David Isenberg: Nurture Your Givers to Increase Effectiveness

Collective Intelligence, Commercial Intelligence, Cultural Intelligence, Culture
David Isenberg
David Isenberg

Givers take all: The hidden dimension of corporate culture

By encouraging employees to both seek and provide help, rewarding givers, and screening out takers, companies can reap significant and lasting benefits.

McKinsey & Company, April 2013

After the tragic events of 9/11, a team of Harvard psychologists quietly “invaded” the US intelligence system. The team, led by Richard Hackman, wanted to determine what makes intelligence units effective. By surveying, interviewing, and observing hundreds of analysts across 64 different intelligence groups, the researchers ranked those units from best to worst.

Then they identified what they thought was a comprehensive list of factors that drive a unit’s effectiveness—only to discover, after parsing the data, that the most important factor wasn’t on their list. The critical factor wasn’t having stable team membership and the right number of people. It wasn’t having a vision that is clear, challenging, and meaningful. Nor was it well-defined roles and responsibilities; appropriate rewards, recognition, and resources; or strong leadership.

Rather, the single strongest predictor of group effectiveness was the amount of help that analysts gave to each other. In the highest-performing teams, analysts invested extensive time and energy in coaching, teaching, and consulting with their colleagues. These contributions helped analysts question their own assumptions, fill gaps in their knowledge, gain access to novel perspectives, and recognize patterns in seemingly disconnected threads of information. In the lowest-rated units, analysts exchanged little help and struggled to make sense of tangled webs of data. Just knowing the amount of help-giving that occurred allowed the Harvard researchers to predict the effectiveness rank of nearly every unit accurately.

The importance of helping-behavior for organizational effectiveness stretches far beyond intelligence work. Evidence from studies led by Indiana University’s Philip Podsakoff demonstrates that the frequency with which employees help one another predicts sales revenues in pharmaceutical units and retail stores; profits, costs, and customer service in banks; creativity in consulting and engineering firms; productivity in paper mills; and revenues, operating efficiency, customer satisfaction, and performance quality in restaurants.

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David Isenberg: GWOT Has Shredded CIA’s Focus and Utility – Plus Renaissance References

Government, Ineptitude
David Isenberg
David Isenberg

Intelligence

WOT distorting focus, resource allocation of U.S. intelligence community: experts

The U.S. Intelligence Advisory Board, a panel of fourteen highly regarded and experienced experts, many of whom past holder of high-level national security positions, has submitted a secret report to President Obama in which they say that the intense, 12-year focus of the intelligence community on finding and fighting terrorism has distorted the priorities, resource allocation, and training within that community. Former Senator David Boren, a member of the panel, asks: “in the long run, what’s more important to America: Afghanistan or China?”

The U.S. Intelligence Advisory Board, a panel of fourteen highly regarded and experienced experts, many of whom past holder of high-level national security positions, has submitted a secret report to President Obama in which they say that the intense, 12-year focus of the intelligence community on finding and fighting terrorism has distorted the priorities, resource allocation, and training within that community.

Continue reading “David Isenberg: GWOT Has Shredded CIA’s Focus and Utility – Plus Renaissance References”

Who’s Who in Public Intelligence: David Isenberg (Military)

Alpha I-L, Public Intelligence
David Isenberg

David Isenberg is the author of the book Shadow Force: Private Security Contractors in Iraq. His blog is The PMSC Observer. He wrote the “Dogs of War” weekly column for UPI from 2008 to 2009. During 2009 he ran the Norwegian Initiative on Small Arms Transfers project at the International Peace Research Institute, Oslo. His affiliations include the Straus Military Reform Project, Cato Institute, and the Independent Institute. He is a US Navy veteran. His e-mail is sento@earthlink.net.

David Isenberg at CATO Institute

David Isenberg at Huffington Post

David Isenberg: Your Job Search and the Big Picture