In today’s rapidly changing business environment, companies that rely solely on full-time employees are finding they have neither the skills nor the agility to sustain success. For instance, 40 percent of U.S. companies can’t fill their open positions, according to a McKinsey Global Institute study that found that analytical, engineering, and management roles are the hardest to fill.
With those gaps, companies must now focus less on the fixed supply of in-house people and more on the capabilities they need to get work done. And a pool of independent and highly skilled workers who can fill those needs is growing. Economists Lawrence Katz and Alan Krueger found that American workers in alternative work arrangements, including temp workers, increased by 9.4 million from 2005 to 2015, a 67 percent jump.
Many of these independent professionals are increasingly being engaged to do strategic, high-value-add work requiring deep expertise. They can
Sue Ashford, a professor at the University of Michigan’s Ross School of Business, breaks down her decades of research on leadership—who achieves it, and how a group grants it. She explains that the world isn’t divided into leaders and followers. Instead, it’s a state that everyone can reach, whether they’re officially in charge or not. She also explains why shared leadership benefits a team and organization. Ashford offers tips on how to effectively grow leadership in yourself and your employees.
Raffaella Sadun, a professor at Harvard Business School, explains why seemingly common-sensical management practices are so hard to implement. After surveying thousands of organizations across the world, she found that only 6% of firms qualified as highly well-managed — and that managers mistakenly assumed they were all above average. She is a co-author of “Why Do We Undervalue Competent Management?” in the September–October 2017 issue of Harvard Business Review.
Google has opened its trove of management processes to one and all, for free. It might not feel that surprising — after all, Google has created plenty of free tools for the world to use, from internet search to email. Management tools may not seem that different. And it also follows Google’s many years of work in people analytics.
But, in fact, there is something surprising in the details of what Google revealed. Turns out a lot of its management tools focus on some pretty basic stuff, like how to run meetings, have conversations, and set goals.
Why would Google release its management processes? I see three reasons.
First, the company has nothing to lose by doing it. That’s because as basic and unsurprising as some of these practices may look, they are really hard to do well on a consistent basis. My coauthors and I explore this in detail as
When new managers and their employees meet for the first time, they begin to forge their working relationship, which will be a crucial factor in how they both experience work, how much they trust each other, and how effectively they can work together. You may have a direct report that you hold in high regard, whom you give the most important tasks to, and spend the most time mentoring. You may have another direct report whom you see as a drag on the team, give fewer opportunities to, and are less effective working with. The first few months of working together with any given employee is especially important in determining how the relationship will proceed.
One of the most exciting and — sometimes anxiety-producing transitions in a career — comes when you move from being an individual contributor to becoming a manager. At this juncture, what you think, what you say, and how you show up — in effect, your leadership presence — can have a direct impact on those you are now leading and managing for the first time. So, as a new manager, how do you build an authentic and connected leadership presence that has a positive impact on your team and colleagues?
Set a leadership values-based goal. An authentic and connected presence begins from the inside-out. How you define the role and what you value will “telegraph” out to those you work with. As a new manager, spend time to consider the kind of leader you are and hope to be. Set an aspirational goal to serve as a guiding compass.