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Executive Management and Leadership

When I began my first career, I found myself in what may have been the most fortunate situation I could have wished for – working in a place where, if you wanted and could do a job, you deserved to be given that job. Yet there was a catalyst.

The top executive enjoyed spotting talent. He actively looked for it. He felt that people who were guided into the things they did best – because they enjoyed doing them – were certain to exceed the company’s expectations...and their own.

Traditional Management Practice

As a manager, whenever you take on a new management role, either internally or externally, you apply the totality of your learned management practices from previous experiences. The rational is simple, the totality of your learned management practices, developed over time, has formed the basis for your success, so you see no basis for change. With this kind of thinking, there are often many management practices being ignored that may be able to improve your current practices even further. Discovering these missing practices will establish management relevance.

Businesses are crying out for great leaders causing organisations to commit significant resources to leadership development. While much is said about the effectiveness of leadership development, the question is how effective is leadership development when it does not start as a practice early in a person’s career? 

Today’s challenging business times require extraordinary leadership, and increasingly companies across the globe are heavily invested in finding and empowering leaders. They compete for the best people outside of the organisation and also realise that their strength lies in a well-developed talent pool. Yet, they still fall behind in truly building the leadership capacity they need for the future.

Does your company want a 25-50 percent or higher increase in performance? Research statistically shows that these improvements can come from talent solutions.

Let’s look at some of the research results for companies with diverse workforces:

Board

How do you decide between two candidates that look exactly the same on paper?

What are the deciding factors that you look for in a future colleague?

Think about the best colleague you have ever had…I bet I can guess some of the words that you would use to describe that person: pleasant, helpful, encouraging, resourceful, knowledgeable, motivated. I am sure you can think of many more, and the majority are words that describe emotional and social competencies—not technical skills or expertise. Of course we expect and need our colleagues to have the knowledge and ability to get their job done, but these are not generally the characteristics that stand out when we are thinking about why someone is so good to work with.

As a manager your management style, activities, and occasional corrective actions used to be largely contained within your company. However, today social media provides a mechanism for both direct and stealth broad-based communication regarding how your employees feel about your management practices. The result, your management practices are subject to public rebuke to not only your subordinates, companywide employees, your upward management, and individuals interested in your company which could become potential employees.

Many in the corporate world lost their way after the Lehman Shock. In Japan, this feeling was compounded with the Fukushima nuclear disaster. A survey of 600 Japanese workers revealed a lack of passion that threatens productivity in Japan – and similar findings are likely in other countries as well.
 
The following article excerpts key findings from the survey and discusses methods that corporate leaders can use to increase and sustain passion in their workforce.
 
Survey
PASSION FOR WORK – Some 595 responses to a 2009 internet survey show that the majority of Japanese are not passionate about their job (Graph 1). 

Ahead of his appearance at the AESC’s Global Conference in April, Joe Nocera, Partner at PwC, describes what boards are looking for to meet their cyber security needs.

How well equipped are the world’s largest companies to handle the threat of cyber security breaches today?

Remember Detroit. When the Motor City’s auto executives were called before Congress to testify about their companies’ sorry financial condition and their need for a federal bailout, two arrived by chartered jet. The CEO of Ford drove to the hearings...in a Ford Escape Hybrid.

The fliers were excoriated for their excess (though as part of an industry considered “too big to fail,” they were rescued). Ford didn’t ask for a dime. They were solvent throughout the worst downturn in decades.

Service LeadershipMake Sure the Subtleties Are Obvious

Successfully entering the consumer market in China is the dream of every company in the consumer sector. Whether you are in vehicles, food and drink, electronics, fast food or any other business selling to individuals, the thought of 1.6 billion consumers all readily approachable within one country is mouth-watering. But of course, nothing in business (or in life itself!) is straightforward; China is unlike any other market in the world.