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Management (27)

Here's why Firing Jeremy Clarkson was the Perfect Response

Would you allow this man bully your staffWould you allow this man bully your staff

They’re in place in all organisations. The brilliantly talented Lawyer who needs to be right all the time and drives everyone nuts. An Actuary who had every ounce of personal warmth sucked out at birth (an extroverted actuary is someone who looks at your shoes when he’s talking to you). A Research Chemist with 3 normal brains who pays zero attention to personal hygiene.  You can use any label you wish. Oddballs. Weirdos. Misfits. They are everywhere. Now, if you’re lucky they combine ‘oddness’ & ‘greatness’. That Lawyer will win unwinnable cases. The Actuary will convert financial wizardry into an idea that saves a bank millions in recapitalization costs. And the Chemist will cure … whatever. Brilliance is traded off against oddness i.e. a certain amount of oddness is tolerable (most of us are a bit odd but often don’t recognise our own peccadilloes). While IBM formally recognize this (a dual career structure where the Techies march to the left and the Managers go right), most organizations just muddle through as best they can.

Monday, 19 January 2015 15:18

Is it Fooling Yourself or Survival?

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Should Consultants Collude with Leadership Lies?

Should Consultants Collude with Leadership LiesOf all the businesses, by far

Consultancy’s the most bizarre

For, to the penetrating eye,

There’s no apparent reason why,

With no more assets than a pen,

This group of personable men

Can sell to client’s more than twice

The same ridiculous advice;

Or find, in such a rich profusion

Problem’s to fit their own solution (Boardroom Ballads – Bertie Ramsbottom)

Monday, 05 January 2015 20:21

In 2015: Tear Up the Old Rules

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Rip Up The Rules: Solution Focused Consulting

Management BullyingManagement BullyingOver the past 20 years, I’ve been involved in numerous team-improvement and problem-solving interventions, across every type of organisation imaginable (butchers, bakers, candlestick makers and a few others thrown into the mix). Do these interventions always work? Does the problem always ‘go away’? Hymm! Let’s take a quick look at the so-called ‘epidemic’ of managerial bullying as a case in point.

Monday, 14 July 2014 19:36

Eagles and Bob: How to Engage Staff

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The story of two concerts

It’s fine for a manager to be grumpy – as long as they are ‘genius’.

The Eagles and Bob DylanThe Eagles and Bob DylanI recently attended two concerts in Dublin’s 02. The first sojourn was to hear the Eagles. Even if you’re not an Eagles fan, the concert was stunning. More than the music, they told the ‘story’ of how the band developed and the staging (audio visuals etc.) was excellent.  The concert ran for almost 3 hours, a tour de force of musicianship and entertainment.  How they survived those ‘Hotel California’ days is a medical miracle (Bill Clinton is so lucky that he didn’t inhale!).


5 frogs on a log5 frogs on a logThe Holy Grail for consultants is to understand change – how organizations and individuals make progress. While most consultants are happy to chat freely about success stories, poster boys and girls who’ve successfully made the journey, they may be reluctant to highlight cases where progress has been less than stellar. Because the reality is that some clients get ‘stuck’. God, if only someone would write a book and decipher all this complex psychology stuff. Well, now that you mention it…the book Immunity to Change, written by Professor Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey of Harvard University fame covers this topic. It’s hard to do justice to their thesis in a short blog, but here’s the skinny.

Monday, 18 November 2013 20:58

How to motivate your staff without money

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DonkeyDonkeyOne of the things that has been central to my work throughout my life was how to reward and motivate people.  In this time of frugality within small businesses, I decided to put together a list of ten ways to reward your staff without money.

Monday, 18 November 2013 19:34

Become the Elder Lemon: How Mentoring Works

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starwarsstarwarsIt’s a Miracle! Older People also have Breakthrough Ideas

When you have a guitar, even people who don’t like you will ask you to parties; it’s like a Willie Wonka Golden Ticket. On that exact basis, I was recently asked to a ‘do’ in Raheny.  I didn’t know many of the people there, but a lorry load of alcohol soon sorted that out (“Let the minutes of this meeting show that the EU red wine lake has been depleted”).

Wednesday, 30 October 2013 19:54

Are You A Great Leader?

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leadershipleadershipOrganizations succeed for many reasons but those that have strong leadership improve the odds of maximizing profitability.

Here are a few important principles to consider in order to strengthen leadership skills.

Monday, 09 September 2013 20:14

Learning Organisation

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learning organisationlearning organisationAccording to Fortune magazine, the successful organisation of the future will be "something called a learning organisation."

Just what constitutes a ‘learning organisation’ is a matter of some debate. We explore some of the themes that have emerged in literature and contributions of key thinkers like Donald Schon and Peter Senge (writer of The Fifth Discipline). Is it anything more than rhetoric? Can it be accomplished?

Like the cut in designer jeans, the world of management consulting is also influenced by fashion trends.  While Right versus Wrong trumps New versus Old – clients still expect consultants to keep up to date. We ignore the latest trends at our peril.  It’s like playing  ‘Yesterday’ at a gig; people can normally relate to it. But play Let her Go by Passenger  and you look like an up-to-the-minute hero. However, there are some organization issues which have a sort of universal truth and remain applicable all the time.  Great diagnosis is one issue that never goes out of fashion.  To tell this tale, let’s take a half-step backwards in time.

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