The dark art of management

The dark art of management

Few consider the incredibly challenging aspects of management as they step into a promotion. One of these is the responsibility of “downsizing”. No matter how you slice and dice it, downsizing a team is a difficult task.

So, how do you approach this with professionalism and kindness, whilst achieving a well-considered result for the business? Importantly, how do you reach the right outcome without creating a lasting, negative impact on several lives in the process?

Sadly, I have been involved in more downsizing projects than I like to remember. From my perspective, there are definitely ways to minimise the angst – for both those directly impacted and their families, but also the “survivors” who are left in the organisation after the process has been completed.

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Retention Bonuses – what do they really say about your culture?

Retention Bonuses – what do they really say about your culture?

Remuneration in today’s corporate environment is a complex beast. Anyone who has delved into the world of compensation knows that it is a difficult, but critical piece of the employment puzzle. It is important to have a strategy that is well considered and transparent, particularly in today’s digital environment where information abounds.

The basic premise of remuneration is quite straight forward. You aim to pay market appropriate rates for the fixed component of the remuneration package, and then ensure that you retain your best employees with performance based incentives. Ideally, the better the performance, the more impressive the reward.

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Forget the core values – here’s how to really identify the culture

Forget the core values – here’s how to really identify the culture

Most organisations will have a set of core values. These will usually be proudly displayed on the wall and may even make it as far as the annual review or company website. But how often do they truly mirror the organisational culture? Too often the values are not in sync with how an organisation really operates. Here I outline some of the tell-tale signs to look for when the values have no bearing on reality.

Culture is an interesting topic and one that is often an important focus for prospective employees, clients, partners and share-holders.  The core values are seen as the beacon of what the organisation aspires to in terms of culture. While a vision articulates a company’s purpose, the values offer a set of guidelines on the behaviours and mindsets needed to achieve that vision[1].

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A quick lesson in change management

A quick lesson in change management

Change management is often bandied about in conversations in today’s corporate environment. What exactly is change management and why does it make a significant difference when it is utilised effectively?

Many moons ago, I had the great fortune of studying change management under the brilliant Emeritus Professor at UTS, Dexter Dunphy[1]. Professor Dunphy’s research is published in over 90 articles and 23 books – many of which are specifically focused on change.

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How to talk technology with your CEO and the Board

How to talk technology with your CEO and the Board

Technology is a key element of any modern business today and is often seen as critical to success – and failure. However, articulating the best way to harness technology to the most senior members of any organisation takes a lot more than technical expertise.

I have had the great privilege of working with many IT experts during my career. I have witnessed brilliance first hand in many back offices, where technical gurus have solved problems, created incredible solutions and toiled through the night to ensure that systems keep working. Often this hard work and tenacity goes un-noticed and un-appreciated. Many within the organisation are oblivious to the geniuses that walk amongst them.

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So, do you want to be a CEO?

So, do you want to be a CEO?

Look deep into your ambitious soul and ask yourself:  “Do you want to be a CEO?”

This year I have been busily looking for my next executive role. A role that would provide significant challenge, an opportunity to be creative and most importantly, a place where I can work with great people who are smart and know how to have fun.  That is my quest!

One of the questions that has popped up several times during interviews, networking catch ups and soul searching sessions with mentors has been a question that I sometimes struggle to answer. “So, do you want to be a CEO?”

My immediate reaction to this question is, “When I grow up?”.  Then follows a mixture of feelings including flattery, burning ambition, and an overriding sense of the “tall poppy syndrome”.[1] A battle in my brain between my ambition and my fear kicks in, followed swiftly by endless questions in my mind about how that could possibly happen.

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