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[Photo: Dieselducy, Andrew R via Wikimedia Commons]

At times of crisis, leaders have a tendency to batten down the hatches, bark orders, and assign blame. Those are all bad moves.

When your team is in trouble, it may seem like any way out is a good way out. It often isn’t. Taking a team in the right direction is crucial at any time, but when the pressure is high and things aren’t going well, getting everyone back on track is especially difficult. Here are a few ways to do that, without falling prey to the common mistakes managers often make when trying to set things aright.

When something goes wrong, too many leaders seek to blame others — it’s an understandable instinct. First reactions in crisis situations are often about sorting out what went wrong and assigning fault. And to be sure, sometimes it really is a person or group of people who screwed up. But often it’s the systems or processes they work within that’s enabled their missteps. …


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[Photo by Brian McGowan on Unsplash]

If we fail to accept and celebrate the very essence of our imperfect universe — we overlook impactful people; we ignore opportunities; we fail to contribute; and most importantly we don’t live with gratitude.

Copyright © 2020 by Faisal Hoque. All rights reserved.

We’re now living and operating in a very different world than the one that existed just a few months ago. No one really knows what’s coming around the next corner, we’re all operating on uneven footing. Still, leaders’ jobs haven’t fundamentally changed–we still need to spark creativity, drive progress, and ensure sustainability.

So I’ve been reminding myself that while I can’t predict the future, I can at least try to prepare to live in it, make sense of it, and navigate whatever upheavals arise as strategically as possible.

And to do that, I keep going back to these tried-and-true…


Ready to build an enterprise that endures the test of time and prevails in the future? Get organized to drive more cross-collaboration, creativity, sustained innovation, and digital transformation.

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[Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash]

If you could peer into a crystal ball and see how the world’s most successful companies were being run in 2029, what do you think you would see? I’ll hope what you won’t see much of (unless something very drastic happens to the evolution of business over the next decade), and that’s organizational silos, manual processes, dependent employees, micromanagers, and the myriad of other business ills that companies are trying to solve right now.

Instead, your crystal ball should paint a picture of companies that thrive on collaboration, creativity, and innovation. …


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[Photo by Emma Simpson on Unsplash]

From Beethoven to Newton to Buddha to Darwin, all experienced critical awakenings during self-imposed solitary periods.

As I write this, I’m sitting by myself, watching the blanket of white snow covering everything outside my window. I’m not really thinking about anything specific. Millions of people around the world are doing the same thing, right at this very moment — doing nothing. Someone might be watching the waves crash onto the shore in Goa, India. Another might be mentally tracing the torrential rain on their office window in London.

Children in schools around the world are doodling in their notepads, their minds racing away in a world of their own. …


IoT isn’t something you can ignore and hope that it just goes away. The organizations that will take the time to apply IoT to gather data, analyze it, and turn it into actionable insights will gain a competitive advantage over those that don’t.

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[Image: Shutterstock]

From smart inventory control sensors, to smart appliances that factory safety, to devices that control workplace systems, the Internet of Things (IoT) and its interconnected ways are rapidly making their way into our work.

By 2020, the number of Internet-connected “things” is expected to reach 50 billion. And even with those astounding numbers, the low-hanging fruit of IoT has yet to even be picked. In fact, experts say that just 0.06% of all devices that could potentially leverage IoT are actually doing so. That means that the remaining 99.94% are ripe and ready for optimization.


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[Photo by rawpixel on Unsplash]

Here’s how to drive independent thinking, collaboration, and innovation within your organization.

There was a time when it was perfectly acceptable for leaders and managers to rule with an iron fist. If a subordinate didn’t want to perform a task as assigned — or, God forbid, offered up a better alternative to an old way of doing things — he or she was given a stern talking-to, written up, or even fired.

When the command-and-control leadership style prevailed, employee engagement, commitment, and innovative thinking all suffered. These days, knowing that the do-as-I-say approach doesn’t work anymore, companies across all industries are adapting their management styles to accommodate this new world of work.

Instead of expecting their leaders, managers, and supervisors to act as prescriptive authoritarians, organizations of all sizes must take the time to design human-centric workplaces that invite — and thrive on — independent thinking, collaboration, and innovation. …


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[Photo by Erik Lucatero on Unsplash]

The next time you are ready to post something on your favorite social media platform, remember that there are no take backs on Internet. Your digital footprint will increasingly carry far more weight — perhaps even more than your resume.

The recent poster child for bad behavior on the social media front serves as yet another example of how quickly one can find him or herself in hot water with just a few quick screen taps.

This time Guardians of the Galaxy Director James Gunn was fired by Disney for making jokes about pedophilia and rape on Twitter. “I used to make a lot of offensive jokes,” Gunn said via Twitter. “I don’t anymore. I don’t blame my past self for this, but I like myself more and feel like a more full human being and creator today.”

Gunn isn’t alone. Across most industries we’re seeing just how tricky it can be to navigate the intersection of career and social media. Just one politically-incorrect statement on Facebook, one combative tweet, or one offensive Instagram photo can create a virtual maelstrom of trouble. …


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[Images: Shalom Mwenesi/Unsplash; Aleksei_Derin/iStock]

As the Fourth Industrial Revolution advances, virtually all job openings will emphasize judgment and decision-making and an ability to manage people and resources.

More and more we’re finding ourselves standing at the intersection of humanity and technology. Whether we’re working side-by-side with autonomous robots on the factory floor, spreading the happy news about a new addition to the family on Facebook, or asking Siri to help us get from point A to point B as quickly as possible, all aspects of our lives are closely connected to technology in one way or another.

Some of those “connections” are downright threatening. The Fourth Industrial Revolution, which includes developments in previously disjointed fields such as artificial intelligence (AI), machine learning, robotics, nanotechnology, 3D printing, and genetics and biotechnology, is expected to cause widespread disruption not only to business models but also to labor markets over the next five years, the World Economic Forum reports, with “enormous change predicted in the skill sets needed to thrive in the new landscape.” …


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[Photo by Denys Nevozhai on Unsplash]

Life happens somewhere between trying to make it happen and letting it happen.

As a child, I saw war and famine. As a college student, I worked as a janitor on the graveyard shift; as a serial entrepreneur since the early 90s, I have been traveling the cutting edge world of innovation, technology, and global business; as a author for two decades, I have been exploring the intersection of science and humanities; and as a traveler, I have been roaming around the globe with utter gratitude.

We all have stories. It was August of 1986. I had just finished my first summer semester at SIU after arriving from Bangladesh. I was 17 and a student of the College of Engineering. After paying my tuition fee for summer and fall, I had $700.00 to survive, get educated, and move forward with my life! My new American friends suggested I introduce myself to the ‘art and science’ of on-campus ‘janitorial engineering’ — quickly, if wanted to survive! I had the graveyard shift. I got so good at buffing floors (given my obsessive compulsive nature) that before long I was asked to clean the offices of the University officials. This is where my ‘adulthood’ begun.


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[Photo by Daria Nepriakhina on Unsplash]

Innovation isn’t some mysterious, expensive process that unfolds on a five-year plan.

“Innovation” is a big, abstract target that means different things to different people and companies. It often feels like the name you give after the fact to what you’ve already accomplished, rather than something you do, through concrete actions, every day.

About

Faisal Hoque

Entrepreneur, Author. Founder of Shadoka. Author of “Everything Connects”, “Survive to Thrive”. Twitter @faisal_hoque.

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