Is it time to fight your biggest enemies?

Is it time to fight your biggest enemies?

2 weeks ago 0 0 60

Sometimes they feel like your closest friends. They seem to want to keep you safe, keep you comfortable. But these two ‘false friends’ are your worst enemies if you want to succeed in business or in life. These old friends are fear and habit. They are insidious. They don’t walk around bold as brass. Most often they hide themselves away and ‘whisper’ into your ear. They sprinkle just enough of their magic on what you do to keep you stuck, keep you scared and keep you small. Have you ever sat in a meeting where someone says “yes, but we don’t do it that way!”. Or someone might find a way to get their point across with something like “But what if we don’t do it!” These are simply versions of your false friends speaking up to keep you stuck. There is some sort of comfort in not changing, not

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Frictionless business.

3 weeks ago 0 0 71

Friction is a force that acts against forward movement. It creates noise, it creates heat, it transforms the kinetic energy of forward motion into something else. Friction is something that takes energy and effort to overcome, and when an object is at rest, can add to the inertia to make it harder to get things moving. It seems like this is just physics, but it is also the underlying problem of so many businesses. Without even realising it they are adding friction to their business processes and slowing down performance. Friction that is converting positive energy into unwanted byproducts, and requiring massive amounts of additional effort to be put in by customers and staff to overcome the inertia that this friction generates. Simply put, a customer experiences ‘friction’ every time the process of doing business with you is slowed or impeded by your rules, habits or inefficiencies. Or a staff

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‘Trance formation’ for brilliant transformation

3 years ago 0 0 858

When we talk about change, we seek transformation to something better. What if, to borrow from the world of hypnosis, that the transformation was really a ‘trance’ formation? How can understanding the concepts of trance help us to lead change? What has hypnosis got to do with it? Hypnosis is characterised by the ‘state’ of trance that people experience. Often it is misunderstood, as a state of ‘mind control’ where the hypnotist exerts some special power over the person entering trance. This concept has been completely debunked over the last thirty years, with over 4000 clinical papers into understanding hypnosis and trance. Even more recently, with the availability of new brain imaging modalities, we are learning to understand trance in a whole new way. What has been discovered is that trance is simply a state of personal absorption. This means that parts of our experience are in focus and more

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Disruptive innovation- Have you got it wrong?

3 years ago 0 0 1444

The idea of disruptive change is very ‘hot’ in business and innovation circles at the moment. There are conferences dedicated to it, books written about it, people who have ‘disruption’ on their business cards or Linkedin profiles. However, my guess is that 90% of people in innovation and business are missing the real point about disruption. In this article I take a look at the idea of disruption, and what businesses can really do to understand it and apply it to their business situation. The source of ‘disruptive innovation’ In 1997, Clayton Christensen published a book called ‘The Innovator’s Dilemma’, in which he coined the term ‘disruptive innovation’ to describe what he saw in some case studies in the computer industry. The term has gained prominence since then, but I believe that it has now ‘jumped the shark’ – and it is time to really understand ‘disruption’ for what it

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Creating Creativity – what you can do (part 2)

3 years ago 0 0 825

In part one of this series, we explored the elements of individuals and teams that limit creativity and innovation. In the second part of the series, we will explore what organisations can do about it.  By creating a culture of innovation, designing your thinking and taking true innovative leadership in your organisation, you can move beyond the things which impede creativity, and really create something special. Create the culture for innovation For innovation and design to be a reality in an organisation, it has to move from being a peripheral activity to a culturally accepted process, central to the business. This means the culture has to be accepting of the time and effort that creativity can take, and reward ‘exploration’ rather than outcomes. Peter Murphy, design instructor in Melbourne suggests that creativity is a difficult process, and to be truly innovative, they must “roll their sleeves up, say goodbye to

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Organising behaviour – learning from Zappos shift to holacracy

4 years ago 0 0 1401

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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Giving feedback to enhance performance

4 years ago 0 0 938

There is a lot of commentary about the value of formalised performance reviews. Unsurprisingly, when only 37% of employees in a major survey reported that they had never received valuable feedback from their employer or manager, the majority of comment seems to suggest that feedback processes are a waste of time. Feedback is imperative to enhancing performance, however giving and receiving feedback is fraught with problems, often institutionalised in such workplace processes. Understanding the true nature of feedback, and how to use it successfully to enhance performance is a critical leadership skill. Feedback on our performance comes in many forms – from what we see happening as an outcome of what we do, how we personally feel about what we do, and what other people observe, interpret and communicate to us. Feedback is important for developing performance at an individual, team and organisational level. Without feedback, we would perform a

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Pitch perfect – get your audience to yes

4 years ago 0 0 1340

The role of the ‘pitch’ has been magnified through such TV shows as ‘Shark Tank’ or ‘Lion’s Den’. These shows put a pitch in the spotlight, with an assessment and investment depending upon the quality of the presentation as well as the product idea. They can often make the process seem as a ‘one shot for glory’. However, if we view a pitch as this, then it can lead to unnecessary stress and worry, and can negatively impact how we pitch. If, on the other hand, we considered a pitch as simply an opportunity to open a discussion and negotiation, to present our position and influence buy in, then we can use the pitch in powerful ways to create successful uptake of our ideas and secure the support that we seek. Everyone has to pitch – maybe not for a major investment, but politicians pitch their policies for your vote,

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Forecasting excellence – without the crystal ball

4 years ago 0 0 772

I have been working with more than 30 business leaders from around Europe, the Middle East and Africa at a meeting in Barcelona. Our aim was to tackle some of the ‘big issues’ in strategy, marketing and sales, so that they could take back practical and powerful tools to their organisations. When we asked them what they wanted (or more specifically: “What could you take away from this meeting that would have a significant impact on your business”), one answer shone through strongly – most of them wanted to help their key personnel within their organisations to forecast better. I therefore created a hands-on workshop session for the attendees which focused on this topic. It reminded me that, amongst all of the important business skills that leaders and managers are taught, forecasting is often one which often gets less time, effort and attention than other topics. Following a practical case

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Who is your coach?

4 years ago 0 2 1199

Who is your coach? A great question to ask anyone who is (or who wants to be) a leader is to ask them one simple question: “Who is your coach”? The question reveals a lot about the person and their thinking on flexibility, adaptability, help-seeking and personal growth focus thinking.  All of which can be critical in the role of leader.  Sportspeople, entertainers and performers all rely on coaching to improve their performance, and keep them at the top of their games – which is exactly what we need from our business leaders. In business, we need our staff and our leaders to be able to step up and play their biggest games.  We know that the organisation that is demonstrating high performance is doing so because its people are not only surviving, but thriving on the challenges of the workplace, are deeply engaged and seeking to make a difference.

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