Insights

Why leaders should join the mindfulness mission

Why leaders should join the mindfulness mission

Mindfulness is sometimes dismissed in business circles as New Age fluff – yet it has a powerful knack for refocusing employees and helping them boost their performance

It’s no exaggeration to say that workplaces often feel like the working definition of chaos. Even when it isn’t necessarily the case that chaos is underway, the busiest phases routinely make us think that it is. The abundance of work that we need to get through during those times is often expressed in our physical actions. Gestures and tics become showier; struts down office corridors or around workstations grow more urgent and emphatic; typing gets aggressively louder – and voices climb in pitch. Those are the symptoms of organisations in full flow, and many workers find them unsettling. Could mindfulness be the cure?

Read more »

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.

Read more »

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.

Read more »

How should leaders enshrine innovation at the heart of their firms?

How should leaders enshrine innovation at the heart of their firms?

UK employees are disheartened that their thirst for innovation isn’t reflected among leadership figures. How can both sides work to resolve this?

It turns out that RADA – the Royal Academy of Dramatic Arts – makes as much impact with its views on leadership as its finest alumni make on stage and screen. Part of the famed performance school is devoted specially to the business world, mainly to coach leaders on their body language and public speaking skills. But it also studies a whole series of business trends, and earlier this month it proved that a hotbed of creativity that people don’t usually associate with the cut and thrust of office life can bring some useful insights to the table on where companies may be falling short. Particularly when it comes to something that artists are routinely required to produce: innovation.

In a piercing study of 1,000 UK workplaces, RADA found that 81% of those organisations don’t currently support a culture of experimentation: the essential kindling for innovative behaviour. Indeed, just over one in five employees (21%) in those workplaces said that they didn’t believe senior figures were interested in hearing their ideas. A comparable number (18%) said that even when they did put their ideas forward, those brainwaves were rarely implemented. In the two most painful findings, as many as 16% of staffers said that their senior management teams actively treat new ideas with suspicion and criticism, while 15% believe that their leaders purposely discourage innovation.

Read more »

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.

Read more »