We are our teams

We've all probably come across teams which have some of the following characteristics - toxic bickering, tribal behaviours (I win you lose), bad working atmosphere, poor performance and team members feeling managers are not dealing with these problems. Normally this isn't a life or death situation, unless you happen to be the cardiac surgery unit … Continue reading We are our teams

When do you have your best ideas?

This is a question I often ask busy managers. Here are the most common answers. First thing in the morning (after a good nights sleep) In the gym Walking the dog On holidays (but not deliberately thinking about work) Swimming Sitting in the garden Standing on top of a mountain or sometimes they say "it … Continue reading When do you have your best ideas?

Choose operational targets wisely

I ran a workshop this week with a really great team at one of my clients and the topic of targets came up for discussion. Targets had been introduced to this organisation fairly recently and the team had a very interesting discussion around how this impacted them. The role of the team was varied and … Continue reading Choose operational targets wisely

Walking the talk can be a challenge

Being a role model is an inherent part of being in a managerial or leadership position - your team looks up to you and expects you to lead the way in behavior and values. This topic often comes up in management & leadership workshops. From time to time I see delegates back away from being a … Continue reading Walking the talk can be a challenge

There is no them, only us

Like most people, having never been to a real prison, my knowledge of the prison system was limited to the often depressing news about them and their residents. That changed last week when I had the privilege of visiting Portland prison in Dorset with the youth offending rehabilitation charity, Key4life. There I met 30 young … Continue reading There is no them, only us

Small business owners – getting on with the job

Following the vote to leave the EU in June, you might have thought that Armageddon was just around the corner. We are doomed, the economy will crash, it will take years to negotiate an exit, EU countries will punish us with high tariffs.... But Britain's small business owners, in my experience, have pretty much ignored … Continue reading Small business owners – getting on with the job

What can we learn from Olympic performers?

I was at the gym the other day running on a treadmill while watching the women's marathon. Normally I run at a modest 10 kph pace which keeps up my fitness without killing me. But on this occasion I noticed I was running faster and needed to increase the treadmill speed. The strange thing was … Continue reading What can we learn from Olympic performers?

Take the toothbrush test

I was brushing my teeth a few nights ago and something was really bugging me. In fact it had been bugging me all day - while I was eating lunch, while I was working, while I was watching TV with my family in the evening. As I scrubbed my teeth, I asked myself "do I want to … Continue reading Take the toothbrush test

Different but the same

Difference is all around us. It's easy to see others as being different whether it's their gender, skin colour, size, clothing, nationality or lifestyle. But having worked with and trained people from all over the world it is clear that the challenges of leadership, handling difficult people and motivating your team are universal. So what else … Continue reading Different but the same

Self-driving Terminator cars will kill us all!

How we make decisions can depend on a wide variety of things - how we feel at the time, what else is going on in our lives and, the granddaddy of them all, looking for information to confirm what we already believe (sometimes called Confirmation Bias, but I prefer to call this the "Ah-hah I … Continue reading Self-driving Terminator cars will kill us all!