The Lead: Aircraft Manufacturer Soars, Automation’s Eliminations, Facebook’s Privacy Issues

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.

Aircraft Manufacturer Soars Beyond the Aircraft

The head of innovation methods and tools for Airbus, Markus Durstewitz, says “as an aircraft manufacturer, we were interested in the aircraft only,” but explained that “if we want to continue with growth, then we have to look also at what’s happening in the airport.’” Durstewitz collaborates with airline executives, mechanics, pilots, passengers, and suppliers in order to explore new products and systems and whether they should be manufactured internally or by one of Airbus’s suppliers. Through these collaborations, Airbus created an iPad app for pilots and is active in developing new products with 3D printing technology.

Our View: Cross-company collaborations foster communication, knowledge growth, and innovation, and leaders who build intentional and intelligent cross-company collaborations set themselves and their organizations up for success. These multi-organization teams have the potential to maximize the strength of a company’s core competency and also expand beyond it. For concrete tactical advice remember that diversity in relationships (diversity in age, personalities, experience, technological skills, etc.) outweighs the number of connections between companies. Further Reading

Automation’s Estimated Job Eliminations

An estimated 38% of US jobs could be lost to automation in the next 15 years. New organizations are sprouting up in an effort to slow down the incoming parade of machines that replace human workers. For example, the not-for-profit organization New York Communities for Change has been fighting autonomous vehicles with the goal of protecting truck drivers (the highest paid occupation in many rural communities).

Our View: Never forgo careful evaluation of the impacts of new processes, and allocate time for a conversion period. Allowing for a transition period to help your organization find the right balance of automated jobs can ease the economic burden on many families and individuals that are directly displaced by automation. Some of the most pessimistic views of automation look more like material for a science fiction novel than reality, but they can provide valuable, actionable insights. The best leaders think several steps ahead before making irrevocable changes, and they use a disciplined approach that illuminates the interconnectivity between technology and individual workers. Further Reading

Facebook’s Privacy Issues

Over Facebook’s lifetime, it has faced a plethora of privacy concerns. When Facebook introduced its News Feed in September of 2006, concerns were raised by many of its 8 million users at the time, who were unhappy with their personal data being put on a daily feed for friends. In November 2011, Facebook settled FTC privacy charges, and this month, it’s been revealed that Facebook knew about massive data theft without taking action. In addition to apologizing, CEO and co-founder Mark Zuckerberg made policy changes, including investigating all apps that were able to access user data before 2014, when the company began changing its permissions for developers. Restrictions will be placed on what the data apps can access, limiting them to a person’s name, photo, and email. Facebook will also create a tool that lets users see which apps have access to their data and allow them to revoke access.

Our View: The best PR campaign is doing the right thing. High integrity leaders speak up even when it’s not popular and listen intently to criticism. Maintain your integrity and principles over profit even if it costs money in the short term. Admit when you are wrong and act swiftly with appropriate corrections. Further Reading

Confronting the Opioid Crisis

In the second private meeting organized by BioEnterprise, more than 70 national experts in health care, government, community organizations, and foundations recently met at the Global Center for Health Innovation to discuss and propose solutions for the opioid crisis. The opioid crisis is a multi-faceted problem, and as a result of this meeting, smaller cohorts will be formed to gather data and define solutions for specific issues related to the opioid crisis, such as opioid-dependent babies.

Our View: Small cohorts are often formed to tackle specific issues effectively, but it’s important to avoid common mistakes that ruin small groups. A simple mistake such as getting together only for meetings can form cracks in the foundation of cohesive relationships. When possible, schedule some group activities outside of formal meetings to make meeting time more relational and impactful. Further Reading

Technology to Build Trust in Financial Services

Since the financial crisis ten years ago, the general population still finds it difficult to trust the financial services industry, but technology could help increase this trust, especially in younger generations who often view technology as a source of credibility. The CFA Institute’s trust survey shows that technology could bring products and services to those who aren’t currently invested in markets and have a largely negative view of the industry.

Our View: Leaders build trust through a variety of personal attributes, and a focus on humility, transparency, and responsiveness can amplify trust between leaders and their followers. Communicating with clarity about how actions impact the team, celebrating success as a team, and sharing credit with others creates the groundwork for trust. When inevitable setbacks occur, trustworthy leaders respond with immediacy and are goal-oriented to get their team back on track. Further Reading

Further Reading for Alliance Members: Building Trust Under Pressure

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