Reality testing an organisaion design

Mar 14th

How to judge an organisation design: Part 2
“I can see what you are trying to achieve with the organisation design.  I’ve got some questions to kick the tires on it a bit harder. Can we find time to talk?”

You probably knew that ‘organisation’ as a relatively modern word first meant the structure of a living being, a whole with interdependent parts. But did you know that ‘organisation’, ‘energy’, ‘work’ all come from the same root concept, over 4000 years ago, meaning ‘work’, ‘to do’, ‘be effective’? The organic metaphor for organisation

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What does organisation design set out to achieve?

Mar 01st

How to judge an organisation design: Part 1

“Welcome to the team. I’d appreciate your views on something straight away. Can you look over this org design? I’ve been thinking about if for some months. Let me know what you think and let’s talk about the questions you have. I’d like to take this to the management team in a couple of weeks”

Your boss/key internal client, accountable for an area of several hundred employees gives you a deck for an org design. Maybe it has introductory slides, an organisation design logic, a

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The leadership balancing act

Oct 18th

A client asked me recently if I know any firms with high scores on leadership in their employee opinion survey. Their own leadership scores are stubbornly low and the Chief Executive was concerned.

I’m working with two firms that have recently moved the dial. They’ve done it through a strong and sustained focus on the importance of leadership across the business, active involvement by the Chief Executive and the top team themselves, and investment and effort in the leadership of the next tier.

Another firm is just starting to tackle the leadership behaviour required for the success of an

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The human side of governance

Sep 29th

A lot of my work is involved with governance at the moment.   I’m advising a start up charity on their governance arrangements, I’m chairing a review of the governance of a financial services company,  and I’m now chair of the Trustee Board of a charity (the Shakespeare Schools Festival –  plug: come to our performances which see students from all sorts of backgrounds, many of them underprivileged, rise to the challenge of performing an abridged Shakespeare play in a professional theatre).

Three big questions come to me in all these areas.

First, how do we put the formal governance arrangements in place

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Leaning into the future

Sep 22nd

I’m participating in my first MOOC run by MIT on Transforming Business, Society and Self and one of the interesting questions was why do we have ( or practice) leadership that collectively produces results that no one wants?

This applies as much to businesses and organizations as it does to society. So why do the results we get rarely match our visions and intentions? I’m hoping the collective wisdom of the MIT faculty and the 35,000 participants in the MOOC will give me some answers to try with clients. But in the meantime I wonder if it is to do with

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Leading in difficult times

Oct 24th

Everyone knows good leadership is more important than ever in difficult times. But what does it mean in practice?

How leaders behave is highly visible to the organisation, in ways they often don’t realise themselves, and has been shown to be by far the strongest influence on how employees behave.

What are leaders in Tesco doing while media headlines analyse its collapse? Chief executive Dave Lewis has resisted the standard new CEO default of unveiling a ‘magic bullet’ strategy. Instead, he’s selling off the company’s four corporate jets and travels by train instead of limo, saying, “There’s an opportunity to go back

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Old-fashioned leadership?

Aug 20th

 
A well-respected client has been moved temporarily into a COO role in a complex organisation.
I asked him how he was going to handle the new and wider range of accountabilities.
 
“Old- fashioned leadership, that’s what we need”, he said.

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A moral compass on the dashboard

Jul 16th

 

by Andrew Jackson

Integrity is an essential quality of any good leader. The banking crisis brought to the foreground the importance of the right culture and acting with principle. One international investment bank leader kick-started culture change by telling all its employees he regretted profitable decisions made in the past that were not in the clients’ best interests, whatever the prize at the time.

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