Northern Power Women – Levelling up by Powering On

Introduction

I commend this excellent report, which I read it between Christmas and New Year.  It is available at https://www.northernpowerwomen.com/wp-content/uploads/2020/09/Levelling-Up-by-Powering-On-Report.pdf.  It is required reading to help us all to sharpen our leadership focus at the start of this new decade (assuming you subscribe to the view the decade starts this year not last).   

Through both fortitude and good fortune – “Diligence is the mother of good luck,” remarked Benjamin Franklin – the paper should be regarded as being like the blue touch paper on a firework.  When lit it should ignite a dazzling blaze of considered and considerate action to change the composition and competence of organisational leadership across the Northern Powerhouse, as well as everywhere else. 

In an article entitled “The pandemic has eroded democracy and respect for human rights” published in mid-October by The Economist, see https://www.economist.com/international/2020/10/17/the-pandemic-has-eroded-democracy-and-respect-for-human-rights, Freedom House, a Washington DC based think tank, says their research exposes growing pressures being imposed by many, male populist leaders around the world to stifle democracy and constrain human rights.  It is on that taut, global canvas that NPW has chosen to paint its brighter, rosier more compassionate picture of the future. 

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Team Development

Using appropriate methods and interpersonal styles to develop, motivate and support a team toward successful outcomes and achievement of team and organisational business objectives.

Team Development is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Team Development –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can borrow and read the eBook for free.

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Happy New Year 2021

Happy New Year 2021 to our visitors and subscribers from the TSP-UK Blog Team. Five years of Blogging – 2016 to 2021.

Class Reunion – Leading Others Gothenburg 2007

How good is your training retention and application? Here we look at ‘Setting Objectives’ from the Leading Others programme.

This is the first in a series of Class Reunion articles where I reflect on leadership training courses I have facilitated in the past. I look back at the leadership learning lessons from the course and select one topic for special focus in each article. The topic for this article is Setting Objectives.

My questions for the participants is: how much of the learning have you retained; what has experience taught you in the interim; and how are you applying it now?

My challenge to anyone who has attended leadership training in the recent past is to Reflect, Refresh & Renew.

  • Reflect on the skills you learnt – including referring back to your notes in the course workbook.
  • Refresh your knowledge of the subject and re-learn how to use the skills – including examples of how you have developed your skills and knowledge since the course.
  • Renew your commitment to applying the skills in your daily leadership practice – including sharing this commitment with your manager and/or leadership coach as part of your continuous professional development.

Read on for more about my focused leadership learning topic for the Class of ‘07 ….

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Leadership Influencing

Using appropriate methods and interpersonal styles to persuade others to accept a point of view, adopt a plan or take a course of action that advances business goals

Leadership Influencing is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Leadership Influencing –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read the eBook for free.

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Business Cliches – No Thank You!

I have a rant and a rail against my most hated business cliches. Here’s my Top Ten, with alternatives for you to use instead.

Business Cliches – No Thank You! I accept it could be a generational thing. Perhaps I’m turning into a Grumpy Old Man. When I started out on my business career all those years ago I remember we transacted in plain English. Language was direct, easy to understand and cliche free. I’ve spent most of my career visiting other people’s offices and places of work. My perception is that it’s only in the last twenty or so years that the business cliche has become king. I claim the right – here on this Blog that I gave birth to five years ago – to have a rant and a rail against my top ten hated business cliches. But being a generous sort of chap, I offer alternative phrases you can use instead – please!

Here we go, my top 10 business cliches and how to avoid them …..

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Bitesize Leadership Techniques – Coaching for Performance Part 3

How to support your Coachees as they implement their performance plans and focus on achieving positive business results.

Coaching for Performance is one of my Bitesize Leadership Techniques. They are exactly what the title suggests. Short snippets of leadership tips, tools, process and ideas for you to use on a just-in-time basis. Use them as an update and to refresh your leadership professionalism. You could call it leadership in a hurry! This article is the last of three about Coaching for Performance: Reviewing and Follow Up. The previous two article were about Planning for Coaching and Carrying out the Coaching.

This article is an Executive Summary of my eBook of the same name – Coaching for Performance –published on Amazon Kindle. If you are a subscribers to Kindle Unlimited you can read the eBook for free.

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Trust

Introduction

Last week, my good friend and business colleague, Gary Winter (see the post script to Harvard Business School article, “The Great Training Robbery”, which concerns the famous turn-round at Asda during the 1990s in which Gary was deeply immersed), told me about a programme he listened to on BBC Radio 4. In this, a prominent CEO spoke about doubting the necessity for their employees to remain working from home (WFH).  The CEO felt they should be “keen and willing” to return to the workplace and their fears and concerns about Covid-19 were both mis-guided and misplaced (so singing from the same song sheet as President Trump uttering, “Do not be afraid,” upon his return to the White House from hospital).  To us, it sounds as though this CEO does not trust their employees’ commitment. 

Is this a widespread sentiment?

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Leadership and Staff Engagement

Sound leadership and staff engagement must involve encouraging accountability and this means unlearning old rules and culture and learning the new rules of trust.

A Suggestion Scheme – is this really about Staff Engagement?

The MD of a client manufacturing company was concerned that the new Staff Suggestions Scheme did not appear to be generating any ideas from staff as to improving the processes.

‘It’s as if they are not interested…’ the MD complained. He was right. Most staff suggestion schemes falter in the early stages.

The reasons usually centre on staff scepticism as to whether any suggestions will be acted upon. Equally important is that employee groups are rarely involved in developing and implementing improvement ideas.

So what should he do? Let me unfold the story of what we did, starting with trust, training and accountability.

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Mindset shifts

Introduction

I came across this illustration on LinkedIn a few days ago. It claims to offer a fresh recipe for the mindset shifts required to transform organisations.  It stimulated much thought and reflection about the practicalities of the ideas it imparted.  While the best ideas are often simple, is this too simplistic?  Does it ignore the realities of organisational and wider societal life? This is morphing at warp speed under the impact of Covid-19. What the end state will, no one is really sure.

Without doubt, change needs to occur. Are the alternatives so firmly locked at the opposite ends of the five linear scales?  In other words, rather than “Yes, but…”, don’t we need a “Yes, and” approach?  Walt Disney was alleged to answer questions by saying, “Yes, what if we did this…?”. By doing so, he responds positively to the principle of the idea while “reviewing and refining” it. This remains an organisation habit across the entertainment conglomerate.

Is the optimal case for organisational leaders to cultivate the cultural flexibility to display aspects of all the attributes of the labels?  The article does not need to be read in one go.  Consider each of the five “shifts” separately over their own mug of tea or coffee. 

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