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The dangers of losing your sense of direction

Jun 15th

As we witness David Cameron’s latest ‘flip flops’ on key policy areas of health and social care and crime last week, and hear Rowan Williams’ strong comments about the impact of having no clear leadership direction and underpinning values in the current Coalition government, a striking image sprang to mind . Try Googling the words ‘confused picture’ and it’s one of the top four images that pop up. It’s a signpost with the words ‘Confused, Lost, Perplexed, Disoriented, Unsure and Bewildered’ on its posts – all pointing in different directions. It was used recently by several different employees in a

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This article is filed under: communication, leadership, values

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4 steps from blame to learning

May 18th

A strong learning culture is increasingly important to all organisations. If something changes, (think iPad) or something goes wrong (think BP), adapting is what helps organisations survive.

So how do you turn mistakes or ideas into real organisational learning?

Understand your current culture: Leaders may think they are encouraging learning, but get a group of individuals in a room, from different levels, and ask them how it really is. Good questions might be: “What do you do if you have a good idea?”, “What stops you reporting things that go wrong?” “What usually happens when you suggest something to your manager?”
Communicate with

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This article is filed under: organisational culture

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Virginia Merritt on SimplyTV

May 06th

A video round-up of the latest information, views and news from the world of internal Communications, from Simply TV.

The May edition features our very own Virginia Merritt interviewed on our recent work with a highly-publicised global safety campaign.  Just click here to view (and select the slide index tab to jump straight to Virginia’s interview).

This video also features:

Aldo Liguori, Communications Advisor to Sony Ericsson, discussing crisis communication in the aftermath of the recent earthquake in Japan;
VMA Group’s Charlotte Butler in an exclusive interview on industry trends found in the recruiting firm’s soon-to-be-published 2011 Professional Development in Internal Communication survey; and
Chicago-based consultant and seminar leader, Jim

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This article is filed under: communication, organisational culture, safety

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Keeping things simple

Apr 22nd

I’m renewing my campaign on keeping things simple.  It’s long been one of our hallmarks as consultants to help our clients make complex things simple.  Perhaps it’s in the nature of management to proliferate frameworks and systems and measurement.  It sometimes takes an outside view to help organisations back to the essence.

Adrian Furnham, Professor of Psychology at University College London, wrote recently in The Sunday Times of the perverse consequences of performance management systems.  They’re meant to systematise how things are done and to encourage the less good performers to do better.  Instead, with their complex rules and targets and

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This article is filed under: leadership development, organisational culture

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Practical steps to happiness

Apr 13th

ABCD (resist the urge to hum along with the Jackson Five) is a well established framework and tool that comes out of positive psychology – it can be used to build optimism, positivity and resilience. As a manager coaching people through tough and uncertain times it’s worth remembering the ABCD of how to get people to think more positively – you can apply it in individual conversations and in a team discussion.

Adversity – we encounter it and react to it
Belief – our reactions create and are conditioned by a set of beliefs
Consequences – the beliefs are the cause of what

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This article is filed under: Change, communication

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If you haven’t read this yet, you should

Apr 06th

How often do you read a business book and come away completely satisfied? Like a perfect five course meal with three wines.  In this case my metaphorical five course meal was in a restaurant that has been open since 1981 and I’ve never visited, so all the more surprise that it catered perfectly to my tastes which are not, as you may know, entirely mainstream…Enough of the analogy – I have just been through “Gary Yukl’s Leadership in Organizations (7th ed)”  published by Pearson.

Yukl has been researching and writing on leadership for 40 years and this textbook for business

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This article is filed under: leadership, organisational performance

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25% women on Boards by 2015

Mar 24th

The findings of the Lord Davies Review, published recently, with its recommendations on how to increase the number of women on the boards of listed companies in the UK establishes the following as key development needs:
1. Companies should treat women’s leadership as a dynamic and strategic opportunity rather than an equal opportunities issue.
2. Companies should consider raising their board’s and their nominating committee’s understanding of and ability to address unconscious bias.
3. Board placement researchers and interviewers should understand and adopt processes to eliminate unconscious bias.
4. Boards should provide senior women with influential board or executive level mentors either from within the organisation or

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This article is filed under: Boards, culture change, leadership development

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7 ways to bring meaningful engagement to your business

Mar 16th

It’s a big ask. Chief executives are suddenly recognising that ‘effective engagement of our employees’ is the key to increased productivity, to profitability, to the successful implementation of strategy, the retention of key talent and thus the key to competitive advantage. They instinctively know it’s important to ensure employees want to follow through on delivering the strategic intent, yet there is much confusion about what it is, how you create it, whose job it is to make it happen and how you measure it.

In reality it’s about getting people involved and inspired about something important and then contracting with each

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