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.
Technology workers will increasingly need skills beyond technical training and will need to be well-versed in public-speaking and collaboration. Companies like Lockheed Martin are preparing technology workers for the future by sending its engineers to the AIM Photonics Academy to work with others in industry, academia, and government.
Our View: Think beyond the obvious skill set your employees need. Find training opportunities that expand employees’ skills beyond their job description to promote creativity and innovation. Top training programs have leadership buy-in and allow its participants to set goals and metrics with solid tools for assessment. Further Reading
Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Realizing Talent in Others
Ford Motor, Walmart, and Postmates recently announced a collaboration to design automated-vehicle delivery with an estimated launch of the commercial production of automated vehicles by 2021. Autonomous vehicles will eventually deliver groceries and other goods to Walmart customers, but the Walmart pilot will begin with human-driven vehicles to simulate how a self-driving vehicle would operate.
Our View: Cross-sector leadership requires a systems approach. When leaders understand the system as a whole, they can adjust inputs, redefine the system, or empower their networks to gain more desirable results. Understanding what alterations create which changes is often achieved best with a pilot program, so mistakes can be worked out prior to the final rollout. Further Reading
As content marketing becomes more prevalent (experts predict that the content marketing industry will be worth more than $400 billion by 2021), a solid content marketing strategy, especially a documented strategy, becomes increasingly important. Using a content marketing assessment is an important component of a documented strategy because it helps marketers clarify and meet their central goals.
Our View: The best leaders are strategic in every aspect of their business, and strategic leaders are needed throughout organizations, not just at the executive level. To be more strategic, define your ideal outcome and list who else you need to gain buy-in from to realize your vision. Also list the organizational systems, processes, or structures that need to be in alignment to create strategic change. Further Reading
Related AchieveForum Alliance member content: Leading Across Boundaries; Leading with Influence
After an almost seven-month journey through deep space, the NASA spacecraft InSight touched down on Mars and began its weeks-long process of setting instruments in place to gather and send data back to NASA. InSight will collect information and measurements about things like marsquakes and the temperature on Mars. NASA helped organize viewing parties for the InSight landing around the U.S. and Europe, including a live stream on one of the largest advertising boards in Times Square.
Our View: Like NASA, find ways to engage all of your stakeholders. One of the largest impediments to growth is a shortage of leaders. Almost everyone recognizes leadership as the most important talent issue at organizations but many organizations do a less than excellent job of developing leaders at all levels. Close the gap between leadership hype and actual leadership by cultivating a succession mindset and investing in leaders throughout your organization from first-line supervisors to middle and top management. Align leadership development goals with business goals. As your business strategy and goals evolve, make the appropriate changes to your leadership development programs as well. Further Reading
Without kiosks or cashiers, a new burger restaurant called Creator recently opened in San Francisco. Currently, there are people in the space who take orders on the floor with iPhones and make sure the burger-making machine is operating properly, but soon, the responsibility of getting the burger right will be digitized with an app. Hype was built up for the restaurant as it sold thousands of tickets only hours after each batch became available throughout the summer prior to its launch.
Our View: Building hype and excitement for a new product, service, project, or process is important for leaders to inspire stakeholders ranging from customers to employees. Band members advise to not release new music too early. In additional to building hype, allow plenty of time for practice and rehearsals to make sure your release is your best work. Further Reading