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Is your office a safe place?

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 – [...]

By | August 15th, 2017|Inclusive Leadership|Result Type: Post

Character eats personality for brunch!

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 [...]

By | July 25th, 2017|Personal Development Mentors|Result Type: Post

Imposter Syndrome in the workplace

Is ‘Imposter Syndrome’ an issue that business leaders and L&D practitioners need to factor into their developmental plans, the future of their workers and of their brand – or is it just another millennial buzzword that excuses a lack of drive in an entitled generation? Firstly, we need to explain what we mean by ‘imposter [...]

By | July 13th, 2017|Leadership Development|Result Type: Post

Are you getting in your own way?

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 [...]

By | May 9th, 2017|Unconscious Bias|Result Type: Post

Building honest leaders

Leadership matters; how can you be sure that you’re giving your team what they need, and getting the best from them in return? Truly great leadership is innate – it’s something you either have or you don’t. Clearly, we aren’t all going to have those natural leadership skills – but that doesn’t mean that we [...]

By | April 27th, 2017|Leadership Development|Result Type: Post

Are you conscious of your unconscious bias?

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 [...]

By | April 5th, 2017|Culture Change|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