Leadership — a case of systemic failure?

13 August 2012

When systems fail, the public are usually fed a rotten argument: “It’s only one bad apple”. Think of the lone News of the World “rogue” reporter who hacked celebrities’ phones. This defensive balm (and barmy) response provides political cover for the “system”. “An individual acting alone” presents an easy target for media scapegoating. But if you use a search engine, increasingly you find “systems” and “systemic” peppering commentators’ and politicians’ statements. Does this hint at a new level of awareness and insight, asks Dr William Tate?

Winning the War for Talent 2.0: Key trends, challenges and recommendations

23 July 2012

Just over 10 years ago, Michaels et al (2001) exposed the war for leadership talent as a strategic business challenge and a critical driver of corporate performance. Shortly after the dot-com bubble burst and the exuberant hiring of the late 1990s had ended, they predicted that many companies would continue to have hundreds of vacancies they could not fill, and that the intense competition for good people would persist for at least two more decades. Their prediction turned out to be accurate; although the types of vacancies have changed dramatically since the late 1990s, more than 50% of U.K. business leaders surveyed in 2011 cited talent shortages as one of the key business challenges facing their companies at home and abroad (Bersin, 2011).

Human resources or human capital? Managing people as assets

25 June 2012

Nothing is achieved in organisations without people. How often this truism is acknowledged in the clichéd “people are our most important assets”. Yet the reality of what many employees experience is that they are expendable “costs walking on legs”, mere “human resources”. How, asks Andrew Mayo, do we explain this dichotomy between theory and practice?

Employee engagement in tough times

25 June 2012

These days many UK and international organisations operate in the knowledge and service intensive economy, where people are the source of production. Therefore, against today’s backdrop of major economic turbulence, employee engagement has become not simply a "nice to have", to be addressed in good times, but may, suggests Linda Holbeche, be key to business survival and sustainability.

Transforming the public services

11 June 2012

Public sector organisations in many countries face financial constraints and/or increases in demand that are outstripping available resources. Previous options such as extra funding, bringing in expensive consultants, or recruiting additional and high quality staff to meet the ambitions of policy-makers might no longer be affordable, says Colin Coulson-Thomas.

Leadership — a case of systemic failure?

16 April 2012

Using topical examples, William Tate argues that when things go wrong in high profile cases, individuals are too often assumed to be at fault, when the “system” itself may be implicated in the problem. He argues that leaders must develop an understanding of how organisations work as systems if they are to be able to improve the overall health of the system. He outlines what a systemic approach to leadership, leadership development and performance appraisal might involve. Linda Holbeche, Consultant Editor.

The leadership challenges of the next economy

20 February 2012

The leadership challenges of the next economy are profound and centre around four major issues: system change, the challenges of globalisation, the rise of digitisation and new general purpose technologies and the dominance of apex consumption.