Friday, 30 May 2008

Goals, objectives..yuk..ENJOY YOURSELF!!

I’ve just got back from my regular run which I find is a great time to unwind and just forget about ‘stuff’.

Taking the time to do this makes me realise how goal and task driven my whole life is….both at home and at work

- “I must cut the grass…”
- “I must phone my Mum”
- “I must spend time with the kids
- “I must update my blog”
- “I must catch up with ‘Heroes
- “I must make time to read that book, look at those web sites etc”

Goals are good…but sometime I just want to ENJOY MYSELF….!


Without my running I would go completely mad. It resets my stress levels back to ‘sane’ level ready to deal all of that ‘stuff’.

How does everyone else cope?

Saturday, 24 May 2008

Culture Club

One of the things I really like about working for a multi national organisation is that it gives me the chance to meet people from all over the world.

Last week I had the pleasure of spending time with people from the UK, Spain, Holland, Belgium, France and Singapore. It was a real cultural mix and I have to say that at times it was fascinating to observe how people interacted with each other.

Much of our training activity is now taking place on a global basis and this provides some interesting challenges from a Learning and Development perspective.

What's the good stuff?

  • People are motivated to make time to attend. They like the idea of meeting people from other cultures (and identifying future holiday home swap buddies....)
  • They represent a fantastic networking opportunity. Those evenings late at the bar can pay dividends at any time in the future.
  • The learning environment is enhanced in so many ways by having a mix of cultures together. Last week we were exploring emotional intelligence - what better an environment in which to do this?
  • The cost of international training is little different to running something in the UK. Flights are cheap and venue costs generally less on mainland Europe.

....and some challenges?

  • I have to spend more time thinking about the pace of the course. You have to start very slow mainly due to language.....and then speed it up.
  • You have to help the cultures mix together at the start. The Dutch and the British tend to click straight away. The French and the Spanish tend to take a little longer...
  • I do struggle with the carbon footprint of such activity. Flying 15 people around certainly isn't green.....

I know a lot of you guys work for large corporates so please let me know your views on getting cultures together - what's good and what are the challenges.........?

Friday, 16 May 2008

Does Succession and Talent Management Work?

AMAzure have released the results of an interesting survey about Succession and Talent Management. They have looked back over a 10 year period with a variety of organisations to see what has worked....or not.

Here are the summary findings:

For organisations looking to introduce and implement high impact talent and succession management programmes, the key messages seem to be:

  1. Don’t begin the implementation process by introducing the “succession solution” of high potential assessment, general training and development activity, talent reviews and succession planning software. This doesn’t imply that these activities can be ignored, but that they need to be part of an overall game-plan and clear set of strategic priorities, and connected within mainstream business decision making.
  2. Identify the pivot roles that represent the technical expertise that will be critical to your organisation’s strategic future. Programmes around general management competency seem to have less impact than the accelerated development of specialist know-how.
  3. Recognise that a different leadership emphasis will be needed at different points in the corporate life cycle. Don’t allow one-size-fits-all management competency frameworks and criteria to constrain the progression of emerging leaders. Focus on building excellence in specific leadership skill sets rather than attempt to develop broad based general management effectiveness.
  4. Make decisions about who to invest in. Targeted development on key individuals reaps greater benefit than any attempt to build capability across the full management population.
  5. Utilise job moves to provide key managers with the experience they need to progress and build a culture of coaching that equips managers to develop their people. Don’t assume that the introduction of management training or business education will provide an alternative to leadership development.
  6. Ensure your top team is fully engaged in this activity and are taking a personal involvement in coaching and developing the next generation of leaders. Succession reviews that either are a “talking shop” or “rubber stamping exercise” don’t build organisational resilience.

What didn't work?

Organisations that had invested in an infrastructure of high potential assessment, general management training and development, succession reviews and information technology didn’t see significant gains in organisational performance. The existence of a “good” process wasn’t an indicator of positive organisational outcomes.

Is Leadership the Enemy of Change?

For those of you interested in debates about how effective leaders are (and should be) in creating organisational change.....

I came across this rather small self promotional site that one of the Big 4 Consulting firms have created.

It contains an interesting debate where the following question is posed:

"This house believes that leadership is the enemy of change"

Despite being a bit 'public school' in style the debate contains some interesting discussion. The fact that only 28% people in an organisation actually trust their leaders is amazing. If that's the case then who are they taking their direction from........each other.

They give a great example of Linux which is an organisation of partners and loose affiliations all working together around a commonly held belief. I suppose that is self leadership but there are some important lessons to learn here. Isn't being a leader taking people on a journey of change with a common set of beliefs binding them all together?

Would love to hear which side of the debate you land on....

Friday, 9 May 2008

Nokia Sports Tracker

OK, this is not strictly related to L&D but it is something I wanted to share with you.

One of my stress coping mechanisms is running and this is something that I try really hard to maintain, running about 3 times a week. I find it is a great time to reflect and also to magically come up with a way forward for a problem or issue I am facing.

Being a bit of a tech freak I found that my mobile phone (a Nokia N95) has a fantastic facility for keeping track of your workouts. As the phone has built in GPS it can actually track your route and calculate a whole load of statistics.

Once you have completed your run (or cycle, walk, ski....) you then just upload it to the web. Here it gets even more interesting. You can then view other people's work outs in your area (or anywhere in the world). This has enabled me to discover some new running routes in my area that I otherwise would have not know about - brilliant!

You can view my log here and I have added a permanent link to my blog site.

If you do any regular form of running, cycling etc then I really can't recommend this highly enough.

Wednesday, 7 May 2008

Talent Management Podcast

The Sunday Times recently sponsored a Talent Management conference and devoted a supplement to the subject. There were some really good articles in the supplement and I notice also that they have released a podcast.

If Talent Management is on your agenda then I recommend taking a look.

I will be posting more about Talent Management soon including some of the challenges we are facing in my organisation.