In business, we measure success by the bottom line, or as I've heard some people put it, "We keep score with dollars." When you get right down to it, profit represents the combination of drive, work and efficiency we call high productivity. Staying busy isn't enough; we have to stay busy at what matters, in ways that move us toward well-defined goals and objectives.
Just as we've done for the past several years, ExecuNet will be back on-site at World Business Forum, live reporting the sharp leadership insight on-stage and backstage for our members. For two days in early October, iconic business and world leaders share their best — and next — practices that help inspire individuals and drive high-performing teams.
There are so many reasons you are where you are right now. And maybe only one big reason why you're not where you want to be — fear.
Fear is the gatekeeper of risk, where everyone has a different tolerance level shaped by family, finances, circumstances, whatever. Risk that is consistently held at bay becomes absorbed into your comfort zone until so much time passes the dream finally fades in importance.
It all depends on how your company operationally defines "green" and the ensuing strategies. Where it makes the most sense for business and careers is to tie "green" to "efficiency," and these ExecuNet members in the Operations Roundtable shared their experiences when asked whether going green helped or hurt their businesses.
If you're a CEO, you'll want to benchmark yourself against others like you. If you're an in-role senior leader, insight into the chief executive can help you strategically focus your performance goals. For those in job search, you can better position yourself as a solution if you know the CEO's business priorities. Finally, if you recruit top talent, knowing CEOs' retention and engagement triggers can help you place your next candidate.
More than a few laid-off executives have expressed the sense of relief that accompanied their terminations. But that's just one of an amalgam of feelings that often includes anger, disbelief and grief. Self-care is particularly important during this time, with many experts saying that a short, temporary "quiet period" helps replenish positive energy and calibrate focus.
Executives in this situation have identified two specific sources of their relief: no longer stressing over job insecurity, and a new opportunity to find their passion and reinvent themselves. Many have been in careers of default, starting as a young employee in a certain industry and then moving up as skill sets and experience develops. Not many children dream about growing up to be the “Senior Vice President of Copper Widget Procurement" so some executives find their layoff to be liberating.
"The key to creating winning strategies in social media is first to give up control," Charlene Li, leading analyst of social technologies told delegates at the 2010 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, "You need to give up control but still be in command."
First, leaders must realize that social media is a lot more than just Facebook, said Li, also author of the bestselling books, Groundswell and Open Leadership. Then, she advised, you need to make sure you have a direction that everyone understands and will follow. "The only way to get people to follow you is if you lead them."
There were tremendous learning opportunities at the 2010 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, but, warned Joseph Grenny, the delegates were likely to confront resistance at the office when they attempted to implement new ideas and strategies.
"The challenge begins when you return to the office and have to encounter human beings," said the business strategist and bestselling author, "human beings who are often unwilling to change."
Resistance to change is such a frequently encountered problem that Grenny said he found author David Sedaris' comment telling: "I haven't got the slightest idea how to change people, but still I keep a long list of prospective candidates just in case I should ever figure it out."
"Green" is evolving from a regulatory or moral requirement to a business strategy. Companies have different drivers for adopting green initiatives, but collectively we're moving toward a third era. Joel Makower, author of Strategies for the Green Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business, defined these eras at the 2010 World Innovation Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported for attendees.
The Compliance-Driven Era: Do no harm
The Environmentalism Era: Companies can do well by doing good
The Business Value Era: Green creates value by providing better products
There are a number of ways to perform a job search. There's the old way that many use still today. Some call it the shotgun approach: blasting résumés as far as the eye can see. Filling up the inboxes of recruiters certainly feels productive.
Is this you? Are you using a very general strategy to find a very specific job? The biggest fear I have for you is that this might have worked in the past when times were better and the job search community accepted a more passive effort. Being an independent person, you try that approach again — in this tough and significantly more competitive market.
If so, I'd like to fill your mind with a few practical tips to get you thinking with more precision. A more precise strategy will be more efficient, and, in the end, much more productive.
Why have there been advances in virtually every technology invented in the last 100 years, yet management is woefully out of date? At the 2009 World Business Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported, strategist and innovator Gary Hamel asked the delegates, "Could technology management change in this century the way it changed in the last century? Almost all organizations are running on 19th century management systems."
Management was created, the author and co-founder of the Management Innovation Lab at the London Business School said, to "get people to show up every day and do the same job over and over again like robots."
"Green" is evolving from a regulatory or moral requirement to a business strategy. But, green will only succeed, said Joel Makower, author of Strategies for the Green Economy: Opportunities and Challenges in the New World of Business, when green equals better.
Makower, executive editor of GreenBiz.com and co-founder of Greener World Media, has tracked the greening of corporations over 20 years and seen it evolve from isolation in the environmental function to spread nearly enterprise-wide. At the 2010 World Innovation Forum, where ExecuNet exclusively reported for attendees, Makower talked to executives about how green innovation can fit into their organizations and careers.
We saw a great deal in the media about the threat of a "double dip" in our economy.
Bernanke's remarks before Congress this week, expecting 3 percent growth for the rest of this year into 2011, shows we continue to be in a slow growth environment with lots of "noise" but probably not a "double dip."
Anecdotal evidence we received this week also suggests a positive outlook. A team of ExecuNetters covered the HSM's World Innovation Forum that was held in NYC this week. They reported that the world actually was alive and well and returning to basics. With over 900 attendees, the attendance was at an all-time high — more than doubling the prior year. The vibrancy of the discussions and this increased attendance really speak volumes about how business has refocused on innovation and growth — after a hiatus.
Those who were dramatically affected by America's Great Depression in 1929 seemed to carry the weight of that experience well beyond the following decade of double-digit unemployment. The stories of people who spent the rest of their lives saving aluminum foil or hoarding sugar packages aren't folklore, but the long-lasting results of preparing for lean times to reoccur.
You're settled into your seat for a long airplane trip — reclined, shoes off, drink on tray table, magazine open to that article you've been waiting to read once you finally had enough time. Suddenly, the flight attendant asks you to switch seats with another passenger — your comfortable environment and mental harmony is now disrupted, and it will require some deliberate focus and nurturing to get you back on track.
Imagine that same seat-swapping scenario occurring during a period of severe weather turbulence. Not only were you already anxious and feeling unstable in your current seat, you now have to collect yourself, mobilize and get re-oriented in a new place while trying to balance and keep from falling.
Change is usually not easy, and change amidst instability is even more difficult. Yet that's how many employees are feeling lately as their companies reorganize, reallocate resources, cut costs and downsize staff while the economy searches for stabilization.
Finding new ways to do business is always a challenge, but for success in an ever-changing world, business leaders today must be willing to try new things and remain extremely flexible. Read what some of the world's greatest innovators had to say in this ExecuNet exclusive.