The other day, a friend asked me why the world seems to be heading back into another COVID spiral. He believed that we would have everything under control by now.
His question reminded me of how easily we can fool ourselves because of cognitive biases that shape our perception of reality.
For example, after nine months of social distancing, working from home, and wearing masks, most people are sick of guarding against infection. During the summer and early fall, as infection rates went down, people assumed we had COVID under control and that this winter would be better than last…
By Christos Tsolkas
Getting top talent is one thing. Keeping them is another.
This is a struggle of many organizations. But there’s so much opportunity in the world right now.
Competitors, startups, market-adjacent enterprises. These companies want what you have: a walking, talking leader—someone with experience, knowledge, insight, capability, and confidence.
…which, by the way, you helped keep around. And your people? This precious resource can just open the door and walk out.
So, what can you do to keep them? Essentially, nothing.
On the contrary, I believe you have to learn how to let them go.
Yes. I learned…
by Christos Tsolkas
A couple of decades ago, I consulted for a meat processing company. The company was quite successful — number one in its market — and I was part of a team of people trying to help them expand their business into the Balkans.
The founder was an interesting character. He was a self-made entrepreneur who had a vision and relentless drive, and an instinct for questioning conventional thinking and beliefs. This kept me on my toes. For example, at our first meeting, I asked him about its share price and why it had fallen compared to the…
by Christos Tsolkas
In high school, I was an AB student and a very average basketball player. Yet, I didn’t feel like I was mediocre because I was surrounded by friends who had a mix of qualities. Some of us were stars in some areas and terrible in others. We didn’t judge each other.
My professional life was a different story. Suddenly I was being evaluated and assessed from every direction at once. My bosses had their view. My customers and peers another. There were external measures like sales targets, annual performance reviews, and the like resulting in promotions, salary…
Organizations around the world share one huge problem: recruiting top talent.
They have the strategy, product, pipeline, and opportunity. They want to move fast. But, their biggest roadblock is that they do not have enough people who get it.
So, what’s the best thing you can do to attract more talent?
Nothing. You need to let talent find you.
Whenever I entered a new leadership role as an executive, I could see the problems we needed to solve and the best path forward. The first thing I had to do was fill out my team with the right people.
Boards provide stability for organizations, but they’re also crucial for big directional decisions and course corrections. It’s not easy to straddle those two challenges. But it is easy for cognitive biases to come into play.
It’s easy to know that change is necessary when a crisis comes. The Board will play a massive role in helping the CEO navigate the uncertainty. The danger however is an over-reaction to the situation, resulting in the abandoning of what might still work for the promise of something new or different.
I always advise organizations in times of crisis to get very clear on…
January 20 — Pondering the Meaning of Life!
Are we here to pursue happiness and make our dreams come true? What does happiness even mean? Is it like biting into wonderful home-made Swiss Chocolate? Or is it more like making wonderful home-made Swiss Chocolate for others to enjoy?
My YPO Forum-friend, Sandra, and I had this very debate next to a fireplace on a cold, wet winter evening. It was one of the most open and vulnerable conversations I’ve had in years. I told Sandra:
“I want to leave my mark. I want my kids to remember me for something…
Organizations exist to amass and coordinate/deploy resources. They are structured to make the best strategic decisions accordingly. Organizational hierarchy is meant to help that decision-making process. The higher up the ranking, the more decision-making power the individual usually has. This dynamic creates corporate dangers that the Board should watch out for and help monitor and prevent.
Continuing from the previous article…
Let’s look at three.
7. Authority Bias
Most of us are wired, to some degree, to associate rank with expertise, knowledge, experience, and even wisdom. We give authority figures a certain amount of deference and respect accordingly…
A strong culture and a sense of purpose are critical markers of high-performance organizations.
Think of Apple after the Steve Jobs return or Amazon under Bezos or Unilever under Polman. Such organizations are highly cohesive and driven by their vision or mission. To outsiders, they seem to have their own language and a particular swagger. Inside, people adapt to a very shared way of approaching problems, finding solutions, and seeing the world.
The benefits are enormous. Internal identity. External brand. A sense of clarity and speed around decision-making. Connection to customers. Boldness in the market.
What happens to the news when it’s no longer news?
I thought of this recently when someone mentioned Zika. Was it a drink? Was it an app? Yes, maybe an app. No, perhaps it was a new fast fashion kind of clothing line? I am not that old yet, but It took me a moment to recall that a couple of years ago, a terrible virus, spread by mosquito bites, had invaded South American and the US, posing a grave threat to the fetuses of pregnant women.
Had the virus gone away, or was it still a problem? And what…
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