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Dear Colleagues,

The fall involved quite a focus on the personal and work-life implications of the transient advantage economy.  We’re finding that once fringe concepts – working as a series of “gigs”, “tours of duties” and “on-demand employees” are becoming more main stream.

Smarter Human Resources

Speaking about HR matters in Santiago, Chile at the World Human Resources Conference

When products can be copied, systems can be matched and brands no longer carry the cachet they once did, one source of lasting competitive advantage is the raw talent that you can leverage to create a pipeline of competitive advantages.  It was great fun chatting with HR leaders from around the world about how they are seeing this reality as a great opening for a more strategic role for HR overall.  More people are coming to HR for guidance as to how to prepare themselves, and often it is strong HR people that have a line of sight into the increasingly complex mix of people working in organizations.  

One of HR Magazine’s ‘Most Influential for People Strategy” in 2014 I was honored to be selected as one of the most influential thinkers in HR Magazine’s annual competition.  

Leadership implications and the new age of empathy

While we’re on HR-related topics, I think it’s worth mentioning that we are in the midst of a major transition, from an era of execution, where it used to be that jobs were more or less about accomplishing tasks. We’ve entered into an era of expertise, with the advent of knowledge work, and today we’re on the brink of an era of empathy.  In the era of empathy, the ability to create complete customer experiences, to provide inspiration, to lead by example,and to honor authenticity are qualities that will become increasingly important in tomorrow’s leaders.  This has major implications for how we recruit, develop and choose leaders as well as for employees.  No less an authority than Geoff Colvin of Fortune argued that one of the scarcest qualities for new employees is that of empathy. 

Please see this link for the article  “Management’s Three Eras: A Brief History” if you haven’t read it yet.

The latest from Inc. Magazine - Why a little healthy competition can be a good thing.

Why do we all experience so many dreadful customer experiences from companies such as cable companies, mobile phone service providers and airlines?  Often, it’s because they have enjoyed entrenched positions with extremely high entry barriers, preventing entrepreneurs and innovators from stealing their customers (or maybe we should call them hostages) away.  In a recent Inc. column, I reflect on how a lack of competition can actually make you vulnerable to upstarts.

From Rita’s Blog - Pressuring customers for profits can be a loser in the long term

I was recently asked by a reporter whether there are times when a company is too generous to its customers. The company in question was JetBlue, and the issue was whether perhaps it was being too kind to customers in the legroom department, with the result that it doesn’t squeeze every last drop of profits out of every flight.

To read the rest of the article, click here.

Latest Events
Expomanagement, Sao Paolo, November 3, Brazil:  At this major business session, speakers from all over the world addressed the critical management issues that are relevant today.  Check out the far-ranging list of speakers.
Chartered Institute of Personnel Development, November 5, Mancheser, UK.  While we’re on the theme of Human Resources, I was the keynote speaker at the CIPD Annual Conference on the topic of people strategies for the transient advantage economy.  

In the News

When Companies Harm Workers in the Name of Productivity
The Wall Street Journal

Rita Gunther McGrath’s 5 Essential Books on Entrepreneurial Strategy
Box of Crayons

Profits and ‘Social Responsibility’ Are Not Incompatible
The Wall Street Journal

Rita’s article on what you have to do to be really differentiated with respect to customers picked up by the Globe and Mail.

Dorie Clark’s blog over at HBR on the importance of leaving the quest for perfection behind, citing Rita’s work.

Rita’s World Business Forum presentation adopted by Adobe’s CMO journal.
The importance of stopping things – citing Rita.
Rita’s ideas mentioned in collaborative article on the future of enterprises.
Some thoughts on how companies can thrive in fast-moving markets, citing Rita’s work on outliers.

More links to recent press mentions can be found on the Press section of my website.

Repeat: Password for the “Tools” Section of My Website

To access the tools part of the web site (downloadable diagnostics, quizzes, spreadsheets and other cool stuff)  go to the website and use the password - mcgr8th! (the exclamation point is part of the password).
How did it get to be November already? With the American holiday of Thanksgiving comes the opportunity to pause and think about what we are really grateful for.  Good health and family? Absolutely. I’m also grateful for you, readers, whose questions and comments challenge my assumptions and whose interest keeps the spark going when, at times, things don’t make much sense.  Thanks to you and I wish you well.


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Copyright © 2014 Rita Gunther McGrath, All rights reserved.

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