Are your workplace dilemmas different because you’re in the public sector? Dan and Alison answer your questions with the help of Bernie Banks, a retired U.S. Army general and a professor at Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. They talk through what to do when you want to effect change as a middle manager in the military, you’re battling misperceptions of public-sector work as you switch to the private sector, or you want to boost the morale of your team of government workers.
From Alison and Dan’s reading list:
HBR: Four Lessons in Adaptive Leadership by Michael Useem — “Military leaders need new tools and techniques to face a fast-changing and unpredictable type of enemy—so the armed services train their officers in ways that build a culture of readiness and commitment. Business leaders need just such a culture to survive and succeed, given that they, too, face unprecedented uncertainty—and new types of competitors.”
HBR: Exerting Influence Without Authority by Lauren Keller Johnson — “If you’re like most managers, you’re facing this sort of challenge more often these days because of flatter management structures, outsourcing, and virtual teams. For those reasons, a greater number of managers now need to get things done through peers inside and outside their organizations. In this age of heightened business complexity, moreover, change itself has grown increasingly complicated. A majority of change initiatives now involve multiple functions within and even between companies, and many such efforts encompass an entire firm.”
HBR: Which of These People Is Your Future CEO?: The Different Ways Military Experience Prepares Managers for Leadership by Boris Groysberg , Andrew Hill, and Toby Johnson— “Much has been said about the general leadership qualities fostered by military experience and how they apply to business. Less noticed have been the branch-specific skills—process management, for instance—that can have significant implications for the success of military veterans in the corporate world.”
HBR: What I Learned from Transforming the U.S. Military’s Approach to Talent by Ash Carter — “At a time of economic, technological, and labor evolutions, organizations have to change to compete for the best talent. As I learned, that meant looking in new places and in new ways, taking care of families more than ever before, and helping those who leave succeed so that they continue to be good examples to those who might join up.”
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