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.
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.
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%.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Is internationalisation threatening your company’s long-established culture? So-called “cultural disintegration” can occur when colleagues in different countries struggle to integrate with unfamiliar social norms, causing…
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.
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.
When a product fails, should you improve it or kill it? Senior managers are best placed to make the right choice – quickly.
Your engineers and managers work for months, often years, to develop and launch new products. They invest significant resources in research, marketing and distribution. So to see those products go down in flames creates a difficult choice: do you try to improve the quality and support for products – or terminate them?
There are many guides to the three, five or seven steps to an ideal culture. But only one golden rule: don’t mess it up.
As a leader, you must watch everything you say and do – because everyone else will, and they’ll put a lot of weight on it. That means it’s easy to mess up a workplace culture – even with the best of intentions.
Employee engagement is a problem. To fix it, let your workers rebel, break the rules and be themselves.
Throughout our working lives we’re taught to conform. The pressure only grows as we climb the career ladder. Workers and their organisations both pay a price for this: decreased engagement, productivity and innovation.
How nuclear thinking can help you eliminate human error. JPMorgan Chase was hacked because somebody forgot to update the security settings of a server to…
Instead of hoarding great employees, learn to master the flow of talent through your organisation.
Should you try to hold onto your star employees, or show them the door? Some of the best leaders don’t just allow their top performers to leave – they actively encourage it.
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.
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.
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?
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.
The genius lone wolf is the romantic vision of innovation. For best creative results it is multi-disciplinary teamwork that should be encouraged and rewarded, writes Tendayi Viki for Forbes.
Tapping into the massive potential of collective creativity is not as straightforward as simply putting colleagues in a room together.
Leading breakthrough change is hard. Whether small scale or large, pioneering is difficult and messy. There are many balls to juggle, and the environment is constantly changing. And there’s the problem: it can be hard to focus on the right thing to do at the right time.
Enter the Change-Agent's Compass.
Giving feedback should be constructive and helpful, but that might not be how everybody views it
The key requirements of giving good feedback are good intentions, sound preparation and a calm response. The feedback process takes a lot of time, and can be a cause of anxiety for both manager and employee, particularly when you are dealing with somebody who might cry, yell or get defensive.
Trust takes years to build, yet can be destroyed in an instant. But retaining and regaining the confidence of your employees can be achieved if you modify your actions
Trust is a precious resource. Once broken it can be difficult for businesses and bosses to regain, damaging chances of future success.
Training alone often fails to develop today’s employees into tomorrow’s senior managers. It is systems and behaviours in the workplace that need to change before workers can take an organisation to the next level.
Several mistakes are routinely made when leadership training is offered in a bid to transform good organisations into great ones.
Are meetings with your team a waste of your time and theirs? Do they wander and drag on? Do they fail to serve their purpose?
If you dread holding meetings, you are not alone. Most professionals hate them. But Elizabeth Dukes, writing for Inc.com, advocates these simple fixes to make them more bearable and productive.
Design unconventional HR policies to attract talent and grow your business.
Silicon Valley human resources veteran Patty McCord shaped the workforce that transformed Netflix from a DVD-by-mail retailer into a top content-streaming service. She did it by rejecting conventional HR policy – and you can too, says Vivian Giang for Fast Company.
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.
Employee disengagement is a global problem. In the US alone, companies lose up to $550bn in lost productivity every year.
Writing for Harvard Business Review, Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur and Kavi Guppta say the solution lies in cultivating a better company culture.
They describe a tool – “the culture map”, which will help you do just that.
How do you react to an angry customer, a difficult colleague or a tense negotiation? Great communicators face all kinds of conflict and know exactly what to say and how to say it.
Communicate well and others will trust in your ability to lead and support them.
Think on your feet and people will see you as credible, professional, reliable and confident.
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.
Healthy debate in the workplace is a good thing. But what can you do when positive behaviours give way to infighting?
You can’t avoid scandal, but you can prepare for it. Here’s how to plan for five of the most serious reputational risks to your business.
Design thinking can improve your health, wellbeing and, ultimately, your executive performance.
Many organisations expect employees to become such dedicated “ideal workers”, despite the personal physical costs. Writing in Harvard Business Review, Erin Reid and Lakshmi Ramarajan argue for a better way.
What can you do if the team you take over created the problem you’ve been hired to fix?
The best-known team-building framework is “forming, storming, norming and performing”. But that assumes you’re building a team from scratch.
In a recent article for Harvard Business Review, Michael Watkins offers a new model: “assessing, reshaping and accelerating”.
If you struggle to secure buy-in for your proposals, then it might be time to change your strategy. There are a number of “issue-selling” tactics…
By 2020, over 40% of our workforce will be freelancers – that’s according to a recent study by Intuit. How can you get the best…
Become a great boss by thinking about the kind of boss you would hate to be, advises Avery Augustine, writing for Inc.com, via The Muse.…
Leadership is not all about you, write Sucheta Nadkarni and Andreas Richter on the University of Cambridge Judge Business School blog. A strong team makes…
It’s hard to see the point of HR when business is bad, Peter Cappelli writes for Harvard Business Review. We tend to appreciate what HR…
Under pressure you don’t rise to the occasion – you sink to the level of your training. That’s just one of the lessons business coaches…
No strategy is ever perfect, says Ken Favaro, writing for Strategy+Business. But it takes great leadership and confidence to recognise this. The author poses two…
All leaders make poor decisions from time to time. Usually, they are relatively small and insignificant. However, writing for CEO.com, Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman…
The most successful people in business rely on others to do their jobs better, insists Camille Preston, writing for the Fortune website. Far from being…
Professionals who collaborate with their colleagues on cross-disciplinary work generate more revenue, inspire greater client loyalty and give their firms competitive edge, says Heidi Gardner…
We know a great deal about what strategy is, but very little about how to make strategy work, write Donald Sull, Rebecca Homkes and Charles…
Are we in the midst of an employee engagement crisis? Or have consultants created a problem in order to sell business a solution, asks Nick…
For some entrepreneurs, things seem to fall into place on their rise to financial success, observes Jayson Demers, writing for Entrepreneur.com. However, in spite of…