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January 27, 2016 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Mastering the Challenges of Leading Change

AAEAAQAAAAAAAAbiAAAAJDU0ODhjMzMwLTczYTItNDBmYy1hYTZlLWY3Mzc3NGZmYTI2OQMastering the Challenges of Leading Change
By H. James Dallas

Head: (3 out of 5)
Heart: (4 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

Change leaders know how to navigate both the change process, as well as manage the people dynamic. They understand their role expands beyond that of a project leader – it involves being an agent of change. The content of this book will show leaders how to do just that.

Drawing on the wisdom gained from years as a leader driving change, including 15 acquisition integrations, 10 enterprise resource planning implementations and 5 quality and customer service improvement programs at companies such as Medtronic and Georgia-Pacific, the author, James Dallas, offers insights into the skills and qualities leaders need to possess to be effective.  The content is broken down into a four-part model, which is based on proven techniques that have worked well for the author as a change leader:

  • Priorities: Understanding how to launch a change initiative properly, including how to identify the priorities of others and company culture
  • Politics: Understanding and navigating politics, creating messages that influence and inspire others and overcoming resistance.
  • People: How to effectively build relationships and build trust
  • Perseverance: Fixing things that break along the way and making change stick

The book also includes “life stories” that the author returns to again and again for their nuggets of wisdom and applicability in change processes.  This information will supplement your favorite traditional project management methodologies so you can successfully affect change in your organization.

Leaders who want to create lasting impact will want to read this book.  Buy it now.

 

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January 1, 2016 / Book Reviews

Article Review | How to Build a Collaborative Hiring Process That Works

How to Build a Collaborative Hiring Process That Works
by Ragini Parmar

Head: (3 out of 5)
Heart: (3 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4 out of 5)

Hyper growth can cause some companies to move quickly in the recruiting and hiring process to fill open positions, placing the established corporate culture at risk. But Credit Karma has figured out how to prioritize building their culture to scale.

The article, How to Build a Collaborative Hiring Process That Works, by Ragini Parmar, VP of Talent Operations at Credit Karma, explains some of the guiding principles that make their process effective at building company culture while bringing in the right talent. Deviating from traditional hiring methods, a collaborative hiring process means more than driving for consensus; it espouses appropriate involvement from employees as well as human resource and recruiting partners at each step of the way.

From how to structure and involve employees in the interview and debrief process to the treatment of cultural fit as an objective vs. subjective assessment, these guidelines offer insights into an innovative way to hire the right talent and scale company culture, while continuing to drive employee engagement. Read it now.

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December 23, 2015 / Articles We Like

On "10 Questions To Help You Evaluate 2015"

For most of our clients, December mixes the rush of holiday plans with completing end-of-the-year deadlines, making it a challenging time for self-reflection. But the start of the new year is a perfect time to take a step back to consider what went well last year, and the changes you want to make this year. The demands of executive life require building resilience to sustain energy, stamina, health, and performance, and this article will help you hone in on key focus areas relevant to you.

Most of the questions in the Forbes article, 10 Questions To Help You Evaluate 2015, by Paula Davis-Laack, are linked to a specific resilience building block, making this a great framework to use for setting this year’s personal and professional goals. Check it out!

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November 30, 2015 / Book Reviews

eBook Review | How to Hire Contract Tech Talent

tech-talent-group-300x232How to Hire Contract Tech Talent
by Mark Mian, 10x Management

Head: (4 out of 5)
Heart: (2 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (4 out of 5)

In the war for talent, the complexity in sourcing and hiring top tech talent has risen. Top talent can seem elusive, adding time and financial resources to the hiring process. Instead of hiring permanent employees, many companies are taking advantage of the growing freelance economy to not only expand their tech talent options, but leverage the right experience and skills at the right time for their project. To fully realize the benefits of the freelance economy though, companies have to expertly navigate their various sourcing options while weighing the risks and costs associated with each. This comprehensive e-book can help.

How to Hire Contract Tech Talent, a free e-book offered by 10x Management, builds a business case for using freelance tech talent and outlines a helpful 6-step process to find, vet and hire top tech contract talent:

  • Plan: What do you need?
  • Discover: Find good candidates
  • Screen: Determine their value
  • Contract: Set expectations and negotiate price
  • Manage: Optimize the engagement
  • Evaluate: Assess the outcome

Each section of this e-book contains useful tips and outlines important considerations at each step. This guide will help leaders find the freelance tech talent they need and make the most of them to operate a leaner, smarter business. Download this handy guide now.

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November 25, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “The Tech Talent Shortage Is a Lie”

Here in the San Francisco Bay Area, we hear a lot about the talent wars, particularly for top tech talent. Tech engineers are in such high demand, they can cherry pick the companies they want to work for and those companies will pay top dollar to hire them. But the author of this article – an engineer, founder and tech executive – believes we are missing the mark on this so-called talent war. Talented people are everywhere, he argues, but they need the right environment for nurturing. So what is this shortage really all about?

