Leadership

Leadership in three words: leaders change things

‘Leadership produces change. That is its primary function,’ observes Harvard Business School’s John Kotter. Former CEO and author Larry Bossidy puts it like this: ‘The leader’s job is to help everyone see that the platform is burning, whether the flames are apparent or not. The process of change begins when people decide to take the flames seriously and manage by […]

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    When managing risk, overconfident managers don’t always follow the fundamentals

When managing risk, overconfident managers don’t always follow the fundamentals

Why and how firms hedge has been an area of interest in corporate finance for a long time. The traditional notion of hedging is matching one risk with an opposing risk. Gains on the hedge offset the losses on the position otherwise exposed to price uncertainty, making the resulting cash flow volatility lower. The traditional theories of corporate risk […]

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    Winning in challenging markets requires stronger attention to human capital

Winning in challenging markets requires stronger attention to human capital

Human capital is getting much more attention lately. The Conference Board’s 2014 survey of global CEO challenges ranked human capital issues as the number one challenge. In our work, we have found that the leadership profile of successful CEOs matches the leadership profile of effective Chief Human Resources Officers (CHROs), that HR issues are increasingly a part of firm […]

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    It’s time to face it: some meetings can be a waste of your time

It’s time to face it: some meetings can be a waste of your time

Many of us spend much of our time in meetings and at conferences. But too often these waste time and fail to make the most of those present.The meeting formats we use today are very old. Board meetings, assembly meetings and conferences have not changed for many hundreds of years. Newer methods include boards surrounded by screens with data, […]

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    Culturally diverse teams may require more central coordination than others

Culturally diverse teams may require more central coordination than others

Over the last 50 years organisations have changed dramatically but we have yet to understand how these changes affect organisational performance. One of the major changes was away from centralised decision-making and hierarchies and towards teamwork. During the same time organisations have grown to be more diverse. It is now more common than before that people from different cultures […]

When do charismatic leaders rise to the top job?

As every US presidential race shows, politicians work tirelessly to convince voters that they have what it takes to run the country — the mother of all institutions! In a way, this is also the plight of top-level leaders who never interact with those individuals on whose support they depend. Think of corporate heads; just like politicians, they too […]

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    If you have no intention of considering employee suggestions, then don’t ask

If you have no intention of considering employee suggestions, then don’t ask

If you are a manager, you were probably told at one point in your career to consult your subordinates before making important organisational decisions. Consulting makes employees feel respected, fairly treated and in control, which leads to more work motivation, a better job performance, and increased group morale. Because of the positive effects associated with consultation, organisations worldwide frequently […]

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    In family-owned businesses, professional CEOs work longer hours than owner-CEOs

In family-owned businesses, professional CEOs work longer hours than owner-CEOs

The exceptional economic success of many European countries in the post-war period was characterised by the dominant presence of family firms across the continent. In countries like Germany and Italy, family ownership came to be seen as the best guarantee of economic and social development. But the consensus that family firms are good for growth has come under scrutiny […]

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    A fixed authoritative posture could make you a less effective leader

A fixed authoritative posture could make you a less effective leader

It is widely accepted that non-verbal communication is extremely influential in interpersonal encounters, and non-verbal signals (i.e. everything except the words themselves), including body language, eye contact, tone of voice and rapidity of speech, can have a subtle but significant influence on the dynamic between two people. For leaders in a professional context, there is no exception.

I have recently […]