The Lead: Hong Kong Protesters, Dropbox’s Big Redesign, America’s Renewable Energy Sector Hits Big Milestone

Welcome to The Lead, AchieveForum’s weekly brief of leadership news and insights. This curated content will provide you with quick clarity into relevant headlines and provide straight-forward analysis for applying effective leadership tools and techniques. 

Hong Kong Protesters

Tens of thousands of protesters are opposing a proposed bill in Hong Kong that would allow extradition of some criminal suspects to China and Taiwan. Hong Kong was supposed to be guaranteed the right to retain its own social, legal, and political systems for 50 years following its handover from British rule in 1997, and the Hong Kong protests are widely recognized as a reflection of the growing tension between Hong Kong and mainland China.

Our View: Security leaders can prepare for protests by planning ahead, staying connected, and expecting the unexpected. No company is exempt from emergencies. Event and demonstration preparedness plans should be made alongside your emergency and disaster preparedness strategy. Make sure your company has an emergency plan for lockdown procedures and evacuation plans in the event of a threat, and most importantly, implement drills to practice your plans. Further Reading

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Dropbox’s Big Redesign

Dropbox’s latest redesign should make it a lot more useful, because it is more integrated with other daily applications such as contacts, calendar, and communication tools, making it a centralized place for work. Dropbox also released a desktop app that is currently being tested with early access users before it is made widely available.

Our View: When digital tools become more centralized, they bring ease, efficiency, and convenience to your daily tasks. Centralized leadership has a lot of the same advantages, but it is not without its drawbacks. Pay special attention to timeliness and employee loyalty when leadership is centralized, because centralized leadership can create delays and its rigidity can hinder creativity, morale, and loyalty when employees feel that their personal initiatives aren’t encouraged. Further Reading

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America’s Renewable Energy Sector Hits a Big Milestone

Renewable energy sources, including solar and wind energy, are becoming more affordable. America’s renewable energy sector recently reached a new milestone by having more installed capacity than coal in April of this year, which means for the first time in history, U.S. power plants can produce more energy from clean sources than coal.

Our View: Milestones are great motivators for leaders to leverage to influence change. Knowing what has been completed and when helps focus goal-setting for future milestones to be reached in the future. Create time-bound milestone targets, so you and your team are able to measure success. Don’t shy away from making revisions to keep projects on schedule and within budget. Further Reading

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Trouble for Sprint and T-Mobile Merger

T-Mobile and Sprint’s current merger attempt is the third in the last five years, but a group of state attorneys general have sued to block it. The $26 billion deal was given an okay by the head of Federal Communications Commission, but the ten officials who filed suit said that if the merger went through, the prices consumers paid for phone plans would rise as the number of major wireless carriers would drop from four to three. T-Mobile and Sprint argue that they must get bigger to better serve their customers and compete with AT&T and Verizon.

Our View: When executed well, mergers and acquisitions are excellent ways to grow your company. Assess the collective leadership strengths of each organization prior to an M&A offer, and make efforts to retain high-level leaders. Research shows that leadership capabilities in the acquiring companies and targeted companies are equally important. Specifically look for high-level thought leadership, results leadership, and people leadership. Further Reading

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A Minneapolis Fitness Center as a Model for Community Transformation

Pasquale Rummo, a public health researcher and assistant professor in the department of population health at NYU Langone, says “When you are living in an economically disadvantaged area, you might have different social norms around something like obesity. Your solution has to address those norms in a way that feels respectful and meaningful.” A Minneapolis fitness center is doing just that by providing affordable access to fitness equipment, nutrition classes, and wellness coaching sessions. The 12,000-square-foot facility is founded by a partnership between University of Minnesota and Park Nicollet Health Care which aims to change people’s lifestyle habits and improve food, exercise, and psychological well-being perceptions and decisions. It’s located in a neighborhood where unhealthy food is abundant and access to other walking areas and mental health services greatly lacks. The positive health transformations initiated by the gym are encouraging, and other communities across the U.S. are looking to replicate its success.

Our View: When an innovative project works in one area of your organization, it is practical to replicate and scale its success. It’s also helpful to scale leadership. Innovative leaders scale leadership in their organizations by developing other leaders. The best way to do this is by creating leadership systems that are embedded in a culture where everyone is expected and empowered to lead. Further Reading

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