Why leaders’ promises must be underpinned by a healthy dose of reality

Why leaders’ promises must be underpinned by a healthy dose of reality

Promises are a double-edged sword for businesses – and evidence shows that simply keeping them works better for customers than surpassing them

The dangers of a business stockpiling its promises and over-committing itself have been thrown into sharp relief by the traumatic collapse of infrastructure giant Carillion. Following the 15 January announcement that the firm was going into liquidation, the finger pointing began in earnest. No wonder: as the UK’s largest supplier of municipal facilities for a host of different public services, Carillion had instilled in its primary customer – the government – a major dependency, becoming pivotal to the fulfilment of numerous policy programmes.

Its failure bodes ill for the delivery of projects in both the near and long term – and for the health of the public purse, should the taxpayer be required to step in.

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What should leaders prioritise in recruitment: trust, or competence?

What should leaders prioritise in recruitment: trust, or competence?

In the interests of friendly familiarity, leaders may be tempted to hire people they trust over more competent candidates. But this may not always make for a smooth path

Amid the pressure of running a dynamic, ambitious organisation, one of the greatest comforts that a leader could have is the confidence to be able to say, “Someone has my back.” Often, the types of people that a leader wants by their side in a senior management team are those they have become accustomed to and grown to like – to the extent that those individuals are no longer merely professional associates, but bona-fide friends. And these will be the people in whom a leader will be happiest to invest their trust.

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How corporate cultures must change to stamp out sexual harassment

How corporate cultures must change to stamp out sexual harassment

As careers crumble in the US film industry and UK politics, we explore the organisational costs of sexual harassment, and how the root causes can be effectively tackled

For anyone with even the faintest interest in the people politics behind the silver screen, the past month has been a grim cavalcade of dismaying revelations. Like boulders rolling down a mountain to become an avalanche, accusations of sexual harassment, serious sexual assault and rape, initially revolving around Hollywood mogul Harvey Weinstein, have now ranged far and wide – mowing down careers not just on America’s west coast, but in the UK’s seat of government, too.

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Why leaders must do so much more to prepare for GDPR

Why leaders must do so much more to prepare for GDPR

Impending GDPR rules mean that organisations will have to radically overhaul their data management efforts – but not enough leaders are facing up to this huge responsibility

As if European companies weren’t facing enough of a storm right now with the urgent need to prepare for Brexit, another thunderhead looming on the horizon requires even earlier attention. Any widespread failure to apply the necessary strategic insight to this problem could cost a huge amount of businesses the very reputations upon which they trade. I am talking here about Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR), which comes into force on 25 May next year – and for which the majority of organisations, according to several pieces of research, remain sorely under-prepared.

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What kind of leader makes the best decisions in uncertain times?

What kind of leader makes the best decisions in uncertain times?

New research has highlighted the daunting range of decisions that firms are facing in the run up to Brexit. It will take a special blend of leadership qualities to light the way…

What kind of leader does an organisation need if it is to navigate a choppy sea of variables and arrive at its destination unscathed? What does it take to make decisions amid waves of jarring uncertainty?

Companies in Europe will have to square up to those questions with mounting urgency as the calendar gets ever thinner ahead of the UK’s 1 March 2019 Brexit deadline. Believe me, its pages are already tearing off into history at a dizzying speed: it is now seven months since Prime Minister Theresa May triggered the Article 50 countdown, and so far, not a single concrete agreement has emerged from the ongoing talks between the UK and EU teams. It is a uniquely testing and pressured time for organisational stability.

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