image

The importance of flexible leadership

Aug 25th

In times of uncertainty, people look towards their leaders more than ever before and need reassurance that their leaders are taking the organisation in the right direction. So it is crucial in these times that leaders take a step back and consider the impact that they are having on the organisation through their leadership style.

Leaders often assume that leadership style is a product of their personality, rather than a choice they make. A recent Harvard Business Review article by Daniel Goleman, entitled Leadership That Gets Results, suggests that the most effective executives use a variety of different leadership styles, switching

READ MORE

This article is filed under: leadership

image

Putting priority on communication

Aug 11th

We’ve always known that communication is a core skill for a successful leader. It’s hardly surprising that this core skill is being severely tested in our more testing market environment. More surprisingly, it’s the skill where leaders still lack confidence and find it hard to work out both what to do and how to do it. As one senior HR director said to me recently: ‘Don’t assume that leaders know how to handle difficult news’.

In times of rapid change, people are searching daily for clues about the state of the business and will look for it by magnifying every bit

READ MORE

This article is filed under: communication, leadership

image

Staying connected in stressful times

Jul 30th

Many people are familiar with the Myers Briggs Type Indicator test for whether you draw your energy from within yourself (in Jung’s term, Introversion), or from people and outside things (Extroversion). 

What may be less widely known are the ways that personality types shape responses to stress. When the share price is tumbling, the groups of employees seeking refuge in the pub are likely to be E types; the I types may become withdrawn and stop connecting with others. Neither response positively contributes to leading the business through tough times.

 So how to find the constructive middle way, whatever your natural inclination?

Walking

READ MORE

This article is filed under:

Time to get your strategy right

Jul 21st

In today’s edition of the FT, management columnist Stefan Stern, writes that “business leaders ought to recognise, as they catch their breath after months of turbulence, that the strategy they were pursuing until recently is unlikely to be right for today. .. Leaders need to develop sensitivity to the mood of the organisation if they want to avoid the unpleasant surprise of being confronted by colleagues who refuse to follow the script.”

As we know, organisational identity offers a point of stability when everything else is changing.

Stefan goes on to say “in a battle between culture and strategy, culture usually wins. So

READ MORE

This article is filed under: leadership, organisational identity, strategy process

Giving a damn actually matters

Jul 08th

It never ceases to strike me how much the successful leaders we speak to care deeply, not only about achieving delivery and results, but also about their people and what their organisations are really trying to achieve. This is often in the face of the multiple challenges and risks that leadership brings, now in these challenging times more than ever.

These successful leaders manage to marry caring deeply with having a clear line of sight to the desired outcomes and the real purpose of their organisation. They know exactly what the goals are and keep them firmly in mind and, importantly,

READ MORE

This article is filed under: communication, , leadership

image

A clutch of awards!

Jun 26th

We always choose to work in ‘blended teams’ with our clients, building the ownership and skills for ongoing work to transform performance, and helping to boost energy and commitment.

So we are especially delighted at the recent success of our client, Birmingham City Council, the largest local authority in Europe. BCC has just been garlanded with no less than four awards for its BEST programme, which was designed, developed and piloted with Stanton Marris.

BEST is an innovative and ambitious employee engagement programme designed to create a culture of innovation. Its success has been recognised in the past two weeks by four

READ MORE

This article is filed under:

image

Bringing strategy evolution alive

Jun 05th

We’ve just had the first opportunity to discuss the findings of our research with a group of clients. A lively and enjoyable discussion over breakfast reminded us of the power of thinking together.

Testing the key themes in the report against the challenges facing our clients in their businesses today, it was exciting to see a consensus emerge that brings together the four themes in a compelling story. One that’s not only relevant to the current challenging market conditions but also, as someone said, a model for the next five to ten years.  

We summarise it as follows:

The old model for organisations

READ MORE

This article is filed under: leadership, organisational identity, organisational risk, strategy process

image

The vital ingredient in communication

May 20th

I found myself wondering why the personal letters sent by the Prime Minster to those affected by the recent smear scandal landed so badly.  Much of what he did was right. He used a very personal channel (handwritten letters) to communicate his messages.  He acted swiftly. The letters were short and clear.  He showed that he had taken action.  So what was missing?

In delivering ‘high concern’ messages, it is vital to start off with a demonstration of empathy.  This doesn’t mean an apology necessarily. Rather it means putting yourself in the recipient’s shoes and acknowledging their emotions.

So, one extra sentence

READ MORE

This article is filed under: communication, leadership