Wednesday, June 14, 2017

Pepperdine EDOL Twitter Chat: Big Oil




This post is in support of the Pepperdine EDOL Twiiter Chat for June 14th, 2017. Join the conversation using #GSEPEDOL 

Key points for tonight’s discussion:

The price of crude oil today is $46.69 and There is currently a glut in oil. At the beginning of the year the Organization of Petroleum Exporting Countries (OPEC) agreed to cut production of oil and that this would cause supplies to tighten quickly. That hasn’t been the case. The amount of oil in U.S. reserve tanks recently increased (Sider & Puko, 2017).

Crude oil prices have declined 9% in the past three weeks and 15% for the year, recently dropping below $50 a barrel. U.s Producers have rushed to fill the gap left by OPEC (Sider & Puko, 2017). At some points this year U.S. oil producers have exported up to a million barrels a day , about twice the amount during 2016. U.S. exports have increased significantly since Congress lifted the ban on oil exports in 2015 (Cook, 2017).

What does this mean for us?  In Texas for example, the elasticity of supply (Miller, Benjamin, and North, 2012) , the reaction to the amount of oil demand in relation to the price per barrel has resulted in a drop in state tax revenue from natural gas and oil production which dropped by over 48 percent in 2015. This impacted education spending in Texas, with the Texas Education Agency reducing spending from approx $28 Billion in 2014 to approx. $27 Billion in 2015 Texas Comptroller, 2017).


Big oil is here to stay for the near future. Oil demand will not peak until sometime between 2025-2040 (Cook & Cherney, 2017). OPEC decided to cut production at the beginning of the year to reduce oil reserves and increase demand to increase process. The U.S.A. is not a member of OPEC and filled the production gap left by the OPEC countries (Sider & Puko, 2017).  Because of this there is a glut of oil, plenty of supply and lower demand, which is keeping prices down. This works in our interests and against the interests of the OPEC countries.

Questions:


Q1: How has oil impacted you in our area? #GSEPEDOL


Q2: How can the USA support OPEC countries? #GSEPEDOL


Q3: How do we influence OPEC countries to invest and develop clean energy technologies? #GSEPEDOL


Q4: How does Big Oil impact our national security #GSEPEDOL




Join the conversation using #GSEPEDOL


References


Comptroller, T. (2017). Transparency spending. Retrieved from https://comptroller.texas.gov/transparency/spending/visualizations.php
Cook, L. (2017). U.S. oil exports double, reshaping vast global markets. Wall Street Journal, (June 7, 2017), June 10, 2017-https://www.wsj.com/articles/u-s-oil-exports-double-reshaping-vast-global-markets-1496833200.
Cook, L., & Cherney, E. (2017). Get ready for peak oil demand
. Wall Street Journal, (May 27 2017), 1 June 2017-
https://www.wsj.com/articles/get-ready-for-peak-oil-demand-1495419061.
Heilbroner,Robert L.,,. (1999). The worldly philosophers : The lives, times, and ideas of the great economic thinkers
Miller, Roger LeRoy., Benjamin, Daniel K., North,Douglass C.,. (2012). The economics of public issues. Upper Saddle River, N.J: Pearson Education.

Sider, A., & Puko, T. (2017). For oil investors, early faith in a rally begins to wane. Wall Street Journal, (June 9, 2017), June 9, 2017-https://www.wsj.com/articles/for-oil-investors-early-faith-in-a-rally-begins-to-wane-1497048280.

Monday, September 19, 2016

Organizational Learning: 3 Things We Can Learn From NASA





We recently read the book Organizational Learning at NASA: The Challenger & Columbia Accidents for our organizational behavior class in the Pepperdine University EDOL Doctoral program. 

 The prompt for our class discussion was “What 3 things can we learn from NASA about how people in organizations learn? What elements like fear, lack of transparency for example, can impede learning?”

These were my three takeaways:

1- Leaders are responsible for establishing the social context for learning in the organization. They set the tone for how supervisors, peers, and direct reports will interact. For information to flow freely up and down the chain, members need to feel they are important to the overall mission, and their input is valuable. Title and position cannot become an obstacle to the flow of pertinent information that can impact the mission in a positive or negative way.

2- For an organization to learn, the lessons have to be institutionalized. Shared across the departments and silos of the organization so supervisors and members at all levels can learn the new knowledge and integrate it into processes and procedures.

3- Organizations have to invest in institutional memory by establishing systems to capture the knowledge from employees that are leaving, ensuring it is accessible to new members as they are on-boarded to the organization.


This book presents an opportunity to examine learning at NASA over a span of several decades. It offers lessons that leaders of organizations can implement to improve their learning practices to become more efficient and perform at a higher level.

=====================================================================

Connect with Jonathan on LinkedIn and Twitter.

