Friday Five: The Philosophy of Management

Friday Five is a weekly series at QAspire where I curate five articles (with excerpts)/quotes/tweets/visuals shared on my personal learning network each week that I found particularly useful, and hopefully you will find some of them valuable too!

This edition features insights on the softer aspects of leading others and why they are so important and on how streams are changing the way we lead and learn.

The Philosophy of Management

This note sums up the underlying philosophy of management and leadership. The key however is to know, how to earn these things. That, according to me, is the #1 challenge of leadership today.

What the world needs now… – John Wenger at Quantum Shift 

Being nice is not just about more effective teamwork; it’s related to doing what we can to establish what Margaret Wheatley has called “islands of sanity” in a world that may feel increasingly mean-spirited and ugly.  At the risk of sounding a bit of a little old-fashioned,  there is nothing wrong, and everything right, with bringing more kindness into our lives (that includes our working lives).

This brilliant piece by John Wenger talks about something we so badly need today in society, families and organizations – genuine compassion, care and love. A must read!

The Serendipity of Streams – Breaking Smart

If the three most desirable things in a world defined by organizations are location, location and location, in the networked world they are connections, connections and connections.

Our perception about reality is formed and altered by the streams we follow. This essay sheds light on how these social streams of updates, information and knowledge coupled with our own ways of consuming them are altering how we solve problems.

Culture, Careers Drive Employment Brand – Josh Bersin  

As IT and business leaders, CIOs bear responsibility for finding ways to offer their people opportunities for learning and continual reinvention. This means letting employees take developmental and stretch assignments, providing a great deal of project-based work, and rewarding managers not only for execution but also for coaching and development. A focus on culture, development, and leadership can pay off in more ways than one can imagine.

So much research we have proves that softer issues like culture, leadership and development are vital for getting and engaging the right talent and yet when we see around, we know we have a long way to go.

I See You – Squawk Point

Trust is the lubrication that allows organisations to tackle tough problems.  It helps them weather the storms of uncertainty.  It is also the glue that keeps a team from despair and fragmentation.  It keeps an organisation aligned when other forces are trying to pull it apart.

This excellent short post by Walter McIntyre outlines the essentials of “I See You” Management – a great way to build mindset of acceptance, understanding and trust!

Friday Five: Leadership, Learning and Intrinsic Motivation


Friday Five is a new weekly series at QAspire where I curate five articles (with excerpts)/quotes/tweets/visuals shared on my personal learning network each week that I found particularly useful, and hopefully you will find some of them valuable too!

This edition features insights on motivation, leadership, future of work and the multidisciplinary mindset.

Is intrinsic motivation at work overrated? – Susan Fowler

“Perhaps no single phenomenon reflects the positive potential of human nature as much as intrinsic motivation, the inherent tendency to seek out novelty and challenges, to extend and exercise one’s capacities, to explore, and to learn. Developmentalists acknowledge that from the time of birth, children, in their healthiest states, are active, inquisitive, curious, and playful, even in the absence of specific rewards.”

Not all kind of work can feed intrinsic motivation. Good news is: There are more ways to create conditions for better engagement and motivation.

The Restless Multidisciplinarian – An Interview with Kenneth Mikkelsen and Richard Martin at e-180 Mag

“As big picture thinkers and why-seekers, neo-generalists shine light in unfamiliar places. We need that to solve interconnected and complex challenges. Neo-generalists are driven by a deep desire to understand how the dots connect and question the status quo relentlessly. By living in more than one world, they are exposed to a diverse set of interests, people and ideas. Their experiences as critical thinkers, shape shifters, constant learners and boundary crossers make them uniquely qualified to help shape tomorrow’s world by thinking the unimaginable, exploring the unknown and doing what seems impossible to others.”

This is one book I am really looking forward to read and review. I collaborated with Anupam Kundu to write an article titled “The Future of Work and Multipotentialites” – Do check it out!

Don’t Replace People. Augment Them – Tim O’Reilly

If we let machines put us out of work, it will be because of a failure of imagination and the will to make a better future!

The future of work is really about engaging people in a way that they can be more of who they really are – humans!

A Leadership Conundrum: Unexpected Sources of Leadership by Jesse Lyn Stoner

The conundrum is that although you can’t force leadership, leadership often emerges under unexpected circumstances. Sometimes unrecognized or unappreciated, it is leadership nonetheless.

It is a common misconception that a title precedes leadership. Leadership happens in unexpected places and this excellent article offers visibility into unexpected sources of Leadership. As an addition, here is a round up of chat on topic of Emergent Leadership at a Tweetchat (#IHRChat) where I had a privilege to be a guest along with Jesse Lyn Stoner.

On Best Practice – via @JessRuyter

‘Best practice makes a great starting point but a mediocre end game.’

This one is so true! If everyone else is doing it, best practices is the same thing as mediocrity.

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Image Source: Tom Fishburne

Friday High-Five: Posts I Loved Reading Last Week

Friday is the day to share link love with some great insights from my friends in blogosphere. So, here are 5 posts that I loved reading (and you will too):


I have been a great fan of TED, a conference which offers riveting talks by remarkable people and that too, completely free. We are so fortunate to be living in a world where such great learning is available for free.

I was very glad to know that two young and aspiring individuals, Manan and Naitri (who are still students themselves) took an initiative to start TEDxAhmedabad (TEDx is an independently organized TED event). The theme of this conference, to be organized on 02nd October 2010, is “Urban Rethinking”. Visit TEDxAhmedabad’s website and register for the event. See you there!

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Have a Fantastic Friday and a Wonderful Weekend!

Friday High-Five: Posts I Loved Reading Last Week

Friday again – time to share some of the most profound posts that I loved reading last week. These brilliant posts hit the point and leave us with some excellent lessons. A big high-five to these amazing folks.

  • Six Thoughts About Middle Management – by Lisa Haneberg
    Lisa says, “Management is a social act. Conversations are your currency to generate excellence and bring out the best in others. Erode relationships, erode results.”
  • 10 Things: Addressed And Your Awesome Potential Will Be Unleashed- by NICHOLAS BATE
    Professor Bate says, “Believe in Yourself. You don’t have to be liked by everybody to do great things, to live the Life you wish, to change the world. AGREE THAT WITH YOURSELF.”
  • How to Discuss an Employee Performance Problem – by Dan McCarthy
    Dan reminds us, “Knowing how to sit down with an employee and have an effective conversation about a performance problem is one of the hardest things for any manager to do, new or experienced, and should never be taken for granted.” He also offers practical tips to handle a performance problem.
  • Three Years of CO – by Kurt Harden
    Cultural Offering blog completed three years and Kurt ruminates on the journey so far. He says, “That is the deal that is blogging. You take a shot at it. Put some thoughts down. Words to sentences to paragraphs, all to hone your skills – writing, reading, thinking. Sometimes you hit and sometimes you miss. But over time there are more hits than misses.”
  • The performance value of total concentration – by Tim Sanders
    Tim Sanders posted a small and important reminder that working on one thing with total concentration has tremendous performance value. He also reminds that we can’t excel at all things at a time. Must read if you are struggling with your productivity.

Have a Fantastic Friday and a refreshing weekend!