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Tag Archives: Business Leadership

Aiming to become a customer-centric organisation is never easy, and it may require a multi-year journey.

In order for an organisation to sustain a change agenda over that span of time, the senior management team needs to actively lead the effort.

What does that mean for those leaders?

The most effective leaders demonstrate three key characteristics:

Communicate "Why" The only way to get people to truly buy-in to change is for them to understand why it's happening. Most executives tend to under-communicate. And when they do communicate, they often focus on "what" the company will be doing and "how" it will get done.

Here are some ways that executives can improve their communications: (more…)

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The implementation of any change will always have an impact on employees, processes and ways of working.

The most important thing to remember is that by identifying potential issues before the change initiative gets underway, plans can be put in place to minimise any possible impact. This simple activity provides a framework which can be applied to any pending change, allowing you to decide how to approach the change, as well as identify and mitigate any risks to your team.

There are four steps to the technique:

  1. Identify where or what the change is going to impact.
  2. Consider who the change is going to impact.
  3. Understand how the change is going to impact.
  4. Determine when the change is going to impact.

1. Where or What - make a list of all the potential areas of your team that could be affected. In particular, consider:

  • Once the change is implemented will your existing processes still work, and will they still be the most efficient way to work?
  • Will anyone in your team need new technology or hardware as a result?
  • Is the change limited to a few people in your team or does it spread across a number of areas?

2. Who - identify all the people that will be affected by the change. Consider: (more…)

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Employee engagement is generally defined as the emotional attachment an employee has to his or her organisation and its goals. 

The concept has been around for more than three decades, but currently a chief concern for businesses both big and small.  In a 2014 Deloitte Global Human Capital Trends study, 78% of business leaders rated retention and engagement as either urgent or important.  Additionally, a 2013 Gallup survey found that 87% of the global workforce is disengaged with their organizations.  These findings, together with more recent studies, beg the question, how does an organization meaningfully enhance engagement?

The Case for Active Employee Engagement: Josh Bersin, is the Founder and Principal at Bersin by Deloitte, a leading provider of research based membership programs in the areas human resources, talent, and learning.  In 2014, he wrote in Forbes about the importance of improving employee engagement.  In part, he emphasized the need to move beyond reactionary and responsive approaches such as the traditional engagement survey.

More specifically, he noted that it is important to proactively build “…an organization that is exciting, fulfilling, meaningful, and fun by redesigning jobs, changing work environments, adding new benefits, continuously developing managers, and investing in people.”  He went on to comment that such organizations “…make sure people are screened for culture and job fit (the wrong person cannot be ‘engaged’ regardless of what HR does).”

Improving Employee Engagement Using Assessment Tools: So how does one select the right person engagement-wise?  One viable option is by utilizing pre-employment testing.  Over the past decade, assessment specialists have witnessed a growing trend in which employers not only want a reliable analysis of a candidate’s job fit, but accurate predictions of culture fit including shared values. (more…)

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Companies often complain about the unrealistic expectations of millennial workers, but heeding their call to action can improve the work environment for everyone.

The writers of this McKinsey report believe that it's time for leaders of organisations to stop debating the millennial problem, hoping that this supposedly exotic flock of sheep will get with the program.

Instead, they should see how questions and challenges from their youngest employees can spark action to help their companies change for the better.


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What is the number one characteristic you look for when identifying high-potential talent?

Eighty HR professionals answered this question during breakfast events in San Francisco and New York City hosted by  American Management Association. The events included panel discussions focused on “Navigating a Talent Development Roadmap,” during which executives from AMA, BioMarin, Pitney Bowes, Sharp, Simpson Thacher, and others shared their experiences.

At each event, attendees were asked to write down the characteristic they most often look for in high potentials (HiPos). The most common trait listed in both cities was “agility,” followed by “curiosity.” Thirty-five traits were posted and only five appeared multiple times, exposing the breadth of priorities among attendees.

Why agility?

As highlighted throughout the discussions, agility is a common trait valued by leaders across geographies. Panelists emphasized the importance of an employee's ability to adapt to and evolve with the ever-changing, fast-paced world of commerce.

However, some expressed that agility is actually a secondary trait displayed in HiPos; to be agile suggests that one must embody certain prerequisite characteristics.

Barbara Zung, Vice President of Global Talent Management at AMA, looks for curiosity, passion, and motivation when identifying HiPos. In her experience, “if someone displays curiosity, half the battle is won. Skill is important, but curiosity is much more vital. The biggest challenge is reigniting that passion and curiosity is one vessel through which it can be accomplished.” Zung suggests that motivation is intrinsic in HiPos and is the bedrock on which agility is formed. (more…)

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Organisations are constantly searching for the secret to hiring the right employees.

They want a "killer question" that will reveal the true ability of the candidate during the interview (probably questionable for validity if not legality). They use quirky problems or puzzles they think will highlight the creative and enthusiastic candidates. They can spend thousands of pounds on multiple interviews thinking that surely, somewhere during the sixth interview, the candidate's actual personality will be (inadvertently) divulged.

The problem with this approach is that it cannot provide accurate information for a couple of reasons: first, hiring managers overestimate their ability to determine a candidate's skill set based on resumes and interviews, and second, few organisations identify in advance the factors they want to evaluate and measure in the interview.

The desire to get good information from interviews is understandable since most managers have made at least one expensive hiring mistake that cost thousands of dollars to fix and led to bad outcomes for the team and clients. And because managers in virtually every organisation use interviews to help make hiring decisions (Wilk & Cappelli, 2003; Ryan, McFarland, Baron, & Page, 1999), it makes sense to explore the challenges and benefits of the interview.

In this article, we will attempt to demystify the hiring process and provide tips on making a successful hire. (more…)

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This CIPD report provides practical examples of how organisations have approached transformational change.

It contains three sections which refer to examples from the four case studies and focus on:

1. the key themes identified from the four case study organisations on how to land transformational change

2. how approaches to transformation have changed

3. how the roles of HR, OD and L&D in transformation have changed.

The report concludes with recommendations for landing transformational change. The appendix contains detailed case studies of the four transformation processes studied in BBC Worldwide, HMRC, News UK and Zurich UK Life.


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