Crispin

Decisions

Every leader faces numerous decisions every day. Some of them are small and can be decided based on a simple framework, others however need different kinds of responses. These situations need a different toolset to inform the decision making process. Effective Delegation Sometimes the very smartest decision a leader can make is to delegate that decision to someone else. Victoria Medvec (Kellogg Insight, 2017) suggests that while every decision is made somewhere along a risk continuum, before deciding if you should be the one making the call, you should first consider the following: Who is involved in making the decision?Sometimes a low risk decision gets pushed up to the leadership team rather than being dealt with locally, there are risks that when this happens not only is it wasting executive time on what should be routine decisions, but also the executive may not be as well informed and has potentialContinue Reading

The importance of innovation to help a firm stay ahead of its competitors is a regular topic for business and academic texts. Connecting innovation to purpose is about ensuring the magic of innovation is resonating deeply in the emotional drivers and values of staff responsible for ensuring its success. This is aligned to the question Simon Sinek asks when he says “Start with Why”. He writes about how leaders make the connection between an idea and what drives or motivates them (individual purpose). “Martin Luther King Jr., Steve Jobs, and the Wright Brothers had little in common, but they all started with WHY. They realized that people won’t truly buy into a product, service, movement, or idea until they understand the WHY behind it.“ Simon Sinek – Start With Why 2011 Innovation is the way that successful companies grow. Innovation is the way new products and services are identified, provenContinue Reading

collaboration

When you start working with someone new there are ways to make the fresh collaboration super effective. As Rebecca Zucker writes in HBR, before starting a new project, step back and get to know each other a little better. The way we collaborate can foster creativity and innovation but it also has potential to slow progress with meetings and communication required to keep everyone on the same page. In 2014 a Stanford study found that working together boosted intrinsic motivation, with participants persisting up to 64% longer on challenging tasks.  “Working with others affords enormous social and personal benefits” Gregory Walton, Assistant Professor of Psychology at Stanford 2014 The process of collaboration can lead to overload as Cross, Rebele and Grant wrote in 2016. “At many companies, people spend around 80% of their time in meetings or answering colleagues’ requests, leaving little time for all the critical work they must complete onContinue Reading

Being able to manage constantly changing priorities is an expected capability for todays leaders. Knowing how to juggle personal and business priorities and stay on top of the game requires knowing when to press pause. Pausing To Gain Focused Attention – When you are multi-tasking it is very likely that you are doing both tasks badly. By taking time to focus your attention and concentration on the task you get the best result. That requires pressing pause on something. Pausing To Improve Performance – The best way to improve is to reflect. Don’t just rush on, take time to consider what went well and what could have been improved. Learn to continually take the time to review and optimise. Pausing To Connect More Deeply – Superficial relationships are transparent and break quickly under strain. Leaders know that purposeful relationships take time and discipline. You need to invest in the otherContinue Reading

This year has been tough on everyone. I think that everyone is dealing with exhaustion. The pandemic, a global recession, working from home, studying from home, everyone home. What started as a refreshing change became challenging as families juggled work and home responsibilities. The constant fear of the pandemic as numbers grew then fell and then grew again. The recession and its its dramatic flow on impact to employment and financial security. This DIGEST comes from an article by Scott Eblin of the Eblin Group. Scott wrote about his own exhaustion this year and how his wife helped him with a process to getting life back in order. What Do You Do When You Are Dealing With Exhaustion Admit to yourself that you are exhausted – The first step with dealing with a problem is recognising that an it exists. No one can do their best work when they areContinue Reading

The power of saying no comes from being able to make a choice. When we choose to say no, we create a space for prioritising better things to say yes to. That’s the premise of this article. Kat Cole helps us understand we all have finite resources and important choices to make. Being able to say no to others (and ourselves) is a powerful muscle. It can help in building a strong career and a happy life. Failing to say no, (at the very least), can cause us to miss something bigger or greater.  Kat Cole It is when we take on work or activities that we should have declined. That is when we risk burnout, stress, high opportunity costs and more. Guidance on How to Start ‘Saying No’ When asked take on an activity, a job, volunteering, investment, donations, etc.. What we need to consider is how we goContinue Reading

Its going to happen, one day you will be working in a team and face challenges with an individual. Personality challenges with high conflict people happens in all teams and all organisations. Some people may feel incredibly negative to you. They may always need to have the last word. Some people love to split hairs on the finer details. Other people are complainers, blamers or flamers. There are those that wont follow process. Others who will only follow process to the letter. So knowing that we all deal with these people at different times, how can you best manage that relationship to be as productive as possible. Avoid Assuming Intent It is the classic mistake. You are offended or frustrated by the individual and so you already rationalise that the behaviour is deliberate, personal and it is them (not us) that need to change. Our brains have a confirmation bias,Continue Reading

Around the world leaders have rapidly changed business models, cut costs and plotted new paths to enable them to make the path to transformation. To thrive in this ‘new normal’ will require companies to make even more fundamental changes. This is the basis of the argument from McKinsey’s Robinson who explains that true transformation requires the organisation to be rebuilt from the cellular level. Because if business models and mindsets don’t shift the costs will creep back in. Melissa Arnoldi (CEO, VRio – an AT&T Company) provides a list for success Have a compelling story Sense of urgency Make sure you have a sustainable culture – diverse thoughts and inputs Generate short term wins “More than 70% of Transformations Fail” McKinsey research Set the highest aspiration you can and truely inspire people to get there – incremental targets lead to incremental results A process that turns ideas into actionable plansContinue Reading

Leadership Creativity

With all of the current pressure of business leaders you could be forgiven for saying right now leadership creativity is not a priority. However as this article explains creativity is the basis of innovation. Creativity finds opportunity. Creativity enables businesses to pivot. “One doesn’t manage creativity. One manages for creativity“ Amabile and Khaire (HBR 2008) Creativity is The Most Important Leadership Quality Creative leaders see the opportunities that others don’t. Boards and executive teams recognise the need for leadership creativity to accelerate and generate innovation. But more than that creativity can drive: Problem solving Achieving growth Driving transformation Building team culture Effective mentoring of teams Identifying unique and unlikely business opportunities In 2010 IBM surveyed 1500 global company executives to understand what drives them as they lead. Creativity was ranked highest outweighing integrity, dedication and global thinking. Building Your Leadership Creativity You can change. All leaders have the potential for creativity butContinue Reading

There are times when you have to make a difficult call. It is an important part of the senior leadership role, to make big decisions that have potentially lasting ramifications. Making tough decisions is not easy, but there are some techniques that can help. Ed Gillcrist is a CEO and former marine he applies his military training to structured decision making. THINGS TO ACCEPT An obligation of the role – leadership requires tough decisions to be made. When you stepped up, you accepted the responsibility. It is not going away – hoping that the hard call, can be made by someone else. Or that it will quietly go away is not leadership. Effective leadership takes ownership. Moral courage – it is often not easy, not pleasant. But if it is the right thing to do, then summon the courage and get on with it. Experience makes the process easier –Continue Reading