Rebuilding Place in the Urban Space

"A community’s physical form, rather than its land uses, is its most intrinsic and enduring characteristic." [Katz, EPA] This blog focuses on place and placemaking and all that makes it work--historic preservation, urban design, transportation, asset-based community development, arts & cultural development, commercial district revitalization, tourism & destination development, and quality of life advocacy--along with doses of civic engagement and good governance watchdogging.

Saturday, May 12, 2018

Leadership etc.

1. An article by Lord Bilimoria ("Why the Lords are right to apply the brakes on a train-crash Brexit," Guardian) in discussing why the House of Lords wants more say in the "executive branch's" decision-making on Brexit, discusses the difference between managers and leaders with this quote:
Managers do things right; leaders do the right thing.
I like it. Not that it's unlike discussion by Max Weber about "bureaucracy" or Friedmann's Planning in the Public Domain, but it is succinct.

Although I seem to write more about managers doing things wrong and leaders doing the wrong thing too, than about managers doing things right and leaders leading.

2. There is an interview with University of Chicago Professor Richard Thaler in McKinsey Quarterly. Thaler is one of the co-founders of "nudge theory" and a leader in the field of behavioral economics. One of the points in the piece is distinguishing between bad decisions and bad outcomes.

-- "Debiasing the corporation: An interview with Nobel laureate Richard Thaler"
I think strong leaders, who are self-confident and secure, who are comfortable in their skin and their place, will welcome alternative points of view. The insecure ones won’t, and it’s a recipe for disaster. You want to be in an organization where somebody will tell the boss before the boss is about to do something stupid.

Figure out ways to give people feedback, write it down, and don’t let the boss think that he or she knows it all. Figure out a way of debiasing the boss. That’s everybody’s job. You’d like it to be the boss’s job, but some bosses are not very good at it.
Although I would argue that a lot of what I write about is about "bad decision making" which leads to bad outcomes, or at least satisficed outcomes, and much less in the way of optimal returns.

The other point that is at the foundation of how I look at the world is about is processes.  When processes such as how zoning approvals work,  yield as a matter of routine, mostly undesirable outcomes, than there is something wrong with the process. 

In a form of business process redesign (Thomas Davenport's Process Innovation has been a big influence on my thinking, excerpts), when I get to do plans, it's something I try to do, looking backwards at the process with recommendations "for fixing" so that the routine outcomes become desirable rather than products that aren't all that great.

3. You wouldn't think a magazine and website on Pizza stores would have a great article about leadership, but Pizza Marketplace does, "The key quality of great pizza brand leadership: It's probably not what you think." It makes the point that great leaders hire people better than them, rather than mediocre people which protects fearful "leaders" who can always outshine the less skilled.

Labels: , , , ,


Post a Comment

<< Home