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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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 2, 2015 / Press Releases

Mariposa Leadership, Inc. Hosts an Executive Onboarding Expert and Author, George Bradt

George Bradt, co-author of The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan, and an executive onboarding and transition acceleration expert, to be interviewed by Sue Bethanis, CEO/Founder of Mariposa Leadership, on the popular Wise Talk Leadership Forum for executives on October 22, 2015.

October 1, 2015 | SAN FRANCISCO, CA – Mariposa Leadership, Inc. is pleased to announce that George Bradt, an executive talent onboarding expert and co-author of the book, The New Leader’s 100-Day Action Plan, will be a guest on Wise Talk, a popular monthly leadership forum for technology executives, on Thursday, October 22 at 3pm PT/6pm ET. In an interview with Sue Bethanis, CEO/Founder of Mariposa Leadership, George will share insights on how successful executives plan for their first day on the job, the information they gather as early as the interview process, and how they use that knowledge to craft a message, build a team, and deliver quick wins.

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July 31, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization

51JqFWSwmxL__SY344_BO1,204,203,200_Tribal Leadership: Leveraging Natural Groups to Build a Thriving Organization
By Dave Logan, John King, and Halee Fischer-Wright

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

Human beings naturally form tribes, even within companies. Tribes are how work gets done. The relationship between tribes and their leaders lies at the heart of performance. Leaders who are successful at developing tribal culture are rewarded with recognition of the leader, tribe loyalty and high performance. It’s no surprise then that companies with successful tribal leaders tend to attract and retain top talent.

This book explains the five tribal stages and the culture of each, so that leaders can learn how to identify the stage of their tribes and take action to lead them through to the next level. Leverage points are included to help leaders unstick groups at each stage and coaching tips help them accomplish their goals.

Though backed by research into 24,000 people in 24 organizations, readers will not find a statistical read but a people book, with faces and stories showcasing principles backed by research and practical experience.

At a time in which many companies are engaged in a war for talent, developing the leadership ability to identify and up-level tribal culture for maximum productivity should be a strategic talent imperative. This is a unique business management book that leaders will want in their personal toolkit. Buy it now.

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May 11, 2015 / Leadership

Ask Mariposa | Attire and Career Success

Janelle asks: I’m interested in making a career move within my company. Though our office is business casual, most of my peers dress fairly casually and it doesn’t seem to be an issue. I want to show management I’m serious about the next step up but don’t want to stand out like a sore thumb by dressing up. In today’s business environment, especially in a casual company, how important is attire to career success?

Tawny Lees, COO, responds :

Great question! How you present yourself can be very relevant to being seen as promotable, even in a casual office. In addition to having requisite talent, managers and leaders need to inspire confidence, and this is largely conveyed through presence. Others make judgments based on how you present yourself. Dressing with a certain amount of style in a casual environment says you are serious about your career and projects confidence. Consider the image you want to project. You might start by observing how your leaders dress, as they set the tone for acceptable behavior and attire. Evolve your work-wear by integrating some of those details, such as wearing a blouse or collared shirt instead of a tee shirt or a nice pair of shoes instead of sneakers. You can likely find a way to feel like yourself, while taking it up a notch to project your desired image. Nuance is key – don’t go overboard and be the sore thumb you mentioned!  If you are totally baffled, try a personal shopper at any major retailer; they can help you pick out some perfect pieces, and usually at no extra charge.

Good luck!

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April 7, 2015 / Leadership

Ask Mariposa | Should I Stay or Should I Go?

Andrea asks: I’ve been working in my industry for about 18 years and have aspirations for advancement. I joined my current company 9 months ago in my position as a mid-level manager. I was excited to join and hit the ground running. Soon after I started, I learned that the CEO was stepping down. An interim CEO was named until a permanent replacement could be found.  Eventually the company hired an external leader, and as it turns out, I know this person from a previous development program we were in together and am not impressed. I would prefer to work in a company with a CEO I can learn from. Our new leaders are young, untested, and in my opinion, unprepared for the realities of some of the systemic challenges among the staff. I have opportunities for a lateral move with other companies but am not sure if I should leave after just one year in position. I’m also concerned that my chances for advancement will be hindered with this new leader. What advice do you have for me?

