Whatever your industry, learning and development are part of the process, and every employee goes through a course training at some point which is intended to progress their career. For many, though, these training courses are a box to be ticked, and little thought goes into applying that knowledge beyond the day of the course. [...]
Unconscious bias can mean we made decisions that get in our way – and taking the time to understand why we make those choices, and where those assumptions come from, can lead to us reconsidering and embracing a wider range of influences – which can take us much further on the road to success. In [...]
However much we tell ourselves that we are unbiased and progressive, we all have unconscious bias – and it’s up to us how much we let that influence our leadership. The very definition of unconscious bias is that it’s a bias we aren’t even aware we have. Our upbringing, background, cultural environment, the social circles [...]
Communication matters. Organisations are networks of relationships – individuals interacting in pursuit of hopefully shared goals, aims or objectives. Even departments of one must interact with others to be able to clearly identify what others require – or what they require from others – and how best this can be achieved. No desk is an island, not matter how big or deep the metaphorical moat around them might sometimes feel, but when things go wrong or mistakes are made it is common to hear ‘communication’ being singled out as the diagnosis. But perhaps something else needs to be said here: that communication – or a lack of it – is more likely to be a symptom than a cause. Think of communication issues as the organisational equivalent of post-adolescent acne or obesity: yes, they’re something to tackle, but they have arisen for a reason. What needs to be addressed is the underlying cause, of which there could be several. The following are only a few examples – the list is potentially lengthy. Unclear Goals or Roles […]
In findings that may dampen spirits in the C-Suites of the kingdom (and more than a few republics), CEOs are – with the exception of media spokespeople – currently the least trusted sources of information, according to the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer. As Management Today reported: “Trust in businesses and business leaders is on the wane, the report found, but the group the public does trust to tell them the truth about a company is its employees” The Edelman report’s introductory section pulls few punches, even in its sub-title: “An Implosion of Trust”. After what it acknowledges as being a year of ‘unprecedented upheaval’, the report seems little surprised by human reaction to a world where heads of state have rolled, the Panama papers were released, elections and referendums brought widespread shock and a combination of rising fake news and falling advertising revenue undermined mainstream media. The ‘news’ – although that doesn’t feel like exactly the right word – is that the sense that the world is heading in the wrong direction is increasingly widespread. In finding that 53% judged that ‘the system is not working’, Edelman is not the only organisation to feel the pulse of the global public mood. In a worldwide a October 2016 Ipsos survey, What Worries the World, 61% of respondents said their country was on the ‘wrong track’ – 60% of Britons agreed. The main worries varied between the 25 profiled countries (the most frequently raised was not – as it is uniquely in the UK – immigration, but unemployment, with poverty and inequality also frequently highly ranked.) […]
You are probably already familiar with Emotional Intelligence (usually abbreviated as EQ): a measure of your ability to identify your own emotions and those of others, and to manage them. As measurements go, however, it is relatively static: an assessment of scope more than of speed and practice. Emotional Agility is subtly but importantly different: as well as introducing notes of empathy and compassion (which should not be confused with each other), emotional agility is the ability to use the most appropriate emotional response in each specific circumstance. […]
To make a change is to take a risk. When we cannot predict the future, how it can be otherwise? All our choices and decisions have an element of risk, which we claim to feel encouraged to minimise or see ourselves as adverse. Despite this, we continue to produce evidence to the contrary. Every year, huge numbers of us change jobs, move house, emigrate, and start (or leave) families. For a species that doesn’t like change, we seem strangely addicted to it. But our decisions still remain, to varying degrees, a punt. So how can we increase our chances of making the headlines rather than a guest appearance in The Sidebar of Shame? The first thing to accept is that we cannot control everything: life has more moving parts than a Swiss watch, and its engineering is considerably inferior. This doesn’t mean that we have to accept whatever may happen to us, but it does mean accepting that it might. And reminding ourselves that some accidents, at least, are happy ones. To misquote Peter Mandelson, we need to be intensely relaxed about people being incredibly lucky. Or at least luckier than we feel ourselves to be. We can, however, deny ourselves the chance to be lucky. If we allow ourselves to become too attached to our Comfort Zone, we may eventually realise that there is a flipside to the cliché “nothing ventured, nothing gained”. Even if we don’t constantly compare ourselves with others, we do lose something if we venture nothing: opportunity. More specifically, the opportunity for improvement. […]
When we talk about ‘customer-centric organisations’, what do we actually mean? And how do we recognise one when we see one? Let me give you a very simple example. Recently, an ASK colleague was travelling to London by train for an evening appointment on a very tight timescale. All was proceeding smoothly until their [...]
There seems little mileage in working to promote retention of learning in a context where retention of those doing the learning is not also equally valued. We may, whether employees are willing or not, seek to capture as much of their knowledge as possible in KM systems, intranets, group forums and a million other co-opted platforms, but it is not knowledge alone that delivers performance. Other elements need to come into play, not least reward and recognition systems that are fully informed by the motivations of those that they would reward. There is little benefit in ensuring that the learning stays in their heads (and their actions and behaviours) unless their heads stay in the building.
75% of men “believe that teams with significant numbers of women perform more successfully”, which may surprise female readers who had anticipated that a larger percentage of men remained in denial. Their pleasure might falter, however, when they learn that only 19% of men thought that reaching the top level of organisations is harder for women.