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How to play the mergers and acquisitions game

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If you want to make a deal that works, pay close attention to the data.

Around “70% to 90% of mergers and acquisitions fail to achieve value for the buying company”, says Adi Gaskell, writing for Forbes. In the majority of cases, it’s the company being acquired that achieves most of the value out of the deal.

Why digital transformation means changing your company’s culture

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The best strategy in the world will be doomed to failure unless you create the right environment for success.

“Culture eats strategy for breakfast,” says strategist and consultant Thomas Brown, writing for Raconteur. Companies looking to succeed in a constantly evolving digital world will need to reorient their organisation in a way that supports their initiative.

Why a leadership development programme is a sound investment

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Help your managers make the most of their capabilities, and both they and your company will reap the benefits.

Natural born leaders are the lottery winners of the business management world. The rest of us need a little help, says CEO and leadership coach John Hawkins, writing for Forbes. That help can come in the form of purposeful leadership management development.

Why creativity and criticism complement each other

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Your creative team need to be criticised, but not stifled – it’s a fine balancing act.

Some people believe that criticism and creativity make unhappy bedfellows in the workplace, but Theresa Johnston, writing for Stanford Business Journal, disagrees.

Is holacracy right for your business?

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What is holacracy and could it work for your business? The pros and cons of self-management are examined in an article by Ethan Bernstein, John Bunch, Niko Canner and Michael Lee on Harvard Business Review.

Look beyond the hype and buzzwords surrounding holacracy to discover what makes a self-managed organisation and how the system actually operates – both on the ground and at a strategic level.

Why brainstorming needs to change

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Traditional brainstorming is a source of groupthink and rarely leads to innovation.

The unwritten rules of a brainstorming session are that all ideas are valid and everyone can feel supported and safe from criticism, no matter how weak or unworkable their suggestions. But studies suggest that it’s better to think alone and share later.

Read on to find out how to brainstorm better.

Don’t let lies spoil your negotiations

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Sometimes people lie in negotiations, but while you might might think you’re good at spotting a fib, research suggests you’re not as good at sifting fact from fiction as you think.

Multiple studies demonstrate that only a little over half of us can actually spot a lie. But you can learn to make life hard for liars, according to professor Leslie John, writing for Harvard Business Review.

Is your performance strategy based on assumptions?

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It seems obvious: happier employees give better service, which increases customer loyalty and leads, in turn, to stronger financial performance.

But blind acceptance of these assumptions can lead you to the wrong strategy.

Your company has its own unique performance drivers and pathways. Understanding the relationships that matter to your firm leads to smarter improvement strategies.

 

Make better choices by expanding your decision frame

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Faced with a complex and important decision, executives spend too little time exploring and extending the options.

Leaders quickly settle on just a couple of alternatives and take only a few criteria into account.

While this approach might work for straightforward problems, you need to expand your decision frame for complex and strategically significant decisions. Here’s how.

Use executive coaching as a catalyst for change

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A good executive coach challenges your belief systems, helping you see what you’re doing wrong so you can get it right.

We all have our blind spots – preconceptions about ourselves as people and as leaders. If these are allowed to go unchallenged, our own lack of self-awareness acts as a block to our ongoing development.

Find out what good coaching is and why we all need it.

How to achieve corporate longevity

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The secret to staying the distance lies in your company’s ability to simultaneously exploit existing markets while exploring new ones.

When digital photography threatened celluloid film, Fujifilm managed this tricky balancing act while Kodak went bust.

Don’t leave your firm vulnerable to market disruption. Discover the the key to your firm’s long-term prosperity.

Five behaviours that create a culture of innovation

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Inspire innovation by forging ahead on the path you want your employees to take.

Thriving in the face of industry disruption means creating a company culture that champions innovation. Start by changing your own habits and attitudes. Your employees will follow where you lead and the impact on company culture will be profound.

Here are five key behaviours that drive innovation.

Investing in credibility for greater success

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Even the most logical proposals for change can be met with suspicion unless executives deliver them with integrity.

But how do you consistently get your message across to your teams in a positive and believable way?

By taking three key steps, leaders can allow their sincerity to shine and have a greater chance of success. Here’s what a “credibility first” transformation model looks like.

Is Holy Grail syndrome holding you back?

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Fixating on just one talent risks missing out on what really makes entrepreneurs successful.

Don’t let “Holy Grail syndrome” hold you back. Instead, focus on your unique mix of talents, passions and skills that provide the foundations for a business in which only you can excel.

Here’s how to combine your skills and interests into a unique entrepreneurial vision.

Send your firm into hypergrowth

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Want to replicate the exponential growth rates of firms like Uber and Buzzfeed? You can.

It took Uber just three years from its establishment in 2009 to achieve a valuation of $18.2bn. Within a decade Buzzfeed grew its monthly usership to 200 million with six billion content views.

Follow these six guidelines to send your firm into hypergrowth.

Seagull managers: How to regain control of your team

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Seagull managers allow situations to spiral out of control before swooping in with superficial or thoughtless solutions and flying off again, leaving the team to clear up the mess.

It’s a management style that causes stress and confusion – and it’s on the increase.

Writing for Forbes, Travis Bradberry explains how to regain control by focusing on what should be your number-one priority: your people.

Create your firm’s future today

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What you do today determines your company’s future. The most successful firms learn to detect, analyse and capitalise on the earliest signs of emerging trends.

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Vijay Govindarajan describes how firms can master "planned opportunism" – a systematic process of detecting and interpreting the first signs of future developments in everything from customer behaviour to technology – and use these insights to reimagine your company’s future.

 

Get ROI on your leadership training

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Companies certainly recognise the importance of management and leadership coaching, spending a global total of $24bn on it in 2013 alone. But in a tough economic climate, it’s often the training budget that’s first to feel the squeeze.

Writing for Harvard Business Review, Ron Ashkenas of Schaffer Consulting and the University of Houston’s Robert Hausmann propose a new approach to leadership training – one centered on real-world business problems.