It’s About Trust, Stupid!

Monday, February 2nd, 2015

Ever since Bill Clinton used the phrase ‘It’s the economy, stupid’ in his successful 1992 campaign for the US Presidency, it has been almost an article of faith that voters will, at the end of the day, elect leaders on the basis of economic self-interest.

Whether or not that was every completely true, recent events in Australian politics point to a new catch-phrase: ‘It’s about Trust, stupid.’ (more…)

Passion and Flow: How to make the most of your greatest asset – People!

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

People potentialI’m running an event in Melbourne on 12 August at 6.30pm. You can find the details here.

But first some background:

Like it or not, we live in revolutionary times. Everywhere I go I find conversations about working in a different way. Some of the regular themes include:

  • unleashing human potential and creativity
  • working collaboratively across silos and organisations
  • building tribes and communities with trust
  • the shift away from patriarchal structures and the rise of feminine values
  • a new environmental awareness
  • putting values at the centre of everything we do
  • being authentically human

(more…)

Keys to High Performing Teams part 8 – Workplace Conflict Resolution

Tuesday, July 22nd, 2014

Businessman yelling.This is the eighth in a series of Ten Keys to High Performing Teams. This article looks at the role that conflict resolution plays in workplace performance.

Conflict, like change, is inevitable. But it does not have to be destructive. Handled well, conflict can be a driver of innovation leading to better outcomes for everyone. The good news is that if you implement the other Keys to High Performing Teams in this series, you are already avoiding some of the drivers which can make conflict damaging and costly.

But because conflict is usually seen as something negative, painful and destructive, many people and organisations try to live in denial, seeking to avoid open conflict at all costs. This is not a good idea! It leads to even more pain over time as the conflict goes underground spreading its toxic fruits without being given a chance for a positive resolution.  (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 7 – Value individuality, diversity, unique gifts

Tuesday, July 1st, 2014

dog wearing party hatThis is the seventh in a series on 10 keys to High Performing Teams. You can see the original post here. This one looks at the importance of valuing and recognising people’s diverse, individual gifts and strengths.

We are each unique one-of-a-kind individuals who think differently. Yet in many workplaces we feel we have to leave our individuality at home and conform. Embracing diversity and individuality encourages people to bring more of themselves to work. Not only that, research shows that diversity drives creativity and innovation. (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 6 – Daily accountability conversations

Monday, June 16th, 2014

accountability conversationsThis is the sixth article in a series on 10 keys to high performing teams. You can see the original post here.

When organisations want to lift performance, often the first strategy that comes to mind is to set goals – perhaps coming up with one Big Hairy Audacious Goal or a set of Stretch Goals for individual teams. But a 2009 paper Goals Gone Wild by the Harvard Business School points out that the benefits of goal setting are exaggerated while the potential negative side effects are often ignored. In some cases, an over emphasis on goals can lead to lower performance. This happens for two main reasons: Firstly when extrinsic motivators are pushed, it means there is less intrinsic motivation. Secondly, it can emphasise the future at the expense of the present. (more…)

Keys to high performing teams part 5 – catching people doing things right

Tuesday, May 27th, 2014

Bunch of carrots.

This is the fifth article in a series on 10 Keys to High Performing Teams. This article looks at the “sticks and carrots” approach of traditional performance management systems. The article draws on research from behavioural psychology to show why a culture of recognition is one of the most powerful ways to lift performance, and looks at some of the common mistakes that organisations make.

One of the great things about behavioural psychology is the insight that all behaviour has a cause (or causes) which can be understood. By working on understanding the causes of a behaviour, it becomes possible to then change it.  (more…)

Gandhi and the politics of blame

Wednesday, October 2nd, 2013
Gandhi's room

Gandhi’s room in Mani Bhavan, Mumbai

The birthday of Mahatma Gandhi, October 2, is a good time to reflect on the theme of leadership and how politics can be a great force for good.

I write as a bitterly divided US congress has led to the first Government shut-down in 17 years with both Democrats and Republicans hoping that the public will blame the other side more than it hurts their own.  And here in Australia we have just had an election which both major parties said would be fought on the question of trust. The result is that the public’s trust in politicians is at an all-time low.

Last February I took part in a Dialogue on Democracy in Panchgani, India. It was the second such conference. Participants came from several countries struggling – often painfully – towards greater participation by citizens in how their countries are run.  We heard people from Syria, Egypt, Burma/Myanmar, Sri Lanka, Pakistan and Tibet express how it sometimes seemed that for every step forward there were two steps back. (more…)