The Courage To Be Extraordinary

 “Management is doing things right; leadership is doing the right things.” – Peter F. Drucker At a recent networking meeting, I had the opportunity to hear Pernille Spiers-Lopez speak. Danish born, Pernille immigrated to the United States about 26 years ago as a young woman. After a few jobs that didn’t pan out for her, she found herself working in …

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The Problem with “Touchy Feely”

There is no term that communicates quite so much irrevocable dismissal by managers in the business world than labeling an action or activity, “touchy-feely.” It is the most prevalent way of discarding information about people. The term suggests all those really icky “hygiene” demands of employees, dealing with the stuff of relationships in the workplace and God knows what else …

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Are you still “sheep dipping”

  It is a sad fact that many employees are still being subjected to the age old training ritual of “sheep dipping”. This is a process by which employees are “refreshed”, “cleansed” and “re-invigorated” by ensuring they attend set training courses or, perhaps, are placed on the ubiquitous “refresher” course. This refresher course is, of course, necessary, because most employees …

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Training – A potential waste of money?

I regularly look at what local training companies are offering in the way of coaching and sales courses and I noticed recently that a local provider was now providing a “Management Development Programme” spanning eight half days and covering eight management subjects from “team leadership” through “coaching others” to “delegation” amongst other topics. The eight half days will lead to …

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Is e-learning still too expensive?

In 2005 I responded to an article in Personnel Today talking about e-learning. The article was questioning whether e-learning was too expensive for small to medium sized companies. My view at the time was very much yes. But back then I was in a corporate role managing a learning and development function for sizeable organisation. Now I run a small business............................so have things changed? Is e-learning now affordable to us small-fry? Or is my 4yr old view still the case? Once you've read the article, let us know your thoughts, make your comments, cast an opinion.

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Can sports psychology improve your performance

The concept of the Inner Game was developed by Tim Gallwey as a way of helping people to achieve excellence in various sports, e.g. tennis, golf and skiing, and also in music. More recently he has extended his ideas into business and management training, and they are clearly also highly relevant in all learning situations. The concept is quite simple. If we consider tennis, for example, people trying to develop their skills in tennis can spend considerable time concentrating on their 'Outer Game', e.g. how to stand, how to hold the racket, how to serve, etc. All this effort can cause considerable anxiety and tension for the player, and as a result performance suffers. By contrast, Gallwey proposes that the secret of success lies in one's Inner Game, i.e. one's whole mental approach, and that by progressively refining this, one's game will be transformed. His approach therefore rests on the close interconnectedness of the way we think and the way we act.

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Developing Tomorrow’s Leaders

How do we develop tomorrow's leaders? We are in somewhat unchartered territory with a recession the likes of which we have never experienced. Will the leaders we have today be suitable or appropriate in 2-3 years time? Will we need a different set of characteristics, skill or experiences? Or will it just be more of the same? I have always liked this article by John Adair and since it's publishing in 2005 I hadn't really changed my view on it's relevance and value in leadership development. But will my view be changed in the future? I want to know what your thoughts are. Do you think the landscape of leadership development will change much, during or after the recession? If so, what do you think will need to change? Maybe you think things will pretty much be the same and that leadership doesn't really change much. Let us know your views and we will produce a report highlighting the findings. Enjoy the article!

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Using P&L thinking to improve people management

If there is ever a time to ensure you manage costs its when your company is underthreat from recession and potentially a long recession. It won't surprise you to know that often, the single biggest cost to any business is labour. Yet how well do your managers really understand and manage their labour costs? I have seen, over the years, many a manager argue a case for an extra member of staff, without doing enough to ensure that the people they have are as effective as they should be. When challenged, managers can rarely talk in detail about the cost of their staff sickness on bottom line, or tell you what the effect would be on profit and operating cost of getting a 5% improvement in staff efficiency. Yet you would expect your accountants to understand this information in a heart beat...................or maybe HR! So just think of the improvement and saving you would make if your managers thought of people costs in the same way accountants think of P&Ls. Well, why not introduce a "People P&L"

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How do you measure the overall effectiveness of a team?

I've had a passion for some time to create a tool for measuring the overall ability of a team. I've been researching various articles and thinking on the subject and came across the following article which I found interesting. I hope you will too. ___________________________________________________ We have been talking a lot about team measures with our clients over the last few years. The reactions we get to these conversations have been interesting. Sometimes when we introduce the subject of measures we see eyes glaze over. It's like talking about taxes---a tedious, detailed task of administration we know we have to do, but really wish we could avoid. Intellectually, everyone understands the importance of reliable and timely feedback data to continuous improvement, but few seem able to muster the energy, time, buy-in and resources to develop useful measurement systems. We wondered how many organizations were struggling with these issues and what we could learn from the successes and trials of others

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Getting a return from training

In 1959, Kirkpatrick1 first outlined four levels for training evaluation: reactions – ‘liking or feelings for a programme’ learning - ‘principles, facts etc absorbed’ behaviour - ‘using learning on the job’ results - ‘increased production, reduced costs, etc’. For the next 45 years the evaluation of training moved on very patchily in terms of research and new ideas, and poorly in terms of practical application. In 2007, however, the CIPD produced a new 'partnership of learning model' which emphasises the need for all those involved in learning interventions actively to play their part.

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