Learning at work week

This week (May 13th to 19th 2019, if you’re reading this in the future) is Learning at Work Week – the topic this time being ‘shaping the future’…

This week (May 13th to 19th 2019, if you’re reading this in the future) is Learning at Work Week – the topic this time being ‘shaping the future’…

Have you reached a professional plateau?

As young, inexperienced dreamers entering the big wide world of employment, we all entertained grand ideas, passions, and fantasies of enormous success, fame or acclaim. We have finished our schooling, perhaps further education, we’ve answered all the ‘what career to follow’ questionnaires and picked a direction, setting out in the safe knowledge that we will … Continue reading “Have you reached a professional plateau?”

To succeed as a manager you need to encourage failure

When Shizuka Arakawa won the figure skating gold medal in the 2006 Olympic Games, her error free performance marked an achievement beyond the purely personal. The second oldest women to win a figure skating gold medal, she was also the first Asian women to do so. And she quite literally put something behind her on … Continue reading “To succeed as a manager you need to encourage failure”

What We Talk About When We Talk About Creative Environments

Our professional environment is changing from one with an algorithmic task-based focus to one that both requires and values agile and heuristic thinking: innovative market disruption is driving the need for a more creative mindset from employees. The challenge for organisations, and for their leaders and managers, is how to create and maintain workplace environments … Continue reading “What We Talk About When We Talk About Creative Environments”

Too late for a 2014 Resolution?

So what will put the ‘New’ into ‘New Year’? And what might stop that happening, leaving us living through “2013 – The Sequel”? The first barrier is probably risk: creativity and innovation isn’t a guarantee of success, even if an absence of them might speed up the process of failure. In an environment where resources remain tight, and may continue to do so, a reduced appetite for risk is understandable. But risk is fundamental to success: ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ may be a cliché but it’s also a truism, and risk is one of the major food groups in any organisation’s diet.

So what will put the ‘New’ into ‘New Year’? And what might stop that happening, leaving us living through “2013 – The Sequel”? The first barrier is probably risk: creativity and innovation isn’t a guarantee of success, even if an absence of them might speed up the process of failure. In an environment where resources remain tight, and may continue to do so, a reduced appetite for risk is understandable. But risk is fundamental to success: ‘nothing ventured, nothing gained’ may be a cliché but it’s also a truism, and risk is one of the major food groups in any organisation’s diet.

Mental and Physical Rooms: removing obstacles for your creatives

Where and how we work are closely related to each other, and impact similarly closely on our outputs. Job design – how the content and structure of what we do during the day optimise opportunities, play to and extend our strengths or avoid problems further down the line – is often a topic of HR and L&D debate. Yet the environments in which these jobs play out are often given less attention: the design of ‘the workplace’ – one of the most over-used words of our time? – is often seen as having moved from being an issue that either still belongs in the estates and facilities remit, or which is now influenced by an idea of branding: office design as visual branding.

Where and how we work are closely related to each other, and impact similarly closely on our outputs. Job design – how the content and structure of what we do during the day optimise opportunities, play to and extend our strengths or avoid problems further down the line – is often a topic of HR and L&D debate. Yet the environments in which these jobs play out are often given less attention: the design of ‘the workplace’ – one of the most over-used words of our time? – is often seen as having moved from being an issue that either still belongs in the estates and facilities remit, or which is now influenced by an idea of branding: office design as visual branding.

Process: Safety blanket or wet blanket?

There are a fair few tropes that remain perpetual battlegrounds in the world of L&D, HR and OD: profits vs people as an over-riding focus and talent’s opposing ‘nature’ vs. ‘nurture’ battalions spring immediately to mind. One of the more abstract of these perennial topics is the divide between process and creativity – or perhaps … Continue reading “Process: Safety blanket or wet blanket?”