Jonathan is an experienced leader and coach with a proven record of leading and developing others to perform at higher levels and improve their overall effectiveness. He has a passion for learning and developing others to improve as leaders. Jonathan brings lessons from over 25 years of experience leading in U.S. Army Infantry, Cavalry, and Armor units in a wide range of assignments, to include leading soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. He is a decorated veteran and a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. Jonathan served as a faculty member at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY before transitioning from the Army in 2015. He is a certified Executive Coach and operates his own leadership coaching business. Check out his website here: http://www.quicksmartsleadership.com



Saturday, April 23, 2016

Leader Character and Self-Regulation


Last week, while I was talking to a colleague, he told me about the experiences he was having with his morning meetings. On a regular basis, he holds morning huddles to ensure the department has a shared understanding of priorities.

He told me that at the beginning of each meeting, he shares a story or short video clip to motivate the team. Typically, the content is sports related. However, the stories and videos do no seem to register with his team members.  At most, one or two were connecting to the message.

This exchange reminded me of the leader character dimensions of courage and judgment as described by Sejits, Gandz, Crossan, and Reno in their article Character matters: Character dimensions’ impact on leader performance and outcomes. Each character dimension is comprised of elements. The elements of the character dimensions can create issues when they are lacking or displayed in excess. I had the insight that he lacked situational awareness (an element of judgment) about why these types of activities were not having the expected impact. I also realized that he was determined (an element of courage) to continue trying this method even though he knew it was not working.






I also thought about a book I read recently, “A Failure of Nerve." The author makes the connection between self-regulation and learning from experiences writing, “.. all organisms that lack self-regulation will be permanently invading the space of their neighbors.” Additionally,  “…organisms that are unable to self-regulate cannot learn from their experience, which is why the unmotivated are invulnerable to insight.”

 It occurred to me he did not have situational awareness because he was not learning from the experiences with his team meeting and he was failing to self-regulate.  His team members were “invulnerable to insight” because of his inability as a leader to self-regulate.

Seeing the opportunity for a quick coaching session, I asked, “Why do you think the team is not getting the message of your videos and stories?”  That led into a great 15-minute coaching conversation that helped him gain situational awareness and learn from the experience. His solution was to continue to use stories and videos, but select different topics.

Having awareness of the impact you have on others is important. Sometimes it helps to talk to a peer or supervisor about obstacles you have encountered. The conversation can lead to a moment of self-discovery with a solution that has a positive impact on your team.


====
Jonathan is an experienced leader and coach with a proven record of leading and developing others to perform at higher levels and improve their overall effectiveness. He has a passion for learning and developing others to improve as leaders. Jonathan brings lessons from over 25 years of experience leading in U.S. Army Infantry, Cavalry, and Armor units in a wide range of assignments, to include leading soldiers in Iraq, Afghanistan, and Korea. He is a decorated veteran and a recipient of the General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award. Jonathan served as a faculty member at the United States Military Academy at West Point, NY before transitioning from the Army in 2015. He is a certified Executive Coach and operates his own leadership coaching business. Check out his website here: http://www.quicksmartsleadership.com


Saturday, December 20, 2014

Finding Innovative Ideas to Develop our Leaders


This  #CCLKOW weekend post continue the Twitter based professional conversation between military leaders in the United States and faculty and students at Kings College in London. This piece is from  Julie Schwetz, a Major in the United States Army currently assigned as faculty to the United States Military Academy. She has an MBA from Harvard Business School and has led soldiers in combat  in support of both Operation Iraqi Freedom and Operation Enduring Freedom. If you’re interested in participating just “tweet” your response with #CCLKOW


 
‘Our No. 1 priority is , and will continue to be, leader development.’
-Gen. Raymond T. Odierno, Chief of Staff of the Army

The leader's responsibility to develop others is firmly stated in the U.S. Army’s ADRP 6-22, Army Leadership. Intuitively, we understand that developing others is a leader’s responsibility; how else can we learn from each other if we don’t do our part to share our experiences? The tried and true method of carving out time in schedules and using standardized presentations to train is a failsafe. But, nothing says snooze more than a cookie-cutter PowerPoint slide deck given by a well-intentioned individual.  As leaders, we must continue to find innovative ways to train and inform our soldiers; we must adopt new techniques and methodologies that resonate with our audience.

The idea of sharing lessons learned and improving techniques and technologies based on others’ operational experiences is nothing new. Innovations, like the wristwatch and personal GPS devices, were a result of the ingenuity of soldiers on the battlefield. What concerns me today is that the leader development message is getting lost in translation. It’s time that we bring our innovative spirit to leader development programs. 


Millennials, those born between 1980 and 2000, consume information more dynamically than previous generations. We use multiple screens at one time. We have shorter engagement spans. We multitask. We are social creatures. We should take advantage of new technologies, like the ubiquitous nature of video archiving, to both communicate and engage with junior leaders. In fact, the CC/PL Team has already curated an on-demand video series that covers a broad range of topics that will shape and guide leader development efforts. These important topics range from building resilient teams to ethical decision-making and leader accountability.

