The Lead: Hong Kong Leader Withdraws Extradition Bill, Marvel Superheroes to Lego’s Rescue, Facebook’s New Rules

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 Leader Withdraws Extradition Bill

Hong Kong’s chief executive, Carrie Lam, announced a full withdrawal of the bill that would have allowed people in Hong Kong to be extradited to mainland for trial. Its withdrawal was one of five demands that protesters have been fighting for. The Hang Seng index in Hong Kong increased 4% on the Wednesday following reports that the bill’s withdrawal was imminent.

Our View: Emotional intelligence is a prerequisite for leading a successful negotiation. Look for robust emotional intelligence assessments to see where you are currently on the EI scale and where you can improve. Assessments will often include categories like self-awareness, self-regulation, social awareness, and relationship management. Improving any emotional intelligence skill will help you improve your overall leadership negotiation skills. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Using Soft Skills to Foster a New Generation of Leadership, Addressing Emotions at Work, Leading with Influence, Influencing Outcomes Through Others

Marvel Superheroes to Lego’s Rescue

Marvel’s “Avengers” movies boosted first-half sales at Lego with models of its superheroes and villains. Lego, the Danish toy maker that makes colorful plastic bricks, competes with to ymaker giants Mattel and Hasbro, and its decade of double-digit increases in sales growth came to a halt in 2017. They are now shifting to prioritize online sales and really unique retail experiences. They plan to add 35 shops in China by the end of 2019, bringing the total number of worldwide Lego shops to 600.

Our View: Bold leaders look for synergies inside and outside of their organization. There are four C’s of synergy: consolidation, combination, customization, and connection. Consolidation gains come from elimination of redundancies and creating value across highly similar resources, while combination occurs by pooling similar resources to gain bargaining power and no resources are eliminated. The outcome of customization should be that the final product works better and/or costs less than before. Finally, connection can be described as the bundling effect, where dissimilar value chains connect to expand their market reach. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Accelerating Strategic Initiatives, Adapting to Constant Change, Adaptive Planning

Facebook’s New Rules

In preparation of the upcoming 2020 U.S. presidential election, Facebook is tightening its rules around political advertising, but the new rules still may not be enough to stop bad actors. A more stringent verification process will be enacted to run ads pertaining to elections, politics, or big social issues. Advertisers must confirm their identity and prove they are in the U.S., but critics fear the rules are easy to evade. Sarah Schiff, a Facebook product manager, said “We’ve acknowledged that these tools will not be perfect, but we are committed to making it more difficult for bad actors to misuse and abuse our platform.” Facebook is working to enforce the tighter rules without penalizing smaller organizations.

Our View: Rules are only as good as their enforcement. Rules should be regularly enforced, and the cycle of enforcement includes defining the policy, communicating it, enforcing it consistently, reviewing and improving the policy, and starting again at the top of the cycle with defining the policy. The enforcement of rules is often only associated with punishment, but leaders must highlight the positive outcomes for following the rules. When employees are rewarded for following rules and not only punished for breaking them, they gain a more comprehensive understanding of their importance, and the rules become more ingrained in the culture. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Establishing Credibility, Leading in Context, Offering Rewards & Recognition, Shaping a Motivational Workplace

Hundreds of Pizza Hut Closures

For faster long-term growth, Pizza Hut is closing as many as 500 older U.S. dine-in restaurants. The chain is focusing on delivery and carryout, and other Yum! Brands fast food chains like KFC and Taco Bell are sharing the same focus. Over the next 24 months, the Pizza Hut U.S. store count could decrease to 7,000 locations.

Our View: Leaders need to direct the focus of their team while simultaneously managing their own attention and focus. As information becomes increasingly abundant and accessible, leaders often find directing their focus to their priorities more challenging. In 1971 the economist Herbert Simon wrote, “A wealth of information creates a poverty of attention.” Find uninterrupted time to refresh your focus and combat the challenges of information overload, sleep deprivation, and stress. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Leading in the Digital Matrix, Adaptive Planning, Bridging Strategy to Outcomes, Leading Innovation: From Concept to Customer Value

Micromobility and Corporate-Startup Collaborations

Micromobility startups that offer electric scooters, skateboards, and bicycles are changing the transportation landscape and even shaping the way we live. Whether people are looking to reduce their carbon footprint or their commute time, they have more options to choose from when deciding how to get from point A to point B than ever before. Different modes of transport continue to coexist, and corporate-startup collaborations are leading the evolution of the personal mobility ecosystem. Gal Bechor, a product manager at Volkswagen Digital Lab explains, “In a world that is changing so rapidly, we realize it is important for us to collaborate with startups, they can move faster and do things that our processes and bureaucracy do not allow us to do. However, startups usually lack the resources, experience, and scale that we have. By collaborating we are able to get the best of both worlds and build things together. We are now trying this in a small scale with ‘Inbound Initiative’ where we take challenges from business units, and collaborate with startups that can solve them.”

Our View: There are plenty of win-win opportunities to seize when startups and corporations collaborate. Ask your company “What would you do if you could add more people to your team?” to help guide you to the right startups or corporations. Look for expertise or experience that your team is lacking. Maximize the positives of the beginners’ mindset at the start of each collaboration by encouraging questions to help eliminate blindspots and gain fresh perspectives. Further Reading

Related AchieveForum content: Leading in the Digital Matrix, Becoming a High-Performing Team, Collaboration Skills, Leading Change, Leading Innovation: From Concept to Customer Value, Making Collaborative Decisions

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