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            [post_content] => George Yip photoProfessor of Marketing and Strategy, Imperial College Business School. Previously Professor of Strategy and Co-Director, Centre on China Innovation, China Europe International Business School in Shanghai; VP and Director of Research & Innovation, Capgemini Consulting; Dean, Rotterdam School of Management, Erasmus University; faculty at Harvard, UCLA, Cambridge and London business schools. Other books include Strategic Transformation, Managing Global Customers, Asian Advantage and Total Global Strategy. He took his MBA at Harvard and has worked at numerous business schools including those at Harvard, UCLA and Cambridge, as well as working as author, consultant and manager. Most recently he was professor of strategic and international management at the London Business School. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 29th September 2016.

IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business – what would they be?

GY: China is the next innovation powerhouse

IMI: What does this mean? GY: China is moving from imitation to innovation. China’s vast, diverse and still-growing market, its legions of low-cost scientists and engineers, and its innovation ecosystem of research institutes, technology parks and universities have created a fertile ground in which Chinese companies are now innovating, not just for China, but for the world. As a result, the country has finally emerged from years of being seen as merely the factory of the world and is now rapidly assuming a new role: innovator to the world. IMI: Where should we look for further information? GY: Forbes online, George Yip and Bruce McKern, “The ‘Three Phases’ of Chinese Innovation” 23 March 2015. Forbes online, George Yip and Bruce McKern, “5 Ways to Protect Your Intellectual Property in China,” 1 July 2015. Forbes online, George Yip and Bruce McKern, “5 Strategy Lessons Companies Can Learn From China,” 6 June 2016. George Yip is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 29th of September. To register for this event, please click here.         [post_title] => "China is the next innovation powerhouse" Six Word Wisdom from George S. Yip [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => draft [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => china-next-innovation-powerhouse-six-word-wisdom-george-s-yip [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-28 00:31:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-28 00:31:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=16062 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11945 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2015-10-05 11:20:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-05 11:20:50 [post_content] =>
thimon
Thimon de Jong runs over the past ten years has consulted with leading organisations such as Ikea, Deloitte, Aon, Samsung and GDF Suez, on sharpening their business strategies to sync with wider socio-cultural trends. Thimon runs his own company, Whetston, a strategic foresight think tank. He also teaches at Utrecht University on how sociocultural trends can be used to improve business strategy. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

