News And Views

Empowering leadership: Does it always work?

It’s been over 3 decades since the concept of employee empowerment was born. To date it has many advocates – including us! Empowered employees – people who have the confidence in their competence to undertake challenging tasks as well as the personal agency and control to achieve attainable goals – have been consistently linked to [...]

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The future of management? More managers

There’s been a lot of speculation about where jobs are going to come from in the future. The advent of AI and ever increasing automation in the workplace are legitimate cause for concern. Fortunately, McKinsey has just published a comprehensive report: Jobs Lost, Jobs Gained: Workforce transitions in a time of automation. Much to my [...]

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Are management apprenticeships the future?

Earlier this year, the UK government implemented a new apprenticeship levy on large employers to fund management apprenticeships as well as others. The aim is to significantly increase apprenticeship starts and stimulate productivity growth. Why? UK productivity (GDP/hours worked) lags behind western economies such as Germany, the U.S. and Japan which is largely due to [...]

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Learning to Celebrate Failure and Success

I’ve recently had the privilege of working with the extended leadership team at an Australian EdTech business. They’ve grown from 10 to 75 people in the past 5 years with offices in Europe, North America and Australia. Technology is clearly crucial to their long-term growth and success. However the co-founders recognised early on that they also [...]

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Speaking Up is Harder to Do than it Sounds

My recent LinkedIn post featuring Madeline Albright’s interview with TIME resonated strongly with people. Albright spoke about the “fear of speaking up and being seen as stupid— only to have a man say the same thing to praise from participants”. Many women leaders are plagued by the same insecurity Albright articulated. As a result, they [...]

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Is the Nobel Prize Sexist & Out-of-Touch?

The recent Nobel Prize announcements were accompanied by the usual deserved accolades for the recipients. As an organization psychologist, I was pleased to see Richard Thaler receive the Economic Science Prize for his contribution to behavioral economics. Thaler was the 3rd such recipient following Robert Shiller and the inaugural recipient Daniel Kahneman – a psychologist [...]

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The Moral Imperative for Modern CEO’s

When I did my MBA some 3 decades ago (yikes!), we used the classic Harvard text and case study approach to “Business Policy” (now taught as Strategy). In those days, corporations generally viewed themselves as having a social responsibility to stakeholders as well as a financial responsibility to their shareholders. Indeed, managing a corporation with [...]

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Is too much discretionary effort a bad thing?

According to conventional wisdom, a critical task for managers is to motivate employees to ‘go the extra mile’ for the company. What does that mean in practice to expend ‘discretionary effort? For employees it means putting in extra time by volunteering to take on special assignments.  Or it could be completing important projects outside of [...]

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Leaders are made not born: Vince Lombardi

When I was growing up in Canada in the 60’s, the Green Bay Packers were the dominant NFL team. Their coach was Vince Lombardi. His success and untimely early death have been immortalized on the annual Super Bowl trophy bearing his name. Generally acknowledged as the greatest NFL coach of all time, his REAL genius [...]

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Drive Firm Value by Hiring Women CEOs and Top Managers

Finally, the jury is in – a very sophisticated meta-analysis study by Seung-Hwan Jeong and David A. Harrison of the University of Texas – Austin concluded there is “no cumulative, zero-order evidence of long-term performance declines for firms that have more females in their upper echelons (as CEOs or TMT members)”. In other words, more [...]

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