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Category: Management

Every good manager knows that people are their most valuable resource. In these articles we show you how to manage effectively to get great things from the people you manage. We'll tell you how to create powerful teams, nurture talent and prevent conflict. All our articles contain the best new business thinking from around the world.

Five steps to being a better boss

Friedemann Hahn

You've started your own company. You are a successful entrepreneur – so successful that you have been able to hire people to work for you. You are the boss. Finally.

But being a good boss is not the same as being a good entrepreneur.

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Make learning creative and dynamic in your firm

Tim Lewis

Top-down formal training methods popular during the 1990s do not equip staff to deal with unpredictability and rapid change, write John Hagel III and John Seely for Harvard Business Review.

Instead of relying on process manuals to tell staff what to do, empower them to learn on the job, creating knowledge and developing new ways to share it.

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Engaging employees who struggle with change

Shen Wei

When you instigate any change in your organisation there will always be team members who cling doggedly to the status quo.

But ignoring the dissenters can build a virtual wall between those with conflicting viewpoints and encourage a culture of “us” and “them”.

Here's how to steer the two sides to meet in the middle.

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Five tips for success when you’ve inherited a mess

Aleah Chapin

It pays to avoid classic pitfalls when the business you take on has been left in a mess by your predecessor. Taking over leadership of any business, especially as an outsider, is a challenge. 

Over half the leaders who take over a mess will have failed within a year and a half.

Here are five ways to avoid stepping on the land mines that were left for you.

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Create a winning team to drive innovation

Richard Smith thinking innovation

Build creative dissonance into your team and you’ll turbocharge digital innovation.

If there’s one trait humans possess that artificial intelligence (AI) does not, it’s the ability to think outside the box. 

To profit from AI’s ability to accelerate innovation, build your team around creatives who, collectively, combine these six contrasting personalities.

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Five steps to escaping the meeting trap

Tom Phillips

Executives spend nearly 23 hours per week in meetings. If your company’s meetings are badly run, that’s a lot of wasted time – and money.

It's time to institute systemic change. Here's how to escape the meeting trap.

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Why leaders need to be more engaged

Carol Robertson

Are you taking more days away from the office, or delaying replies to emails or calls?

These are all signs that you have become disengaged as a leader. And when you disengage, your employees could follow suit, writes Peter Crush for Raconteur.

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Five steps to conflict resolution

Tim Mara

The key to resolving a disagreement between members of your team is acting as an effective mediator, write Jeanne Brett and Stephen B Goldberg for Harvard Business Review.

People will always disagree with each other – it’s human nature. But if you have to step in, follow these five steps.

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How to make better decisions

Paul Neagu

Growing organisational complexity and proliferating digital communications are a recipe for poor decisions.

To improve the speed and quality of your decisions, categorise the type of decision being made and tailor your approach accordingly.

 

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How to conduct reviews effectively

John Kean Figure with a Red Top

Strategic and operational reviews often fail. 

Leaders spend three to five days per month being reviewed or reviewing someone else. But how useful are reviews? They typically take an hour or so, and half that time is wasted covering what’s already happened.

Writing in Ivey Business Journal, Himanshu Saxena explains why reviews often fail, and how to change your approach.

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Replace corporate training with career coaching

William Crozier Verona

Do your corporate training programmes actually improve the performance of your company? Daniel Dowling, writing for Fast Company, argues that in-house career coaching is a much more effective approach.

To make employees want to learn and perform better, help them prioritise self-improvement as an essential part of their lifestyle – both within and outside work. 

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Flip top-down management culture on its head

Tim Mara The Hoarding

If you set a clear purpose and cultivate an environment of innovation and collaboration, then you can have a whole company of CEOs, says Micha Kaufman, writing for Entrepreneur.

How you organise and run your business and who you choose to do what are the key elements that determine the destiny of your company.

 

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Health suffers when time equals money

Jack Smith Zigzag

Calculating your employees’ pay on an hourly rate can raise their psychological stress levels and eat away at their enjoyment of life, writes Martin J Smith for Stanford Business.

Workers who believe that every second counts in terms of the monetary value placed on their time are more likely to suffer from potentially damaging mental pressures, according to new academic research.

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Why your CIO can make or break your business

CIO

With digital data increasingly driving performance, it takes a strong, forward-thinking champion to make sure your organisation embraces that shift effectively.

These days the role of CIO goes way beyond overseeing your company’s computer technology. With businesses from all sectors adopting a digital-first strategy, the CIO holds a transformational position.

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How to handle negative emotions at work

Ishbel Myerscough

Negative emotions in the workplace are too often brushed aside – or even taboo. This is counterproductive and costly.

Ignoring negative emotions stores up trouble. Yet, if you learn to face them, you will have a happier, more productive and engaged workforce who are more likely to stick around.

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Leading digital platforms requires ethical leadership

Carol Robertson

In addition to legislation, ethical engagement by CEOs is essential to avoid accusations of unethical practice.

Digital platform businesses need to manage their ethics better. At the moment, there is a lack of responsible leadership and regulation around digital platforms, which has resulted in a whole host of unethical consequences.

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Reorganisation: when and how to do it

Bernard Cohen

Market conditions change, and when they do leaders need to decide whether to respond by restructuring or reconfiguring.

There are two key reasons why a company might need to consider reorganisation: to “reduce ‘organisational cholesterol’” or to “change strategic direction in the face of major industry change”.

