5 Things High-Performing Teams Do Differently

Harvard Business Review – October 2021

When it comes to building extraordinary workplaces and high-performing teams, researchers have long appreciated that three psychological needs are essential: autonomy, competence, and relatedness.

Decades of research demonstrate that when people feel psychologically fulfilled, they tend to be healthier, happier, and more productive.

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The Key to Better Leadership Communication

Engagement Multiplier 

When asked, “What’s the most common employee feedback you see on engagement surveys?” we don’t have to look at the data or even think twice when answering.

“Better leadership communication,” or some version thereof is what employees of all types and from every industry seek from their organisations’ leadership.

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Empathy Is The Most Important Leadership Skill According To Research

 Forbes – September 2021

Empathy has always been a critical skill for leaders, but it is taking on a new level of meaning and priority. Far from a soft approach it can drive significant business results.

You always knew demonstrating empathy is positive for people, but new research demonstrates its importance for everything from innovation to retention.

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What Leaders Need Most to Inspire Great Teams

The Future of  Leadership – July 2021

Do you hold aspirations to someday lead a team, department, or organization? Perhaps you’re there now but challenged by how to navigate the countless decisions that come flying in your direction. Well, the first thing you have to do, whether you’re a line manager on the floor or an executive in the C-suite is to firmly accept the fact that the majority of the leadership decisions you will make will involve people.

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Why do so many strategies fail?

Harvard Business Review – July 2021

The CEO’s job of crafting a strategy that creates and captures value—and keeps realizing it over time—has never been harder. In today’s volatile and uncertain world, corporations that have dominated their markets for decades can be blindsided by upstarts with radical new business models, miss the boat on emerging technologies, or be outflanked by competitors that are more adept at shaping consumer preferences.

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The Power of two and other leadership tricks

The Times – May 2021

I never really set out to be a business leader — I had to figure it out as I went along. But over the course of my career, first building DunnHumby into a global customer loyalty specialist with my husband and business partner Clive Humby, and then moving into digital brand building with Starcount, I have learnt a few key lessons about what good leadership really is, and how to get better at it.

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EPIC Meetings: New Best Practices for Virtual Teams

Engagement Multiplier – January 2021

The COVID-19 crisis has caused many companies to shift gears completely to work from home, and Engagement Multiplier is no different. Since mid-March, we’ve been devoting all of our time, energy, and resources to helping business owners weather this storm.

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Rethink capabilities to emerge stronger from COVID-19

McKinsey – 23 November 2020

In a new survey, leaders say the pandemic has alerted them to the urgency of getting learning programs right. Yet companies are falling short in delivering outcomes, and executives can do more to support capability-building efforts.

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Hidden Threats to Company Culture

Engagement Multiplier – November 2020

It goes without saying that every organisation has faced challenges this year, pivoting how business is conducted, the services provided, establishing new ways of working to keep employees connected, energised, and productive to name but a few. In the best cases, business leaders have found ways to create new opportunities and triumphed over adversity.

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Embedding new ways of working post-pandemic

CIPD – 16 September 2020

The COVID-19 pandemic has had a profound impact on the labour market. Substantial reduction in economic activity and the consequent drop in demand for labour, alongside social distancing rules, have pushed employers to adapt their working practices.

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An Engaged Team is a Resilient Team

Engagement Multiplier – August 2020

 The COVID-19 pandemic is testing businesses worldwide.  Uncertainty makes planning difficult, and the rapid rate of change the crisis is imposing on many businesses is pressuring employees and making it difficult for leaders to maintain alignment and focus. One company that’s keeping it together and innovating is Kolbe Corp., a Phoenix-based talent assessment company and creators of the Kolbe A  (™) Index.

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The Statistical Case for Company Culture

Growth Everywhere

“Culture” has been a buzzword in the corporate world for several years, but what does it mean and why is it important? Entrepreneur.com defines company culture as “a blend of the values, beliefs, taboos, symbols, rituals and myths all companies develop over time.”

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CEOs Call in The Coaches as Covid-19 Tests Their Companies

The Wall Street Journal – May 2020

Executives are turning to their longtime coaches to help them navigate the uncertainty—and unprecedented leadership challenges—presented by the coronavirus pandemic.

Two chief executives of major U.S. companies have used the same coaches since before they reached the corner office and still rely on them during the current chaotic business climate.

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Developing Effective Virtual Teams

CIPD – May 2020

While remote and homeworking have become increasingly common over the past twenty years, the global crisis caused by the COVID-19 pandemic has seen remote collaboration spike dramatically and ‘virtual’ teams forming almost overnight.

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Seven Habits of Highly Effective Teams Users

Office365 – May 2020

According to Wikipedia, Stephen Covey’s book The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People has sold over 30 million copies worldwide since its first publication in 1989. Good as that book is, it doesn’t cover how to work effectively with Teams, so here’s my best attempt at closing that gap…

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Ian Mattioli: Why I took a pay cut

FT Advisor – April 2020

Many companies are being judged on how their leaders and senior managers have responded to the coronavirus pandemic that has turned the majority of people’s lives upside down over the past few weeks. The financial advice sector is no different, and Ian Mattioli, chief executive of wealth management and employee benefits business Mattioli Woods, was one of the first to announce, …

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Where Companies Go Wrong with Learning and Development

Harvard Business Review – October 2019

Not only is the majority of training in today’s companies ineffective, but the purpose, timing, and content of training is flawed. Want to see eyes glaze over quicker than you can finish this sentence? Mandate that busy employees attend a training session on “business writing skills”, or “conflict resolution”, or some other such course with little alignment to their needs.

