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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 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....

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.

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...

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...

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.

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...

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....

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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Warning: full board independence can reduce your profits

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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Don’t let cultural differences harm your global enterprise

skyscraper

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 a breakdown in communication and trust.

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...

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.

How to kill bad products

packaging products

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...

How to build a winning workplace culture

office

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.

Improve employee engagement with ‘constructive nonconformity’

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.

Militarise your cybersecurity

computer screen

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 dual-factor authentication. Health insurer Anthem’s systems fell prey to a “spear phishing” email. Edward Snowden persuaded a colleague to enter his password on Snowden’s computer.

How to be a talent magnet

Quizitive

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.

 

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