Bake’s Takes Volume 1, Issue 3

by | Jun 5, 2024

ARTICLE | June 05, 2024

June 2024, Volume 1, Issue 3

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

Hot Take: As a leader, you don’t have the answers; your workforce [does], your people [do],” Jane Fraser, Citi’s CEO, told Fortune magazine. “That’s completely changed how you have to lead an organization. You have to unleash the creativity….The innovation isn’t happening because there’s a genius at the top of the company that’s coming up with the answers for everything.”
Audience: As a leader you need exposure to varying perspectives, insights, and ideas. 

This month’s Top 3:

  1. Transformations that work, Mankins and Litre; HBR May 2024
    • John Kotter may be the father of change management (we love his work too), but new research is identifying that little major progress has been made over the last decade when it comes to change management.
    • Rather than taking large risks or transformative opportunities, companies are settling for what they think they can accomplish and settling for mediocre results.
    • The article outlines the six critical practices to give your team the best shot at real transformation. We help our clients accomplish the first five in our normal strategic change management process. We can find them partners for item 6.
  2. Make Decisions with a VC Mindset, Strebulaev and Dang; HBR May 2024
    • This article talks about taking and supporting the contrarian view which leads to great breakthrough.
    • It says to pick the individual over the group, choose disagreement over consensus, exceptions over dogma, and agility over bureaucracy.
    • Quite possibly my favorite line in the article: “VCs look for contrarian ideas because those are the ones that deliver outsize returns. They realize that sometimes just a single person at the table may understand the potential of a big idea—and that person must be heard.”
  3. The Art of Asking Smarter Questions, Chevallier, Dalsace, Barsoux; HBR May 2024
    • “The questions that get leaders and teams into trouble are often the ones they fail to ask”.
    • Our Managing Partner often says he has made three distinct careers out of asking good questions. We are rethinking how we coach employees based on the questions we ask. We are coaching even our partners (me included) to slow down and allow the question process to do the teaching with our teams.
    • Five part strategic question framework for asking better questions: Investigative, Speculative, Productive, Interpretive, and Subjective as ways to better ensure the right questions are being asked.

Why Bake’s Takes: 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 summary that holds what I deem to be the 3 best articles or reads of the month (when I 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 creating vision, alignment, and execution. I have yet to find a better resource for equipping that work well.

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