disciplines that agility must take root to support software-driven businesses.


SixThe Best Look for a Leader

Jill Krasny, Inc.


What exactly does it mean to look like a leader? ...


According to new research, it could be as simple as taking care of yourself. A Dutch-led study published in the journal "Frontiers in Human Neuroscience" finds that people mostly ignore facial features that might make someone look smart. But they overwhelmingly prefer people who look healthy.


SevenThe Long Odds of Reforming an Employee Who Is a 'Destructive Hero'

John Grossmann, The New York Times


The results are always blindingly good. That is why so many business owners are slow to recognize the dangers posed by employees sometimes known as destructive heroes. ...


Also known as brilliant jerks, destructive heroes are egotists, prima donnas, anything but team players. The drain on company morale can be stark. Why isn't the boss dealing with such an obvious bad apple? people wonder. And because destructive heroes typically fashion their fiefs and achieve their results by intimidating co-workers, the abused colleagues may run for the exits.

EightEmployee Wellness Programs Need to Get Personal to Succeed

Lorna Borenstein, Entrepreneur


While 50 percent of companies with more than 50 employees have wellness programs, they are not achieving the desired employee health improvements, "The New York Times" recently reported. Wellness programs can work, if properly conceived and implemented - the problem is they rarely are.


Typically, workplace-wellness programs employ a "carrot-and-stick" approach where the employee is financially rewarded for participation through lower healthcare premiums and penalized with higher premiums if they do not participate. This approach is not only failing to improve the health of our workforce, but actually alienating workers by making them feel coerced into addressing lifestyle issues, and disciplined if they do not.


NineWearables Are Fast Becoming Part of 'Always On' Corporate Culture

Heather Clancy, Fortune


More businesses see smart watches, glasses and other digital gadgets as essential elements of long-range plans for improving worker wellness and productivity. Could wearing smart eyeglasses, watches or other digital gadgets eventually become a workplace requirement?

Running Your Business
TenHow Quitting Email Helped My Company Communicate Better

Max Nalsky, The Next Web


We operate in a world of inboxes. Everyone has his or her collection of points where other people can touch them - email, Facebook, Twitter, Skype - the list goes on. It's easily overwhelming, and we are cursed with options when it comes to communicating with people nowadays.


We can't get rid of these various means of interaction, and we can't even choose just one. But we can choose a default that we pay the most attention to.


Eleven5 Ways to Make Meetings Work for You and Your Team

David Dye, SmartBlog on Leadership


Do your people love your meetings?


Hint: If you're not sure, the answer is "no." You'll know people love a meeting when they say something like, "Wow, this was a really great meeting!"


If you're rolling your eyes and think that your team would never say such a thing, read on. It is possible to hold meetings that people love to attend, but it does require you to shift your meeting-mindset and use a few practical tools.


TwelveA Counterintuitive System for Startup Compensation

First Round Review


When Molly Graham joined Facebook, the company already had 400 employees, but there was no official performance or compensation system in place. There had been attempts, but nothing stuck. The result: Very little transparency, a lot of one-off compensation decisions, frustration and confusion. Working closely with Sheryl Sandberg and HR chief Lori Goler, Graham set out to change this by going back to the basics. ...


Here, she shares some of her golden rules for compensation and the system that she thinks strikes the fine balance between a startup's needs and keeping employees happy.