Sunday, May 31, 2020

Saturday, May 30, 2020

What only a CEO can do? Well, she can't be busy.

When I was first appointed as a CEO, I regularly felt that I was not doing the right things, no matter how hard I tried.  Over time, and several other jobs, I have learned that being busy "doing things" is not the best way for the CEO to invest time.  There are some fundamental that worked for me, and probably can only be done by the CEO.

  1. Define reality - and I acknowledge the impact that Max De Pree and his approach to management has had on me in this - be clear about what your organisation can, and cannot, do.  Make sure that everyone understands the purpose of the company.  Establish the boundaries so that everyone has clarity about where for focus their attention. Be clear on your core businesses and which of them to grow.

Friday, May 29, 2020

Management through Meaning

“Total self-absorption or lack of empathy” and “lousy interpersonal skills” are the least desirable behaviours of leaders.

The management of meaning is central to leading organisations in the current climate of discontinuous change (Limerick and Cunnington, 1993:224-225).  Managers should have very meaningful objectives but if these are not communicated little will be realised.  The ability to translate visions into meaningful actions or attitudes for followers through a mastering of communication is inseparable from effective leadership (Peters and Waterman, 1982:67-73). Vision plus communication results in shared purpose (Nanus, 1992:156).

Thursday, May 28, 2020

Thoughts On Thursday...learning is work

“The ability to learn from experience in the present — from moments, not models — is what is needed when the past has become a hindrance and the future is unclear.“ p.49

This week I was alerted to this paper by Gianpiero Petriglieri.  It’s attraction is a reminder that whilst we often voice the need to learn at work, we often leave that as an aspiration.  To turn aspiration to action we need to create the time and space for learning to occur.  It must a a conscious process.

“There is freedom that comes with transformative learning. If you can notice, voice, interpret, and own your experience, you can also begin to imagine how to change it.” p.50

 Gianpiero Petriglieri (2020) Learning for a Living. Learning at work is work, and we must make space for it.  MIT Sloan Management Review Vol. 61, No. 2 • Reprint #61209 •

What wastes a manager's time?

  • lack of self-discipline
  • lack of plans
  • crisis management
  • ineffectual delegation
  • procrastination
  • inability to say no
  • attempting too much
  • personal disorganisation
  • drop-in visitors
  • telephone interruptions
  • lack of self-discipline

All are controllable: so why be out of control?

Wednesday, May 27, 2020

The three legs of the managers stool

  • Technical ability (knowledge and/or skills).
  •  Conceptual abilities (thinking skills).
  • Human relations ability (able to work effectively with others).

New Blog

From today I will be posting on a new site Please link to the new site at