The Lead: Change in Home Care, Recruit Acquire’s Glassdoor, Music as Learning Tool

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.

Transformational Change in Home Care

Honor is a company in the home care sector that blends the lines between being a care provider and a technology vendor with operational expertise. Honor’s president Nita Sommers explains that they increasingly see themselves as a growth platform for others in the space as they match clients and caregivers through technology. With emerging opportunities in Medicare Advantage and Honor’s recent announcement of a $20 million fundraising round, disruption and transformational change are reaching the home care sector.

Our View: Leading a successful transformation requires a strong and committed leadership team that relentlessly seeks to make an impact. It helps when the leaders develop the mindset and demonstrate the behavior they want to see from their team. When leaders build a story and create meaning around the transformation, their followers are more likely to be able to articulate the difference between success and failure and recognize the required steps along the transformational path to better course-correct early on. Further Reading

Japan’s Recruit to Acquire Glassdoor Inc.

In a mutually beneficial move, Recruit Holdings Co. will acquire the company-review website Glassdoor Inc. for $1.2 billion. Both companies will see growth opportunities arise from the acquisition, and the deal is expected to close this summer. Glassdoor Inc. has about 59 million users each month and has gathered data on more than 770,000 companies worldwide. Recruit Holdings Co. is based in Japan and is an HR technology and staffing services company that employs more than 45,000 people in over 60 countries. They plan to operate Glassdoor as a separate part of their HR business segment.

Our View: Human resource departments often have the tools to improve their leadership team’s capabilities and help them steer clear of alienating leadership styles. Human resource staff can bring a bird’s eye perspective to how different leadership styles at their organization can fit into the organization’s overall culture. They also have the responsibility of hiring employees that fit in with their organization’s culture, which is important because employees that don’t feel like they fit in are highly unlikely to feel a sense of pride in their work for the organization. Further Reading

Music as a Learning Tool

Science has not yet proven whether it’s the case that smarter, more motivated children choose to take up an instrument or that music lessons boost students’ cognitive skills. Likely it’s a combination of the two possibilities, and a recent study from the Netherlands showed that instruction in rhythm, melody, and harmony has a positive effect on developing brains.

Our View: There is an old Zen saying, “the way a person does one thing is the way they do everything.” Learning something new can shed new light on your other areas of expertise, help you see something in a new way, and provide fresh insights into the activities you perform on autopilot. The little improvements you make in one area of your life can have carry-over effects into other areas. Just as eating healthier can improve your ability to exercise well, expanding your knowledge base can help you achieve more in a wide variety of tasks. Further Reading

Norway’s Largest Astronomical Facility

Travelers and students will have a new place to observe the world’s natural wonders in Norway, where the plans are to expand the Harestua Solar Observatory (Norway’s largest astronomical facility) with a celestial golden dome set atop a snow-capped hill for visitors to be able to view the horizon stretch in all directions. In the countryside of Harestua, 30 miles north of Oslo, Norway, the plans for the planetarium and “constellation” lodges are ambitiously targeted to reach completion in 2020.

Our View: Setting short deadlines can be advantageous. Originally described in an Economist column in 1955, Parkinson’s Law states that “work expands to fill the time available for its completion.” Though not always feasible or universally advantageous, short deadlines sometimes create a valuable tension because the proximity of the targeted completion date reduces ambiguity and indecision. Further Reading

Talent Required for a Broadway Musical

A wide variety of talent is required to put on a Broadway musical, including everyone from musicians and carpenters to dancers and lighting experts. One of the most specialized theatrical guilds are the Broadway scene painters. The standard drop for a Broadway theater is about 30 feet by 50 feet, and a major Broadway musical requires as many as a dozen different painted scenes to be completed in a matter of weeks. The painted backdrops were recently finished by Irina Portnyagina, who is known for her expertise in painting sky and clouds, for a revival of Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein’s 1945 classic called Carousel.

Our View: The main goal of cross-functional collaboration is to cultivate innovative solutions. When people with different skill and knowledge sets work together towards a common goal, the outcome can be greater than the sum of its parts. Encouraging peer recognition is a great way to boost morale and help team members appreciate the diverse talent that helps achieve a shared outcome that would otherwise not be possible. Further Reading

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