We share Baron Schwartz’s TechCrunch article, The Tech Talent Shortage Is a Lie, because he offers an alternative perspective on the war for talent: the shortage isn’t about talent but about companies willing to change the conversation by investing in talented people. Check it out.

What is your company doing to create a culture that nurtures talent?

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October 30, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “CIOs Get Creative to Fnd Top Tech Talent”

Much has been written about the war for talent in Silicon Valley, and we often hear some of the downstream effects this has as we work with our clients: product launch dates sometimes in jeopardy, employees overloaded with work, and leaders spending more and more of their time recruiting. With the demand for tech talent at an all time high, recruiting techniques that worked in the past are likely not good enough today. CIOs not only need to find creative ways to source the right candidates, but ensure a good culture fit, and this takes time and extra due diligence. That’s why we share this article.

The CIO.com article, CIOs Get Creative to Find Top Tech Talent, highlights some creative ways CIOs today are disrupting traditional talent sourcing and hiring methods to search for, vet and interview talent for the right culture fit.

What are some creative ways your CIO searches for and hires the right tech talent?

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October 22, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | The Attacker’s Advantage

The Attacker’s Advantage: Turning Uncertainty into Breakthrough Opportunities
By Ram Charan

Head: (5 out of 5)
Heart: (3 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

Senior leaders are familiar with strategic challenges inherent in executive leadership, including dealing with uncertainty. But in today’s business environment, a new kind of uncertainty has emerged: structural uncertainty, which can destroy the structure of an existing market space and reduce or eliminate it without much warning. Excelling in this new reality requires honing specific strategic leadership skills and abilities which, according to the author, Ram Charan, are different than those they’ve relied on in the past. This may be the last leadership frontier to master and those who can, give their companies an edge.

This book outlines the business case for structural uncertainty vs. other uncertainties, and offers practical tools and insights to help leaders develop the skills required to lead in this new business reality, including:

  • Ability to recognize sources of uncertainty and their implications before your competition
  • Mindset to see the opportunities present in uncertainty
  • Ability to see a new path forward and commit to it
  • Adeptness in managing the transition to the new path
  • Skill in making your organization agile to exploit opportunities and respond to sudden shifts

In a global business environment, companies that create change become market leaders and it can happen faster than we think. Executives who want to develop new leadership skills that can help their companies deal with this uncertainty and thrive in this new reality will want to read this book. Buy it now.

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October 8, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “A hiring manager shares HR’s common hiring secrets”

Because recruiting and vetting top talent is a high priority in Silicon Valley, this article struck us as interesting to share. Some HR professionals vet candidates in ways that fall outside a company’s standard recruiting and hiring procedures.

In the Fast Company article, A Hiring Manager Shares HR’s Common Hiring Secrets, by Christine Diodonato and Marianne Hayes, learn some common (but not always compliant) ways HR can go about vetting potential employees, to ensure a cultural fit with the company and the demands of the open position.

What are some unique ways your HR team tries to ensure a potential candidate is a good fit?

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September 28, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan

51F3dWKdgyL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan
By George B. Bradt, Jayme A. Check, Jorge E. Pedraza

Head: (5 out of 5)
Heart: (4 out of 5)
Leadership Applicability: (5 out of 5)

Studies have shown 40% of newly hired senior executives fail within the first 18 months on the job. Given the costs of hiring and the impact leadership failure can have on revenue, employee productivity and moral, this is an expensive reality for any company.

As consultants who help executives move into complex new leadership roles, the authors of this book understand how to stack the odds in favor of a new executive: implement a comprehensive onboarding plan for the first 100 days. The content of this book is based on their proven onboarding process, which includes:

  • Identifying the seven deadly onboarding landmines that can derail new executives
  • Identifying and managing risk
  • Choosing the right approach for existing company culture
  • Crafting and communicating a central message
  • Creating and imbedding a Burning Imperative
  • Establishing early wins

The tools, checklists, examples and sage advice based on extensive experience will help you take charge of your own onboarding plan, so you can hit the ground running, send the right message, build a high-performing team and deliver results.

This is a practical handbook no aspiring or current executive should be without. Organizations interested in setting their new leaders up for success, and leaders interested in new opportunities or taking charge of their own onboarding plan will want to read this book. Buy it now.

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September 10, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “How to use culture interviews to build a better team”

Hiring can be a risky process for all companies. Good hires contribute positively to company goals and company culture, but bad hires are costly and disruptive to team dynamics. For startups, finding potential employees with the right mix of experience, skills and culture fit is becoming the norm. Company culture is a key determinant of startup success or failure, so many are placing an emphasis on culture in the interview process. This is one approach we think many companies will benefit from knowing about, as the process does more than uncover the person behind the resume  – it can contribute to trust and employee engagement as well.

In the CIO.com article, “How to use culture interviews to build a better team”, by Sharon Florentine, learn how some companies go beyond behavioral interviewing to emphasize company culture in their interview process. The article outlines tips as well as pitfalls.

What techniques do you use to assess cultural fit of potential employees?

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