Just Seven Things

Exploring why and how we do what we do, and how we can do it better

Archive for the category “Decision making”

7 Lessons from Steve Jobs’ Career

Some thinking summarised from commentary on Steve Jobs’s career – and what other leaders can practice for success:

  1. Relentless pursuit of bold ideas – protect the organisational resources required to deliver them.
  2. Customer surprise & delight – this should drive the product/service roadmap.
  3. Ego can be acceptable if it makes the organisation more successful.
  4. It’s about results, not activity.
  5. The 3 Rs – strong leaders ensure right people/ right jobs/ right conditions enabled for success.
  6. Tell the truth – call out poor ideas and poor performance
  7. Inspirational communication – frequent and intensely motivational communication about compelling objectives

More details and pitfalls here:  The Real Lessons from Steve Jobs’ Career | ChiefExecutive.net | Chief Executive Magazine.

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Adaptive Group Coordination and Role Differentiation

Groups often struggle to balance incentives for individual members with incentives for the collective group. In standard common pool resource problems [1], [2], individuals are tempted to maximize individual resources, but this behavior destroys the resource and ultimately harms everyone. Conflicting incentives in real world situations such as pollution and harvesting of natural resources understandably stretch a group’s ability to coordinate for the common good, but it is still unclear how group members coordinate their actions in more constrained situations where only a shared goal exists.

Humans routinely form groups to achieve goals that no individual can accomplish alone, and presumably groups must flexibly and adaptively coordinate members’ efforts in order to achieve shared goals. For example, research labs rely on the combined contributions of individuals to develop a research program and lab reputation that leads to grant funding, which may in turn benefit all of the lab’s researchers. Similarly, statistical analyses in baseball and basketball increasingly value players based on the team’s performance while the player is in the game, rather than individual statistics such as points scored [3].

via PLoS ONE: Adaptive Group Coordination and Role Differentiation.

What is Execution?

‘Execution is a systematic process of rigorously discussing hows and whats, questioning, tenaciously following through, and ensuring accountability. It includes making assumptions about the business environment, assessing the organization’s capabilities, linking strategy to operations and the people who are going to implement the strategy, synchronizing those people and their various disciplines, and linking rewards to outcomes. It also includes mechanisms for changing assumptions as the environment changes and upgrading the company’s capabilities to meet the challenges of an ambitious strategy’ – Execution, Bossidy, Charan and Burck

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