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An Evening with Charles Handy

An Evening with Charles Handy

Prof. Charles Handy interviewed by Brendan Madden, CEO of Relationships Ireland at the Mansion House last night.

An inspiring, insightful, enjoyable and optimistic talk by Prof. Handy. His new book and his wife’s photographs added to the experience. Liz Tandy provides great pictures which illustrate the world view of her social philosopher husband.

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Global Leadership

Global Leadership


Changing organisation structures means there are now more global roles, and an increasing need for organisations to manage their leadership talent globally.

In a review of global leadership Sloan et al., (2003) mapped the types of leadership roles to competencies. Sloan concluded that many of competencies required for leaders in general were also important for global leaders. However a few more may be needed, and at a higher level. In some cases the general leadership competencies must be more fully developed to be effective in a global role, e.g., shaping strategy and influencing acorss cultures is more complex than across homogenous environments. These competencies are: 

 

  • Thought leadership – How to balance people, results, customers, and profits. Leaders must constantly make choices in style and priorities. Some situations call for more direction and collaboration. Others require fast decisions to address critical risks. The more global the role, the higher the complexity and volume of information the leader must consider.

 

  • Results Leadership – This is the planning, organizing and distributing of work through a complex organization. This is increasingly important for all leaders – but especially for global leaders.  Global leaders have to work across multiple organization levels and national boundaries, where there are cultural differences in preferences for structure and risk. This adds to the complexity.

 

  • People Leadership –  This is understanding individual differences in motivation, aspiration, and expectation. It is important for all leaders who deal with increasingly diverse workforces. For Global Leaders building relationships across distances, and cultures, face to face and remotely, are key challenges. It is imperitive to communicate well orally, and in writing, so that  words and tone will not be misinterpreted.

 

  • Self Leadership – This includes core characteristics that are not immediately visible, learning orientation, adaptability, integrity and values. It can be more culture bound, and not included in competency models. (This less visible element usually comes in to light during a scandal). This core element of effective and ethical leadership is important to ensure a good match between the individual and leaders values and those of the organization.

 

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

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Win the War for Talent

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Leadership is a Conversation (cont)

Groysberg and Slind’s 4 elements of Organisational Conversation


 

Intimacy – How leaders relate to employees

Leaders must minimize the institutional, attitudinal, sometimes spatial distances between themselves and their employees. Mental or emotional proximity is essential. Leaders must be able to communicate personally and directly – they must value trust and authenticity enabling a move away from top town information flows towards bottom up exchanges of ideas. Conversational intimacy can become manifest in –Gaining trust – this  is often difficult to achieve and may mean addressing some topics that feel off limits. Listening well Leaders need to know when to stop talking and start listening. True attentiveness signals respect for people in all roles/levels of the business.

Interactivity – How leaders use communication channels

Interactions need to be open and fluid rather than closed and directive. Such open, two way dialogues will foster back to back, and face to face interactions which reinforce trust. Leaders can use video and social media tools to facilitate this two way direct, and informal communication. Employees must also have the tools and support to speak up (and where appropriate back)

Inclusion – How leaders develop organization content

This element of organizational conversation focuses on the employees’ role. Personal conversations are equal opportunity endeavors for employees as they  allow shared ownership of conversation content. A spirit of inclusion means that engaged employees can create the ideas and content themselves, and can actively participate in organizational messaging. Leaders involve employees in telling their company story, and enable them to act as brand ambassadors, and thought leaders

Intentionality- How leaders convey strategy

Rewarding personal conversations need to be open. However, they should not be aimless. Participants must have a purpose and agenda to what they want to achieve. Intentionality brings a measure of closure to the organizational conversation process. It requires leaders to convey strategic principles by explaining them, and by generating rather than enforcing consent.

 

 

 

 

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Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

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Leadership Is a Conversation

How should Leaders Manage Communication in their Organisations?


Globalisation and new technologies have reduced the viability and efficiency of traditional,  top-down approaches to management. There is now a real need for realistic and sophisticated model of leadership to replace  these command-and-control views.

The Organisational Conversation Model

Groysberg and Slind have developed a new “organisational conversation” model of leadership based on data over the last 2 years. Their sample of 150 includes professional communicators, and top leaders from over 100 diverse organisations ranging in size, industry, and sector. This Organisational Conversation Model emphasises how  leaders must move towards conversational processes to manage the flow of information to and from their employees. The research shows that  smart leaders:

  •  Engage with employees in ways  resembling regular person-to-person conversation
  • Initiate practices/ foster cultural norms that instill conversational sensibility in organisations, allowing growing companies to function like smaller ones.
  • Dont simply issue orders. This allows them to retain —operational flexibility, high employee engagement, tight strategic alignment among other performance indicators.

