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"Leadership is the capacity and will to rally men and women to a common purpose and the character which inspires confidence."

-- Barnard Montgomery, British Field Marshall


"Individual commitment to a group effort - that is what makes a team work, a company work, a society work, a civilization work."

-Vince Lombardi

Refreshing Lessons in Empowerment

A lemonade stand is no Fortune 500 company, but with refreshing simplicity, it reveals some of the key principles of empowerment.

The Customer: An Overlooked Component of the Innovation Process


Where would YouTube be today if not for its millions of users? What good would Wikipedia be without all of those contributors? And how successful could IKEA possibly be if its customers weren't willing to assemble their own furniture?


Stephen Brown says the answer is simple: If not for the contributions of their customers, all three of those remarkable business successes would be anything but successful.


And there's a lesson in that, says Brown, for companies of all kinds.


Assessing Your Organization's Innovation Capabilities

This article offers a framework to help managers confronted with necessary change understand whether the organizations over which they preside are capable or incapable of tackling the challenge.


Conflict Resolution: Simple But Not Easy

(Blame Your Gremlin)

Conflict resolution is, in theory, quite simple. Yet who among us hasn’t experienced times when our common sense flies out the window and even the most basic skills desert us. Those times demonstrate that conflict resolution may be simple, but is far from easy. Let’s see why.

Usability: Bringing User-centred design inside the organisation

Trying to get the spirit of usability and user-centered design (UCD) established internally can be a difficult and isolating experience, even for the most determined user champion.

Introducing change of any kind in organisations is difficult at the best of times, doubly so when you have to break through the concrete walls of 'process' and 'methodology'. The emotional journey of trying to introduce usability is no different to that of a revolutionary, desperately trying to change the status quo through various guerrilla tactics.

This article offers practical advice of what a user champion can do to introduce and embed usability and user-centered design within a company.


Hiring for Executive Intelligence

Hiring managers have all but ignored standard IQ, but they remain the best predictor of managerial success. Here is how to design an interview that uncovers executive intelligence. A Harvard Business Review excerpt.


Win Win Approach

Opponents or Partners

The Win/Win Approach is about changing the conflict from adversarial attack and defence, to co-operation. It is a powerful shift of attitude that alters the whole course of communication.


Dialogue and Debate

The need for Conflict-Resolving Government challenges us to establish civil discourse.

The following three articles raise our awareness and give strategies:

Getting the Information You Need from Interviews
Interviewing important information sources has major implications for the success of any meeting. Access is often limited; consultants need to leverage their time and coax specific - and sensitive - information from sources. Persuading people to talk to you openly involves a clear code of ethics and a talent for putting people at ease.

Conflict-resolving Media

This document emphasises the vital role the media can play in Conflict Resolution and Peace Making globally, nationally and locally. It aims to support journalists in new and rewarding career paths, where their unique contribution to problem-solving is recognised and embraced.

Conflict: Constructive or Destructive?

What creates conflict in your organization? Different views on business decisions and strategy? Disagreement about tactics? Poor relationships and personality clashes? Conflict occurs for many reasons. But, by changing how you respond to conflict, you can reduce its harmful effects and maximize its useful ones.

"If it is well managed, conflict can have positive outcomes," says CCL's Brenda McManigle. "Conflict can lead to better decision making, expose key issues, stimulate critical thinking and fuel creativity and innovation."


Effective Communication Tips for Today’s Manager



"Information Literacy in a Corporate Environment"

The concept of Information Literacy (IL) recently reared its head as part of a project I was working on. As an Information Professional, IL is a competency that I have taken for granted, because it is a natural part of what being an IP is all about. However, others in a corporate organisation may not possess these skills. IL has been around for a long time and is a well documented subject - especially in an academic context (7), but there is very little information available when it is translated across to a corporate or workplace environment. I have not specified putting IL into practice in any particular type of organisation, to enable the reader to understand the broad concepts that can be put to use. Due to length restrictions, this article is a brief outline of the main issues, and therefore is by no means fully comprehensive.

How Organizations Create Social Value

A recent study on the factors that contribute to successful high-performance social enterprises finds a connection between enterprises that link economic value with social value.

This was the focus of a study presented at the colloquium, "The Social Enterprise Knowledge Network: Seeking Success in Social Enterprise," ending August 1. This two-year study was the second carried out by SEKN since it was founded in 2001 as a research partnership between HBS and leading business schools in Latin America and Spain. SEKN's research centered on smart practices by social and business organizations in Latin America and Spain.

This research will be published in Harvard's David Rockefeller Center for Latin American Studies book series through Harvard University Press.

The goal of the colloquium is to help leaders in businesses and society create social value for their communities, while in parallel strengthening their organizations.

The study centered on forty organizations—twenty NGOs (non-governmental organizations) and twenty corporations—deemed to be high performers in social enterprise (SE). Through interviews, field research, and comparative analysis, HBS professor James Austin, HBS senior researcher Ezequiel A. Reficco, UNIANDES professor Roberto Gutiérrez, and INCAE professor Enrique Ogliastri presented what the SEKN researchers found to be smart practices for organizations wanting to create social value.

