Managing in uncertainty for high performance

2 years ago 0 0 778

What is uncertainty? If we listen to the famous Chinese proverb: “May you live in interesting times”, we can see it as both a blessing and a curse. We are certainly living in interesting – if not uncertain – times. With Brexit, the extended time for Australian election to be decided, the rise of Donald Trump, the disagreements in the South China Sea, we can feel that there is uncertainty all around us. These uncertain times drive very specific responses. Often, these responses are not the best possible responses for the individual or the society in which they exist. How do people respond to uncertainty? When people experience uncertainty, it can mean that the person is out of their comfort zone. When there is uncertainty, people struggle to decide on what to do moving forward. They get stuck, and often have a lack of skill or strategy in deciding how

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The fisherman’s tale

2 years ago 0 0 630

There was once a fisherman in a small Mexican coastal town.  A simple man, he would live his life by getting up late, going fishing at about 10, selling his small catch in the market.  He would catch up with his mates to play cards in the cantina in the afternoon, go home for dinner then take his wife out dancing. One day a banker from New York was passing through on his holiday.  He had seen the fisherman live his live for a few days and pulled him aside. “Listen”, he said, “we can do some amazing things”. “We can start by getting you out fishing at 5 am, leveraging your assets to get another 6 boats. We could set up a processing plant at the end of town, pack the fish in ice and sell them for a great price in the US!” The fisherman swirled his tequila

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Analytics: Big data, bad behaviour?

3 years ago 0 0 662

We exist in a world where ‘big data’ drives many decisions about what happens to us, what we are offered, and how we interact. The process of advanced business analytics is welcomed by some, who enjoy everything from customised medicine through to seamless online experiences, whilst others are afraid of what people know about them, and what they can do with this knowledge. Does ‘big data’ mean ‘bad behaviour’? So what is all the fuss about? What are people scared of with data analytics – and should they be? If companies have access to all of our data, does that mean that they can do things which we would consider unacceptable breaches of our privacy or individual identity, or make bad decisions – that is, demonstrate ‘bad behaviour’? What is ‘big data’ anyway? Data analytics is seen in business as a massive driver of competitive advantage. The more you know

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Organising behaviour – learning from Zappos shift to holacracy

3 years ago 0 0 1233

We create structure and process in a business for only one purpose – to organise behaviour so as to create efficient and effective ways of getting things done. With Zappo’s in the news for instituting a ‘holacracy’ model of organisation, it raises some interesting questions about how we can – and should – organise behaviour. How well does it work when you tell someone with depression to “Be Happy”? The paradox implied in the instruction “Be spontaneous” should be clear – how is spontaneity spontaneous if you have ordered it? This has never been better demonstrated in the corporate world than is currently happening at Zappos: “You will become a holacracy”! Forcing the organisation to become self-organising has an ironic paradox buried at its heart. However, as the organisation pursues this idealised structure, it will provide a fascinating case study over time. With it reported that one in seven employees

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Are you a ‘self-centred’ or a ‘selfish’ leader?

3 years ago 0 0 955

Instead of asking ‘how do I become a great leader’, sometimes it is useful, and extremely powerful, to step back and ask ‘why is it important to me?’ Being a purpose-driven leader provides such a powerful framework for becoming (and remaining) a great leader.  Without a true purpose, leadership becomes a material thing, just a title or a comparative score which sets the leader up for failure, burnout, or both.  Leaders without a quality purpose are difficult for others to follow. I see significant numbers of senior executives in coaching interactions with depression and anxiety running beneath the facade of their leadership bravado, because rather than being driven by a clear purpose which motivates them and pulls them forward, they are driven by fear of failure, or they simply don’t know what they really want in their lives.  By helping them discover and define their purpose, their whole leadership approach

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