Agile is being embraced by a wide range of industries
‘Going Agile’ appears to be a burgeoning trend among companies across Europe.
At the time of writing, on just one of the top international online recruitment sites, there are 772 job postings for Agile coaches in the UK, 779 in France, and 1327 in Germany. Organizations big and small are keen to adopt Agile principles. What’s more, these organizations are no longer limited to software companies. Browsing through the online job adverts, Royal Mail, Comic Relief, ING Bank, UK Cancer Research, and Lufthansa are among those companies looking for coaches to help introduce more agility into their ways of working.
So, Agile is spreading outside of the IT industry. But what does ‘Agile’ really mean? Read More
Let’s face it, you can’t get away with flogging the same old product or service over and over again.
One of your competitors has just come up with a new solution; more and more of your clients ask whether you have any “new innovative products”: These are some of the signs you can’t ignore anymore.
The company will soon start losing market share unless you place a lot more emphasis on innovation.
Until now, you have always been the main source of creative ideas in your team. But this is not sustainable anymore. You must build a team that is capable of coming up with new, exciting products.
But how can you build such a team? Here are 7 essential elements: Read More
Social network analysis – the management tool that helps you harness the power of social networks
In my previous post I wrote about the significance of managers understanding your own organisation’s informal network in order to make the right decisions.
But how can we draw the accurate map of the company’s social network?
Social network analysis is the method of collecting, visualising and analysing data about informal connections between employees of an organisation.
Managers can conduct a social network analysis by following these five steps. Read More
Everybody who has ever worked in an organisation knows that behind the formal orgchart and the official roles and responsibilities there is an informal network of personal connections.
Who chats with whom during coffee break? Who does someone shares their personal concerns with? Who do people turn to with their professional dilemmas?
These are questions you can’t answer by looking at the orgchart. And yet these informal social links strongly influence how a company operates, how information flows, and how quickly and flexibly an organisation reacts to any changes in the business environment.
Do managers really understand what is going on in the informal network? Read More
The New Manager’s Big Change Initiative is failing
Go-ahead manager Bob Newcomer begins his position in the well-established company, Slo-Gro products. He is full of ambition and eager to prove himself as the new head of the team.
After a few weeks, Bob can already clearly see that the processes, methods and traditions in the company are totally dysfunctional and in desperate need of change.
Therefore, after less than two months in office, Bob announces his Big Change Initiative. He introduces several radical transformations. He changes the organisational structure; he starts re-engineering processes; he demands new attitudes and new behaviours from his subordinates
Not surprisingly, Bob Newcomer faces huge resistance. Things are just not happening the way he planned. His orders are not being carried out. People don’t follow his new procedures.
He replaces several of his managers, but improvement is still not forthcoming.
He doesn’t understand what is wrong. Read More
Tips and tricks for leaders to reduce conformity in their team.
The old saying goes: “When in Rome, do as the Romans do.” True enough: on one level, conformity – people’s natural tendency to do as the others do – is a great thing. It helps us to be in harmony with our environment. It helps us to form cooperative groups by harmonising our behaviour with others.
On the other hand – as we saw in last week’s article – a high level of conformity can be a great burden in a workplace. It can cause team membersto stay quiet at meetings even when they disagree which can result in catastrophic decisions.
Conformity can also be the killer of innovation. People’s desire to stick to the mainstream opinion instead of challenging it will prevent innovative ideas from surfacing and being implemented.
Therefore leadership techniques that reduce conformity and make people speak up are worthy of any manager’s attention. Read More
Quiet disagreeement at a team meeting
At the Monday morning meeting there is a loud, energetic discussion about the new plan. However, Sally, one of your most talented colleagues, is quietly sitting there. She has quite a few doubts about the feasibility of the plan itself. She doesn’t really believe in the whole thing. But she doesn’t say anything. “It’s just not worth speaking up,” Sally might say to herself.
Tom, in the other corner of the room, has very similar thoughts. Yet he doesn’t really feel like contradicting the others. Taking the role of the annoying person who slows down a discussion that seems to be going so smoothly – well, it is not very appealing to him. So Tom just sits there quietly, waiting for the meeting to finish.
Sally and Tom stayed quiet at the meeting. But it doesn’t mean they agreed. Far from it. Read More
For some companies their CSR commitment simply involves giving money to a couple of non-profit organisations a few times a year. Others regard CSR as a great marketing opportunity: let’s show the world and our customers that we care, that we give back to society.
But I rarely come across a company that regards CSR as a way to boost employee engagement, to motivate staff and to increase loyalty.
One of the HR directors participating in our Best of HR Project shared with us how CSR and employee motivation are strongly linked in their organisation. She also gave us some hints as to how a system like this can be built up until the CSR buzz spreads among employees like a virus.
Let me share some of the things she said.
CSR is a joint effort between individuals and the company
“We are very proud of our CSR programme. Whenever the company gives to charity we always make sure that our employees are part of it. Read More
As part of the Best of HR Project I recently had a very inspiring conversation with the regional HR manager (CEE) of a big international company, who told me about his experience of building a highly effective regional HR team. I am happy to share his story with you here.
When I received the regional HR manager’s position…
I was promoted into the regional HR manager’s position almost two years ago. These two years have been hard, but we have managed to build a regional HR team which is not only performing outstandingly, but is also fun to work in. I am sure it is possible to push a team to exceptional performance by putting a lot of pressure on them, but in the long run that isn’t sustainable. Instead, I wanted to create a culture of trust and openness. Read More