Crispin (Page 2)

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

the pandemic pivot

The impact of the pandemic and the associated economic recession is touching businesses around the world. Most are facing major changes in customer behaviour. Impacts to supply chains and challenges with sales channels. In these troubling times some companies will fail and others will apply the pandemic pivot to transform through innovative opportunities. By now most firms have assessed their business strategy and considered vulnerabilities and if there is an opportunity to pivot existing operations to address new demand. Where these pandemic pivot opportunities exist, which markets and segments can be best addressed. Strike a Balance Executives and strategy teams look at how to best set the firm up for success and experience shows that taking a very strong position either in defensive (cost cutting) or offensive (acquisition and growth) is likely to lead to poor results. A HBR study in found that those firms that struck the right balanceContinue Reading

I recall receiving some of the harshest criticism from a leader who also contributed an enormous amount to helping my career. We will all get criticised at times and it is important to consider why you are getting the feedback when you are responding to critics. Amazing as it may seem not everyone agrees with you. Not everyone likes you. You need to know when and how you can make your point. It is easy to over react when responding to critics and Dan Rockwell provides some guidance. As RBG famously said – “it helps sometimes to be a little deaf..When a thoughtless or unkind word is spoken it is best to tune out. Reacting in anger or annoyance will not advance one’s ability to persuade” Ruth Bader Ginsburg. “Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing” attributed to Aristotle Reflect Don’t RetaliateContinue Reading

Turning ideas into reality requires more than persistence, as this article explains it is much more like practical innovation magic. Innovation is taking a great idea to make a change to a process, product or to improve performance. Often the most brilliant novel ideas are the hardest for others to understand the potential. If others can’t immediately see the upside then often it can be harder to get support, resources and funding. This is often referred to as the Innovators Dilemma. Furr et al conducted over 100 interviews with innovative leaders including: Jeff Bezos (Amazon), Elon Musk (Tesla and SpaceX), Marc Benioff (, Shantanu Narayen (Adobe), Indra Nooyi (PepsiCo), Mark Parker (Nike) and Jeff Weiner (LinkedIn). They analysed and distilled the processes these leaders used to build the support. As well as the resources required to be successful. They then codified these tools and practices into what they refer toContinue Reading

The pandemic has had dramatic impacts to companies all over the world. While politicians are pushing for a V-shaped recovery to the economy. Most CEOs recognise that is totally beyond their control, instead they need to lead a Y shaped re-invention of their business. This is the premise put forward by Navi Radjou in Forbes magazine. With so many companies needing to reinvent or die he explains visionary companies are changing WHAT they do. What is a Y shaped re-invention This change challenges three core aspects to the company HOW – The perspective of how the company sees the world WHY – The organisation’s purpose, its underlying reason for being. WHO – Company values that are the basis of the corporate identity. This way of considering a firms impacts on society and the environment builds a significantly stronger loyalty with society and employees. A growing number of firms have takenContinue Reading

Management is a leadership function but has accountability for achieving the team goals. So the more effective manager looks both at the goals and helping the team achieve them. This DIGEST is synthesising themes from Kellogg School professor of entrepreneurship and innovation Carter Cast. He starts by noting that “We talk about inspirational leadership and brave leadership, and I’m all for it .. but the power and strength of good management doesn’t always get enough attention.”  In large organisations, leaders set the vision and the strategy. Middle management however establish goals, drive performance, build team culture and free the executive from day to day operations. “the real pulse of a company is its management layer”  Carter Cast Communicate Clearly Effective communication is a critical skill for management. That requires that there is a shared common understanding. A good test might be to ask team members about key objectives and how theyContinue Reading

Amazon has now been in business for 23 years, and every year Jeff Bezos has taken the time to write to shareholders. These letters are lessons from Bezos, they articulate the business philosophies, technology strategy and leadership direction. It is a masterclass in what it has taken to build the second largest company in the world. CBInsights have analysed all twenty three letters and identified what they believe to be the most important wisdom in each letter in chronological order. In this DIGEST we have synthesised the content further down to the underlying themes over the last two decades.  “When something bad happens you have three choices. You can either let it define you, let it destroy you, or you can let it strengthen you.” Theodor Seuss Geisel Wandering the essential growth counterbalance to efficiency Most large established businesses know their market, they build plans and execute as close toContinue Reading

The power of storytelling is the way it engages the audience. It connects the storyteller with the audience, creating a trust bond that feels very authentic. When friend and colleague Darren Batty shared the article from Julie Neumark on LinkedIn recently I realised it was an important topic we had not covered yet. Of course you can’t just tell a boring story and expect to create any level of connection. Telling people facts and data will not change their minds but telling a story may influence them and that is the goal. In their paper on ‘The Science and Power of Storytelling‘ Suzuki et al. write that “engaging listeners, creates a stronger and more meaningful transfer of knowledge because it elicits participation, creates an intellectual investment and emotional bond between the speaker and the audience”. The emotional bond and the intellectual investment that comes from good storytelling is a powerfulContinue Reading