TDJ: Develop a digitally balanced business strategy

IMI: What does this mean? TDJ: Society, human behaviour, business: our world is rapidly getting more and more digital. But parallel to this development, the need for the real, the personal and the unconnected is growing. In the future, a successful strategy will cater both these trends with a digital balance in any part of business: products, services, marketing communication, HR etc. IMI: Where should we look for further information? TDJ: This fall, I will release a series of articles on this, published via LinkedIn and my website: www.whetston.com NMC 2015 A4 HEADER Thimon de Jong is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to conference@imi.ie. [post_title] => "Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => develop-digitally-balanced-business-strategy-six-word-wisdom-thimon-de-jong [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 16:19:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 16:19:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11945 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8268 [post_author] => 39 [post_date] => 2014-09-29 11:53:40 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-09-29 11:53:40 [post_content] => Described as ‘The Jane Bond of Innovation’, Nilofer Merchant has grown businesses — from Fortune 500s and silicon valley web start-ups — for 20 years.  She will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 9 October 2014.  As an innovative thinker and practitioner, Nilofer will share her thoughts and experience on how we best align our organisations to succeed against our business challenges today and into the future. nmweb150 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be? NM: Not everyone will, but anyone can. IMI: What does this mean? NM: Most organizations think of work in boxes. As in engineering does this and marketing does that. Or, even more personally as Tom is responsible for delivering X and Susan is responsible for Y. This is to put work into neat little boxes to create some type of measurability. It’s a relic of the industrial era when the way to profitability and market performance was on efficiency and productivity. But if you look around your workplace, you’ll notice the most obvious truth. Most things are not failing because so and so didn’t do such and such. It’s because of a gap. A gap between organizational silos. A gap between understanding. A gap between the organizational boxes. In order to close the box, you need to organize not around boxes but around purpose. Organize not by “who should be here” but who wants to be here. And while not everybody will rise up to solve the situation, create new products, etc … what you’ll discover is an amazing reserve of talent that exists. Things you didn’t know were possible will happen. Because anybody can. IMI: Where should we look for further information? NM: Visit my website nilofermerchant.com Nilofer Merchant is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 9 October. If you are interested in attending click here to register. [post_title] => "Not everyone will, but anyone can" Six Word Wisdom from Nilofer Merchant [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => everyone-will-anyone-can-six-word-wisdom-nilofer-merchant [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:48:47 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:48:47 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=8268 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 7017 [post_author] => 32 [post_date] => 2014-05-08 15:28:31 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-05-08 15:28:31 [post_content] => [post_title] => 3 slick selling techniques you should take from the Time-share Salesperson [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => can-learn-selling-street-vendors [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-13 12:36:17 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-13 12:36:17 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=7017 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11952 [post_author] => 65 [post_date] => 2015-09-25 15:20:30 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-09-25 15:20:30 [post_content] =>
sue cox
Sue Cox is a Learning and Development Consultant and a Tango dancer.  She has worked extensively with the public and not-for-profit sectors as well as the corporate world and has developed and led social inclusion projects across the UK. She is interested in how we develop our own potential and how we connect better with others in order to be more effective in our organisations and relationships. She will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

SC: Want better leadership? Develop your followership.

IMI: What does this mean? SC: Many organisations invest heavily in developing and recognising good leadership but give little or no thought to actively cultivating good followership. Leadership is, by definition, a relational process however there is no leadership unless there is a leader/follower dynamic. When we focus only on developing leadership, we give visibility and importance to one aspect only, neglecting the contribution of followership and the untapped potential of the relationship between the two.  How much do we lose by doing so? A powerful illustration of what this looks like in practice can be seen in Argentine Tango. There is a misconception in Tango that the leader is in control and the follower is relatively passive. Nothing could be further from the truth. Tango is complex, improvised and co-created in the moment and it depends entirely on the leader/follower dynamic.  Good followership amplifies and strengthens leadership; good leadership maximises the followers’ contribution. The quality of their connection elevates the whole dance to a greater level of performance. Misconceptions about leadership and followership are seen as often in the boardroom as they are in the ballroom. If you want to release potential in your organisation and be resourceful and creative in the way you respond to change and opportunity, the challenge is to develop everybody’s ability as both leader and follower, so that each can play their full part in co-creating the dance. IMI: Where should we look for further information? SC: Visit my website at Ballroom2Boardroom.com 

tango

Sue Cox spoke at the IMI National Management Conference on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to conference@imi.ie. [post_title] => "Want better leadership? Develop your followership" Six Word Wisdom from Sue Cox [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => want-better-leadership-develop-followership-six-word-wisdom-sue-cox [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:29:10 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:29:10 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11952 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [5] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 12166 [post_author] => 68 [post_date] => 2015-10-07 11:00:35 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-07 11:00:35 [post_content] =>
Yves-Morieux-Hi-Res-150x1501.jpg
Yves Morieux is a Senior Partner and Managing Director at The Boston Consulting Group, a BCG fellow and director of the BCG Institute for Organisation.Yves' Six Simple Rules of Smart Simplicity, has helped CEOs with their most critical challenges, for instance, moving their companies from quasi bankruptcy to industry leadership. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015

1. What is the chief thing that managers/leaders get wrong about what effective leadership means today, in your experience?

