Thursday, 28 August 2008

7 Principles for Leadership Development

Plato reckoned he needed 50 years to prepare individuals for leadership in his ideal political state. “We don’t have that luxury” for business leaders in the 21st century.

There are no instant quick-fix solutions to build the kind of leadership capability that sustains high levels of business success, but some organisations have identified strategies and tactics to speed up the development process with significant gains in organisational performance.

AMAzure have come up with Seven Principles for Leadership Development as well as including a couple of mini case studies to illustrates some of the real life development situations that both organisations and individuals face.

Principle One: Recognise that not everyone can be a leader

Principle Two: Start with the individual not the solution the article if you want to find out the remaining five.

25 Tools for Learning Professionals

Jane Hart at the Centre For Learning and Performance Technologies has created an interesting list of 25 Tools every Learning Professional should have in their Toolbox - and all for FREE!

I am familiar with about half of them and have recently had my eyes opened to the potential of Twitter. I posted about this myself recently but also found another interesting post by @willyf demonstrating how he used the tool to get introductions to CEOs.

I hope you find this useful.

25 Tools
View SlideShare presentation or Upload your own. (tags: learning tools)

Wednesday, 27 August 2008

Reading, relaxing and learning....

I've just spent two weeks resting- fantastic! For me it is always a chance to catch up with my reading list. Here are the highlights of my learning:
  • Maverick by Ricardo Semler. The story of an unfashionable Brazilian manufacturer of industrial machines. However their ways of working are completely different to most companies - being able to choose your own salary and scoring (and publishing) your bosses performance amongst other approaches has led to great success for the organisation.

Born on a Blue Day by Daniel Tammet. Daniel is an Autistic Savant (think Rain Man but without the social constraints). He can learn a new language in 4 days and is a total visual learner. Using his visual skills he was able to memorise pie to 20,000 places....I have trouble remembering my wife's name!

Coaching with NLP by Joseph O'Connor and Andrea Lages. A really practical guide to coaching both other people and yourself. It also serves as a great example of how to blend some core NLP techniques into real world situations. As a result I have thought deeply about my values and objectives for the future.

Finally with the Olympics in full flow I read Kelly Holmes - My Autobiography. Kelly won two gold medals at the Athens Olympics in 800m and 1500m. It is a real insight into motivation and objective setting. She had just two objectives for her life from a very early age......and achieved both.

If you get some reading time - all are highly recommended.

Sunday, 10 August 2008

Time for some rest.....

I am off for some rest for a while. Lots of interesting books to read so see you at the end of August.....

Thursday, 7 August 2008

The Ultimate Stretch Opportunity

Well, lucky old Kevin Pietersen has been given the role of English cricket captain after Michael Vaughan's surprise often does that situation occur in business.....alot in my experience?

This raises two interesting points. Firstly there was clearly no succession plan in place - lots of hurried interviews and discussions took place and out popped 'KP', thrust in front of the waiting media! Secondly you have to ask the question whether he is ready for it...?

Good talent management means providing people with the stretch opportunities they need to grow and develop. However when you put people into these positions you have to provide much needed support and coaching. Without these factors the individual might still make it........but it won't be easy.

Good luck KP, I hope things work out!

Saturday, 2 August 2008

The First Learning and Development Carnival comes to town!

Welcome to the first edition of the learning and development carnival. Hold on to your hats because there's a gold mine of top comment and material to experience....

I am really excited to be able to bring this to you and we have over 30 submissions for our maiden voyage from top bloggers like Dan McCarthy, Jeanne Meister, Tom Haskins, Wally Bock, Clive Shepherd, John Castledine, Anna Farmery.....and more!

I've grouped the articles into some (loose) themes for this carnival:

- Developing and Managing Talent

- Learning 2.0

- The Credit Crunch

So let's not waste any time with the first theme:

Developing and Managing Talent

If you are interested in learning to assess how good a leader someone really is then your first stop should be Dan McCarthy's Great Leadership blog. This is a fantastic "Alladin's Cave" of Leadership material. Dan has a very informative article on different 360 tools, personaility profiles etc that can be used for this purpose. As is always the case with Dan his own insights are of the most value, particularly his top tip of asking for feedback.

Also check out my own posts on my favourtie 360 tool and the Insights Discovery tool - both of which can also be used in this context.

Joy Kosta of the Human Capital Institue on her excellent HCI Talent Development Blog discusses the critical Emotional Intelligence competencies that people in professions learn to be successful....whether you are a tinker, tailor, soldier or a sailor...

