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Posts by: Elaine Wilson

Us, them and the others: changing paradigms

Most of our current thinking comes from the USA. But where will it come from in the future? What new models and approaches will we need to develop to adapt to these changes? How far will many of our paradigms have to shift, and how clearly will we know where they’re heading? One thing’s for certain: the future’s not what it used to be.

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Shamelessly Humanistic – Getting OD right in practice

Back in February 2009, Linda Holbeche, CIPD Director of Research and Policy and Mee-Yan Cheung-Judge, a leading thinker on organisational change, co-authored an article in Impact, CIPD's quarterly update on research and policy activities, called Organisational development – what’s in a name? (click here to download a copy as a PDF). As OD consultants and advisers, we hope that the article has had ‘impact’ as well as simply appearing in a magazine with that title, as we share the authors’ concerns that OD is neither well understood nor as widely practised as it might be. Like them, we would very strongly argue that OD has a major contribution to make in the present business climate as a means of breaking out ‘vicious cycles of wastefulness and short-termism’. The years running up to ‘the crisis’ – a more multi-headed beast than a mere ‘credit crunch’, hence perhaps the lack of a widely accepted single term for our times – can be seen as one in which relatively easy living blind-sided organisations to a need to think differently or over longer timeframes. As the authors say: … periods of strong growth can often mask the need to do anything different and breed complacency.” Yet those are not current circumstances for most organisations: making hay while the sun shines is ok only as long as organisations, when colder winds blow, are happy to keep their heads down on hay bales when they could have been working towards pillows.

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Surviving the cuts: a change management model

Ironically, given the apparent insistence of the Chancellor that there is ‘no plan B’ (which seems remarkable unless the power to fix all prevailing circumstances until 2015 is magically concealed up his sleeve), it is a change management model that is built on the principle that Plan A is the framework that enables Plan B – F inclusive to come into being that is most likely to assist public sector managers in refocusing and equipping their organisations for the months to come.

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The loneliness of the long-distance manager

It is, they say, lonely at the top. But there are many of us who have yet to have the opportunity to weigh up how much the view comes as compensation: in the meantime, many people still busily scaling the workplace ladder are finding it pretty damned lonely on the second or third rung down too. The working space immediately above a local workforce and just below a remote or virtual boss with whom there is precious little time or opportunity for direct contact comes not just with great responsibility, but a high incidence of personal isolation that it all too often falls to the isolated manager to tackle.

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So what actually is an Employment Value Proposition?

An EVP defines what an employee receives from the organisation they work for in return for the effort and performance the employee gives. In a nutshell, the EVP is the “what’s in it for me?” as far as the employee is concerned. Metaphorically, it’s a carrot. Or, more optimistically, a bunch of carrots. But remember, an EVP is a promise: the point about promises is to keep them.

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Development priorities for the next 12 months – online poll

At ASK, we are interested in helping organisations to increase the success of their management and leadership interventions - and in enabling our clients to make the business case for continuing with leadership development even in this difficult economic climate. Tell us where you are going to prioritise your resources in the next 12-18 months and we'll publish the results here in a further posting.

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