It’s difficult to open an article on women in leadership without thinking of the women in power we are shown in the media. Those in politics, the glamourous magazines, serious media or Hollywood. The women who embody entirely different worlds, hold great power in wholly different ways, and yet are often judged by the same [...]
Health and safety is an issue that all workplaces take seriously – and there are all manner of forms, checks and safety equipment designed to keep us physically safe in the workplace. But being safe is much more than having the right equipment; it’s just as important that we feel safe when we work – [...]
The development industry has forever been obsessed by its nomothetic approach to personality development - that is, trying to produce general laws which apply to all people. This ‘scientific’ approach has enabled the growth in popularity of reductive tools, designed to help us understand and ‘get’ other people. At the other side of the scale [...]
Leadership pipelines, succession planning and talent development are on-going organisational headaches. A recent McKinsey Insights article agreed, arguing that “Organizations should learn to hunt, fish, and trawl for the best talent.” The problem seems to be one of diversity: where they cast their nets – and what or who they are aiming to catch. Most organisations (or at least those that don’t recruit inward, despite the costs and risks associated) rely on in-house programmes with pre-determined selection criteria. But are they looking for HiPos when they should try a different kettle of fish? Few organisations, McKinsey argue: […] scan systematically for the hidden talent that often lurks unnoticed within their own corporate ranks. Sometimes those overlooked leaders remain invisible because of gender, racial, or other biases. Others may have unconventional backgrounds, be reluctant to put themselves forward, or have fallen off (or steered clear of) the standard development path. That selection and promotion are areas of life where (un)conscious bias is a contentious and troublesome issue is not news, even if that does not necessarily translate into corrective action. But the tendency in many organisations to base criteria on ‘tried and tested’ leadership attributes may also be a growing issue, especially in times of rapid change and rising turbulence. Echoing the findings of the 2017 Edelman Trust Barometer (which we have previously commented on), the 2016 Ketchum Leadership Communication Monitor reports dismal levels of public support for the effectiveness of leaders. Unlike Edelman, it also explores the type of leadership that would be more appreciated – and finds that a higher percentage believe that leadership would be more effective coming from the company/organization overall and everyone within it than would place their faith in either the CEO or senior management. […]
Are women in leadership really as different as we’re led to believe? In recent years, we’ve begun to see an increase – some might say a long overdue increase – in women entering the top positions, bringing with them a new approach to leadership and managing complex business situations in a world that’s currently full of challenge and antagonism. With a female PM stepping in to guide the country through the response to a controversial referendum, a woman coming close to the top job in the USA and an increase in female CEOs on the world stage, has leadership changed in response? Many believe that men and women lead differently, focusing on different skills and approaches. But is this down to gender differences, or is it simply a change triggered by necessity when the world as a whole has changed and the way we lead must adapt to suit? With so much focus on the gender differences, are we blinded to the more complex needs of our team? After all, there are a great many factors that determine who we are – and what makes us unique – other than the sex we individually happen to be. Is categorising your workforce by gender truly going to help you to better connect to them, develop them and get the best from every member of the team? One area in which people believe women lead differently is in their’ humanity’ – their ‘soft skills’ approach to managing business. But is this, perhaps, less to do with being female and more to do with the proven successes of understanding your employees as complex individuals, and of communicating more openly as a way to create more connected, content and committed workers? […]
Without demonstrating or proving the real benefits of having women in leadership roles, we are producing statistics rather than progress. In March 2016, Management Today published an article, Which FTSE boards have female directors?, There is, of course, a simple and straightforward response: 20. But corporate responses to issues of diversity, gender included, are rarely simple [...]
There is a basic equation at work that seems to extend beyond relative status or authority: keep paying lip service to others and they will eventually stop paying ear service to you.
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.