Commissioning Work For Compelling Results

How often are you asked to do something and then your manager either significantly reworks it, or asks you to? How often are you presented with work you have commissioned which doesn’t hit the mark and has to be reworked? How often do you or your team work after hours to finalise urgent papers? How much time is wasted with this reworking? hese concerns are familiar to some of my clients. They know delegating and commissioning work is not a...

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Bureaucracy And Innovation: Poles Apart or Partners for Life?

It was early in our final Friday in New York when we realised my partner, David, had lost his passport. We were flying out that afternoon so the search was on. Retracing our steps, I phoned the restaurant of our previous evening’s dinner. The staffer said, “Lost and found is handled by our Chicago office. I’ll put you through” I said, “I don’t want to talk to your Chicago office. I want to know if the passport was found last night....

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Free, frank and fearless

Providing advice to others is a professional privilege. The best advisors I know give free, frank, and fearless advice. They share their expertise and they add value. They relate to the results being sought. They use expressions like, ‘doing xyz is the wrong strategy.’ ‘Doing abc will take you in the wrong direction.’ ‘If you do this…you’ll discover most people won’t want that’. These advisors let you know the implications of different options. These advisors are not likely to tell...

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From silos to collaboration

 How do leaders shift from silos to collaboration? What does that look like? What are the main levers? Why would you want to do this anyway? I’m often asked to help teams shift from operating in their distinctive business groups to being a collaborative team. Some of the underlying signals for silos are:    Everyone takes their problems to the leader, and the leader becomes mired in the detailsWork  doubles up as teams replicate services they can’t access within the...

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What causes emotional turmoil in organisations?

When leaders make decisions that cut across your values, you are likely to have reactive emotional responses; anger,disbelief, disappointment, sorrow, outrage. If you value social unity, inclusion, and transparency and a leader’s actions generate divisiveness, exclusion and the thinking behind their decisions appears absent, you are likely to react with the flight, fight or freeze response. When this occurs, curiosity and engagement are lost. A division between you and the leader is created. When this occurs, being critical is easy....

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Candour And Organisational Culture

Being direct, challenging others, and saying what you think is only part of the equation. How you do this is another aspect. I want to focus on the specific area of candour in leadership teams. My view is candor amongst leaders is the litmus test in discerning transparency, openness, and collaboration in an organisation’s culture.  What is candour? Candour constitutes the capacity to speak up collegiality, plainly, respectfully and relevantly. It is being able to express your original thinking within...

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Leadership teams shaping organisation culture

What is organisation culture? And what is the role of leadership teams in influencing culture?  I am often asked about organisation culture and what leadership teams can do to establish the culture they want in their organisation. Google tosses up more than a million articles on organisation culture in less than a second. So you may understand my trepidation as I add one more. The definition that makes sense to me, is ‘the way we do things around here’….in other words,...

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Creating Trust – A Risky Business

Effective leaders are trusted. Being trusted gives you influence with your peers, managers and staff. It also makes you someone who is listened to, who others turn to, and it enables you to have the tough conversations and push back when you need to. But trust is a two-way thing. Trusting takes courage and wisdom to create the relationships that will support you as an effective leader. What Is Trust? Trust is generated at an emotional level. A relationship is...

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First impressions

I am back from three weeks in Italy. Half of this time was in Rome and the other half in Tuscany. Being on holiday is a chance to walk out of my everyday life and have completely new experiences alongside some familiar ones. Taking time out from my own life enables me to reflect and refresh, and to see things from other perspectives. Four impressions have stood out in this holiday. Firstly, every cup of coffee I had in Rome...

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