Plan to fail - don't fail to plan

Plan to fail – don’t fail to plan

2 months ago 0 0 48

“Plans are worthless, but planning is everything” (D Eisenhower). Planning is such a critical part of success – but plans are not.  How many times are plans made and simply forgotten?  How many times do people and organisations spend massive time and effort generating a ‘plan’ only for it to be completely out of date before the ink is dry? We are living through such a reality now – As we go through the uncertainties of COVID, organisations and individuals are describing how they have had to ‘pivot’ and ‘adapt’ – meaning that whatever that they had planned to do has been made obsolete.  If plans are worthless, why should we plan? Lesson 1: The future is uncertain “No plan survives the first engagement with the opposition main force” (Helmuth von Moltke, 1871). We cannot forecast the future with any certainty.  We cannot know – or control – what is

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Deciding to be a better decision maker

6 months ago 0 0 219

  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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5 steps to achieving your goals in 2016

5 years ago 0 0 2212

So, it is that time of year to plan for 2016 – perhaps to set some goals for the year ahead to be the foundation of your success. There are many reasons people set goals. We are encouraged to set goals to work out what we want to achieve, what we want to prioritise, and to build action plans that we can follow. We also create goals because we have to or are expected to. We may be asked by the board to set some specific targets and goals for the business, or we may even have a coach that pushes us to set ‘big hairy audacious goals’. Goals are important. They provide targets, benchmarks and measurable steps to achieve something of value. They allow review and learning, coordination and ongoing development. Regardless why your goals are set, there is every likelihood that they are simply set to fail. Just

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Do they trust you? (part 1)

6 years ago 0 0 1136

A number of recent experiences remind me how important trust is in business – and how little it is really understood. In this two part series, we will take a look at what trust really means, what value and costs it has, how to build it, how it is lost – and what we can learn from these elements to better utilise trust in business. Consider some recent conversations I have had helping individuals, teams and organisations enhance their performance: • A sales team struggle to connect into a market where ‘companies like theirs’ have broken trust in the past. • A marketing manager is frustrated because he works for a CEO he just doesn’t ‘trust’. • A company wants to be seen as the ‘trusted partner’ in their industry, and believe this offers a competitive advantage. • A team faces performance issues and the trust established over a year

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Giving feedback to enhance performance

6 years ago 0 0 1328

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

6 years ago 0 0 1702

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

6 years ago 0 0 1299

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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Empowered leadership through storytelling

6 years ago 0 0 1735

A core attribute of outstanding leadership is the ability to tell stories.  Stories are the human currency of social connection, and empower engagement, change and personal development, all which are key aspects of being a great leader. I remember once I was working in a highly technical field.  A bright young ‘up and comer’ returned from presenting to the executive board, looking deflated and dejected. ‘Not only did I not get the project approved’, he said, ‘ they nit picked every detail.’  I asked him to take me through the presentation- maybe I could help him? After the first minute or so it was clear that his 106 slides of data for a 20 minute presentation was probably not the way to go, so I gently stopped him, and said: “It reminds me of a time when I had to ask the executive board for 50 Million Euros capex in

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