After months of programing, I decided to do something on the more creative side. We've been getting a lot of questions about how to effectively teach business acumen. This has become an exceptionally popular topic. This is mostly due to the stock market doing so well (Wilshire 5000 is up 33.54% 2yr Oct to Oct- Wow!) which has resulted in 401Ks swelling. The swelling has led to an acceleration of retirement amongst current leaders. This is putting pressure on companies to accelerate leadership development. A huge part of leadership development is company specific business acumen. From the outside, it looks as if this is what is causing the increased interest.
Thus, I created an infographic (yes, I did the artwork so be forgiving. After all, I'm more of a strategist and technologist than artist). Hope this helps.
Click the image below to download the full infographic.
Image credit: Getty Images
The Apple turnaround years between ~1998 and 2003 were magical. I wrote an article for Entrepreneur sharing some of the great lessons I learned. You can read the article here:
Please make sure to let me know what you think and share with others. I still miss working with the people I was lucky to work with back then.
Have a nice week.
I took a stab at creating an infographic that visually represents the impending leadership brain drain. It is yours to download. Let me know what you think. Hope you enjoy it and hope it helps!
Of course, we'd be happy to help you create innovative and effective ways to reduce the brain drain, but this probably goes without saying :^). Enjoy!
I just returned from the ATD international conference. It seems like ATD is stuck somewhere around 2008. Very little has changed and there was definitely frustration from other attendees as well. This year felt especially vendor-first. The presentations lacked anything tangible and once again just set the stage for future purchases. Finally, the keynotes didn't seem exceptionally relevant. But, that's just me and I hope others found it was useful.
Talking with many other attendees, a very clear concern came across: Management knowledge transfer. Without any coaxing, over 10 people brought this up as a huge concern. In most instances, it was the #1 concern. There was very little talk about this from the presentations I attended. Talking with a couple CLOs, we talked about the importance of this topic especially in tandem with trying to drive the business forward in various new directions. Talking with CLOs about this almost made them pass out from the overwhelming tasks in front of them. This led to discussions of creating hands-on training where soon-to-be retiring executives are matched with 4 other managers for a day or two of training. They loved the idea. Let's look at this in more detail…
Hello!- My sincerest apologies for very sporadic posts. Been making all sorts of changes within SimStudios (all for the very good) and updated the web site.
So, in the meantime, I've decided to post 3 articles that I think are very worth the reading. As you know, I chew through tons of articles each week. I usually post ones I like on twitter (twitter account here). For easy consumption, I'm posting 3 recent articles that I particularly like. Here you go….
Helllloooo World! The original SimStudios site has been up and running since around 2003. There as a lot of cruft and it needed a good cleaning. So, we took the time to do a massive simplification while we were at it. Trends have changed and moved more towards simplified messaging and more clean feel to web site.
As of May 11, 2017, the SimStudios site is updated. I'm sure you'll wind up hitting bumps here and there so be patient. Let us know what needs to be fixed and let us know if you have suggestions.
By Bill Hall: Your business is growing and hiring people at an amazing rate. Customers love your product, and it’s gaining greater and greater attention. At the same time, you’ve noticed yourself growing ever more nervous about the byproducts of this success: Increased competitive pressure and employee fragmentation. In fact, these two realities have you concerned whether you can effectively sustain this level of success.
As we all know, success is like blood in shark-infested waters: It creates competition at an amazing rate. To fend off competition, many companies expand within the market faster than others, gaining a larger foothold and raising the barriers to entry. In many cases, this works. But such rapid growth creates an employee base with widely varying skills and focus. As a result, the company’s strategic alignment looks like a spilled package of dried spaghetti. Employees are pointing in an infinite number of directions.
By Bill Hall: Most executives know the drill. Fourth quarter rolls around, and it’s time for a strategic-planning session once again. This is a time-consuming process in which business leaders create exhaustive (and exhausting) slide decks outlining the strategy for the following year.
The results are usually a couple of days of presentations, discussions and analysis at an offsite location (or maybe in a meeting room). Managers often arrive at the meeting energized, enthusiastic and motivated to drive results into the next year. But most of us know that the energy fizzles, and most things drift back towards business as usual. Why does this happen?
By Bill Hall: The high-tech startup world is leaning a bit toward the overly hubris. I'm well aware it's a little controversial to discuss in public. I come from many years in Silicon Valley and currently run a high-tech software and services company based in the San Francisco Bay Area. I see and read about this issue every day.
And ladies and gents, it's out of control.
By Bill Hall: Let me say up front that from experience, if I had to choose, I believe a 30-hour work week is more effective than a long work week. I’ve lived both worlds for years at a time so I have non-theoretical first-hand knowledge. Time spent in the trenches of a large scale, high-tech turnaround that married me to my desk night, day and weekends versus a clearly architected lifestyle work environment has produced scars of different shapes and sizes. But taking a step back and looking at the debate creates a common sense question -- Why does everything have to be so extreme? Isn’t there a common sense, moderate in-between somewhere. Whoa, wait, what about a 40-hour work week? Let’s have a look at the pros and cons of each.Read More...
When most people think of 'business simulations' they automatically think of two things: Highly quantitative financial management or they think of something similar to the Sims®. Many leadership "purists" will balk at the idea of combining the needs of the corporate strategy with pure leadership behavior. When I talk with corporate leaders, they are looking for a combination of both and the trends appear to be clearly moving in this direction. Corporate leaders are looking for leadership development that combines three ingredients: Behavior, Business Acumen, and Impact on Outcomes. Let's have a look more closely.Read More...
By Bill Hall: A student pilot is taught to expect changes and work to stay ahead of any that might come. Business leaders should take note.
Life as an entrepreneur is never dull, always busy and filled with hourly surprises. After working at Apple for many years, I began my own journey to becoming a small business owner, starting with my pursuit of an MBA. But, today, when I look back, my one year of flight school was better preparation for life as an entrepreneur and small business owner than any MBA class.
Have a look at the article here: https://www.entrepreneur.com/article/287079 Read More...
With a new year can often come a renewed sense of changing and/or implementing a new corporate strategy. The group of people that drive this corporate strategy often know the entire enterprise's business landscape better than anyone. It is here where the problem with getting the strategy off the ground resides. As a business strategist, we fail to understand that most managers don't know the landscape as well. This is where the frustration comes from: The managers within the enterprise are unable to drive the strategic change they are being asked to drive. This is simply because they don't have the knowledge necessary to feel confident in the change. But, the good news is that there are ways to alleviate this fundamental problem.Read More...
I don't think it's necessarily fair, but for the most part, execs think that T&D professionals are still very focused on T&D 'best practices'. They talk about things like the Kirkpatrick and other models and methods that impress other T&D managers. As a past non T&D executive, I can tell you from experience that this usually frustrates executives. I used to have an understanding that the T&D manager is doing his/her job, but there were time where I just wanted to simplify the discussion.Read More...
With the aging boomers and the lack of experience of the current middle managers, companies are scrambling to build the corporate talent bench. A large part of building this bench is effective business acumen. I'm not talking about the generic, theoretical business acumen traditionally taught in colleges. I'm talking about the real sticky stuff. The 'finance meets people meets marketing meets operations, meets IT, meets leadership, meets corporate strategy meets the impact on the bottom line performance' type of business acumen. The real stuff leaders used to learn over the course of many years. The real-deal business acumen.Read More...