 

The model identifies four elements:

  • Intimacy
  •  Interactivity
  •  Inclusion
  • Intentionality (these will be discussed in the next blog).

 

 

 

 

To learn more about our services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

Discover how DavittCorporatePartners can help you to:

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Marking the Difference: Talent, Strengths, and Instinct

Marking the Difference: Talent, Strengths, and Instinct


Author, independent consultant and speaker, Marcus Buckingham maintains that capitalizing on your strengths is the key to finding the most effective route to high performance.

  • What differentiates great managers and great teams from the rest?
  • How to uncover and leverage strengths while managing weaknesses: Unleashing the driving forces of individual and team performance
  • Making yourself “Standout”: Acheiving the self-awareness and self understanding that leads to professional and personal fulfilment.

 

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To learn more about our services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership?

Boringness: The Secret to Great Leadership


Like so many others Joel Stein imagined that all leaders should be inspirational speechmakers, and alpha-male yelling movie stars and sports players. However, in this months Harvard Business Review Stein questions his preconceptions of What Defines a Great Leader? Stein spent time with a range of leaders  ( fire chiefs, army captains, Boy Scout troop leaders) for his new book – Man Made: A Stupid Quest for Masculinity, and learned that his vision of what makes a good leader was all wrong.

How did these real-life leaders differ?

  • Many where quiet listeners who let other people make most of the decisions.
  • They weren’t particularly charismatic. Or funny.
  • They weren’t the toughest guys in the pack.
  • They didn’t have a Clintonian need to be liked, or a Patton-like intensity.
  • They were, on the whole, a little boring.

How do they lead?

  • Stein’s leaders didnt weigh each decision based on a desire to keep their team happy, or to be fair to each person.
  • They had a way of doing things they believed was right (they don’t waver – they follow the rules)
  • They  run a clean, orderly house so the team can respond with military precision.
  • They understand that they arent the most important person.

 

Inspiring people through your personality is a risky, exhausting endeavor.  When people know they are doing things exactly right they seem  to be both proud and assured, and will do anything for their leader. Great leaders have a  deep belief in their mission, and this makes other people believe in that mission.

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To learn more about our Leadership Development services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Happiness and Emotional Intelligence

Happiness and Emotional Intelligence


DCP attended a talk yesterday on Happiness and Emotional Intelligence in Trinity College Dublin, given by Prof Adrian Furnham, author of over 700 scientific papers and 57 books on:  Management Incompetence; Motivation in the Workplace; Team building;  and Happiness and Emotional Intelligence (to name a few). Furnham  has also been nominated by HR magazine as one of the 20 Most Influential People in HR since 2007

It was therefore no surprise that this talk was both highly enjoyable and informative. We watched Furnham overturn some common misconceptions surrounding the happiness effect (what makes people happy? how happiness is achieved?). Furnham’s comparitive studies on the stability of happiness among lottery winners and paraplegics provided surprising evidence for his arguments.  Furnham touched on many interlinking themes, including how happiness and  optimism relates to emotional intelligence.

 

Some top tips by Furnham for achieving happiness

  • Invest heavily in your friends (social support is crucial to wellbeing, and happiness)
  • Enjoy your work
  • Look after your mental and physical health
  • The harder you look for happiness, the less likely you will find it

Please see the link below for Adrian Furnham in action:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8mRH74CJo-Q&feature=player_embedded

To learn more about how we can help you develop Emotional Intelligence, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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Who do you Trust?

Who do you trust?


Trust  in our organisations is at an all time low. In their article “Who do you trust?” Searle Hope-Hailey, and Dietz argue that this loss of trust has serious consequences for both organisations, and more importantly our society at a whole. Trust in organisations is vital, and it can be a key economic advantage for firms enhancing their effectiveness, efficiency and performance. It has also been shown as highly significant in the fostering of desirable work-related behaviors. Employees who have high trust in the organisations they work; stay for longer; put in more effort and work more co-operatively. However, employees with low or no trust; reduce the effectiveness of their work; engage in counterproductive behaviors such as obstruction or seeking revenge; or simply decide to leave.

Dimensions of Trustworthiness

Central to trust- and its repair- at whatever levels are individuals’ perceptions of the trustworthiness of another party, whether this is an organization, leader or those in line management. Early studies have revealed four distinct components to trustworthiness. These dimensions inform whether and how far leaders are trusted or not. The behaviors inform whether and how far leaders are trusted, or not.

