Improving your leadership capability - Deepstash

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Leaders Need to Harness Aristotle’s 3 Types of Knowledge

Improving your leadership capability

A critical skill for leaders is the ability to figure out what kind of thinking is necessary to address a given challenge.

The wrong kind of thinking about a problem happens all the time because different types of effort require different types of knowledge. For example, you may analyze scientific data when a values-informed judgment call is needed, or you'll trust your instincts where a data analysis would expose your faulty thinking.

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Measuring Employee Productivity
Measuring Employee Productivity

Fixing employee productivity in the industrial age, when most workers were handling machinery and it’s parts, was a tedious but doable process. The managers had to fix the people who were making mistakes or were inefficient through systematic management.

Today, in the age of software and intellectual property, when half of the workforce is made up of knowledge workers, the old practices are of no use.

The Old Productivity Formula

The basic productivity formula(productivity= output divided by input) worked well in the industrial age as the output and input were clearly defined and measurable.

Today’s leaders need innovative solutions to measure and improve productivity in a knowledge-based workplace, as the measurement of output and input is not what it was.

Quality And Quantity

While assigning value to the output of knowledge workers, we cannot simply measure the output like before.

Coders and doctors cannot be measured by the hour, as their output is not uniform or consistent every hour.

Why progress studies are important
Why progress studies are important
  • We still need a lot of progress for major challenges. We haven't yet cured all diseases; we don't yet know how to solve climate change; we don't yet understand how best to predict or mitigate natural disasters.
  • A lot of progress can also come from smaller advances that build upon one another and represent an enormous advance for society. The list of opportunities for improvement is very long.

Progress studies would consider the problem widely. They would study successful people, organizations, institutions, policies, and cultures, and attempt to create policies and prescriptions to help improve our ability to generate useful progress in the future.

Benefiting from an organized effort

The world would benefit from an organized effort from various disciplines to understand:

  • How we should identify and train brilliant young people.
  • How the most effective small groups exchange and share ideas.
  • Which incentives should exist for participants in innovative ecosystems (scientists, entrepreneurs, managers, and engineers)
  • How much organizations differ in productivity. One recent study found that teaching better management practices to firms in Italy improved productivity by 49 percent over 15 years compared with peer firms that didn’t receive the training.
  • How scientists should be selected and funded. A recent paper concluded that long-term grants to high-potential scientists made those scientists 96 percent more likely to produce breakthrough work.
Progress Studies antecedents
  • The Center for Science and the Imagination at Arizona State University tried to encourage optimistic thinking about the future through fiction and narrative.
  • An applied history movement is needed to help draw lessons from history and apply them to real-world problems.
  • In a world with Progress Studies, a new focus on progress belongs to a school of thought that would encourage a decentralized shift in priorities among academics, philanthropists, and funding agencies. This has already happened in climate-science research and the designation of Keynesian economics, which helped economists focus on fiscal policy as a tool for recession fighting.