Managing in uncertainty for ‘high performance’.

Experimenting in innovation

3 years ago 0 0 611

Summary: Innovation is critical to sustained success and experimentation is key to this process Experimentation requires resources, capability and capacity to execute Innovation and change is hard, and what you can do about it What you can do next to help you get unstuck Why innovate? Darwin said it best “Its not the strongest or smartest that survive, it is those most able to adapt”.  When the only constant is change, then the ability to adapt is critical to getting unstuck and adapting to the next ‘normal’. Whether it is as an individual or as a business, we all get stuck in our current status quos and it takes effort to shift to better ways of doing things that make us more successful – even if that is just being able to cope. This process of adapting and getting unstuck requires that we do something differently – we have to

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Running the Hamster Wheel – to disruption

3 years ago 0 0 589

Are you stuck in the hamster wheel- working in the problem rather than on it?   have been presenting to and talking with a lot of senior executives since we have come out of COVID lockdown, and a common theme (which extends to many CEOs I speak to in other settings) is that they are stuck in the ‘Hamster Wheel’ of their business. That is, they have been drawn into working so deeply in the business as they try to navigate the current environment, they have no capacity to focus on much else. The upside of this is that there may be a need for ‘all hands on deck’ to get through and stabilise the business, or in other cases to really take advantage of immediate opportunities. The downside is that no one waits for you to get better, and the ability to work ON your business is diminished as you

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Is your success good enough to last?

3 years ago 0 0 604

Summary: Being successful does not guarantee future success. Human biases impact how we research business success Success can breed ‘expectation’, rather than encouraging staying attuned to your customer Change happens, how are you going to adapt to stay relevant, valuable and fit to serve your customers at their new normal? Research in the 20th century focused on what makes a successful company ‘great’?  Business luminaries like Tom Peters and Jim Collins became ‘gurus’ of the business world by applying research to this exact question. The belief was that the things that make a great company can be distilled from examples of companies that have been successful. This led to a range of ‘business principles’ (like the hedgehog concept from Jim Collins) that became the fads of the late twentieth century management ethos. Years after the initial publications of these works, there was almost a sense of ‘glee’ from parts of

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Don’t waste your change efforts!

3 years ago 0 0 459

Any change requires effort Too much change often leads to change fatigue To drive meaningful and lasting change, efforts around learning and acting both have to occur Ensure that both ‘efforts’ are included to avoid wasted (and failed) change efforts   Personal or corporate change is always seen as ‘hard’.  It doesn’t have to be difficult, but it always will require effort to break out of the current status quo, experiment with new behaviours, and then practice them consistently to make them the new norm. When we go through rapid change, these efforts can be taxing.  Change fatigue often happens when the pace of change is too great and people don’t have the bandwidth or resources to invest the efforts into change processes. Deciding which changes that you face are important and necessary can be a great way to bring your focus and effort on the changes that you want

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Deciding to be a better decision maker

3 years ago 0 0 578

  Summary: Make better decisions by understanding them. What makes a good decision?  When is effortful decision making warranted? Know the problems in decision making that emerge from assumptions and predictions When you have an important or novel decision to make, employ these simple tips to make better decisions.   Are you struggling to make a good decision? Do you have trouble committing to a decision, or selecting from a range of options? You are not alone – Decision making is something we do in every context of our lives, with the potential for life-changing outcomes. Yet what do we really know about how and why we make decisions, and how can we make them more efficiently and effectively? What are the features of a high-quality decision? A decision is about making a choice following some consideration – that is, evaluating and choosing what to do then acting accordingly. Any

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Back to office or back to the future?

3 years ago 0 0 696

Summary: Return to workplace scenarios following COVID are loaded with challenges. Staff have new expectations, experiences and capabilities after being forced to work from home over the past 12 months A leader would benefit from taking a considered approach to getting staff back to the office, and use the opportunity to redefine the way work is performed. Opportunities also exist to build culture, enhance relationships and deepen staff commitment by doing it right. In Australia, we have done an outstanding job of suppressing the Coronavirus, allowing us to contemplate shifting to a post-pandemic footing. One of the big questions that is challenging businesses and business leaders is that of getting the staff back to the office after mandatory work-from-home scenarios. What should a leader consider as they make this assessment for their business?  Should back to the office be simply a return to the past, or should something more valuable

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Are you insane in your approach to success?

3 years ago 0 0 964

I once sat in a training seminar where they ‘challenged’ the group with a (pretend) statistic: “Less than 10 percent of you will implement this fully, and less than 5% will be successful”.  They were obviously trying some reverse motivation – but without realising it, they were clearly identifying the biggest issue with what they were doing.  They were asking their ‘students’ to be insane in their approach to success. The definition of insanity: Einstein has been credited with saying ‘The definition of insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting a different result”. How does this apply to people and organisations trying to generate sustained success? The answer is simple: you are insane if you think doing what someone else has done will make you successful. It doesn’t seem to make sense – it is insane to do keep doing the same things and expect different

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The simple success formula

3 years ago 0 0 633

In business, we are often looking for the perfect answer to our problems.  The answer to our complex problem should be ‘simple’ – but is it really? The idea of a simple answer to uncertainty and complexity drives so much of the coaching and consulting industries, because: People want simple answers to complex problems People buy certainty to escape uncertainty, and simple appears more certain than complex. A critical question arises, however: If the answer was simple, wouldn’t you have already discovered it and implemented it? When we consider the nature of business, it is impossible to think of every business as the same.  Each business has unique attributes and histories, including cultures, strategies and purposes.  There are different capabilities, skills and processes. There are different capacities to operate and to adapt. So how do we help such businesses? We can look at ‘models’ – frameworks that generally apply to

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Phil Owens Bio Photo

A Confession

3 years ago 0 0 532

I have a confession for you. I’m ordinary. Completely and utterly ordinary. Bog standard, in fact. This is not what you are probably used to seeing, in a world where everyone needs to ‘win’, be the best, and stand out from the crowd. Just go on social media. On LinkedIn, there is not one ordinary person. On Facebook, lives are curated in ways to highlight how extraordinary their owners are. When you are trying to be extraordinary – as we have all been indoctrinated to do – then this can create social envy, FOMO and comparison bias. Not for me, because I’m ordinary. Let them be as extraordinary as they want, let them work so hard to be more extraordinary than each other. I will just be plain old me. I’m not unhappy about realising that I am ordinary. In fact, it gives me joy. I know that no matter

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