But identifying talent isn't just about competencies and 360 tools. Respected blogger and general management guru Wally Bock presents Feedback: breakfast of champions posted at Momentor. He also discusses making the most of every opportunity that falls into your lap in his post What good can I make of this? , even if they don't initially look that enticing! Using internships can also be a great way of discovering and developing talent. Check out his post Internships, then and now

Art Petty discusses the importance of being able to ask Great Questions on his Art Petty on Management blog. As he says: "Learning how to ask compelling questions in a non-threatening manner is one of those unexciting but absolutely critical skills for an emerging leader to develop."

Mentoring can play a key role in developing talent. Dr. Joe Capista presents Why Small Business Entrepreneurs Need a Mentor posted at The Success Triangle, saying, "A mentor is a must for the success of your small business. A mentor is a person learn to trust over a period of time. Learn how to find the best mentor for your needs.". Also take a look at his Mirroring Your Mentor’s Success post and if you want to learn how a mentor can help you handle frustration then read his How To Effectively Use Business Mentoring post.

For more advice on developing people, including yourself then look no further than the basket of goodies below:

Anna Farmery runs an excellent blog called The Engaging Brand. This not only provides some wonderful insights into the world of personal development but has some great articles on leadership. For example check out this post on why leaders don't blame.

I also really recommend reading Tom Haskins' blog growing changing learning creating. Tom's posts are guranteed to make me think twice (if not thrice). Tom presents When learning it really happens - a wonderful look at how you know if the learning is really sticking......and why.

Of course developing good learning in the first place can be an organisational challenge as Dan McCarthy highlights in his post presents HR and Training: Let’s Partner for Great Management Development Programs
For an insight into whether money motivates people check out Fred Black's Toilet Paper Millionaire! posted at Fred Black: Internet Business Blog..
Mental toughness is a key attribute for success. Ralph Jean-Paul presents Develop Mental Toughness posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, ""MVPs, CEOs, extraordinary leaders, and successful people of all kinds have it and so should you"

What is success anyway? Dr. Joe Capista presents Success Means Different Things to Different People posted at The Success Triangle

Are your prepared for Success? Emmanuel posts at Emmanuel Oluwatosin: Inspiring Excellence, Realising Ambitions.

...and being smart doesn't guarantee succeess either. Fred Black presents Why Do Smart People Sometimes Find Success So Difficult? posted at Fred Black: Internet Business Blog..

How do you inspire others? Shamelle presents 10 Vital Actions To Inspire Others And Gain Respect posted at Enhance Life. " Your actions make a difference in my life and my actions make a difference in your life. As a result, certain vital actions CAN inspire and motivate others."

Also on motivation....Dereck presents A guide for increasing your creativity posted at I Will Not Die and Avani presents How to get motivated and stay motivated posted at Avani-Mehta
Phil B presents a useful approach to development

Fiona Cheyney provides us with some insights into the Performance Management process on her new blog Developing Daily.

Learning 2.0

Learning 2.0 means looking at the current technology innovations, making sense of them and thnking about what it means for the world of L&D.

John Castledine presents Enterprise 2.0 - A Strategic Framework posted at The Emerging Role of the Learning & Development Consultant, saying, "This model of Enterprise 2.0 suggests a framework that positions Web 2.0 enhabled L&D activities as primarily associated with building professional collaboration"

Jeanne Meister has a great article on ‘Online Communities of Practice’ on her 'must read' New Learning Playbook blog. "Companies spend time and resources designing online communities of practice but often overlook basics and importantly the types of measures that show the impact to the business"

Ralph Jean-Paul presents How to Run a Blog Successfully without Having a Computer posted at Potential 2 Success, saying, "I don’t own a laptop, iPhone or any other wireless device with internet access. But because of some new productivity practices, I can run my entire blog without having a PC currently in my home."

Twitter is a social networking tool but can it support learning and development? Find it in my own post here.

Established blogger Clive Shepherd presents More technology means more training at lower cost in the UK posted at Clive on Learning.

....and the talk of being on a tight budget brings me to the final theme of the carnival.....

Credit Crunch

The economies of the world are turning down so if you want some sound advice then look no further:

Marie Adams presents 5 tips for employee training on a tight budget posted at Thoughts from Training Time, saying, "Discover ways to stretch your training budget without jeopardizing the quality of your employee training program."

I posted my own article on the credit crunch and how it is affecting training budgets here

For staying sane even when times are tough Arin Vahanian presents Why It Is Necessary To Live NOW posted at Super State.

Sales and revenue generation become even more of a focus in tough times. Anya Portnik presents Why you must run sales competitions and How to use email when prospecting posted at Gavin Ingham.


Wow - what a ride. It's an amazing collection of knowledge, advice and experience. I do hope you have found something that 'presses your button' or perhaps have made a connection that didn't previously exist.

Look out for the next carnival.............coming soon. If you are interested in hosting it then let me know.