Sue Bethanis, CEO, responds:

Thanks for your question, it’s a good one, and one we hear often. It is also a hard question to respond to without a little bit more context, because it is certainly not a black and white situation.  There are many things to weigh before you would choose to leave.  Here are some questions to think about:

  1. Are you set in your opinion about the CEO? For example, are there one or two things you could learn from him/her? What are some things you could possibly learn from each other?
  2. How long has the CEO been in the position, and could you give him/her 90 days to see if he/she hits the ground running in the positive way you didn’t expect?
  3. If you do want to leave, is the leaving after one year an issue for you because it will look like you’re jumping around? Instead of worrying too much about that, try focusing on doing everything you can to ensure you are supporting the current company in its efforts to succeed and the company is supporting you.
  4. As a mid-level manager, I am assuming you aren’t reporting directly to the new CEO, and instead reporting to someone else. If this is the case, and you have a good working relationship with your manager, this is golden, and I suggest putting more weight on that.

I hope the questions I have posed are helpful to you. Happy to discuss further offline.  Good luck to you!

 

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March 3, 2015 / Articles We Like / HR / Talent Management

On “5 Unconventional Ways To Keep Your Most Talented Employees From Leaving”

In Silicon Valley and beyond, many companies are engaged in a battle for talent. Winning is not just about hiring the very best; companies need to change the way they think about keeping their superstars. Superstars can go anywhere, they have options, so why not innovate to keep them engaged with your company?

The Fast Company article, 5 Unconventional Ways to Keep Your Most Talented Employees From Leaving, by Chris Ostoich, highlights five creative tips to retain your top people.  From identifying the informal network, how things get done and integrating new employees into it, to embracing self-formed, self-managed teams to give employees ownership and leadership, the content in this article will stimulate your thinking.

What interesting, creative ideas do you have for engaging your best talent?

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February 19, 2015 / HR / Talent Management / Wisetalk

WiseTalk Summary on Capturing Rookie Smarts

To kick off our 2015 Talent Management theme, we invited Liz Wiseman to join Sue Bethanis as a guest on WiseTalk. Liz is a highly regarded leadership expert recognized by Thinkers50 and author of the new Wall Street Journal best seller Rookie Smarts: Why Learning Beats Knowing in the New Game of Work. She is the President of the Wiseman Group, a leadership research and development firm headquartered in Silicon Valley, California.

Sue and Liz had a rich dialogue on the research and findings in her book Rookie Smarts. One of our biggest a-has from the conversation was about the value of the inexperienced. It could be said that those who are new to something for the first time can’t bring value, but we learned that this is essentially a myth. Those who are inexperienced operate from a “hungry state.” They lack expertise so look outward to a network of experts to get ideas and leverage their knowledge a project, much more so than experts.  We also learned in the tech world, where everything is changing so fast, the value of the experienced leader is in how fast he or she can learn, not what they know.

Favorite Quote:
“When I’m quick to say yes to something I don’t know how to do, I don’t need a personal development or learning plan that tells me to go work in certain ways that are against my nature, I’m just forced to do it.”

Insights:

  • Liz’s definition of a rookie is being new to something important and hard, regardless of age. Whether you’re 21 or 71, it’s doing something you haven’t done before. The value of a rookie doesn’t come from bringing fresh ideas. The value comes from bringing no ideas. When one comes in and has a gap in knowledge, it puts them in a predictable hungry state. They tend to point outward, ask more than talk, they lack expertise so seek it out in others. Liz mentioned an interesting data point: the inexperienced bring in 5x level of expertise on a problem then experts. The reason is because they lack expertise, so they point outward and ask for help. Rookies mobilize a network of expertise and bring it back to bear on a problem. When they ask others how they do something, they receive a diverse set of voices that they have to reconcile. The process of reconciling is when some of our best thinking is done and is why rookies get so smart in the space of relative ignorance.
  • In her research, Liz found that experience leads to success but rookies are surprisingly strong performers and in many cases outperform people with experience. Those cases are the knowledge industry, where work is innovative in nature and where speed matters. Why? Not because rookies are more skilled, but because they are more desperate. They have “no points on the board,” they are the new kid on the block, so work quickly to deliver quick wins and proof points to see if they’re on track. The most successful veterans and rookies operate in fundamentally different ways. When she looked at low performing cases, they failed in very similar ways.

