The Lead: The Future of Photography, Success Secrets from Richard Branson

The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights, provides quick clarity into relevant headlines and straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques.

The Future of Photography

As cameras and their associated technologies continue to evolve, new photography products enter the market. The startup called Light has developed a unique 16-lens 52-plus megapixel camera that’s based on computational photography. This camera, called the Light L16, is touted to have DSLR-like capabilities at the size of a smart phone.

Our View: The ability to reimagine your products in ways that could disrupt your industry is a key skill of innovative leaders. Ask questions about the culture at your organization and actually write out the answers. Addressing how your current culture is facilitating or hindering your teams from achieving transformation objectives and how your firm currently influences your industry are great places to start. Further Reading

Self-Made Billionaire Richard Branson Shares Success Secrets

One of Richard Branson’s secrets to success as an entrepreneur is his ability to effectively delegate tasks, especially in the areas where he struggles. Smart delegation gives him the time and bandwidth to focus on his strengths.

Our View: Delegation, seen as a management fundamental for decades, is more important than ever for leaders to master. In this climate of accelerating change and shifting demographics, organizations want to be seen as employers of choice that draw the best talent to them. They want engaged, knowledgeable, and highly skilled employees and pipelines filled with future leaders. Employees want interesting and meaningful work, the potential for growth, and a degree of choice about how work gets done. Delegation done well has the potential to impact both sets of interests. Much more than a way to get more work done faster, delegating is an opportunity for shared success—for organizations, managers, and employees alike. Learn more with our course materials Delegating for Shared Success.

Northern California Fires

The recent Northern California fires created widespread devastation and impacted populated areas. A combination of factors played a role in these fires, including high winds, dry conditions, lots of dry vegetation, and the timing of the fires at night.

Our View: A leader’s ability to lead through trauma will influence how their organization heals, learns, adapts, and excels. A compassionate response during trauma from wildfires, storms, or any other tragedies increases a leader’s attachment to their colleagues and contributes to their own resilience. Create an environment where compassion is expressed to foster the humanity that makes organizations great. Further Reading

Artwork as an Investment

Once in a while a collector makes a million or more on a piece of art. Impressionist art by painters like Monet, Renoir, and Degas were often thought of as investments immediately, even before the paint had dried, but if you bought after the 1980s, your returns against the Dow would be disappointing. The intangibles of art must also be taken into account, as viewing the stock index cannot compare to the enjoyment that a beautiful impressionist painting brings to a room.

Our View: Think about the ways the intangible components of your leadership style and the culture that emerges from it can have a tangible effect on your business. Leadership philosophies that build a culture of trust and respect create all kinds of improvements from better communication processes to operational efficiencies that increase profits and other measurable, tangible outcomes. Southwest Airlines is a great example of how attention to intangibles (like culture) can yield tangible results. Further Reading

Leadership Change at Biotech Company Novavax

Stan Erck will be interim CFO at Novavax (where he is also the CEO), as their current CFO and treasurer Barclay Phillips is leaving the company November 10th. He is leaving to pursue another opportunity in the industry and will provide financial, accounting, and transition guidance for Novavax through the end of the year.

Our View: Leaders often require help in managing transitions, and an external party, like an executive coach, may help leaders gain the necessary skills, abilities, and insights. Navigating a transition successfully requires self-awareness, resilience, and strategic thinking. An outside consultant can bring a fresh perspective and help find and fill the gaps in a company’s transition planning. Further Reading

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