Why Boards Need Their Own HR

By Francis

Recent headlines are rife with reports of board members in trouble. Via poor actions or inaction, they have made deadly mistakes with awful consequences to themselves, sponsors and stakeholders. With their reputations in tatters, they resign, hoping to survive a scandal they helped to create. But are they always guilty of wrongdoing?

In fact, most organizations put board members in a precarious position. While the average staff member benefits from the nearby presence of human resource …read more

Source:: Why Boards Need Their Own HR

How Your Company Should Address Staff Engagement Questions

By Francis

With regards to employee engagement, what do you do if your executive team can‘t agree? Some see symptoms of deep disengagement, while others don’t. Suggestions for how to intervene go nowhere, stuff that used to work in the past no longer succeeds and other companies’ case studies seem not to apply.

As Tolstoy said in Anna Karenina: “Happy families are all alike; every unhappy family is unhappy in its own way.”

My experience supports the notion …read more

Source:: How Your Company Should Address Staff Engagement Questions

Easy First Steps to Become an Enlightened Leader

By Francis

Do the skills required to be a great leader spring from an inborn set of traits? Or can they be developed over time? Here’s a surprising answer – not only can they be grown, but they all come down to a single, rarely talked about ability that isn’t taught but certainly can be learned.

There are lots of articles with “Top-Ten-Skills-for-Leaders” floating around. They promise to answer a simple question – “How are leaders made?” – …read more

Source:: Easy First Steps to Become an Enlightened Leader

How Examining Core Assumptions Can Save Your Company

By Francis

Why do disruptions drive companies out of business? While it’s easy to blame “innovative technology” or “tough competitors”, most firms hurt themselves by not following early warning signs which challenge core assumptions. Jamaican firms are particularly vulnerable.

Why? As mentioned in prior articles, our companies are overly leader-centric. While this is sometimes a benefit, it’s more often a weakness, especially when the big boss is the sole strategic planner. In such firms there are no real, …read more

Source:: How Examining Core Assumptions Can Save Your Company

On Making Workers Matter

By Francis

In my line of work, I meet lots of employees who aren’t sure they matter. Logically, they say they should be valuable due to their role, background, responsibilities, pay, etc. Yet, in terms of their emotional experience, they draw a disturbing blank.

It’s no surprise.

For the most part, our society reserves overt acknowledgement for funerals. However, before then, we try to be careful not to “spoil” people with too much praise. “After all”, we argue, “we …read more

Source:: On Making Workers Matter

Why IT Needs to Produce Chief Transformation Officers

By Francis

Why is the average Jamaican company stuck in a rut, 5-20 years behind the best global firms? It’s partly because their IT professionals are locked into junior levels in their companies, unable (and incapable) of adding the value needed at the Executive Level.

Product development. Employee engagement. Customer service. Business process improvement. New prospect acquisition.

This is just a short list of the activities which are changing faster than managers of these areas can track. As a …read more

Source:: Why IT Needs to Produce Chief Transformation Officers

How to Forge a Breakthrough Using Cockpit-Quality Communication

By Francis

After you spend precious time fixing a basic issue of miscommunication, how do you prevent it from recurring? Try borrowing the high standard of dialog used in the aviation industry.

Mistakes take place between executives, managers and staff every day. For example, after a chat with a colleague, you think she understands what you are asking for, only to discover (after the fact) that you were on different pages. The miscue retards progress, dashes expectations, and …read more

Source:: How to Forge a Breakthrough Using Cockpit-Quality Communication

How CEO’s Optimize Their Time Budgets

By Francis

If you are a top executive, you face a unique challenge: The weekly demands on your time regularly outstrip 168 hours. Yet, as you know, most CEO’s receive little formal training in time management on their journey to the C-Suite. Fortunately, new research can help close this gap.

Harvard’s Michael Porter and Nitin Nohria recently published the results of a multi-year study of CEO time usage. Their findings can help you allocate time more efficiently, even …read more

Source:: How CEO’s Optimize Their Time Budgets

How to Scale Up a New Innovation

By Francis

Sometimes, good ideas for new products and services include the seeds of their own destruction. How can this problem be discovered and prevented, thereby ensuring the success of your latest, greatest idea?

As a company innovator you are excited. Your original concept has taken off with higher-than-expected sales or conversions. Customers are buying because you uncovered an unmet need before anyone else.

While congratulations are in order, it’s also a dangerous moment because you are entering uncharted …read more

Source:: How to Scale Up a New Innovation

How New Managers Prevent Email Overwhelm

By Francis

When the excitement of a promotion wears off, newly elevated managers sometimes struggle. Often, they blame their new responsibilities, but this limited view dooms them to failure. Instead, success comes from expanding specific skills which were once suitable but are now inadequate.

Email is a case in point. All of a sudden, as a newly promoted manager, you need to stay late or work on weekends just to keep up with a mountain of discussion threads. …read more

Source:: How New Managers Prevent Email Overwhelm