Stretch for Growth Homepage

One of the hallmarks of a good business manager is the ability to unlock creativity amongst other managers, supervisors and employees. There are many misconceptions about “creativity”. There is a body of people who believe that creativity is a loose form of self-expression, perhaps unrelated to anything going on in the business world. Some see…

Managers are employed to accomplish very specific project requirements (e.g. a sales manager has to guide and inspire the sales team to reach certain targets that the organisation has set; a call-centre manager must ensure quality and speed to enable customers to understand and purchase projects or get resolution to problems they are experiencing, etc.)….

Most forward-thinking organisations are already measuring employee engagement levels within their respective organisations, so for these organisations, the first step in the employee engagement journey has commenced. The knowledge, skills and tools to address the gaps that are identified are often lacking, however, and these gaps need to be closed. This book identifies behaviours and actions that can be undertaken by leaders to engage meaningfully with employees and to create a sustainable environment that leads to passion being expressed, creativity being employed, and productivity being realised.

In a recent discussion with Nico Uys, subject-matter expert, consultant and biological distributor (gobiofarming@gmail.com), I learnt that soil health is foundational if great crops are to be realised. He explained that soil is not an inert, lifeless growing medium, which some modern farming tends to represent, but rather a living, dynamic and ever-changing complete environment….

It had been a long day for the New York City taxi driver and he was really looking forward to a shower and bed. The evening traffic had been busy and he was tired – he was satisfied with the day’s takings, but he now needed a rest after whisking couples off to restaurants and…

Recently, I was deeply moved listening to Benjamin Zander interpret classical music to his students and during a TED Talk, demonstrate his ability to bring out the very best in his fellow musicians. He is the conductor of the Boston Philharmonic Orchestra, founder of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra and probably one of the best…

“The skill of neutrality is a powerful strength if you want to increase your influence” (JoAnn Corley-Schwarzkopf) I sometimes hear the following comments from employees in different organisations: “I can’t speak to my boss as he is biased; managers here don’t really listen to ideas; the concept of ‘fairness’ doesn’t exist in my organisation; my…

I love classical music, especially some of the compositions from masters of the past. Although I have plenty of recorded music, nothing quite compares to actually attending a concert – the anticipation of the audience, hearing professionals tune their instruments, then silence before the applause as the conductor walks out to take his bow. The…

So much has been written for leaders and managers, team leaders and organisational heads – and rightly so, as there is a huge leadership skills gap in the world. Very little, however, has been written for employees in terms of assisting them with developing the skills needed to enjoy relational effectiveness. So, this book is for you – the employee – to enable you to develop the critical skills you need to construct the crucial conversations necessary to getting results in your relationship with your boss.

Frequently, the word ‘empowerment’ mistakenly conjures up images of authority, control and supremacy. The word seems to have so much emotion and sensitivities attached to its application. In an organisational effectiveness context, however, the word is best understood as dismantling unnecessary bureaucracy, removing barriers and enabling people to give their best through training and the…

Globalisation, made possible over the past half-century through more speedy and efficient forms of travel (commuting intercontinentally) and telecommunications (mobile technology and fast data transfer through the internet), is the process of interaction and integration among people, companies and governments all over the world. S Guttal (Globalisation, Development in Practice) notes: “As a complex and…

So many managers seem to switch off the possibility of perceptual internal data-roaming when they arrive at the office. Oh yes, they allow incoming calls from clients, digest information at meetings and give people instructions, but fail to permit their internal “data cards” to pick up and receive important company culture, behavioural or relational employee…

“And the soul is like the eye: when resting upon that which is truth and being shine, the soul perceives and understands and is radiant with intelligence; but when turned towards the twilight of becoming and perishing, then she has opinion only and goes blinking about and is first of one opinion and then of…

I have often wondered what it would be like to manage managers with a merit/demerit system linked to their potential bonuses – it would be punitive, but oh, so much fun. Just imagine a measurement system application linked to their respective smartphones where they can achieve merit points for doing well, but get penalised with…

I'd love to send you an inspiring Stretch for Growth thought each Monday to help you get your week started on the right foot. Sign up to my mailing list and you'll also receive my ebook A to E Stretch completely free!

“A new broom sweeps clean, but an old broom knows every corner” (Anon) “Break neither the new nor the old broom – they are both essential if the organisation is to grow” (Jonathan Mills) There are times when a change in leadership is exactly what the organisation needs to stimulate growth, reduce inefficiencies and engender…

“Life is the most difficult examination. Many people fail because they try to copy others, not realising that everyone has a different question paper” (Anon) I have seen many copies and photographs of famous artists’ works during my life, but nothing compared to standing in front of an authentic Michelangelo or Rembrandt piece in the…

“Hope is the only good god remaining among mankind; the others have left and gone to Olympus. Trust, a mighty god has gone. Restraint has gone from men and the Graces, my friend, have abandoned the earth. Men’s judicial oaths are no longer to be trusted, nor does anyone revere the immortal gods; the race…

This book has been written following thirty years of experience facilitating in one way or another. So many books exist for facilitators that illustrate practical classroom techniques, games that facilitators can play, flipchart and presentation methodology, etc. – “Stretch For Facilitators” doesn’t aim to duplicate any of these offerings, but rather focuses on the person of the facilitator in order to assist budding facilitators with establishing a credible foundation for their work. “Stretch For Facilitators” examines the roots of the facilitator role and links the same to company and delegate needs seamlessly.