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Why failure is your best tool on the path to success

Whatever we do in life, failure is usually high on our list of fears – but when it comes to success in business, failure is often one of the most powerful tools in our armoury. How does failing make us better leaders, and how can we support you through your failure journey to becoming the [...]

By | November 16th, 2017|Culture Change|Result Type: Post

Personalised learning is vital

If personalised learning is so vital, why aren’t more organisations doing it?   According to the 2017 L&D Global Sentiment Survey, 77% of learning professionals believe the hot topic for organisational learning this year will be personalised learning and adaptive training delivery.   So why aren’t more of us doing it? In reality, providing someone [...]

By | August 22nd, 2017|Leadership Development|Result Type: Post

Why Personal Development Mentors?

Training is an organisation-centric activity that seeks to improve workplace performance by providing standardised learning experiences. Learning, by contrast, is a person-centric experience that is shaped by diverse needs and preferences. This mismatch is responsible for a substantial proportion of the poor typical return on investment in training: individuals learners need help to extract the personalised development that they need from the available standardised learning opportunities. Enter Personal Development Mentors … […]

By | November 7th, 2016|Personal Development Mentors|Result Type: Post

How to get the best out of 360 Degree Feedback

To get the best out of a 360 degree feedback process, it’s important to understand its purpose and how it operates, and to prepare yourself for the feedback that you will receive. Picking observers One of 360 degree feedback’s main benefits is to show you fresh perspectives from a wide variety of sources. Before [...]

By | November 10th, 2016|360 Degree Feedback|Result Type: Post

What is 360 Degree Feedback?

In its broadest sense, feedback is information you get about yourself from experience, from other people – or from life. It might be your annual performance review, a long-term client renewing a contract, or your reception when you enter a room. It can be formal or informal, direct or implicit, and either blunt or so subtle that you’re not sure what it is. […]

By | November 8th, 2016|360 Degree Feedback|Result Type: Post

Hidden costs of the people dimension in M&A

[An edited version of this article appeared in the June 2016 edition of Training Journal] It’s boom time again for Mergers and Acquisitions. 2015 set a new record for global M&A activity, according to MergerMarket’s Global and Regional M&A: 2015 report, with a total value of $4.3 trillion, a 30% increase over 2014. Activity was particularly strong in the US (up 40%), Asia-Pac (up 43%) and Japan (up 91%), and in the Pharma, Consumer and Financial Services sectors. In Europe, where activity value increased 22.4% on the previous year, the UK accounted for 38.7% of deal-making, its highest share on record. While we might assume that unrelenting competition, a slowdown in emerging markets, and continuing troubles in the eurozone are driving this upswing as Boards seek to strengthen strategic positions, market commentary suggests that – in the US, at least – relative market strength is the predominant factor. Writing in KPMG’s 2016 report, US Executives on M&A: Full Speed Ahead in 2016, Global Head of M&A, Philip Isom, commented that ‘The U.S. continues to be the favoured M&A destination because of its relatively healthy economy.’ Business giants are not penguins: when they huddle together, it is not necessarily for warmth against a cold wind. This is, perhaps, just as well: given the track record of M&As, any deal motivated principally by survival should ring alarm bells. ‘Survival’ is not readily divisible. While remaining competitive in the face of declining confidence in organisations’ ability to generate growth organically had been a key factor in respondents’ 2015 replies, their primary motivations in 2016 – whether in relation to geographic reach, business lines of customer base – were all expansionary. Counting returns or counting chickens? But whether their intentions were in growing sales or shedding costs, the challenge of extracting value remains. Like any promise, the intentions behind any M&A must be realised, and history makes uncomfortable reading. Most of us can readily recall a number of well-documented, high-profile deals that should never have been done: the stories of the New York Central and Pennsylvania Railroads, of Daimler and Chrysler, and of AOL and TimeWarner should sound alarms down the years. And many other deals may have seemed like worthy or potentially profitable adventures, yet the shareholders involved will still have been fortunate to break even on their previous investments. The danger that the promise will evaporate, with wealth destroyed rather than created, is not a new phenomenon and it has long been recognised. McKinsey & Company’s 2010 report, Perspectives on Merger Integration, commented almost blithely that ‘Anyone who has researched merger success rates knows that roughly 70 percent of mergers fail.’ Further back in time, The Hay Group’s 2007 report, Dangerous Liaisons: Mergers and Acquisitions – The Integration Game, surveyed 200 European M&As and concluded that: ‘After a merger, more than 90 per cent of businesses believed they had failed to achieve their original aims.’ […]

By | July 29th, 2016|Organisational Change|Result Type: Post

The Power of Video Feedback

“While we might know how we feel or think at any given moment, how we appear to and are perceived by others is harder to understand. Used in conjunction with psychometric and 360 degree feedback, video can provide the final piece in the self-awareness jigsaw, generating telling moments that lead to real enlightenment.” The words are from our own website, and refer to our use of video feedback as a key element in our commitment to providing learners with rich feedback. If we’re being really picky with ourselves – surely not unreasonable for an organisation that highly values self-awareness as a foundation of development – we might take issue with one of the words we used: ‘telling’. Part of the specific power of using observational video as an integral part of leadership and development programmes comes from the fact that it illustrates an approach that is usually applied as an edict in the very different medium of literature and fiction: “show, don’t tell.” […]

By | July 26th, 2016|Video Feedback|Result Type: Post

Is Myers-Briggs up to the job?

An article published recently in the Financial Times posed the question of the relevance of the Myers-Briggs psychometrics for the modern workplace, and under the same heading we would like to explore what was said, and our own take on the topic. Most people who have worked in a corporate environment or pursued high level academic studies [...]

By | March 10th, 2016|Psychometrics|Result Type: Post

The Assumptions Comfort Zone: Two Rights Don’t Make A Wrong

A lack of reciprocity and curiosity and an abundance of judgement doesn’t just sell the leader’s potential contribution to the organisation and/or its mission short: it sells everybody else short too.

By | March 7th, 2013|Agile Leadership|Result Type: Post

In the Psychometrist’s Chair: Episode 2 – FIRO-B

In the previous episode in this series, I related the experience of completing the MBTI questionnaire and receiving facilitated feedback. But if MBTI is mostly about the individual, giving feedback on relationships with others more by inference and implication, FIRO-B is explicitly about the individual, others and the relationship(s) between the two. This is an instrument that looks at the ways we wish to behave towards others and others to behave towards us, and illuminates that these may be very different even in a single dimension: FIRO-B can illuminate many things, not least that “Do unto others as you would have them do unto you” may be a familiar expression but it can also be highly inaccurate in describing our behavioural patterns.

By | August 16th, 2013|Psychometrics|1 Comment