Insights

Eager to diversify? Then get good at risk management!

Eager to diversify? Then get good at risk management!

Diversifying a business is by turns one of the most exciting and nerve-wracking processes that a manager or entrepreneur can go through. So many opportunities! Yet so much risk! Among the long grass in that commercial garden of delights could lay one or two casually placed rakes. And it doesn’t take an expert in slapstick to know that when you step on the functional end of a rake, it’s not long before you get whacked in the face.

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Why firms need to get serious about reputation management

Why firms need to get serious about reputation management

Fear of being talked about negatively behind our backs is the square root of countless social phobias. We have a few defence mechanisms at hand – such as getting busy and ploughing on with our lives – but it’s a spectre that’s becoming ever harder to ignore, particularly given the ultra-tempting distractions provided by social media. Our profiles and output on platforms such as Facebook, Twitter and Instagram provide complete strangers with at-a-glance hints of the kinds of people we are. While that may not completely cement a reputation, it certainly lays a lot of groundwork for people to build on.

Now, let’s go wider and consider the reputation challenges faced not by individuals, but organisations.

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Leadership transition: how are organisations getting it wrong?

Leadership transition: how are organisations getting it wrong?

“All change, all change,” as the electronic guard on a Tube train barks – always a tad too loudly – when the vehicle is about to head back to the depot for a night’s rest. The passengers get the message: everybody out – time for this thing to get cleaned up and then roll back on the tracks the next morning as good as new. And much the same can be said for the sentiments behind leadership transition within a private or public entity.

As a concept, transition conveys a sense of refreshment – the notion that what may have become a little stale, old or unworkable is about to receive, in the words of any popular TV medical drama, “10CCs of adrenalin and a crash cart”. In other words, a new lease of life – or perhaps even a new reason to live. Scenarios where the potential impacts of leadership transition will be uppermost in the minds of an organisation’s senior staff will be:

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Artificial intelligence at work: grim threat… or prime opportunity?

Artificial intelligence at work: grim threat… or prime opportunity?

If it sounds like something out of a comic-book movie, well – that’s because it is out of a comic-book movie. On 19 December, it emerged that Facebook honcho and all-round tech futurist Mark Zuckerberg had installed a robot ‘butler’ in his home called Jarvis. Not a physical, clanking, wheezing robot – but one buried in his walls as a mass of circuits and hooked into every domestic appliance. At every uttered command, Jarvis will play music, switch on lights, adjust the air conditioning, etcetera, etcetera. Named after a sentient computer in the home of Iron Man protagonist (and fellow billionaire) Tony Stark, Zuckerberg’s Jarvis wields the most cutting-edge artificial intelligence that money can buy.

Oh, and as if that weren’t enough, he’s also voiced by Hollywood legend Morgan Freeman – donating samples of his deliciously burring vowels and consonants to Zuckerberg for an undisclosed, but presumably whopping, fee.

Head spinning? Don’t worry – it’s just the natural side effects of living in the future. And artificial intelligence is a technology that, by virtue of its rapid development, has fast-tracked itself to have an ever-greater impact on our lives with each passing year.

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Managing emotions: why Lumina Emotion is a powerful new coaching ally

Managing emotions: why Lumina Emotion is a powerful new coaching ally

Much as we pretend superficially that it’s not the case, emotions are rarely far from the surface at work. The crucial difference is how – and to what extent – we express those emotions. This presents us with a minefield. Emotions are variables all by themselves, right? But wading through a bunch of them every working day is like trying to cross a whole swamp of variables, with traumatic explosions or a sinking feeling awaiting every misstep.

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