Partnering for change

7 July 2016

Working effectively with internal and external partnerships requires special skills and understanding. Dr Sharon Varney, Leader of a Henley Management Forum Action Research project on this theme, shares key learnings and insights from the project based on the partnership working experience of nine organisations.

How a decision-friendly culture makes for good business

11 May 2016

In their previous article, “Uncovering the Hidden Risk in Change Management“ (Strategic briefings, 24 February 2016) Mark Withers and Anna Withers show that, to effect sustainable change, leaders must understand how unconscious biases distort people’s willingness to embrace change. Through the eight characters contained in the Hidden R-I-S-K® framework, leaders have a powerful tool to help them negotiate the pitfalls of change and make better decisions. This article sets out a three-step approach to help decision-makers surface and mitigate these unconscious biases.

Trust and the emotional bank account

6 April 2016

Trust is a vital underpinning of organisational effectiveness; it is often hard to gain, though very easy to lose. Exploring this sensitive topic can be a challenge. This article, by Rob Warwick and Alison Donaldson, describes one open-ended approach to researching trust in the workplace, and offers some key insights for people wishing to develop workshops to explore the question of trust in their settings.

Bridge-building Leadership: leading the way to a connected university

30 March 2016

In common with many sectors, higher education is undergoing rapid transformation in the face of ever increasing global competition. To achieve their missions, universities face the challenge of creating “joined up” organisational cultures that are conducive to individual and institutional excellence. In this article, Richard Sharpe, of Elementa Leadership, outlines an approach to leadership that has been developed through observation of highly effective leadership practice in global leading universities. Its messages are relevant to organisations in many sectors.

Uncovering the Hidden Risk in Change Management

24 February 2016

Authors Mark and Anna Withers draw on their extensive change practice experience and psychological research to examine the kinds of unconscious biases that determine people’s reactions and decision-making processes during times of change. They synthesise complex theories of change into readily identifiable archetypes and suggest how leaders can, by increasing their understanding of people’s motivations and behavioural responses during change, increase their own effectiveness as change leaders.

Putting an economic value on organisational interventions

3 February 2016

Many HR teams are challenged to prove that they are adding value. In this article, Dr Tony Grundy discusses the many challenges of valuing HR interventions. He highlights the limitations of chasing return on investment (ROI) and argues instead for another approach to assessing intangibles, illustrating his approach with case studies from different sectors.

How CEOs do strategic thinking

30 November 2015

Dr Tony Grundy explores how several CEOs think strategically, and the difference this makes to their effectiveness. As the author points out, this type of thinking tends to be more intuitive and creative than the conventional analytical thinking long favoured by business schools. Helping future leaders to develop strategic thinking capability should be a key aim of HR directors.

The latest performance management trend — will it incentivise?

28 October 2015

There has been a lot of debate recently among HR practitioners and companies about a revolutionary trend in performance management. It is a possible alternative to laborious and largely ineffective performance management processes and systems in place at many organisations today, says Nishant Mahajan.

A new employee relations climate — a barren one for trade unions?

25 September 2015

A dispute at a railway company 114 years ago resulted in legislation that changed industrial relations and the role of trade unions for over 100 years. According to the TUC, and many of its affiliate unions, legislation proposed by the Government in the Queen’s Speech could be about to make just as significant a change — putting the clock back over 100 years.