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You Don’t Have To Be a CEO To Be a Visionary Leader

Ron Ashkenas and Brook Manville – 04 April 2019

Creating a unifying vision for an organization is a fundamental skill for leaders. A simple, bold, inspirational vision can feel almost magical: it brings people throughout the company together around a common goal and provides a focal point for developing strategies to achieve a better future.

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What’s Authentic Leadership, & How Do You Practise It

HubSpot – February 2019

Whether you’ve recently been promoted to a leadership position, or you’ve been leading your team for years, it can often seem tricky to discern what being a “good” leader actually means.

When you’re trying to determine the components of a successful leader, it’s easy to fall-back on certain terms we commonly associate with leadership — words like “assertive”, “inspirational”, and “confident”.

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Mistakes to avoid in a market downturn

Vanguard Investor – February 2020

Following more than a decade of generally rising markets, a meaningful downturn in stocks may finally be at hand.

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Senior leaders risk lagging behind the rest of the UK workforce in training and development

ILM – February 2020

Senior leaders risk being left behind in the learning and development space, according to findings from new research by City & Guilds Group business, ILM.

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The elements of good judgement

Harvard Business Review – February 2020

A decision must be made. The facts have been assembled, and the arguments for and against the options spelled out, but no clear evidence supports any particular one. Now people around the table turn to the CEO. What they’re looking for is good judgment…

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Get in the right headspace

Richard Branson – August 2019

It can be tricky to wind down your brain after finishing a hectic day’s work, especially for our pilots and cabin crew who cross time zones for a living.

I was thrilled to see Virgin Atlantic announce their latest in-flight offering in partnership with Headspace. Since we first added …

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Saturday’s child works hard for a living

CIPD – June 2019

In this blog we ask, who works at the weekend?

1 in 5 of us that work, do so on the weekend but this proportion differs markedly by various characteristics. Most important is the type of job someone does, which is closely related to the industry …

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Top 10 quotes to challenge the way you think

Richard Branson – June 2019

It’s more important than ever to keep an open mind and challenge our perceptions, opinions and – often subconscious – biases. I always try to remember that all of our thoughts and choices are shaped by our own experiences, emotions and surroundings.

It’s important to keep this in mind if we want to keep improving ourselves and engage in healthy conversations …

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How to delegate

Richard Branson – May 2019

I often talk about the importance of delegating when it comes to expanding and diversifying your business. It’s also a crucial leadership skill and it allows you to find better work-life balance. Recently, a 19-year-old entrepreneur reached out to me and asked for more detailed advice on delegation …

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Don’t give up on a great idea just because it seems obvious

Harvard Business Review – 07 December 2018

I spent eight years failing to act on an innovative idea that I knew would work. It was an idea that had not just technological promise but also societal value. It would help people contribute to the most important, impactful charities in the country. But I kept letting it languish.

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Leaders Focus Too much On Changing Policies, and Not Enough On Changing Minds

Harvard Business Review – June 2018

So why is business transformation so difficult to achieve? One reason is the invisible fears and insecurities that keep us locked into behaviors even when we know rationally that they don’t serve us well. Leaders can change processes, policies, seating arrangements, and…

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Curating positive leadership skills

ILM – May 2018

Why is it that a positive and successful company culture can be so elusive and hard to achieve? How do some organisations get it so right, and others get it so wrong?

While there are many factors involved in building a productive, effective and happy workforce – including pay, benefits, …

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Why Great Employees Leave ‘Great Cultures’

Harvard Business Review – May 2018

“We have a great culture.” We have all heard it. We have all said it. But what does that mean?

Ping-Pong tables, free meals, and beer on tap? No.

Yoga, CrossFit classes, and massage chairs? I so need that, but no.

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Why you need an untouchable day every week

Harvard Business Review – May – March 2018

I hate meetings. They sit subconsciously in my brain, taking up space. I prepare for them in my notebooks. I travel to them, and then back again, in the middle of my work days. And what do most meetings usually result in? You guessed it — more meetings.

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How Coca-Cola, Amazon and Netflix learn form failure

Harvard Business Review – November 2017

Why, all of a sudden, are so many successful business leaders urging their companies and colleagues to make more mistakes and embrace more failures?In May, right after he became CEO of Coca-Cola Co., James Quincey called upon rank-and-file managers to get beyond the fear of failure that had dogged the company since the “New Coke” fiasco of so many years ago. “If we’re not making mistakes,” he insisted, “we’re not trying hard enough.”

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What sets successful CEOs apart

Harvard Business Review – May – June 2017

The chief executive role is a tough one to fill. From 2000 to 2013, about a quarter of the CEO departures in the Fortune 500 were involuntary, according to the Conference Board. The fallout from these dismissals can be staggering: Forced turnover at the top costs shareholders an estimated $112 billion in lost market value annually, a 2014 PwC study of the world’s 2,500 largest companies showed.

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