Lessons from Lockdown

Lessons from Lockdown

Like most, the experience of living through the COVID-19 pandemic and the resulting lockdown has been quite a revelation to me on many fronts. It has been intriguing to watch how the world has responded on a political, business and personal level. In many ways, our varied responses to this crisis are as fascinating as the pandemic.

As James Lane Allen once wrote, “Adversity does not build character, it reveals it.” I have found this to be entirely true as I have observed the world in crisis. We have seen remarkable leadership, kindness, creativity, compassion and inspiration as COVID-19 unfolded across the globe. In contrast, we have also seen some of the worst elements of human nature too – poor leadership, finger pointing, lying, hoarding and thinly veiled racism.  All of this has played out around us, whilst so many lives have been lost. 

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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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