Tips for capturing rookie smarts:

  1. Individuals: Liz suggests individuals try not to linger too long in a job that you’re qualified for. Say yes to things you don’t know how to do. When we keep putting ourselves out there in rookie situations, we are forced to ask questions and seek help, because we don’t know what we’re doing. She also suggests refreshing your assumptions by practicing “naive” questions, such as, what are we doing this for? Who is the real customer here? What happens if we don’t do anything? A fun exercise to audit our assumptions is to ask, what is it we believe to be true about this? Our work? Our customer base? List out the assumptions and see if you have evidence to support them or if you have evidence to the contrary. Also, swapping jobs with someone for a day will build empathy for what others do, as well as leave you with fresh ideas that can help you innovate.
  2. Feed a diet of challenge: In Liz’s research, she found, on average, it takes someone about three months to wrestle down a new challenge, and about three months after to be ready for the next one. The real practical way to keep you and/or your team rookie smart is to continue to feed yourself or your team a diet of challenge. Ask every three months, am I or is this person ready for a new challenge? Not more work, but harder work. Liz’s research also correlated satisfaction with challenge. As challenge goes up in a job, so does satisfaction and vice versa. If leaders want to drive satisfaction up on their teams, give them harder things to do.
  3. Power combinations: At team level, one suggestion Liz offered is for leaders to be deliberate about how power combinations are created. There is value in the way that both rookies and more experienced talent work. Partnering this talent is important, such as reverse mentoring and being clear about giving veteran leaders a chance to learn from rookies on their team. Try pairing a team of rookies anchored by expert, or put an empowered rookie on a team with more experience.

What we found most interesting:
In Liz’s research, when she looked at high-performing rookies, she found the most valuable/highest performing of the rookies were experienced executives taken out of one domain and put into a different one. They know enough to know the good questions to ask, how to manage people, and have their “sea legs” but are placed in a different sea so don’t know all the answers. This is where she found executives are at their best.

To learn about Liz’s approach to the extensive research, the four rookie mindsets, and more interesting insights from Liz and Sue on mid-career professionals and the world of work today, listen to the recording here.

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February 2, 2015 / Book Reviews

Book Review | Finding the Next Steve Jobs

finding-the-next-steve-jobsFinding the Next Steve Jobs: How to Find, Keep and Nurture Creative Talent
By Nolan Bushnell with Gene Stone

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

Companies want to cultivate creative thinking in employees, believing that without it, they won’t survive. And it’s true: creativity sparks new ideas and when it permeates the culture, leads to competitive advantage.  Companies, therefore, need talent passionate about the present as much as about the future, and who don’t mind being considered different.  A diverse and inclusive workforce is a recipe for innovation in today’s business environment.

The author, Nolan Bushnell, is the founder of Atari Corporation and Chuck E. Cheese’s Pizza Time Theater. He knows a thing or two about finding and hiring creative talent. Drawing on his experience, each chapter offers insight and tips on how to do just that. While the focus of this book is on hiring creative talent, the innovative concepts could apply to recruitment of other talent. The ideas force us to rethink traditional recruiting and hiring practices, which many studies have shown to be flawed.

Some the ideas presented include:

  • Hiring for Passion and Integrity: Passion is a quality that is inherent; one can’t be trained to be passionate.
  • Ignore Credentials: Employers should stop using a college degree as a sole qualification for employment. Instead, ask unusual questions to test for curiosity and resourcefulness.
  • Look for Hobbies: Hobbies tell us about passions
  • Hire Under Your Nose: Observe people doing their jobs outside of your workplace. Talent can be found anywhere.
  • Comb Through Tweets:  Use Twitter to identify talent. Twitter is a means of expression for many and a lot can be learned by their tweets.

Leaders and human resource professionals interested in building an innovative culture that thrives in the future will want to read this book. Buy it now.

 

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