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Six ways to deal with an indecisive boss

Tai-Shan Schierenberg

Reporting to an indecisive boss is challenging and frustrating. Here’s how to turn the situation around.

Managers who can’t pick a course of action, or constantly change their minds, are infuriating. You waste time, switch direction, and your credibility and reputation suffers. So how can you help a wishy-washy manager make decisions?

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What problem are you trying to solve?

Terry Frost

There are few management skills more powerful – or underrated – than the discipline of articulating a clear problem statement before jumping into action.

There are few questions in business more powerful than: “What problem are you trying to solve?” – yet it is so rarely answered. Formulating a clear problem statement will unlock innovation and enable you to get more done, and with less effort.

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Five ways to manage your emotions at work

Julie Cockburn

How to perform the ‘emotional labour’ of leadership while remaining true to yourself.

We’re all familiar with the ‘service with a smile’ provided by fast food servers, airline crew or nurses. Yet leaders have to perform ‘emotional labour’ too. Motivating or disciplining staff, appearing confident in uncertain times, and controlling personal feelings are all part of our working lives.

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Are you a Pioneer, Guardian, Driver or Integrator?

Derek Boshier

Identify different work styles to get the best performance from your teams.

Are you getting the best out of your teams? Many leaders aren’t because they don’t harness their diverse work styles. That means some of the best ideas go unheard and performance suffers.

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Why there really is no such thing as a bad idea

Aaron Burden

If you want groundbreaking ideas you should encourage your employees to challenge the consensus.

As a manager, consensus might make for an easier life, but you risk losing a potentially game-changing idea by fostering a herd mentality. “Humans fear being a fool much more than they hope to be a genius.”

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Learn when to share information

Breidamerkursandur by Boomoon

Organisational transparency – sharing information freely with your company’s employees – is said to empower people to make better, faster decisions.

The challenge for executives is knowing when to share information and when not to share information. There are three main areas where transparency can create problems and some measures you can take to avoid oversharing.

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Seven ways to reframe business problems

Tomasz Rynkiewicz

Thinkers from Albert Einstein to Peter Drucker have emphasised the importance of correctly diagnosing problems. So why do we still struggle to get it right?

Companies are good at problem solving. What they struggle with is diagnosing what those problems are.

 

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Three key ways to mastermind digital transformation

Carpet by Scarlett Hooft Graafland

As the digital world romps ahead at incredible speed, leaders need to be sure they harness the best and most relevant developments.

Technological innovations shake up the industrial globe every day. Keeping track of these – and understanding which ones are essential for your organisation – is becoming a priority for most CEOs.

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It’s time to get real about leadership

office

Aspiring slavishly to contemporary ideals is a sure route to failure

Can you tick all the boxes on the popular checklist of attributes for successful leaders? Over the past few decades the qualities prescribed by the corporate training industry have focused on authenticity, trustworthiness, modesty, empathy, emotional intelligence and a desire to serve others – especially your employees.

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The most common causes of ethical dilemmas may surprise you

Hypnos III by Glenys Barton

Research reveals only 16% of ethical dilemmas mentioned were due to bribery, corruption or anti-competition issues. So what’s going on?

Most of us won’t be tempted to cook the books, take a bribe or rob our customers. However, research undertaken by McLaverty confirms that “many of us face an endless stream of ethical dilemmas at work”.

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When disaster strikes, good managers diagnose

Eden and The Cloud Chamber by Noel Forster

“What do you do when things in your business go exactly opposite to plan?”

Dealing with things occasionally going wrong is an integral aspect of business management. The trick is to make sure that we don’t repeat our mistakes. Nobody likes to dwell on failure, but as contentious and painful a process as it might be, businesses need to undertake a thorough ‘disaster diagnosis’ before moving on.

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How to get the most out of your staff

Kalen Emsley

If you believe that encouraging people to work more productively is largely a matter of offering cash bonuses, think again. Writing on Quartz, Oliver Staley distills the thoughts of leading behavioural economist Dan Ariely into four key approaches to motivating employees.

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Three things that make you a great boss

Aatik Tasneem

Share a vision, drive results and help employees achieve their career goals for a happier and more productive workforce.

Most leadership advice is based on anecdotes and common sense. Stanford professor Kathryn Shaw took a different approach: data-driven analysis. She discusses her findings with Beth Rimbet and Steve Hawk in a recent article in Stanford Business, and shares three important things that great bosses do differently.

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12 ways to manage for trust

John Kirby

Build trusting relationships with your employees to improve productivity, accountability and company performance.

Less than half of lower-level employees trust the companies they work for. And the problem’s getting worse: according to the PwC Annual Global CEO survey, three years ago 37% of CEOs were concerned about a lack of trust in businesses; today, it’s 55%.

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Leadership: no style fits all

clothing rack

Being dominating and being likeable can both be good qualities in a boss, and often a hybrid is even better.

In a New York Times article Phyllis Korkki explores the advantages and disadvantages of two key styles of leadership – the dominant leadership style where the boss is in control of everything, and the prestige style where the boss’s main motivation is to be liked or admired.

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Four secrets of CEO selection

graffiti

Why are some boards great at hiring company leaders, while others get it wrong? Make the right choice by following these four key principles.

Some boards still pick chief executives who aren’t right for the job – repeatedly. Make the right decision by following the example of successful boards.

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