People + Strategy Journal

Fall 2022

The Takeaway: A Discussion Guide on the Balancing Acts of Leadership

If you were asked to lead a conversation about how to manage all the balancing acts of leadership, what would be the most impactful themes to explore? Here are the critical questions.

If you were asked to lead a conversation about how to manage all the balancing acts of leadership to better navigate current and future challenges, what would be the most impactful themes to explore to generate actional insights? Here are the critical questions that are at the core of key articles in this issue:

Find Your Balance  Screen Shot 2022-09-21 at 101910 AM.png

by Andre Durand, Harsha Jalihal, Lucien Alziari, Dara Richardson-Heron and Linda P. Hudson

  1. Which of the various balancing acts described in this series of essays does your team and organization manage well? 
  2. Which ones do you struggle with and why? How can you bring those challenges into a broader company- or team-wide discussion to address them head-on? 
  3. Do you have a structure for feedback so that your organization is showing both empathy for employees while also giving them necessary feedback to ensure they are working to not only deliver on the expected work but also to raise their game? 
  4. How is your HR function helping to push down decision-making so that people have a practical and actionable set of guidelines to help them make tough calls?
  5. How are you encouraging and training employees to "own" the paradoxes of leadership and to have the courage to make decisions?

by Jacob Ward, NBC News technology correspondent and author of The Loop: How Technology is Creating a World Without Choices and How to Fight Back

  1. As organizations adopt more AI and the use of analytics, how are you ensuring that they are not creating unintended consequences or limiting choices?
  2. If you are using AI at your company, what is the underlying dataset that the systems were trained on?
  3. What other applications are trained on that same dataset?
  4. How auditable are your AI and analytics systems? In other words, how do you understand the inner workings so that you can inoculate yourself against a lawsuit if the system contributes to making a decision that is damaging for your company?

by Claudy Jules, partner at McKinsey & Company and author of Building Better Organizations: How to Fuel Growth and Lead in a Digital Era

  1. How is your organization structured to scale and deliver growth while enabling both agility and sustainability?
  2. How does your organization define sustainability beyond minimizing environmental impact? How does it contribute to society and the environment?
  3. How can you take all the lessons around innovation and agility since the start of the pandemic and make them part of your organization's ongoing skill set?
  4. Does your company's structure truly match your strategy? If you were building the company from scratch, would you organize it differently?
  5. Is the company's approach to governance set up to help drive better and faster decisions?