Why silos don’t work

A leadership fable about destroying the barriers that turn colleagues into competitors

Pat Lencioni the editor of Silos, Politics and Turf Wars tackles a prominent symptom of corporate frustration: silos, the invisible barriers that separate work teams, departments and divisions, causing people who are supposed to be on the same team to work against one another. According to Pat, silos—and the turf wars they enable—devastate organizations by wasting resources, killing productivity and jeopardizing results.

Silos, Politics, and Turf Wars provide leaders with powerful advice on how to eliminate the structural obstacles that derail organizations. Urging leaders to provide a compelling context for their employees to work together, Pat Lencioni’s model gives leaders a simple tool for enabling clarity, unity and alignment in their organizations.

Timeless management literature published in 2006. ISBN 9788126508563

The rise of AI and the green transition will transform the way we work Future of Jobs Report 2023

The World Economic Forum’s Future of Jobs Report is a snapshot of the world of work now, and a look into where we are going. The latest edition comes as we are still digesting the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic and as we all become aware of the massive impact that Artificial Intelligence is likely to have on pretty much every job humans do.

he Forum Managing Director Saadia Zahidi sets out the highlights of the report, and Jeff Maggioncalda, CEO of online learning company Coursera talks about the skills we will all need in this rapidly changing world.

More on the Future of Jobs Report: https://www.weforum.org/reports/the-future-of-jobs-report-2023

More on the Growth Summit: https://www.weforum.org/events/the-growth-summit-jobs-and-opportunity-for-all-2023

Source: World Economic Forum

How to Say No to More Work

Saying no when your boss or a colleague asks you to take on additional work can be uncomfortable. But there are graceful ways to turn down a request when you simply don’t have the bandwidth for more responsibilities. Here are some ways to say “no,” including sample language.

Give a clear reason.
 Try something like: “With my current workload, I don’t think I’ll be able to meet the expectations you have for this project.” If the person making the request is your manager, you might ask them to help you shift your current priorities to make room for the new work.

Reframe the opportunity. You might say: “Since this project is outside of my typical responsibilities, I’m not sure I’ll be able to deliver high-quality results in the desired timeframe. However, if you accept that I’d need a little extra time to learn on the job, I’d be happy to take it on.

Explain why your “no” is in everyone’s best interest. Point to the broader context by saying: “While this sounds like a great opportunity and I’d love to say yes, if I devoted five hours a week to this project, my other work would suffer—and my teammates would have to pick up the slack.”

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “Work Speak: How to Say ‘No’ to Extra Work,” by Vasundhara Sawhney

Don’t Be Afraid to Use Humor at Work

Work can often feel like a humorless endeavor. But research shows that leaders with a sense of humor are seen as more motivating and admired than those who don’t joke around. Their employees are more engaged, and their teams are twice as likely to solve creative challenges. If you want to inject some levity into the day, you can start by understanding four different types of humor styles:

The Stand-Up: bold, irreverent, and unafraid to surprise people (without being inappropriate or mean)

The Sweetheart: earnest, understated, and someone who lightens the mood

The Sniper: edgy, sarcastic, nuanced — master of the sharp observation

The Magnet: expressive, charismatic, and easy to make laugh

The more you understand everyone’s styles (including your own), the easier it will be to read the room and know when to drop that perfectly timed punchline. You can also play around with humor in everyday communications, such as out-of-office replies and email sign-offs. While it’s an extremely challenging time in the world right now, weaving some humor into the day may help you and your employees get through it.

Source: Harvard Business Review

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Foster Friendship on Your Team

Whether your team is fully in person, all remote, or hybrid, a workplace that encourages friendship is good for employee morale, productivity, and retention. How can you build a culture that fosters friendship?

Establish a buddy system. Pair up each new hire with a veteran employee as a part of their onboarding—and make sure they meet regularly. Not only will an assigned buddy help new employees learn the ropes faster, it also gives them a connection through which they can meet other colleagues who can become friends down the road.

Increase face time. The best way to develop a real connection with someone is to see and hear them—even if it’s on Zoom or FaceTime. Encourage your team to talk more and email less.

Encourage jam sessions. When people share a common goal and make something together, they form a connection. Look for opportunities for your employees to collaborate and innovate freely.

Don’t force it. You can’t make people be friends—but as long as the opportunity for friendship is there, you’ve done your job.

Source/ Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “The Power of Work Friends,” by Jon Clifton

How To Tackle Unconscious Bias In Your Workplace

Collectively, we can open our eyes wider to improve productivity, morale, collaboration and much more.

Source Forbes Magazine

Unconscious bias is sneaky. As much as we desire to be free of biases, they have a way into our thoughts and behaviors. But as leaders, it’s our responsibility to keep them in check. This is an extraordinary burden for people tasked with hiring, maintaining and upskilling employees; however, it can also be a privilege. Taking the time and effort to really see potential in all people is a gift that can transform workplaces, families, communities and society. But how do we tackle this responsibility? With time, care, a little neuroscience and a commitment to success.

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Improve How You Recognize Your Team

Showing recognition—when done well—has huge payoffs, boosting employee morale, productivity, performance, and retention. To get better at giving recognition, you want to focus on both the substance of the recognition and the manner and context in which you deliver it. To improve the substance, start by being specific. Describe to your employee what they did and the impact it had on you, the team, the organization, or your customers. While recognizing outcomes is valuable, it’s also important to recognize the positive actions that led to the outcome. To improve the delivery of your recognition, consider the employee you’re recognizing. Would they rather receive kudos in public or in private; verbally or via handwritten card? Tailor your delivery method to your employee’s personality. Whatever method you choose, be timely. The sooner you give the recognition after the behavior, the higher the perceived value.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “Do You Tell Your Employees You Appreciate Them?,” by Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman

Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely

While going back to the office will be an adjustment for everyone, it will be an entirely new experience for people you hired remotely. Here are a few strategies to re-onboard employees who started work in a WFH environment.

  1. Allow remote hires to bond as a cohort by creating structured opportunities for them to interact and get to know each other. These might include icebreakers or “speed networking” activities.
  2. Create a buddy system. Pair each remote hire with a more tenured employee who can answer their questions about the physical office space and organizational norms that they may not have picked up on when working from home.
  3. Check in regularly. You may feel like you’ve already done the work of getting your remote hire up to speed, but the office is an entirely new environment. Take them to lunch and have a one-on-one meeting with them their first week back, as you would have done if they had started their job at the office.

Source: Harvard Business Review

This tip is adapted from “How to Re-Onboard Employees Who Started Remotely,” by Rebecca Zucker

What Can You Really Accomplish in a Day?

Many of us overload our workdays, only to find ourselves facing an unfinished to-do list at the end of the day. How can you break free of this magical thinking that causes you to disappoint others, miss deadlines, feel depleted, and lose your inspiration? To get a realistic sense of how long your current and future projects will take to complete (and how to prioritize them), start by reviewing your major projects from the past year. Which were planned and which were opportunistic? This self-audit will help you paint a more realistic picture of how your future calendar will be populated. It will also help you prioritize the top of your to-do list and renegotiate the rest by saying no, lowering expectations, or requesting help. Crucially, you need to stop convincing yourself that next time will be easier. This kind of optimism may be misguided, leaving you at risk of falling short. Always lean toward building in more time for your work, not less. Finally, look for opportunities to build your team’s capacity, and delegate when you can. You don’t need to go it alone.

This tip is adapted from “Be More Realistic About the Time You Have,” by Sabina Nawaz

Source: Harvard Business Review

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