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September 2020 | by Jessica Nelson
There are thousands of books about professional development out there. With topics ranging from leadership to productivity to working with various types of personalities, deciding where to start can be a bit overwhelming.
Don’t worry, we’ve got you covered.
Our senior staff has rounded up their top picks for this month, all of which relate to an important but often overlooked topic in the workplace: Improving office culture to boost team performance.
Ethan Eilon, President
The key to building a more productive team is simple — change a few habits.
At its core, The Power of Habit illustrates how changing habits can have monumental effects on the inner workings of an organization. Duhigg demonstrates that habits aren’t concrete, and that disrupting just one or two habits snowball into larger waves of measurable change.
The Power of Habit serves as a manual to breaking the powerful habit loop and unlocking your team’s full potential.
At IMGE, we have been working to pinpoint opportunities to build positive habits throughout our company, such as scheduling daily standing meetings to help prioritize current and upcoming projects. Teams have quickly seen the organizational and productive benefits of instituting this one habit.
Megan Foote, Executive Vice President
If you find that your company spends a lot of time and money on traditional HR services and perks to motivate employees, but aren’t seeing much return on investment with their performance, this is a must-read for you.
In Powerful: Building a Culture of Freedom And Responsibility, Patty McCord suggests a much different approach to creating a culture of high performance and profitability. She suggests companies focus on developing an environment where staff is excited, innovative, and love where they work by limiting internal bureaucracy.
McCord shares insights from her experience helping build Netflix’s unique and high-performing culture which companies can and should apply to improve their culture and boost productivity.
As IMGE continues to grow and onboard new team members, growth with less bureaucracy is a top priority. To illustrate this, we recently implemented a “take what you need” PTO policy and are working to create a team environment where top culture values thrive organically.
Gerrit Lansing, Senior Partner
In this thrilling narrative that switches between dark, confusing days fighting Al Qaeda in Iraq in the mid-2000’s and a history of corporate America’s organizational evolution through the 20th century, McChrystal traces a new model for a new organization in a complex world.
The organizational concepts in Team of Teams can be translated across any industry. By practicing radical transparency so that all levels of the entire team understand the day-to-day mission and priorities you can push decision making down to the sergeant level.
Team of Teams offers a blueprint for structuring organizations to become adaptable to any scenario – which, as McChrystal argues, should be the primary focus of all companies and organizations today.
Following that blueprint, we restructured IMGE at the end of 2017 into a team of teams where each team possesses all the necessary tools to service client needs and can create comprehensive solutions that solve problems. No more silos where work is handed off between one section of the company to another. Each team is adaptable, informed and empowered to act at whatever speed necessary.
Ryan Lyk, VP of Client Services
Since childhood, we are taught to live by the Golden Rule, but it could be making us terrible managers. Radical Candor turns conventional management on its head and explores the concept that being a good boss requires two things: caring personally and challenging directly.
Doing neither is catastrophic, but doing both allows managers to build better relationships with their coworkers and create a stronger, more cohesive team.
Applying the ideas in Radical Candor creates a culture of feedback, both praise and criticism, which in turn produces a higher quality of work.
We have implemented radical candor at IMGE through peer-rated mock presentations. During these mock presentations, staff members review another team’s performance before the team presents to an actual client. It has increased employee confidence while presenting, and has helped to identify team strengths as well as potential areas for growth.
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