The Glaring Gap In Business Continuity Planning

The stark gap revealed with working remotely and physical distancing shows leaders need to be sociologists. The depletion of person social interactions has the effect of shutting down people’s productivity and creativity. Shortly after Rutherford split the atom, Jacob Moreno discovered the social atom– the smallest number of people every person needs to order to keep learning and thrive. We are seeing this right now in our workplaces and society. Being physically confined, many people experience their social atom being...

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The Secrets To Working Remotely

In these next few months, you are likely to experience working remotely for those of you who can. As a solo consultant for over 25 years, here are some tips and tools that work for me, and help to keep me motivated and productive. Being socially and professionally connected remains the same as everyday times. Here are some things that make working from home a great experience: Use your commute time to listen to music, read, or have family discussions...

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Don’t Make Being Late For Meetings Painful For Everyone

Are you ever late for meetings? Including for your own meetings? If others value punctuality, and I do too, the behaviour of the person who is late, and the meeting chair both greatly influence the success of the meeting. There is a lot that can go wrong when people come late, especially if they are the meeting leader. These four simple approaches go a long way to ensure the meeting remains productive: 1. Don’t apologise. Apologies only work if you are...

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Holidays And Travel Bring Fresh Insights To Life

Being a business owner, I diary my holidays as I plan my year. I discovered that if I didn’t, work would easily swamp my time. Recently I traveled to Venice, Sicily, and then Nice. I am a photographer and gorgeous vignettes are abundant, yet it was the delightful and helpful everyday transactions with the people that made the stay memorable. Several experiences stand out as signs of progress. We have travelled in brand-new planes, trains and buses and landed in...

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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 you what you want to...

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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 details Work 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...

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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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