While the idea of integrating this innovation will surely increase engagement, we must not lose sight of the importance of face-to-face discussion. A recent survey conducted by Randstad US, the third-largest HR services and staffing company in the United States, and Millennial Branding, a Gen Y research and consulting firm, suggests that younger generations prefer face-to-face communication with their managers. Luckily, the CC/PL Team has already crafted facilitation sheets to accompany each video in their LPD series. The integration of multimedia into training efforts will surely engage leaders across generations; these LPDs will exceed all your expectations.  Check out this Army magazine article on the LPDs for more information.   

Questions for discussion:

How can we develop and equip leaders to be more innovative in developing leader development programs for their organizations?

How can we develop leaders to become early adopters of new ideas and technologies that can be used to increase junior-leader engagements  instead of being in the late majority?

What are some other examples of innovative leader development programs that increase junior- leader engagement?

 ==========
Jonathan Silk is a Major in the U.S. Army. He has served as a Cavalry Scout platoon leader , and has commanded both a Tank Company and an Infantry Company. He is currently an Assistant Professor and serving as the Operations Officer for the Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning (CALDOL) at the United States Army Military Academy, West Point, NY. He was a recipient of the calendar year 2009 General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.The views expressed in this blog are not representative of US Army or DOD.

Monday, December 1, 2014

Innovation and Creativity: What The Army Can Learn from the Fashion World




This post continues the Twitter-based professional conversation between military leaders in the United States and faculty and students at Kings College in London. If you’re interested in participating just “tweet” your response with #CCLKOW


Much has been written about the Army needing to develop innovative leaders. TRADOC Publication 525-3-1, The US Army Operating Concept, Win in a Complex World states:


“What all Army operations will have in common is a need for innovative and adaptive leaders and cohesive teams that thrive in conditions of complexity and uncertainty.”
We can look to the fashion industry on how to design organizations to be innovative and adaptive. It starts with the leaders. As written about in the HBR article titled “Innovation in Turbulent Times” , the fashion industry, which can be described as fast-paced, places creative people in positions of authority. The successful companies form leadership partnerships between creative thinkers and analytical thinkers because they understand that organizations that don’t innovate quickly will die.  They understand that if creative people aren’t in positions of authority then breakthrough innovation will not happen. However, creative people can’t do it alone, as the article points out, and need analytical thinkers as part of the leadership team in order to be successful in business.


As the HBR article states further “Fashion companies have learned to establish and maintain effective partnerships between creative people and numbers-oriented people. They structure the business so that the partners can run it effectively, and they ensure that each is clear about what decisions are his or hers to make. These companies have also learned to foster right-brain–left-brain collaboration at every level, and so continue to attract the kind of talent on which their survival depends.”
Right-brain people can be summed up as “creative thinkers” and left-brain people as more “analytical thinkers." There is a lot more to it than this, building teams of left brain and right brain thinkers might design our formations to be more creative and innovative when the situation calls for it. As Daniel Pink writes in A Whole New Mind: Why Right-Brainers Will Rule the Future ,"...left-brain analytical thinking which has dominated in the Information Age will witness a shift towards an inclusion of more right-brain thinking in the Creative Age.” How we think individually and collectively is becoming an essential source of competitive advantage.”


Apple, one of the most creative companies in recent years, had a right-brain-left-brain team with Steve Jobs and Tim Cook. What if the Army took a more deliberate approach to designing its units to be more innovative and built teams comprised of right-brained-left-brained thinkers and paired its command teams this way?  



Early on in their enlisted or commissioned careers, leaders can be assessed in Professional Military Education (PME) courses with assessments like the Neethling Brain Instrument (NBI) that measure whole-brain thinking and assess the extent to which a person prefers certain types of thinking or mental processes over others.  Given a choice of left-brain vs. right-brain, as well as high vs. low road types of thinking tasks, there tends to be a correlation between what one prefers doing and those things with which one is skilled at.  People tend to develop skills in the areas they prefer.  The assessment can easily be tracked and could become part of the bigger talent management picture. Starting with Company Commanders and First Sergeants, and working up through Brigade Commands to include Battalion and Brigade staff assignments, the Army can build teams that think more creatively.



If the corporate world can design their leadership teams to be innovative and adaptive in order to thrive in the fast-paced environment of the commercial world, the Army can as well. To fight and win in a complex world we need creative, innovative, and adaptive leadership teams at all levels.

For the record I am a right-brainer.

For the purpose of this discussion: How can the Army better identify leadership teams that possess the education, skills, and thinking preferences to be innovative and adaptive and thrive in complex environments? I have offered my thoughts and look forward to the conversation.

 ======
Jonathan Silk is a Major in the U.S. Army. He has served as a Cavalry Scout platoon leader , and has commanded both a Tank Company and an Infantry Company. He is currently an Assistant Professor and serving as the Operations Officer for the Center for the Advancement of Leader Development and Organizational Learning (CALDOL) at the United States Army Military Academy, West Point, NY. He was a recipient of the calendar year 2009 General Douglas MacArthur Leadership Award.The views expressed in this blog are not representative of US Army or DOD.