ChangeThis: Issue 63
October 14, 2009
The 63rd issue of ChangeThis has been published for all of you autodidactic business literature enthusiasts out there. Excerpts and links below. ::::: Moving Beyond “Short-termism” by Bill George “In the summer of 2008, Lehman Brothers and AIG were renowned power-players and titans of finance.
Moving Beyond "Short-termism" by Bill George
"In the summer of 2008, Lehman Brothers and AIG were renowned power-players and titans of finance.
They were innovative, profitable... nearly untouchable. Now, they are insolvent.
These are just two in a long line of now-clichd Wall Street stories: successful company—under pressure to earn bigger profits faster—succumbs to appeal of short-term gains, makes bad bets, and goes bust.
Negligent and cavalier investment strategies created overly-leveraged balance sheets, causing these companies, and many others, to place incredible strain on investors, the financial system, the U.S. government, and American taxpayers. Their collapse was monumental and the aftershocks are continuing; worldwide, no one has been unaffected by the ramifications of this collective short-term profit seeking.
Where were the CEOs with plans for the long-term viability of these companies? Where were the board members who were supposed to be minding the store? Where were the shareholders with the knowledge and foresight to shout 'STOP?'"
Borrowing Brilliance: And Other Oxymorons by David Kord Murray
"... As I go out into the world and teach people about creative thought, I'm often asked by managers 'how to' apply this in an organization. They want me to talk about 'corporate creativity' and 'innovation management' and at first blush, to me, 'corporate creativity' seems like a [George] Carlinesque oxymoron. It seems like two words that contradict each other, like 'jumbo shrimp,' 'military intelligence' and 'borrowing brilliance.' Corporations are typically highly structured and highly political, and typically NOT very creative. But they don't have to be this way. In fact, once you understand the basic mechanics of creative thinking, the basic block and tackling skills of the thinker, you can turn your organization into a creative factory that churns out innovative concepts through intelligent collaboration and the development of a corporate culture that fosters 'corporate creativity.'
Let me explain."
Sustainability, The Complete Concept: Environment, Healthcare, and Economy by Hunter Lewis
"Most of us would agree that the principal difference between children and real adults is that the latter look ahead, consider consequences, act responsibly and sustainably. Sustainability is not, however, just the essence of maturity. It is also the essence of morality.
Whether one looks at our ailing planet, our ever less affordable healthcare, or our failing economy, we see the same underlying problem: a rejection of maturity in favor of a childish refusal to look ahead. What we need instead is a more complete and all-encompassing concept of sustainability."
Decide to Say Sorry: The "Peace Process" for Growing Your Business by Jeanne Bliss
"How you apologize is your humanity litmus test. Let's face it, at some point; your business will suffer a failure that disappoints customers. How your company reacts, explains, removes the pain, and takes accountability for actions signals how you think about customers, and the collective heart of your organization. Grace and wisdom guide decisions of beloved companies toward accepting responsibility and resolving the situation when the chips are down—not accusations and skirting accountability. Repairing the emotional connections well is a hallmark of companies we love. It makes us love them even more."
Self-Promotion for Introverts®: Get Heard More. Even If You Talk Less. by Nancy Ancowitz
"Introverts. The world needs us, can't live without us, and often doesn't quite get us. However, we persist, mostly behind the scenes, quietly contributing to society—writing, creating, designing, researching, solving problems, and digging for treasures ancient and new. Are you one of us? If you're more of a Warren Buffett than a Donald Trump, and more of a Greta Garbo than a Madonna, you've come to the right place. It's time for you to stop hiding from the spotlight. Time to get recognized and compensated for your gifts. Rather than buying in to the common misconceptions about introverts, you'll apply your quiet strengths to raise your visibility in a way that feels right for you. And guess what? You don't have to brag. Not even remotely. You can promote yourself authentically without the 'ick' factor."
Fierce Leadership: A Bold Alternative to the Worst "Best" Practices of Business Today by Susan Scott
"There is a bold, compelling line between leadership and 'fierce' leadership. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you'll join the thousands of leaders who are crossing the line.
Fierce Leadership [feers lee-der-ship]
1. A fast-acting anti-venom to the business-as-usual mode of high task/low relationship, self-serving agendas, directing and telling, anonymous feedback, holding people accountable, excessive use of jargon and mandating initiatives that cause people to weep on too many fine days.
2. The act of acquiring your most valuable currency—emotional capital.
3. Also signals the acquisition of squid eye (more on this later) and the demise of truth-telling squeamishness and ethical squishiness."