The researchers stressed the importance of synergies between Economic Value (EV) and Social Value (SV), calling them "two sides of the same coin." By aligning EV and SV, both nonprofits and corporations can:

Read on ...

Middle Management Excellence

What is the single most important thing a CEO can do to maximize his or her company’s performance?

The answer is to creatively, aggressively, and systematically build the capabilities of the company’s middle management team: the vice presidents, directors, and managers.

Regardless of what high-potential initiative the CEO chooses for the company, the middle management team’s performance will determine whether it is a success or failure. And if the middle management team is performing in high gear, the managers themselves will generate the right initiatives, and constantly adapt and improve them during implementation.  Read on ...

Forming, Storming, Norming, Performing
Helping new teams perform effectively, quickly.
by Helena Smalman Smith

Effective teamwork is essential in today’s world, but as you’ll know from the teams you have led or belonged to, you can’t expect a new team to perform exceptionally from the very outset. Team formation takes time, and usually follows some easily recognizable stages, as the team journeys from being a group of strangers to becoming united team with a common goal.

Whether your team is a temporary working group or a newly-formed, permanent team, by understanding these stages you will be able to help the team quickly become productive.

Understanding the Theory

Article continues

The Ten Values of Excellent Teams

Author: Martin Edwards

Values in teams are the specific beliefs about what is right and wrong around us. Organizational and team values are about the culture we should encourage, the standards we should have, and the principles that should underpin the team’s efforts. They are the essential building blocks of teambuilding.

Over time all other things may change – an organization’s people, strategy, finances, beneficiaries – but its values should not. If these are allowed to degenerate, a team no longer has any unifying core, it will fragment, staff turnover will increase and results will plummet.

Think about how values should inform your leadership style. And hold true to them: values are the things upon which you should never compromise.

Article continues

Not just one of the gang

By Judith Ross


In business, as in sports, winning teams have a well-honed sense of camaraderie that helps team members to read one another's signals, move as one, and watch each other's backs. In management circles, this sense of commitment and connection is often referred to as affiliation. Many experts consider it an essential component of effective teamwork.

The more people value their relationships with one another, the thinking goes, the better they will perform for one another and the organisation. But can you have too much of a good thing?

According to a new study of 20 executive leadership teams from Fortune 500 companies conducted by the Philadelphia-based Hay Group, you can.

While confirming that affiliation is a crucial component of effective teamwork, the study also showed that too much emphasis on positive relationships, especially by the team leader, could hamper performance.

Article continues

Selecting the Best Manager

When filling a management position, should you promote from within or hire an outsider? Our expert weighs the pros and cons.

Hiring management-level employees can often be a daunting task. Of course, the major challenge is to select the individual who'll best fit into both the position and your business's culture. Before considering any candidates, however, your first decision is to determine whether you should promote internally or hire externally. This article presents the pros and cons of each choice.

There are five good reasons why you might want to consider hiring an internal candidate. First, it sets a precedent and second, it's good for morale. Employees are often very pleased when they see that "one of their own" has been promoted to a management-level position. And when morale goes up, productivity most often follows, especially when the employees like or respect the newly promoted individual.

Article continues

Implement a Mentoring Program in Your Biz

Pick-your-own mentor programs help new employees move ahead.

By Mark Henricks

Scott Allison, 41, knows the value of mentors for recruiting, retaining, developing and motivating his 44 employees. "Every time we've done an employee survey, mentorship has popped up as an interest and a need," says the president and CEO of San Francisco-based national independent communications firm Allison & Partners.

Allison's appreciation for mentoring dates to the early days of the 4-year-old company. Back then, however, the firm didn't have enough resources to establish a formal mentoring program; there weren't enough senior people to supply mentors to everyone who was interested. Allison decided to allow for informal mentoring, where employees got to choose their own mentors. That method, he figured, made the most of the mentoring resources he had. The approach worked well enough that today, even though Allison has enough senior employees to designate mentors, he still uses the voluntary program.

Read the whole article



Time for a mid-year review.

When people are leading a community organisation and running at full pace, it can be incredibly difficult to actually slow down long enough to review what you have been doing and what you have achieved. But as difficult as it can be, it’s vitally important to stop, take a deep breath and review your organisation's performance over the first six months of the year. It’s like regularly servicing your car. The car might appear to be running well but there is always something that can be tweaked or realigned to improve performance.

 And performance is the reason for any review. You want to make sure your group is achieving its goals. A mid-year review allows you to re-focus and ensure you are on track before the year literally disappears on you. A review also needs to look at finances and fundraising – again so that if revenues are below expectation, there is still time to remedy the situation (groups putting together 2004/05 financial year budgets will have already gone through this exercise). Reviews don’t need to be restricted to mid-year but now is as good a time as any to put your group on the blocks and check its performance. Here are some tips to help with the process.  

Click here to read the complete article

The role of Community Treasurer 

Have you taken on the role of Treasurer of your Community organisation? Or are you a committee or Board member and want to be across some of the issues that you should be keeping your eye on when it comes to the group’s finances?

For many people it’s a question of where do we start?

Well we now have the answer with a new free resource designed specifically to assist Community Group Treasurers in helping them to better balance the books. Westpac Bank, with the assistance of Our Community, has produced an excellent production,

Read more