Tag Archives: communication

January 17

What you could learn from ‘Team Genius’ by Rich Kalgaard and Michael Malone (2015, 250 pages)

How did the team that designed and delivered the US’s first ever fighter jet (P-80 Shooting Star) do it in less 143 days? In their book ‘Team Genius’ Rich and Michael suggest that there are five things contribute to team effectiveness. Stay as small as possible, and stick to optimum group sizes.  That is 7±2, […]

November 06

Leadership hack 015 – there are three ways to get people to do something

When you want somebody to do something, you have three choices: Rely on altruism by appealing to their better nature Threaten adverse consequences if they don’t do it Re-frame the request to highlight mutual benefit Each of these approaches has advantages and drawbacks, and the effectiveness of each will differ with context. Altruism is incredibly powerful, but you need a […]

September 22

Leadership hack – 010 beware the pendulum of leadership

Most organisations act to magnify the intent of their leaders.  The corporations of the last century, with clear hierarchies and control mechanisms, were designed to ensure that direction issued from the CEO and the board was understood and executed.    While the recent trends of decentralisation and empowerment have gone some way to reduce the role of leaders […]

September 03

What you can learn from ‘BCG On Strategy’ by Carl Stern and Michael Deimler (2006, 403pages)

Strategy, like leadership, is a contested topic.  The Boston Consulting Group (BCG) has a long history of innovation in strategy consulting, having been the powerhouse behind the growth share matrix, the experience curve, time-based competition and the rule of three and four. Perspectives, BCG’s publication, seeks to expose their latest thinking both within the company […]

September 02

Leadership hack 006 – alignment is not agreement

Aligning people when everyone agrees is easy.  However, you will often disagree with others on what you are trying to achieve and how best to achieve it.  Disagreement is not harmful, most of the time it is beneficial to have our ideas and assumptions tested – two minds are better than one.  However, if a […]

August 26

Leadership hack – 005 giving clear direction

Why are we surprised when a piece of work comes back and it was not what we were expecting?  There are two possible reasons.  The first is that the person you asked to do the work did not understand what was expected of them.  The second is that the person you asked lacked the skill […]

August 19

Leadership hack 004 – controlling the monkey

We all do it.  Someone questions the work that you have just completed or your thoughts on a topic or problem, and you feel the threatened.  You roll our eyes, become defensive or even worse, passive-aggressive.  Deep inside you know that your response is unhelpful, and does nothing to solve the problems you face or […]

July 29

Leadership hack 002 – Leadership – it is not about you

“People spend 99% of the time thinking about themselves. Actually, that’s probably a little low,” Liam Scott, speechwriter Could this statistic be correct?  While the evidence base for behind this particular claim is questionable, there is some research that does support the view that people spend the majority of the time thinking about themselves (see Scientific American). […]

April 20

Could personality analytics revolutionise the way you work with others? By Max Eskell

Human interaction is incredibly complex.  People can be very, very different and it takes time to get to know people.  As a result, when we work with someone for the first time we often fail to pick up on their individual nuances of language and body language.  By not being attuned to new people you increase the chance […]

April 16

What you could learn from ‘Quick and Nimble’ by Adam Bryant (2014, 251 pages)

  “Innovation distinguishes between leaders and follower.” Steve Jobs Innovation is one of the strongest sources of competitive advantage.  Staying ahead of the competition allows you to explore new products, services, and business models while also making sure you are exploiting your existing offering. Adam Bryant offers 16 well thought and well-crafted pieces of advice […]

April 12

What can you learn from ‘Made to Stick’ by Chip & Dan Heath (2008, 284 pages)

A fantastic precursor to ‘Switch’, this book sets out a framework for getting people to remember what you tell them. Using some compelling examples, Chip and Dan argue that humans remember stories more that statistics or logical arguments. Chip and Dan provide a useful framework for checking whether your story/idea is likely to ‘stick.’ 1. […]

April 12

What can you learn from ‘Nudge’ by Cass Sunstein & Richard Thaler (2009, 312 pages)

In their book ‘Nudge’, Thaler and Sunstein are among the first to set out the arguments for using behavioural insights to change (‘nudge’) people’s behaviour. By changing the context of a decision, they argue it is possible to reduce unhealthy or undesirable decisions. Their main arguments stem from making sure that choices are presented in […]

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