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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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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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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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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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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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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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Warning: full board independence can reduce your profits

boardroom copy

Company boards on which the CEO is the only employee are becoming the norm, but how well do they work? Recent research suggests independent boards are actually detrimental to profitability.

In 1999, 36% of boards in America’s S&P 500 companies were of this kind. By 2015 it had risen to 75%. A key driver has been the recent history of governance and accounting scandals.

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How to move from firefighting to fire prevention

fire hydrant

Are you and your employees stuck in a vicious circle of firefighting?

Workers’ compensation business illustrates the cycle of rework – and more rework – that comes from not doing jobs right first time. Despite knowing that legal processes and costs could be slashed by contacting workers within 24 hours of injury, staff were too busy to do so.

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Delegation, delegation, delegation…

organisation

You might think it’s easier to do everything yourself, but the path to productive leadership demands that you learn how to delegate effectively.

Everyone knows the frustration of having to re-do a task that you assigned to someone else. If it comes back incomplete or full of errors, the temptation is to decide it’s been a waste of your time and theirs. But that doesn’t have to be the case.

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Creativity is king

crayons

The noise of modern life can distract marketing teams from creating their best work.

Whether you head up the marketing department for a lean, energetic startup or a powerful blue chip corporation, it is important that your team is consistently creative. There are a number of steps you can take to ensure your team is able to do its best creative work in an “always on” environment.

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How to make better decisions

reading glasses

The success of your organisation depends on good decision making, a key requirement of good leadership.

The human brain has evolved to make most decisions automatically. Behavioural and neuroscience shows that our brains struggle with information overload, especially when multitasking, leaving them susceptible to subjectivity, bias and errors.

 

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Get your employees working together effectively

teamwork

If your employees are failing to work as a team, it’s time to show them the value of collaboration.

You might regard teamwork as a top priority but do your staff pick up on those values? A recent survey by Corporate Culture Chasm revealed that most employees think leaders want to see competition among staff members.

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Your three key players in the race for innovation

office desk

Startup companies will naturally have a keen eye for innovation as they work out their route to the top. But larger, long-established companies can keep pace with the new kids on the block by maximising the talent at their disposal.

You probably have some excellent talent on your teams. But how do you motivate it to come up with cutting edge ideas and deliver results?

 

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Six steps to getting a seat on the board

chair on beach

If landing a seat on a board is one of your goals, you need to do some serious preparation to make it happen. Writing for Forbes, Stuart R. Levine sets out six actions to increase your chances of success.

“It’s critical that you take smart steps to develop your resources and skills into assets that will showcase your credentials and position you for success,” Levine advises.

 

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