Season 2: Episode 24 – Under New Management – Interview with David Burkus [Podcast]

imgresIn this episode, we are excited for you to hear from David Burkus author of The Myths of Creativity: The Truth About How Innovative Companies and People Generate Great Ideas and his latest book, Under New Management: How Leading Organizations Are Upending Business as Usual. David writes regularly for Harvard Business Review, Forbes, PsychologyToday and 99U. He is also the founder and host of Radio Free Leader, a podcast that shares insights on leadership, innovation, and strategy.  When David’s not speaking or waiting in an airport lounge, he’s in the classroom working as an associate professor of management at Oral Roberts University, where he teaches courses on organizational behavior, creativity and innovation, and strategic leadership.

Here are some of the topics we discussed:

  1. Your earlier book focuses on a collection of our misconceptions about creativity. What has moved your thinking along from myths of creativity to what struck me as myths of management and the way we operate our organizations? What questions do you see connecting the two – Myths of Creativity and Under New Management.
  2. It’s clear that Under New Management is written looking at organizations through the private sector. Public sector organizations, such as education organizations, grapple with different layers of bureaucracy and regulation. Why should we in the public sector read this book and what do you see as best entry points for some of these changes in the public sector
  3. Early on in the book you describe how structures and management tools have been stifling the individual initiative and creativity of knowledge workers – management demanding uniformity and conformity – long before today. How do you see applying even some of these ideas to our organizations as helping us to become more creative.
  4. Talk to us about email. For us, and most other leaders, email takes a lot of energy just to manage. How do companies that eliminate or reduce email do it, and what’s the impact on creativity and productivity?
  5. Talk about this idea of “employee needs first, customer needs second.” How does it work in the private sector organization and what possibility do you see to translate it to public sector service organizations like schools where our “customers” are students and families?
  6. We are always looking for ways to support employee happiness. Based on your research, what are some ways managers can put employees first?
  7. As leaders, hiring our staff is one of the most important parts of the job! Share with us your ideas for revolutionizing the hiring process?
  8. Right now, performance appraisals in the public education sector are highly regulated and managed as a part of individual and organizational accountability. But we do have some flexibility in what we do or don’t implement beyond policy mandates. How might we start rethinking performance appraisals, and what have been the benefits of organizations eliminating this aspect of accountability all together?
  9. How can leaders find time to take “sabbaticals,” and how does this impact creativity and productivity?
  10. As we redefine our vision for our classrooms, we know we need to make time to be deliberately creative.  Are there any other takeaways in your book that can apply to educators?
  11. What “beautiful questions” are you currently thinking about?

Join the Conversation

Each episode we leave you with a couple of questions to think about…with the idea of provoking conversation. This episode’s questions:

  1. Which of the ideas in Under New Management discussed here is your on-ramp to organizational change and why?

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