​When You’re Put on the Spot in a Meeting, Don’t Panic

Being put on the spot during a meeting can be an unwelcome surprise. But if you’re prepared to speak up and say something useful, you can turn it into an opportunity to show your expertise. Before your next meeting, look through the agenda and write some notes about questions you have and any points you might raise. If you’re called on in the meeting, speak slowly and confidently, and introduce your comments with some context so that colleagues know where you are headed. Of c

Keep Your Network Small and Meaningful​

The research on networking is clear: High-quality connections are more valuable than weak ties. That means a bigger network is not necessarily better. If your network isn’t helping you forge deeper, more authentic relationships, it may be time to shrink it. Start by taking stock of your priorities. Is how you’re spending your time aligned with your goals? For example, does that monthly lunch with a distant contact add value to your life? Does that conference you’ve attended f

When Starting a New Job, Lay the Groundwork for Your Success

If you want to excel in a new job, you can’t rely on the orientations and meetings that HR sets up for you. Take control of your onboarding by cultivating connections up, down, and across the organization. Figure out who the influencers are in relation to your role, and get to know them face-to-face. And don’t make the common mistake of assuming you know what your top goals should be and how best to communicate with your new manager. Ask your boss questions to better understa

Perfectionists, Think About When You’ve Succeeded Imperfectly

Being a perfectionist isn’t easy, especially if your desire for everything to be just right causes you to put off decisions, worry over sunk costs, or ruminate over failures and weaknesses. To help yourself ease up, try focusing on and learning from your successes. Ask yourself: Have I always done everything flawlessly? (Probably not.) Have I always been certain of success in advance? (Unlikely.) Remembering times when you succeeded despite being imperfect will give you the c

How to Share Your Expertise Without Looking Arrogant

If you want to advance your career, people need to know what you’re an expert in. But you shouldn’t go around bragging about everything you know. Instead, display your expertise in ways that are helpful to your colleagues. For instance, you could volunteer to host a lunch-and-learn about a topic you’ve been researching that’s relevant for your industry. Or you could write something on the topic for the company newsletter. You could even offer advice or respond to queries on t

Presenting in English When It Isn’t Your Native Language

If you aren’t a native speaker of English, giving a presentation in the language may be very stressful. Using the right approach can help. Take extra time to prepare your delivery, and practice more than you think you need to. Yes, your PowerPoint slides matter, but rehearsing your presentation out loud matters even more. Start your presentation by speaking slowly, and articulate your words carefully and confidently. This will help listeners acclimate to your voice, which is

Build a Network That Challenges Your Point of View

When your network is mostly people whose backgrounds and skill sets are similar to yours, it’s unlikely to help you find new ideas or creative solutions. Diversify your network by connecting with people whose viewpoints, insights, and experiences differ from your own. When you meet someone new, talk about what you don’t have in common. Ask friends to introduce you to their contacts who have an interesting job or who work in a unique space. In particular, try to meet people wh

Know Your Idea, Audience, and Objective Before Giving a Speech

You need to have three things clear in your mind before giving a speech: your main idea, your audience, and your objective. Start preparing by focusing on your idea: Why are you the right person to deliver this talk? What unique perspective can you offer? Then, consider who will be in your audience and craft your talk with them in mind. For example, if you’re speaking on a small panel, you can frame your remarks in more intimate, personal terms. If you’re at a conference for

Traditional Technology Adoption vs. Big-Bang Disruption

Big-bang disruptions don’t follow the usual pattern of customer adoption famously described by Everett Rogers. According to his model, new products sequentially gain popularity with five market segments. In the big-bang model, new products are perfected with a few trial users and then are embraced quickly by the vast majority of the market. #digital #technology #innovation #disrupting #strategy #success #business

How Company Culture Makes Innovation Ability of Every Organisation

Companies benefit when employees speak up. When employees feel comfortable voicing their opinions, suggestions, or concerns, organizations become better at handling threats and opportunities. Not only. Evidences show that the more radical the collaboration the better it is. Data are clear: in order for Innovation to flourish you need to protect Dissenters. But in order to protect dissenters you first need to have them. Executives can create the right context towards innovati

How to Diversify Your Professional Network and Foster Innovation

Diverse networks can foster new ways of thinking by connecting you to people whose viewpoints, insights, resources, and lived experiences differ from your own. Consider a 1985 study by Carnegie Mellon researcher Robert Kelley and Janet Caplan, who analyzed the characteristics of exceptional engineers at Bell Labs. According to their research, IQ didn’t explain the difference between top performers and average ones; star performers approached their jobs differently. The most-p

Your Company Needs a More-Radical Board of Directors!

What’s a typical independent director’s worst nightmare? My guess is that while a poor balance sheet might cause restless sleep, it’s the thought of an incorrectly reported balance sheet that brings on night terrors. It’s not surprising. Remember the public shaming – and heavy sentences — heaped on Enron and Worldcom for their accounting (and more importantly, ethical) failures? In the years that followed these and other corporate lapses, our networks of C-level executives re

The Most Successful Teams are Cognitively Diverse and Psychologically Safe

In a survey of 150 executives, researchers found that the the best-performing organizations were commonly described has having behaviors that correlate with high levels of psychological diversity and cognitive diversity. This is how I always wanted my team and my company to be. This is why I succeed. #success #innovation #leadership #diversity

The Blockchain Will Do to the Financial System What the Internet Did to Media

Even years into the deployment of the internet, many believed that it was still a fad. Of course, the internet has since become a major influence on our lives, from how we buy goods and services, to the ways we socialize with friends, to the Arab Spring, to the 2016 U.S. presidential election. Yet, in the 1990s, the mainstream press scoffed when Nicholas Negroponte predicted that most of us would soon be reading our news online rather than from a newspaper. Fast forward two d

The Lie That Perfectionists Tell Themselves

Many of us hold principles that keep us from pursuing a more productive lifestyle. For example, one of the most common ones is the belief that increasing productivity, or getting the most out of your time, will decrease the quality of your work, or your ability to do tasks perfectly. In the online program we run to help working professionals develop more productive work behaviors, about half of our participants have agreed with the statement: “I’m sure I could get more done i

Success, Thrive...Burn out?

After reaching a goal, raising the bar often increases motivation but decreases happiness. To enjoy your success, imagine how your past self would see your current achievements. If you knew 5 years ago what you’d accomplish now, how proud would you have been? #Innovation #leadership #management #success

Innovation Should Be a Top Priority for Boards. So Why Isn’t It?

Corporate directors and executives alike recognize that today’s pace of change continues to accelerate and that firms need to innovate to stay ahead. But are boards doing enough to support innovation, as they should? We conducted a survey of over 5,000 board members from around the world to find out. We found that, overall, innovation does not rank as a top strategic challenge for the majority of boards. Although directors in certain industries are more aware of the threat of