CMOs are under tremendous pressure to deliver, and the challenge is proving difficult to face. According to The Wall Street Journal, average CMO tenure is currently just 42 months — down a full six months over the last two years. In the UK, the average tenure of CMOs is only 18 months. It's by far the shortest in the C-suite: CEOs average 7.2 years, for example, and CFOs 5.7 years.
If you were handed 20 sticks of uncooked spaghetti, 1 yard of masking tape, 1 yard of string, and 1 marshmallow and then told to build a tower with the marshmallow at the top, what would you do? Believe it or not, this exercise gives us a lot of insight into building high-performance teams. During his TED talk, Tom Wujec reveals three major lessons you can learn from playing with your food. After the timer began, the average team spent their time doing the following: 1. Orienting — Talking about the task and subtly (or not so subtly) determining leaders 2. Planning — Deciding the best way to tackle the task 3. Building — The majority of their time was spent here, just getting the task done 4. Crossing their fingers — Tower built, marshmallow in hand, they placed the sugar bomb on top and hoped the spaghetti didn't break Some towers broke. Some towers stayed up. Some towers stayed up and surpassed new height records. So what was the difference between a wildly successful team, a mildly successful team, and a failing team? Three major factors were common among the wildly successful teams: 1. They took an iterative approach. The did not pick one plan and stick it out to the end, hoping their spaghetti would hold. They modified their build as they went along by periodically testing out the weight of the marshmallow against whatever structure they currently had. 2. They had diverse skill sets in the group. Surprisingly, CEOs + Executive Admins worked better together than groups made up solely of CEOs. Some team members were good at managing (we'll let you guess who) and others were good at executing next steps. A good mix of skills and personalities make a stronger, more effective team. 3. They had prior experience with the task. Four months after the first exercise, the worst performers were given the marshmallow construction problem again. They were all successful, blowing previous height records out of the water. Being able to learn from their past failure, these teams enjoyed success the second time around. Here's an idea: Since you're already building your own high-performance team in your organization, why not run the marshmallow experiment with your colleagues? It should prove to be an enjoyable exercise in team dynamics. Or you could simply learn from the short TED Talk on high-performing teams below. It's less than seven minutes long, but loaded with lessons on creating your own top-notch team! Think there are other important factors that go into building a high-performance team? Share them with us in the comments below! Image credit: Photo by Creative Sustainability. Some rights reserved.
Customer retention is key to boosting revenue, reducing business costs, and improving customer feedback. Read more to discover strategies and solutions on how to improve, measure, and calculate your business' customer retention and, as a result, customer satisfaction.
Here's an infographic explaining the 5 most general leadership styles, each with a famous leader known for that style, and each listing strengths and weaknesses. Once you figure out which style your manager uses, it just might make it easier to improve your working relationship with him or her.
The fundamentals of leadership haven't changed. You lead by example, you inspire team members to do their very best work, you communicate well and often. However, the circumstances surrounding our work are constantly changing. Remote/global workforces, offshore outsourcing, and an unrelenting tide of technology and tools have changed the way we work, and the skills needed to manage our teams. Case in point: In 1997, as managing editor to a monthly lifestyle magazine, I was coordinating contributors via three archaic tools: phone, fax, and (gasp) pager. At the time, appointments had to be made well in advance and submissions by fax had to be re-encoded manually. Meetings were always done face-to-face, and there was little visibility into what other people were doing. The skills I needed then are still mostly useful, but I've had to learn much more in order to function within a modern startup. There is no doubt that a decade from now, managers will need skills that our parents probably never even dreamed of. How do you prepare for that unseen future? Simple: you take emerging work trends and extend them forward a few years, predicting which ones have the strongest chance of sticking around. Then you figure out what skills you will need to navigate work within those trends. Here is my list of the four skills that managers will need to learn in the next decade: 1. Managers Will Need Cross-Cultural Intelligence TREND: Workplaces are becoming increasingly diverse. Companies of all sizes continue to expand to overseas locations, or engage in offshore outsourcing. SKILL NEEDED: Managers are being called not just to understand cultural differences, but also be able to switch to different behaviors as the situation dictates. Cultural intelligence (CQ), like emotional intelligence (EQ), is a relatively new method of understanding ourselves and, in turn, our teammates. Author Julia Middleton explains in her book Cultural Intelligence, that CQ can be broken down into two parts: our core (the behaviors we will not change for anyone) and our flex (those behaviors we can change when needed). Managers will need to learn to use their flex side in a concept called cultural code-switching, being able to blend with a culture as needed, and even engage in behaviors that may conflict with the culture they grew up with. For example: giving feedback directly as opposed to covering it with humor, or being a more present boss as opposed to letting the team self-organize. The manager's aim should be to focus on the result and think about altering your behavior as a means to meeting your team's end. 2. Managers Will Need Virtual Collaboration Skills TREND: As organizations source talent from across the globe, remote workforces increase. According to Wrike's Remote Work survey of 1,000 employees, 80% of respondents deal with remote workers on a daily basis, either working with distributed colleagues, or as remote workers themselves. SKILL NEEDED: Managers must be able to lead their teams and engage with individuals effectively — no matter where in the world they may be stationed. While face-to-face meetings may remain the norm for companies that exist in only one brick-and-mortar location, it's becoming increasingly common to hold meetings online or in shared virtual spaces. This means managers can no longer assume that attendees are all on the same page, and communication skills must be updated to ensure no misunderstandings happen. Plus, this entails learning the technology needed to communicate effectively. 3. Managers Must Adapt to New Technologies TREND: New inventions appear everyday, including technologies that make work easier or that fundamentally change the way we work. SKILL NEEDED: The speed with which new technologies appear requires managers who are flexible enough to learn new tools and incorporate them into daily use. For example: marketing is an industry where tools are created at the speed of need. While jumping on the bandwagon isn't a formula I'd suggest, it does pay to experiment with new tech. Find out what works. Test which ones make your time more productive. Assemble your toolbox of essential tools and keep it updated. 4. Managers Will Need to Handle Information Overload TREND: Information overload is a very real thing, especially in our modern workplace. There is a limit to the amount of stuff our minds can process, a.k.a. our cognitive load. SKILL NEEDED: Managers who want to succeed in the next decade must be able to manage this deluge of data and extract the useful bits from the noise. For example: they will have to distinguish emergencies amidst the massive influx of messages in their email inboxes. They will have to prioritize work that delivers the most value, even with a huge number of mixed signals from stakeholders. They will have to be strategic despite all the pings and notifications that will have them running to "put out fires." They will need to be masters at prioritizing, time management, and focus if they intend to be successful at work and at life. What Do You See in Your Crystal Ball? If you tie all four skills together, the unifying theme is constant learning and flexibility. If you're flexible enough to take what comes and willing to educate yourself on how best to adapt, then the future holds no insurmountable surprises for you. Do you agree or disagree with my list? Do you see a management skill that's missing? Hit the comments and share your views on what skills managers will need to be successful in the future. READ NEXT: Why Employers Value Emotional Intelligence Over IQ (Infographic) Top 3 Trends Shaping Project Collaboration Is Information Overload Real? Or Are We Just a Wimpy Generation? (Video) Photo credit: Darth Grader on Flickr
Welcome back to the weekly Work Management Roundup, where we collect and curate the week's best reads in productivity, management, and work. This week, we lead off with an interesting story about one founder's risky move in the face of a potential acquisition. He made his acquisition process public and shared crucial lessons that other entrepreneurs can now benefit from. But it was a risk. Is this kind of transparency worth it? You be the judge.