Ability – the extent to which this party is believed to have the skills or competence.

Benevolence– how much they are regarded as caring genuinely about his or her wellbeing

Integrity – focuses on the others adherence to moral principles and high standards of behaviors

Predictability – the perceived consistency of the other’s behavior over time.

 

Some key findings reflected from Searle et als., CIPD 2012 research report

  • Trust was important in employees decisions about; whether to recommend their employer to others; their levels of job satisfaction; contributor to whether employees left their employer
  • Respondents in the public sector had smaller levels of trust than the private and voluntary sector
  • The actions aand behaviours of those at the top have real significance for trust in the organisation as a whole
  • Those at the top are more likely to report higher levels of organisational trust
  • Trust and organisational size are related (high trust is easier to obtain in smaller organisations
  • Direct line managers will have a crucial role in shaping employees’ experiences of the organisation
  • Open communication is crucial in building and maintaining trust
  • Trust is not a one-way concern. Employees trust is generated and sustained when they also feel trusted by their managers

 

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To learn more about our Organisational Development  services, please contact the office: +353-1-6688891 or info@davittcorporatepartners.com

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DavittCorporatePartners – Organisational Psychologists and Experts in Helping Organisations Repair Organisational Trust

Managing Perfectionism in the Workplace – HBR

Managing Perfectionism in the Workplace


“Everybody is a perfectionist to some degree. It’s when it becomes an obsession that it’s a problem,” says Robert Kaplan. Managing a perfectionist can be challenging  but it’s not impossible.

Appreciate the positives while recognizing the negatives
Working with perfectionists can be frustrating. They tend to be impatient with or hypercritical of others, and poor delegators. Delong argues that “On some level, they actually believe no one can do it better” Perfectionists struggle to appropriately allocate their time and will focus on the last 2% excessively when 94% is good enough. However, perfectionists are committed to their work and because of their insistence on excellence, they often raise the standards of those around them.

Give the right job
Perfectionists are not a good fit for every job, e.g.. projects that they will struggle to complete. Accept that they may not be good managers  (see “hypercritical” and “bad at delegating” above). They are also unlikely to thrive in charge of a big complicated business.  Find jobs where their fastidiousness will be appreciated. Every organization has jobs that require intense attention to detail and encompass a relatively limited scope.

Increase self-awareness
Even in the right position, perfectionists can cause trouble — slowing progress or demoralizing colleagues. Managers must help their direct reports recognize when this result in negative outcomes. Explain that most work requires compromise and tradeoffs. Explain that by setting priorities, time and effort will be saved. Kaplan suggests explaining how perfectionist tendencies often prevent people from getting uniformly positive reviews or rising into management.  

Coach, if possible
Not every perfectionist is coachable but it pays to try – everyone has weaknesses so it is important  to exercise patience.

Be careful with feedback
Perfectionists may have a harder time than others hearing criticism and are likely to hear only the negatives. However, share your apprehensions. DeLong suggests you ask for their advice: “I’m not sure how to talk to you about how you can improve your performance. What guidance would you give me about how to give you feedback?” With this in mind, you can deliver the input in a way that won’t make them defensive or demotivate them.

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Tips for Type As who can’t meditate

Tips for Newbie Mediators


 

Neuroscientists have discovered that after 8 weeks, non-meditators who start a mindfulness practice show decreased brain activity in the amygdala – the brain region that controls anxiety – and increased grey matter in regions involved in perspective-taking and regulating emotions.

Dee Willock, the Vancouver-based author of Falling Into Easy: Help For Those Who Can’t Meditate shares some of her top tips:

  • Any comfy position is fine (doesnt have to be a formal, legs crossed position) – as long as it doesn’t induce sleep.
  • Efforts to suppress or eliminate racing thoughts are futile. The goal is to put antsy thoughts in the background while the mind focuses elsewhere. Beginners may find it easiest to simply notice how each breath feels in the body, or be aware of any ambient sounds.
  • Urgent thoughts will intrude ( “Did I turn off the stove?”). Acknowledge their existence, but then tell them you’re going back to your focus.
  • Fears of being at the mercy of negative thoughts is a “huge barrier” for new meditators, so imagine that each breath brings joy, or by fill  in the details of a happy memory.
  • Busy people can meditate anywhere, even if it means sitting in a living room full of kids. Start with 15 minutes a day, since the mind tends to calm down around the 10-minute mark.

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