Level Up

When you move up a level, you need to make sure you empower your team and effectively delegate to be successful without you. The strengths that make you terrific at hands-on delivery don’t always serve you perfectly once you’re responsible for juggling multiple teams, issues, and priorities — some of which are always going to be in conflict. Liz Kislik Adjust your relationship with your team It is a crucial step detaching from the way you were working with the team, it will be very important as you start delegating responsibility and helping your team member to become more capable and effective. Stop answering everything – in team sessions the questions will keep coming to you so, either keep quiet or direct it to the best person in the team with the knowledge to answer it. Support independent thinking – help your team figure out the plan and solve the problemContinue Reading

Transforming your organisation requires a mindset transformation, the excellent illustration below was shared this week on LinkedIn by an ex-colleague and it sums up how organisations need to think about and plan for transformation. Well done to Thoughtworks and Tanmay Vora who created this image. “The most profound business challenge we face today is how to build organizations that can change as fast as change itself.“ Gary Hamel, Global Peter Drucker Forum, Vienna Austria The authors start by pointing out that John Kotter wrote a paper on “Leading Change” in 1996 (required MBA reading) where he highlighted that only 30% of change initiatives are ever actually successful. The reason is that there is a lack of commitment to drive a change of culture. Culture is created and solidified over time through expressed actions and reactions and not cooked up based on generic sounding mission statements that are disconnected from realContinue Reading

Steve Jobs

It is a fascinating trip back in time, it takes us back in time to November 30, 1988, at the Boston Computer Society, when Steve had just launched his new company NeXT, this was the new venture for Jobs after being forced out of Apple in 1985. These unheard tapes from Steve Jobs in 1988 are part of wider treasure trove of vintage audio recordings the Powersharing Series. I love hearing the preamble where the host talks about a future session where a presenter will show a pocket computer… But back to this story, Steve explains how he was building the NeXT computer for universities, a fast computer with lots of memory, it has to be UNIX but it has to usable by humans so build an interface that humans can use! He continues on with the asks that people had requested of the NEXT computer eg What you seeContinue Reading

Agile organisations develop products five times faster, make decisions three times faster, reallocate resources to highest priorities quickly and effectively (McKinsey, 2019). However middle management makes or breaks that agility, remaining a barrier to adoption and blocking the potential gains that come with holistic transformation to the agile way of working. “Managers like to take ownership and enforce a controlled leadership style. For organisations trying to adapt agile ways of working into their business, this presents a real problem as it goes against the very essence of what agile tries to promote,” says Marc-Olivier Hilgers, principal, agile transformation and enablement, at Capgemini. “Middle managers, in particular, are among the biggest challenges in becoming agile”, says Mick Burn, head of organisational change management, Europe, at Infosys Consulting. Most middle managers, rose to that opportunity by building specific leadership skills and competencies, the agile model does not have the same roles whichContinue Reading

In order for your business to thrive you need to identify new revenue opportunities, reduce costs, grow margins, create new markets, build strong customer relationships, have a powerful company culture – these are the business of innovation. Face it – innovation is what will make your business better than your competitor, it defines what makes you different and makes you better. This article explores three models of innovation, Revenue Model Innovation, Business Model Innovation and Industry Model Innovation. Revenue Model Innovation Many organisations look at their revenue model and consider how to change that model to grow the gross yield. The concept of Freemium which has grown significantly in the last ten years is a perfect example, as is the move from outright purchase to subscription. A key aspect of revenue model innovation is to keep watching global trends and to model the impact of that change to your organisation.Continue Reading

This article explores the core mindsets and skills of effective learners, those who master that capability are referred to as Intentional Learners – possessors of a fundamental skill for professionals to cultivate in coming years. The process of unlocking that capability will create tremendous value for themselves and for those they lead and manage. Learning itself is a skill. Unlocking the mindsets and skills to develop it can boost personal and professional lives and deliver a competitive edge. McKinsey Quarterly Unlocking Intentionality Formal learning only accounts for a tiny percentage of the learning every professional requires during the course of their career. Intentional learners treat every moment as a learning opportunity, embracing the need to learn not as a seperate task or type of work but as an almost unconscious, reflexive way of working. Every experience, conversation, meeting and deliverable carries with it an opportunity to develop and grow andContinue Reading

This article reflects on the organisational culture at GitLab a company who is Transparent and Remote. GitLab have been been at the cutting edge of remote work models since the company was formed in 2011. With a staff of over 1300 people, GitLab has been touted the largest all remote organisation in the world (up until now…). Team members are spread across 67 countries. The company is radically transparent, if you look at its website you can see a list of everyone who works there (with a photo), Management Group policies are explicitly shared on the company website where everyone is aware of what is expected. GitLab are a competitor to Github (which was acquired by Microsoft in 2018 for $7.5 billion USD) but while the product is similar the company culture is radically different. Vibrant (virtual) Watercooler Meetings Recognising that an all remote workforce needed to have a structuredContinue Reading

As the world faces the significant economic disruption that has followed the pandemic, organisations have a chance to create an opportunity out of the crisis by transitioning older workers to new work models There is significant need for smart, agile new startups to be launched by older entrepreneurs, for more than 20 years the majority of US startups were launched by people 45 or older. As businesses cut back and restructure their workforces, old workers are going to need to prepare for a different employment landscape. Older workers are often first to be cut, they are on higher salaries than their younger peers and some may not have some of the newer skills currently in demand. Older employees however are usually the ones with the knowledge and experience as well as the deepest personal networks not just within the organisation but more broadly across the industry and markets they serve.Continue Reading

Being made redundant

This article talks to some of the personal experiences people are having being made redundant during CoVID19, how people are being told they are no longer required by video meeting and have no opportunity for closure with colleagues and friends at events. A workplace where you have been employed for a long time can heavily influence who you are, it can be hard to lose a connection to the company, former fellow employees and your purpose at one time. The changing market conditions has also knocked the optimism of some people who would potentially be more buoyant about a change of career and looking for new opportunities. For employers It is important that employers recognise this is a difficult time for people changing roles and looking for new opportunities. Empathy for the situation is critical and while the rules around redundancy in Australia can make it difficult with what youContinue Reading

The author is quick to point out that having a positive outlook is widely regarded as being inherently beneficial and that certain cultures around the world have a greater or lesser degree of positivity (Americans high / Finns lower). Reality helps avoid a false sense of securityWe do tend to have a built in level of pragmatism for everyday risks, such as crossing the road. If you recognise the risk of getting hit while crossing the road, you are more likely to take care than have a false sense of security. However this same pragmatism may instead be replaced by over optimism with health related risks (smoking, drinking, or over eating), career related aspirations (I will get promoted even if I don’t work hard), or gambling (I win at the casino more often than not). Humans are pre-wired for optimismWhen it comes to predicting what we are expecting to happenContinue Reading