4 Steps to a Better Management Technique

photo_uniqueEffectively managing people is difficult, and no one is born knowing how to do it. Fortunately, management can be learned. We suggest following these four steps, which are simple, but time tested:

1. Set appropriate goals.

Goal-setting is essential. It helps employees prioritize their activities and focus their efforts. When setting goals with employees, you should make sure that they are SMART goals (specific, measurable, action oriented, realistically high, time and resource bound). The goals must also be meaningful to the employee. Sufficient rewards for goal achievement and consequences for failure should be specified. This will ensure that the goal and what’s needed to achieve it will rise to the top of the employees’ “To Do” list. Continue reading

“Leadership qualities” vs. competence: which matters more?

Sarah CliffeBy Sarah Cliffe

There’s sometimes a disconnect between how we talk about leadership qualities (we tend to use words like authority, power, and emotional intelligence) and what we actually require from the people leading teams and other working groups (arguably, competence and a deep knowledge of the specific work that needs to get done).

In a forthcoming Journal of Applied Psychology article, researchers from Stanford and Erasmus University explore which set of qualities matters most to team performance. The paper also looks at when power differences contribute to team success, and when they damage it.

I spoke with Stanford’s Lindred Greer about the research; an edited version of our conversation appears below. The other authors on the article are Murat Taraki (lead author) and Patrick Groenen, both at the Rotterdam School of Management. Continue reading

What If Management Ideas Actually Mattered?

by Gianpiero Petriglieri

In August 1993, Professor Donald Hambrick gave a memorable address to the annual gathering of the Academy of Management. As its president, his question to the thousands of members in the world’s largest association of management scholars could hardly be dismissed: What if the Academy actually mattered?

Hambrick’s “actually” referred to the men and women, outside the Academy, occupied with actual management in actual organizations. The picture of academic provincialism that he painted was a stark yet familiar one.

More than 20 years later, Hambrick’s address has been cited nearly 500 times in publications by fellow academics. An established genre has emerged from critiques that management research lacks relevance and management education lacks impact. And management “gurus” who work within and alongside academia — writing about supposedly relevant matters in accessible fashion — are called into question just as often. Continue reading

The Two Questions You Need to Ask Your Data Analysts

by Michael Li

Data scientists are in high demand.  McKinsey predicts a need for 1.5 million new data professionals in the U.S. alone. As these droves of analysts join organizations, it’s critical that they know how to talk with managers about their findings. But the burden for good communication doesn’t just fall on them. For their part, managers–the consumers of the analysis–need to ask the right questions to be sure they understand the key concepts behind data analysis.

At The Data Incubator, we work with hundreds of companies looking to train their workforce in modern data analytics or hire data scientists from our selective PhD fellowship. Our clients often ask us how they should engage with their newly trained or newly hired data professionals. Here are two critical questions we suggest they ask when trying to understand the results of any data analysis. Continue reading

Three Steps for Successful Digital Integration

by David Dubois

The “uberisation” of the economy is making companies rush into digital integration, but they need to build some critical capabilities before investing.

In the face of emerging digital disruptions across fields as varied as healthcare, transportation or even banking, companies have massively increased their digital investments. For instance, a survey by eConsultancy revealed that 77% of companies plan to increase their digital marketing budget in 2015, a sharp 71% increase compared to the preceding year. Continue reading