Mind the gap.

Each year the number of people who go to university and obtain degrees grows – but studies show that those increasing numbers of graduates are struggling to find work. Is there a gap between education and necessary experience? A recent government report showed that – once again – graduates are struggling to find skilled employment … Continue reading “Mind the gap.”

Women in Leadership: Is the female of the species more human than the male?

[fusion_text] Are women in leadership really as different as we’re led to believe? In recent years, we’ve begun to see an increase – some might say a long overdue increase – in women entering the top positions, bringing with them a new approach to leadership and managing complex business situations in a world that’s currently … Continue reading “Women in Leadership: Is the female of the species more human than the male?”

Five ways to reduce stress in your business

According to statistics released by HSE, in 2015/16, stress accounted for 37% of all work related ill health cases and 45% of all working days lost due to ill health. Stress in the workplace is a real threat to businesses, and a real concern for all business leaders. What can you do to support your … Continue reading “Five ways to reduce stress in your business”

Flexible working – the good and the bad

[fusion_text] When we ask what people desire in their careers there can be a long list of things they name – but one word that crops up time and time again is flexibility. But when that can be interpreted so many different ways – and by so many different people who influence your career – … Continue reading “Flexible working – the good and the bad”

The Neurology of Professional Performance

[This post is a synopsis of a longer article, published in Strategic HR Review, Volume 15, Issue 4, and available for purchase and download online] The challenges of today’s world make leadership approaches rooted in fixed, rigid positions not just counterproductive, but likely to lead to organisational failure: leadership must now be more adaptive and … Continue reading “The Neurology of Professional Performance”

Fools’ Gold and Human Materials Science

Organisational life isn’t a chemistry set to play with, enjoying the sparks, explosions and the colourful smoke. Physical Sciences saw alchemy evolve into chemistry and materials science. For HR, alchemy also needs to evolve: talent management If the 21st century is a time for innovation, isn’t the time ripe to invent a new discipline: Human Materials Science?

Organisational life isn’t a chemistry set to play with, enjoying the sparks, explosions and the colourful smoke. Physical Sciences saw alchemy evolve into chemistry and materials science. For HR, alchemy also needs to evolve: talent management If the 21st century is a time for innovation, isn’t the time ripe to invent a new discipline: Human Materials Science?

Diversity: populating the tent

Promoting other people in your own image not only says something about your preferences, it says something – and not something particularly healthy – about your own self-image. Leadership depends not just on developing self-awareness, but on maintaining it – staying aware of your impact, of the impression you create, and your relationship to the changing world around you. (If you want a truly ghastly analogy here, consider the scene in Behind the Candelabra where Liberace produces a photograph of himself as guidance for the plastic surgeon hired to ‘re-model’ his partner. If you want to be adored, try being adorable. It’s cheaper and it leaves fewer scars – on everyone – although it does mean finding out what other people find attractive.)

Promoting other people in your own image not only says something about your preferences, it says something – and not something particularly healthy – about your own self-image. Leadership depends not just on developing self-awareness, but on maintaining it – staying aware of your impact, of the impression you create, and your relationship to the changing world around you. (If you want a truly ghastly analogy here, consider the scene in Behind the Candelabra where Liberace produces a photograph of himself as guidance for the plastic surgeon hired to ‘re-model’ his partner. If you want to be adored, try being adorable. It’s cheaper and it leaves fewer scars – on everyone – although it does mean finding out what other people find attractive.)

Challenge or Competition? Taking issue with Gavin Kilduff

By its very nature, the whole concept of ‘fierce rivals’ implies an absence of loyalty, other than to the notion of defeating your opponent at any cost. Having constant competition (albeit that it is not quite synonymous with rivalry) could foster greater in-group cohesion if the group has collectively bought into the notion that they are competing intentionally and that a collective benefit can be gained (ie they relish the competition). The critical difference is of intention.

By its very nature, the whole concept of ‘fierce rivals’ implies an absence of loyalty, other than to the notion of defeating your opponent at any cost. Having constant competition (albeit that it is not quite synonymous with rivalry) could foster greater in-group cohesion if the group has collectively bought into the notion that they are competing intentionally and that a collective benefit can be gained (ie they relish the competition). The critical difference is of intention.

Jumping the duck: the merits of involvement

Part of me can’t help wanting to have the audacity to re-write Gandhi. Surely the management/leadership mantra should be “Let them be part of the change that you want to see”? If engaged employees are more committed to behavioural change and the benefits that it promises to bring, taking steps – through finding ways of actively involving them – to enhance their engagement is surely a positive way forward.

Part of me can’t help wanting to have the audacity to re-write Gandhi. Surely the management/leadership mantra should be “Let them be part of the change that you want to see”? If engaged employees are more committed to behavioural change and the benefits that it promises to bring, taking steps – through finding ways of actively involving them – to enhance their engagement is surely a positive way forward.