Awards – which ones matter?

There are a great many awards schemes that businesses and organisations can enter nowadays.  But which ones are worth winning?  My experience as a judge highlights two schemes that are genuine and represent a true accolade of excellence.

What does success in these awards say about the organisation, its leadership and the team and/or individual who has won?  And what should critics of business and our public sector organisations take heed of?

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The curse of the accidental manager

On July 12th, the FT published an article headlined “The UK’s productivity problem: the curse of the ‘accidental manager”, you can find it here – https://www.ft.com/content/b96ce8f2-5dd9-11e8-ad91-e01af256df68.

Are pork pies good for you?

It is somewhat disquieting to read that the “Peter principle”, see https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Peter_principle, continues to thrive in UK business.  Our poor productivity performance arises because too many people gain promotion into managerial roles beyond their level of natural competence.  However, in the firm featured in the FT article performance is improving.

It strikes me, however, that simply hanging up figures of Superman (is this unconscious bias by the firm’s leaders?), and doling out pork pies are rather superficial practices.  The only likely outcome of this epicurean approach is hardened arteries.

The firm’s performance growth is due to its managers doing something much more profound, i.e. the way they “serve” their employees, see Robert Greenleaf’s Servant Leadership, https://www.amazon.co.uk/Power-Servant-Leadership-Robert-K-Greenleaf/dp/1576750353/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1531821205&sr=8-3&keywords=robert+greenleaf.

At the simplest level, they should be talking to their employees as equal partners striving for success.  When this is achieved, I hope they’re rewarded with more than cholesterol laden pies!

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Leadership is wearing high heels shoes and stepping strong.

Do you classify jobs by gender? What is your first reaction when you learn that the General Manager of a Regional Marine department is a female? Continue reading “Leadership is wearing high heels shoes and stepping strong.”

Construction: it’s learning to be better…

I chose a career in learning because people fascinate me.

We are unique as a species in our capacity to develop and grow and I’m privileged to have been a part of that journey with many amazing individuals. I get paid for doing something that fills me with joy.

I couldn’t imagine doing anything else, and yet, I have a dark secret – I work in construction! As we all know this is an industry with a reputation for training people, not developing them. A place for you to carve out a living if you weren’t quite good enough…

Well dear reader, I humbly beg to differ; my experience has been of an industry striving to innovate and improve, one aware of its shortcomings, operating in the toughest of circumstances and doing all of that with a smile on its face and a steely determination at its heart.

Changing that perception will be tough but it’s not impossible and if we continue to focus on the areas below that change may happen sooner than you think…

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Vive La Difference

My Grandmother, may she rest in peace, had a saying: “If everybody liked the same thing, everybody would have fancied your Grandad!”

I mention this only because I’m struck by the continuing belief that in order to be a great leader you must treat all your people the same – and a fear that if you don’t you’ll be castigated in the name of equality.

This was brought sharply into focus for me recently whilst watching a training session where the group was asked if it was ever acceptable to discriminate in the workplace. After a slightly awkward silence the group responded dutifully that it was not – only to be told by (the fantastic) Chrissi McCarthy, of Constructing Equality, who was leading the session that, not only is it okay, but that they’re already doing it…

The shock was palpable…clearly this was some kind of mistake. This was a group of seasoned professionals with many years’ experience and a great deal of success under their belts. We wouldn’t – we couldn’t – possibly discriminate…except that we do. As professionals we are paid to make discernements and differentiations all the time.

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Dreams I Dream for my Daughter. A Successful Business Woman.

Mel

The future of children is every parent’s lifetime project. In this article I share a short story about my Mom, the dreams I have for my daughter and how this is linked to my leadership style and women in the workforce.

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