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Why Women Make Teams Smarter

Strategy & Business

MIT professor Thomas Malone discusses why women can increase a group's collective intelligence.

Thomas Malone on Building Smarter Teams

Strategy & Business by Art Kleiner

The head of MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence explains how the social intelligence factor is critical for business success. What if you could measure the intelligence of a group? What if you could predict which committees, assigned to design a horse, would end up with a camel, versus which would develop a thoroughbred—or a racecar? The MIT Sloan School of Management’s Center for Collective Intelligence (CCI) was set up to accomplish just that sort of evaluation.

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Three Steps to Building a Better Top Team

McKinsey Quarterly by Michiel Kruyt, Judy Malan, and Rachel Tuffield

When a top team fails to function, it can paralyze a whole company. Here’s what CEOs need to watch out for.

Few teams function as well as they could. But the stakes get higher with senior-executive teams: dysfunctional ones can slow down, derail, or even paralyze a whole company. In our work with top teams at more than 100 leading multinational companies, including surveys with 600 senior executives at 30 of them, we’ve identified three crucial priorities for constructing and managing effective top teams.

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Turnover Alchemy: Converting Employee Losses into Gains

Strategy & Business by Orly Lobel

Turnover Alchemy"Departing staffers can become a source of new networks and competitive intelligence. These days, people are an organization’s most valuable asset. Given the work that it takes to recruit, identify, and hire strong talent, companies want to retain their employees at all costs. But in the increasingly mobile labor market, companies should actually view departing employees as continuing assets and employee turnover as a source of long-term strength.

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A Triple Scoop of Social Responsibility

Strategy & Business by John Weir Close

Journalist Brad Edmondson’s recounting of the Ben & Jerry's story, Ice Cream Social, focuses on the difficulties of living up to high-minded corporate mission statements after new owners take control.

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Ice Cream Social
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I have always had a tremendous fondness for Ben & Jerry having been in their garage start up in Burlington, Vermont in the early stages where they let customers lick the dasher after they removed the ice cream from the bucket. My fondness grew to lust for their ice cream but more importantly; I have greatly admired their dedication to their integrity and social responsibility. A fascinating story of a company and it’s morality. ~ Carrie Stone

Six Social-Media Skills Every Leader Needs

McKinsey Quarterly by Roland Deiser and Sylvain Newton

Social Media Skills graphOrganizational social-media literacy is fast becoming a source of competitive advantage. Few domains in business and society have been untouched by the emerging social-media revolution—one that is not even a decade old. Many organizations have been responding to that new reality, realizing the power and the potential of this technology for corporate life: wikis enable more efficient virtual collaboration in cross-functional projects; internal blogs, discussion boards, and YouTube channels encourage global conversations and knowledge sharing; sophisticated viral media campaigns engage customers and create brand loyalty; next-generation products are co-developed in open-innovation processes; and corporate leaders work on shaping their enterprise 2.0 strategy. This radical change has created a dilemma for senior executives: while the potential of social media seems immense, the inherent risks create uncertainty and unease.

  • Academic and medical research supports the idea that innovative tendencies are not genetic. Rather, they can be developed.
  • The authors identify five discovery skills that distinguish successful innovators: associating, questioning, observing, networking, and experimenting.

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Bad to Great: The Path to Scaling up Excellence

McKInsey Quarterly by Huggy Rao and Robert Sutton

Bad to Great videoBefore senior executives try to spread best practices, they should use seven techniques to clear out the negative behavior that stands in the way. Leaders who aim to boost organizational performance often start with efforts to kindle good behavior, however they define it. Yet case studies and rigorous academic research show that if you want to create and spread excellence, eliminating the negative is the first order of business. Destructive behavior—selfishness, nastiness, fear, laziness, dishonesty—packs a far bigger wallop than constructive behavior.

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