Managers often don't understand what their teams really do. They understand the structures, the processes, the systems. But this is not what people do – it is what people are supposed to do.  A company's performance or a department's performance is what it is because people do what they do, because of their actions, decisions and interactions – their "behaviours".  Because we don't understand what people do, we create solutions – new structures, processes, systems, scorecards, incentives, training, and communication – that don't address the root causes. We don't solve the problem, we simply add more internal complicatedness. And the more complicatedness we create, the less we understand what is really happening, the thicker the smoke screen, and then the more rules we add. This is the vicious circle of modern management. This is why the first rule of what I call Smart Simplicity is "understand what people really do at work."

2. Do leadership principles work best when understood as a top-down process, or is this understanding of leadership out of touch with the modern workplace?

From collaboration to performance to employee engagement, everything we know about work is changing – but our businesses are seemingly slow to respond. People are more attuned to sharing posts, writing blogs, and providing instant feedback through ‘likes’ and ‘favourites’ than they are to completing surveys, so why does our approach to employee engagement still centre on a set of fixed statements and a rating scale? In their personal lives people collaborate naturally with those around them and have an amazing propensity to share even when there is no immediate benefit to them, hence the success of crowdsourcing sites like Wikipedia. So, why do we spend so much time and energy in organisations on encouraging people to practice these seemingly natural behaviours at work? The challenge for businesses is to disrupt every process and practice in the organisation by asking: Why does it exist? What are we trying to achieve? If we were to start the organisation from scratch, would we choose to create this? And perhaps most tellingly of all, would this practice exist if we trusted our employees? iqmatrix

3. A core feature of your approach to leadership and better workplace productivity is the concept of ‘Smart Simplicity’. How does this play out in a world where the data available to companies now – be it through consumer feedback, predictive modelling, data analytics etc – has surged? Does the effective use of all of this data necessitate more complexity, rather than simplicity?

The environment is more complex – the problems to resolve in order to attract and retain customers, in order to create value and build competitive advantage – are more demanding than in the past. This is a fact of life. Based on our analysis, complexity has been multiplied by 6 over the last 60 years. The real problem is not business complexity. The real problem is internal complicatedness – the solutions companies typically use to try to respond to this complexity: a proliferation of cumbersome structures, interfaces, coordination bodies and committees, procedures, rules, metrics, key performance indicators and scorecards. Based on our analysis this complicatedness has been multiplied by 35! This complicatedness creates obstacles to productivity and innovation. People spend their time writing reports, in meetings. There is more and more work on work, and less and less work! A lot of data, a lot of information is always good. The difficulty – and the value-added – is sense-making, to derive meaning and knowledge from the data, so that companies can interpret and act on the data. But complicatedness makes it increasingly difficult for companies to make sense of the data. There is at the same time a data indigestion and a knowledge deprivation.

4. When it comes to Irish businesses, how do their workplace dynamics compare with other countries and what would be your principal advice to them on what to change?

Irish businesses face the same problems as other mature economies. They need to manage the new business complexity without getting complicated. Smart Simplicity is not about becoming simplistic, we cannot ignore the new complexity of business. This is why I refer to "Smart" simplicity. The six rules of Smart Simplicity concern Irish businesses because Irish businesses are also confronted to a greater complexity.

5. Should business leaders focus more on improving employee productivity per se, or should this be balanced with also ensuring that staff are happy at what they do and not afraid to be creative? How does one strike an effective balance?

We must not strike a balance here! We must break the compromise between productivity and happiness or creativity. We must not improve one at the expense of the other. In fact organizational complicatedness hinders productivity while demotivating people and making them suffer at work. They lose direction, purpose and meaning in the labyrinth. They have to work longer and longer, harder and harder, but on less and less value-adding activities. This is why Smart Simplicity and removing complicatedness simultaneously increases performance and satisfaction at work: because you remove the root-cause common obstacles that hinder both.

6. What do you think are the key organisational challenges that face a country like Ireland over the next few years, for both business managers/leaders and their staff?

