Bake’s Takes – Vol. 1, No. 1

by | Apr 9, 2024

ARTICLE | April 09, 2024

April 2024, Volume 1, Issue 1

Bake’s Takes: KHA Management Consulting Recommended Reads
            by Jonny Baker, Strategic Consulting Partner.

Hot Take of the month: If you think you lead but do not read, you’re wrong. 

This month’s Top 3:

  1. Why Organizations Don’t Learn, Gino and Staats; HBR, Nov 2015
    1. Biases get in our way of learning individually and collectively.
    2. The 10 impediments to learning: fear of failure, fixed mindset, overreliance on past performance, attribution bias, exhaustion, insufficient reflection, believing we need to conform, failure to use one’s strengths, overly narrow view of frontline involvement, and an overly narrow view of expertise.

  2. The Work of Leadership, Heifetz and Laurie, HBR Dec 2001
    1. This article was introduced to me in an executive education course during COVID and I found it quite silly the idea of getting on the balcony, especially since I am not much of a dancer, but the insights resonated and did again when I re-read it.
    2. The article challenges the reader to get on the balcony (be in the dance but also pull away), identify adaptive challenges, regulate distress (not avoid distress), maintain disciplined attention, give work back to employees, and protect leadership voices from below management. 
  1. Finding the Balance Between Coaching and Managing, Zengar and Folkman, HBR 2014
    1. There is a staggering stat in this article that shows nearly 60% of the highly committed employees work for the top 10% of leaders who are effective at coaching and developing others.
    2. It talks about three areas to focus: Directive vs. collaborative, give advice or aid vs. helping the employee find the answer within, inclinations to act as expert or equal vs. a coach.

Why the recommended reads: I have been accused by friends, colleagues, and clients of pelting people with articles and book recommendations. Some of my mentees have stacks of books they will never get through (some of my mentors too). As such, I have decided to curate a monthly recap of good reads that holds the three best articles or reads from the month prior, (as I have read them not published that month). I do love Harvard Business Review and you will see much of it as my work is focused on equipping leaders for the tough tasks ahead of leading well and finishing the race, and I have yet to find a better resource for equipping the teams and myself for this work.

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