OD Network Connections September 2014
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October 7, 2014
PD&E Webinar Series
October 25-28, 2014
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
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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
The Latest in OD
TimelessTimeless Leadership Challenges: The Lion King

Irv Rubin,Seasonings

A Disclaimer

I'd seen The Lion King before. I saw it quite differently recently. As best as I can tell, several current contextual factors contributed to the difference. My personal journey passed the ¾ century mark. Warren Bennis, a friend, colleague, mentor, and contemporary passed away. But it was Angie Keister's telephone interview of me for an article on 'values in OD' that stirred the kind of looking way back out-loud reminiscing that left me mulling; "What's it all about Alfie?" Organizing a few of these Lion King-triggered musings from a few scenes is useful to me. I hope they prove useful to others and our beloved profession, as a reminder of what our profession "was supposed to be all about."


Read More

TimetoTime to Grow Your Team? Here's Why You Should Hire Slowly

Matthew Goldman, Forbes

There's a lot of advice out there about how startups and entrepreneurs should hire fast and fire fast. Fundamentally, I think this is backwards, but I am not surprised by this advice for a few different reasons.

First, the very nature of startups, as many in the industry define them, is high-speed growth. When you're really on fire, you have virtually no choice but to hire fast to keep up with the growth. Along with this need for speed is the idea that everything should be done quickly. How will you go from $0 to $1 billion in five years if you're not super fast?


Read More

ThreeThree Hard Conversations You'll Have As a Female Leader

Sumi Krishnan, Forbes


There are few things more uncomfortable than having the "you're fired" conversation - except maybe having that conversation when you're one of the most prominent corporate leaders in America.


Earlier this year, Marissa Mayer attracted a lot of media attention when she fired COO Henrique de Castro - her first major hire as Yahoo's CEO. Some pundits were outraged by the millions in severance he walked away with, while others began speculating about how much longer Mayer would be at the helm.


For female leaders, it's imperative that we don't let the opinions or perceptions of others affect our decisions. Having the confidence for hard conversations is often what builds our platforms for success. Here are some strategies to help address a few difficult discussions.

Ten10 Ways to Engage Your Best Millennial Talent

Karin Hurt, SmartBlog on Leadership


I have this vivid memory of being the youngest and lowest-ranking person in a meeting about employee engagement. We had brought in the big guns to teach us about relating to Gen Xers. I listened to the talk about "this generation" with partial amusement, but mostly disbelief. Finally I spoke up. "OK, so I'm one of these people you're so worried about engaging and including. I'd venture to say you're worried about my loyalty and "flight risk" [I stayed another 20 years]. But the truth is, I can't imagine that all the things you're hearing we want aren't universal. Don't you want these things? Who doesn't yearn to be challenged, included and heard?" ...


Two decades later, I'm hanging around different tables across a variety of industries having almost exactly the same discussion, but this time about millennials. Sure, there's talk of gaming and social media to get their attention, but that's just medium, not message. At the end of the day, it's not what matters most. I hear it every day from my young MBA students, as well. Sure, the wrapping is different, but the humanity feels awfully familiar.

TheThe No. 1 Challenge to Innovation

Rowan Gibson, Innovation Excellence

The biggest challenge to innovation is not how to generate new ideas and opportunities. It's how to make innovation a deeply embedded capability in the organization. What usually happens is that companies focus most of their efforts on the front end of innovation - so they launch some kind of ideation initiative with a lot of hoopla and they get a whole bunch of ideas. But then they hit a wall because there is no back end - there is no organizational system for effectively screening ideas, aligning them with the business strategy, allocating seed funding and management resources, and guiding a mixed portfolio of opportunities through the pipeline toward commercialization. So, invariably, what we find is that the whole innovation effort eventually withers. And all those enthusiastic innovators inside and outside the company become cynical and discouraged as they watch their ideas go nowhere.


TalentTalent Matters: Are You Developing Your Competitors' Future Leaders?

Eugene Burke, The Washington Post


As organizations look to drive growth in challenging markets, they increasingly recognize the need for a strong bench of rising talent that can evolve with the shifting needs of the business.

Recent CEB research has found that organizations with strong benches experience double the rate of revenue and profit growth compared to organizations with weaker bench strength.

PayingPaying for That Employee's Class? Ask for a Mini Proposal First

Peter Devries, Entrepreneur


In this day and age, constant education is a necessity. Employees need to develop their skills or risk falling behind the level of their peers, both inside and outside their current workplace.


My firm, Destiny Solutions, recently commissioned a research firm to interview 200 employers from across North America to get a sense of how crucial they thought continuing education was for employees. The researchers found that 70 percent of business leaders said employees need continuous learning just to keep up with their jobs. They also found that 95 percent of businesses had systems in place to financially support an employee's continuing education.


ChangingChanging Corporate Culture is Hard. Here's How Lenovo Did It.

Lauren Weber, The Wall Street Journal

This is what corporate culture change looks like: a chief executive camped out in the lobby of headquarters, wearing a "Hello, my name is..." sticker and shaking hands with employees as they walk through the door.

That's what Yang Yuanqing, the head of personal-computer maker Lenovo Group Ltd., did in 1999, according to a new book by two Lenovo executives detailing the Beijing-based company's transformation from a quintessentially Chinese firm into a global giant with operations in 60 countries.


Read More

WhyWhy Workplace Diversity Efforts Struggle

Anne Fisher, Fortune


A new study says minority employees are often perceived to be less competent, even in their own eyes. But managers can fix that.


No question about it, companies' campaigns to hire and promote more minorities (including, in some industries, women) have created workplaces that do a far better job of reflecting the growing diversity of the U.S. population than was true even a decade ago. Yet some employers are puzzled by the stubborn fact that such hires don't move up as often or as fast as their credentials suggest they might, and some don't even stay. Why?


Running Your Business
YourYour Company's Purpose Is Not Its Vision, Mission or Values

Graham Kenny, HBR Blog


We hear more and more that organizations must have a compelling "purpose" - but what does that mean? Aren't there already a host of labels out there that describe organizational direction? Do we need yet another?


I think we do, and I've pulled together a typology of sorts to help distinguish all these terms from one another.


Fivetricks5 Tricks to Brainstorm Like It's Your Job

Jimi Smoot, Entrepreneur


Your next business idea is just around the corner, you just don't know it yet. Many people I have talked to who want freedom from the cube farm say that the lack of an idea is the only thing holding them back. But why let that be the case?


Before I started my last business, I worked in the innovations group of a major ad agency. It was my primary responsibility to think up and execute marketing tactics that had never been done before for Kia Motors America and Dr Pepper and Snapple Group. Toward the end of my tenure at that agency, members of my group had the opportunity to pitch ideas to a big company looking for some unique ways to make an impact at a music festival in a few weeks.


Sixways6 Ways to Take the Stress Out of Business Travel
Nicole Fallon, Business News Daily


Anyone who travels frequently for work knows that business trips can be stressful. Between planning your itinerary, tracking your expenses and dealing with potential delays, it's often difficult to get everything done while staying connected to the office. But with enough preparation and forethought, companies and their traveling staff members can ensure that their trips go as smoothly as possible. Travel experts and business executives shared their best advice for how employers and employees can make corporate travel a breeze.