Organizations are going through a deep revolution in their ways of working. We are going through a new economic revolution, and every economic revolution entails and organizational revolution. The organizational solutions on which we have built profitable growth over the last 30 years are obsolete.  Irish managers and employees will have to invent new ways of working. Smart Simplicity provides guidelines for this, but what mainly matters is boldness and courage in breaking with conventional wisdom. Irish people are certainly well placed in this respect! NMC 2015 A4 HEADER Yves Morieux is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. Apologies but this event has now reached maximum capacity.  [post_title] => "Understand what people do at work" Six Word Wisdom from Yves Morieux [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => understand-people-work-six-word-wisdom-yves-morieux [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:27:18 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:27:18 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=12166 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [6] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11950 [post_author] => 64 [post_date] => 2015-10-01 14:00:00 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-01 14:00:00 [post_content] =>
Rory Sutherland, Vice Chairman, Ogilvy & Mather Group UK
Rory was appointed Creative Director of OgilvyOne in 1997 and ECD in 1998. He has worked on Amex, BT, Compaq, Microsoft, IBM, BUPA, easyJet, Unilever and won numerous awards along the way. In 2005 he was appointed Vice Chairman of the Ogilvy & Mather Group UK. He was elected President of the Institute of Practitioners in Advertising in 2009 for two years. Rory is also a visiting professor of Warwick University and was recently awarded an honorary doctorate (D. Litt) by Brunel University.  He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015   IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

RS: "Think like a biologist"


IMI: What does this mean? RS: There is a dangerous tendency for people to look at businesses and markets as though they were pieces of engineering: and should be managed and understood in Newtonian terms. Today more than ever it's more useful - at least most of the time - to use the mental models we use to understand complex and evolving systems. biologist Source:www.askabiologist.asu.edu IMI: Where should we look for further information? RS: A great first place to start is by reading Robert H Frank's book The Economic Naturalist, and his later work The Darwin Economy. Nassim Taleb's Antifragile is a long but mind-reshaping read. The other areas of worthwhile study are evolutionary psychology and behavioural economics. These seek to understand how (and why) people - often unconsciously - make decisions in reality, and why this may differ from narrow and naive theories of economic rationality. Where to start here? Predictably Irrational by Dan Ariely. Nudge by Thaler and Sunstein. And The Rational Animal by Griskevicius and Kenrick. Sapiens, by Noah Harari, Butterfly Economics by Ormerod, Adapt by Tim Harford and The Origins of Wealth by Eric Beinhocker would also be an essential read.   Rory Sutherland s a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to conference@imi.ie. [post_title] => "Think like a biologist" Six Word Wisdom from Rory Sutherland [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => think-like-biologist-six-word-wisdom-rory-sutherland [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:28:05 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:28:05 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11950 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Fabio Grassi

Fabio Grassi

21st Mar 2019

Related Articles

"China is the next innovation powerhouse" Six Word Wisdom from George S. Yip
"Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong
"Not everyone will, but anyone can" Six Word Wisdom from Nilofer Merchant
3 slick selling techniques you should take from the Time-share Salesperson
"Want better leadership? Develop your followership" Six Word Wisdom from Sue Cox
"Understand what people do at work" Six Word Wisdom from Yves Morieux
"Think like a biologist" Six Word Wisdom from Rory Sutherland

Global Virtual Teams – We Have the Technology, But Do We Have the Empathy?

What are the issues leaders have to deal with when it comes to global virtual teams? (Picture Source)
What are the issues leaders have to deal with when it comes to global virtual teams? (Picture Source)

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Working at IBM for the better part of 9 years, I was introduced to virtual team work quite early in my career. 
At that time we used a combination of conference calls, ‘Sametime’ instant messaging and (of course) emails.

Today’s technology is much more advanced and the options almost endless, so from a practical perspective organising team work across the globe should not present too many challenges if the technology works as required.

