The Lead: Plant 10 Billion Trees, India Train Crash, Ford Reorganize Workforce

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.

Aspiring to Plant 10 Billion Trees

Two years ago, a politician in Pakistan launched a program called the “Billion Tree Tsunami” in an effort to plant more trees across the region, temper timber smuggling, and foster flourishing backyard nurseries. That politician was Iram Khan, who is now Pakistan’s prime minister. With plans to replicate the success of the former program on a grander scale across the country, Khan is starting an entire environmental movement.

Our View: Encouraging people to work towards a common goal begins with an inspiring vision. Once this collective mission is established, celebrate wins along the way. Gather stories of individuals who demonstrate exceptional work and the vision in action. Share the stories widely, because they are tangible reminders of what you are all working towards. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Storytelling in Business; Accelerating Strategic Initiatives

India Train Catastrophe

A crowd gathered in India’s northern Punjab state to watch a celebration symbolizing the triumph of good over evil, and since many people who stood on train tracks were busy filming the festivities on their phones, they did not notice a train approaching at high speed. At least 59 people were killed with dozens more were injured.

Our View: Response research yields important insights that help deal with future catastrophes. Create a system for your response research at your organization, so even little mistakes are documented with their respective solutions. Don’t shy away from implementing incentives for those who work on these process improvements. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Problem-Solving Results

Ford to Reorganize Workforce

Ford Motor Co. is in the early stages of a planned reorganization that will reduce salaried jobs. Ford’s Chief Executive Jim Hackett’s hope is straightforward- to cut costs while improving profits and stock price.

Our View: Cutting jobs challenges leaders. Create a fairer approach to layoffs by having the difficult discussions upfront while simultaneously preparing for the recovery after the downturn. Keeping employees informed about thoughtful workforce changes versus automatic layoffs creates higher morale and a more productive workforce. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading Change

Comcast Acquires British Broadcaster Sky

To compete with online streaming giants like Amazon and Netflix, Fox and Comcast bid to acquire British Broadcaster Sky. Comcast won the bid for about $39 billion. Comcast Chairman and CEO Brian Roberts said “this acquisition will allow us to quickly, efficiently and meaningfully increase our customer base and expand internationally.”

Our View: Successful merger and acquisition leaders seek to inspire and swiftly handle any associated crisis. They act as agents of change who seek and promote growth. Their innate drive to achieve helps sustain positive changes across their organizations. They know the right timing to challenge their teams to go outside their comfort zone. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Accelerating Strategic InitiativesLeading Change

Teaching Birds New Tunes

Researchers have confirmed that it is possible to teach birds to sing novel tunes. Researcher Dan Menial from the University of Windsor in Ontario, Canada said “I was quite shocked that our loudspeakers succeeded in teaching wild birds to sing. The sparrows in our island-living population had abundant opportunities to learn songs from live tutors, and yet thirty birds learned songs from the loudspeakers, providing experimental evidence of vocal learning.”

Our View: Leaders, whether they hold positional power, personal power, or a combination of the two, should maintain a growth mindset and always believe that there’s more to learn. A growth mindset also helps leaders gain greater comfort with ambiguity and uncertainty that creates fewer breaks in the momentum gained with people embrace change. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading in Context

Leave a Comment