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Tag Archives: CPD



Exposing yourself to risk and failure can help push you up the career ladder. Just make sure someone’s watching.

During his 48-year career from owner of a small student newspaper to the head of a  multinational conglomerate with over 400 companies,  Virgin CEO Richard Branson copped the misses along with the hits,  noting that every error in judgment, whether a foray into cosmetics or a push into the high stakes cola market, brought with it valuable lessons.

“I’ll never again make the mistake of thinking that all large dominant companies are sleepy,” he blogged about his failed attempt to break the Coca-Cola and PepsiCo duopoly.

Learning to use mistakes well is an important leadership trait.  In fact, looking at how an executive responds to failure can be more telling than assessing their success when weighing up a person’s ability to take on the leadership mantle.  Great leaders learn from their errors. They are quick to recognise when a mistake has been made and are able to efficiently assess what can be salvaged or gained from the fallout. In many cases, feedback is immediate for anyone astute enough to learn from it.

Leave Room for Mistakes to Happen: At every stage of their career, high performers like Branson are prepared to take on assignments or challenges that have a reasonably high probability of failure. While moving outside their comfort zone – whether geographically or through the adoption of new technology or processes – undoubtedly exposes them to a certain amount of risk, it also brings new avenues for growth and the opportunity to develop valuable leadership abilities.

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One of the single most competitive advantages for companies today is the ability to grow, nurture, and develop leadership and management capability faster than the competition – future success depends on it.

That’s a bold statement to make, but I passionately believe in it, and more importantly, I have seen it have a profound impact in thousands of companies of all shapes and sizes. If you want to accelerate and fast-track the success of your business and build sustained high performance, you should look to develop leadership.

If you’re a sole trader, leadership and management responsibility probably sits with you. If you’ve got a small team, it is more important than ever as you need every single one of your people aligned and performing at their peak.

If you run a much bigger organisation, creating consistency and building strength at every level is critical to succession planning, creating the stretch, and the capacity to grow your business.

Leaders and Followers: There are usually two distinct groups of people: leaders and followers.

The leader-follower structure has been with us for generations and is perpetuated through organisations to this very day.

A hierarchical, command and control structure with decision-making from the top is what we know, and for good reason. (more…)


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The following article was written by Jennifer Juo, Insights Writer, Udemy for Business. It discusses what Millennials and Generation Z employees want from their workplace.

Recent surveys show that Millennials (age 24-35) and the new Generation Z (age 18-23) care more about career development than perks or pay. But career planning isn’t the solution, here’s how to truly develop them.

Our Workplace Boredom Study found that Millennials are the most bored and disengaged demographic at work. When asked why? They said they lacked opportunities to learn something new.

Meanwhile, a whole new demographic, Generation Z, is graduating each year and becoming part of the workforce. How are they different from Millennials and what matters to them?

I sat down with Aaron Levy, CEO and Founder of Raise the Bar Consulting, to discuss how companies can do a better job of attracting, growing, and retaining their Millennial and Generation Z employees. Levy has over 7 years of experience in the employee engagement space and has coached over 4,500 business leaders. Here’s his advice on how to create a workplace that will enable Millennials and Generation Z to thrive.

Millennials and Generation Z care about growth

According to Levy, Millennials view career development as more than just money and title. It’s not just about promotions, but taking on new projects or learning new skills. In a 2016 Gallup Report on “What Millennials Want from Work and Life,” 87% of Millennials said professional development was important to their job. This is the same for Generation Z, according to a recent survey by LaSalle Network, they also rate “opportunities to grow” as their number one priority.

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Today, business is inherently more complex than it has ever been.

Yves Morieux, senior partner at strategy consultancy Boston Consulting Group, has developed an index to show how business complexity has increased sixfold during the past 60 years alone. Organisational complexity — number of procedures, structures, processes, systems, vertical layers and decision approvals — increased by a factor of 35.

To learn fast, you must be interested in people and ideas, not just yourself. “Be savvy, flexible, learn from mistakes and collaborate with well-connected people,” wrote Shane Snow, the author of “Smartcuts: How Hackers, Innovators, and Icons Accelerate Success.” Those who learn fast build diverse knowledge pools and tap into the wisdom of mentors to raise their game. They are fast learners for whom questioning, thinking and growing is the norm.

Here are five ways to learn more, faster.

  1. Leaders are Readers. If you can learn to read, you can read to learn. What’s on your reading list? Bill Gates, Warren Buffett and Richard Branson are all prolific readers. Reading builds cognitive skills, problem-solving and even creativity — all of which are essential in a fast-changing world. It can also provide new insights and fresh perspectives that help fuel your talent’s growth. Try the getAbstract app. It provides five-page executive summaries of books and is a favoured learning tool among senior learning executives.
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Q. What is Mind Mapping?

A. Mind Mapping is a popular brainstorming tool and learning technique of visually arranging ideas and their interconnections.

It can be used to graphically arrange the linkages of some central concept or issue with other concepts or issues into memorable treelike diagrams. It allows you to create, capture, organise, and communicate readily understood and highly interactive visual representations of complex ideas, information, and data.

A mind map always starts from some problem or issue which is positioned in the centre. Typically, it contains words, short phrases and pictures, which are connected to the central issue by lines.

Most people are visually oriented. Using structure, words, colour, images, and hyperlinks to bring concepts to life, MM links a central concept or issue with related concepts or issues.

Unlike linear thinking modes (that you probably learned at school) it stimulates imagination and creativity, by connecting left and right brain thinking. Thus, it is believed to harness the full range of your analytical and creative skills.

Origin of Mind Mapping

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This light-hearted quiz uses the principles of the Myers-Briggs Personality Type Indicator to give you an idea of your preferred problem-solving style.

Completing it will also increase your understanding of the other problem-solving personalities out there.

It can be used as an individual CPD activity or as part of a team wide development activity.

JEKYLL OR HYDE PROBLEM SOLVING STYLE?


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An article in McKinsey Quarterly accused U.S. companies of lavishing $14 billion per year on programmes to nurture their leaders while seeing little in return. The Wall Street Journal ran an article a few years ago titled “So Much Training, So Little to Show for It.” And the authors of an October 2016 article in Harvard Business Review referred to leadership development programs as the “great training robbery.”

The irony is the need for better leaders continues to grow. Global CEOs identified improved leadership development practices as a top five human capital strategy, according to the “Global Leadership Forecast 2014-15,” conducted by The Conference Board and Development Dimensions International.

Yet, the same study found just 40 % of leaders said the quality of their organisation’s leadership is high and only 15 % said they have a strong leadership bench — a decline of 18 % from 2011.

The considerable need for leadership development but low expectation of a documented return on it presents a quandary for HR leaders who understand how critical developing their organisations’ leaders is. They are in the awkward position of having to make a business case for investing in programmes when there seems to be little proof that they deliver impact.

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