So, what are the real challenges of effective virtual team work today? We can probably identify 3 major challenges, time zones, cultural diversity and team dynamics. All three are somewhat inter-related, as most things are when we work in teams.
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Time zones

There is very was little we can do when we work across time zones, but there are important considerations to be made.

Part of effective team work is coming together to resolve problems, identify critical actions and make important decisions. This means we have to find the right time to convene using whichever technology of choice. If the team is spread across the globe this means that while a team member has just started working the team member on the other side of the world has been working for the past 12 hours.

This is challenging for several reasons, from the level of energy and focus each member has to dedicate to the meeting, to the potential pressure they might face in wrapping up their day’s work to get home.

I know when we work at executive level, we have to be tough minded and work hard through these difficulties, but we are still human. Despite what is expected, the reality is some team members will be less effective and efficient than others in their thinking and decision making and that will have some impact in the quality of work the team does as well as the quality of interaction.

The only 2 pieces of advice I have on this front is to make sure that we rotate the meeting times as much as possible so to give everyone the opportunity to give their best. Secondly it will be important to develop some empathy skills to make sure we are considerate about not rushing into judgment about the possible impatience and irritability of our counterpart across the world.
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Cultural diversity

There isn’t a quick way to learn about cultural diversity. In my IBM times we had a database that provided critical cultural information including appropriate behaviours, use and customs typical of each country with some suggestions of how to best engage.

The most valuable source of information for me came from Hofstede’s cultural dimensions study which was used within IBM as initial ground of study. Still today I use the Cultural GPS app to get some quick and generic understanding of what should I expect working in multicultural environments. The more recent work of Erin Meyer builds on Hofstede’s work and provides a wide range of practical insight on behaviours when interacting across cultures.

Yet again I can stop and reflect on this, because ultimately when we work with a team it is not enough to know and understand a culture but it is probably much more critical to find the way to “include” team members effectively so that they can be the best they can be for the team.

Inclusion is a much more challenging aspect of cultural diversity because it requires us to understand that there are different approaches in thinking and engaging with each other and it is not only a form of mutual respect but also a key resource to look at every problem differently.

Diversity, when included, gives us the opportunity to break out of static mental models and group think. I believe inclusion is a critical must have for virtual teams to be successful and effective. Far too often we are tempted to install a leader from our culture in all regional offices so that we can find a level of comfort in working globally, I believe that raising local leaders and working on team dynamics is a much more effective approach to virtual team work.
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Team Dynamics

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Team dynamics are part of every team, what is different about virtual teams on this aspect is the distance. I’m sure we have all heard the adage “long distance relationship never works” or “away from the eyes away from the heart”.

Proximity makes it easier to relate to each other, share rituals and develop mutual understanding. Relationships are the other half of effective team work. People don’t do things because we tell them to, but mainly because we have relationship of mutual respect. Developing a strong relationship starts by sharing common interests and solidify that relationship by sharing adventures, and experiences together.

I know this sounds antithetical to virtual working but on the contrary it does build the foundation to virtual working. I run many in-company training programmes for managers and the one feedback I get every time is about the value of getting to know each other in person and to have the time to share some experiences.

Typically, the nature of the relationship changes once they have shared some time working together and usually is the cause for new unexpected collaborations or the clever resolution of critical problems that would never have happened otherwise. Rupert Sheldrake, defines it as the “morphic field”, when we engage with each other in sharing experiences we develop a form of mutual resonance that can then be carried forward no matter how far away we go from each other. The more meaningful the experience the stronger the bond.

I believe the most effective way to build successful global virtual teams goes beyond technological sophistication.  The way our internal social engine is built already has what it needs to be effective while working in teams. The only thing we need to do is to kickstart it and maintain it by coming together in real life often enough to share meaningful interpersonal experiences.

 


fabio-grassi

Fabio Grassi is the Programme Director for the IMI Diploma in Executive Coaching. Fabio is a specialist in the development of team performance, collaboration and motivation.