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.
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.

Patrick Lencioni wrote the book, Death by Meeting, over a decade ago; and despite many more articles and books about how to improve team interaction, too many meetings continue to be boring and unproductive.

Have you ever sat through an hour-long meeting and thought halfway through that it feels like you have already been there for an hour and a half?  If not, you can stop reading. If you are still reading, that is no surprise. Sadly, I think most meetings feel like they go on and on and oftentimes not much, if anything is accomplished.

For more than 20 years I have heard companies and consulting firms articulating the guiding principle “think global, act local.” While in principle this guidance seems reasonable, it has often turned out to be disastrous for companies. This is due to a lack of clear direction and strategy for globalization when company leaders decide to make it a strategic priority. With this historical mind-set engrained, one tends to see international deployment strategies fail to meet expectations. Below are a few specific examples I’ve observed from 12 years of international experience.

Why do so many people fear change? We’re often influenced by our fears and anxieties when we are faced with decisions; but by giving into these, we inhibit our innovative and development capacity. Once you’re aware of this as an individual, and you realize that you have the ability to remove any emotions related to change—that’s the moment. This powerful moment knocks the walls down and builds a new step forward towards success. This allows you to navigate through change so that it works for rather than against you.

When I speak to various professionals and executive leaders, a key theme that comes up repeatedly is advice on key career management tips. Having just thought about it deeply during a long flight, a distillation of my career-long learning is as follows:

1. Back yourself.

Self-confidence cannot be outsourced! When you encounter tough people or new situations, the only person who has full knowledge of your past success is you. Get inspired by Edmund Hillary's words to Mount Everest: “I'll come back to you. You cannot grow taller but I can.”