communication

“Smart leaders today engage with employees in a way that resembles an ordinary person-to-person conversation more than it does a series of commands from on high, instilling a conversational sensibility throughout their organisations” (Groysberg & Slind) Achieving organisational alignment during change interventions – across new processes, systems, procedures and the application of human and other…

Safety boots, essential footwear for certain production and manufacturing environments, are typically designed to protect employees’ toes and feet in the event of an unfortunate accident. I call this a defensive strategy – being protected if something bad should happen. At the same time, many manufacturers have what I call an offensive strategy – ensuring…

Business leaders are being stretched – having to make tough choices and subsequent changes for improvement, or even survival, in difficult financial times. These changes affect people, structure, processes, tasks and systems, so effective communication becomes essential during the whole change process (pre-implementation, during implementation and post-implementation). There is a big difference, however, between communication…

“You support what you help create” (Alinda Nortje: Executive Chairperson, Free To Grow) In a world of increasing turbulence, including unpredictable financial and socio-political contexts, leaders are under pressure to transform their organisations towards achieving sustainable growth. This “transformation” may include the adoption of new technologies, major strategic shifts, process reengineering, mergers and acquisitions, restructuring,…

We don’t know who to trust anymore! Many political and some business leaders keep letting us down. In fact, they deliberately manipulate circumstances (tenders, the system, etc.) to suit their own selfish desires. Money that should have been directed to infrastructure development and other worthy projects that uplift communities is diverted into the pockets of…

  In the movie, Office Space – a comedy about work life in a typical 1990’s software company – the protagonist, Peter Gibbons, has eight different bosses. All of them, seemingly unaware of each other, make requests of his energy and time as they pass his desk. While the movie is most certainly a satire,…

The Information Technology project team seemed to be upbeat, certainly if one analysed the tenor of their weekly project reports mailed to everyone in the company. Their “Win of the Week” e-mail was a status update of progress being made with the intended implementation of a new IT platform for the company – a much-needed…

“Nothing kills ‘one team one goal’ thinking like silos” (John G Miller, author of QBQ: The Question Behind the Question) A CEO of a large business recently shared some of his frustrations with me – he complained that he needed to mediate conflict frequently between his senior managers and asked: “Why do people responsible for…

Emotional expression is part of being human – emotions need to be communicated, shared and debriefed whether they are positive or negative in their origin. All emotions need resolution – joyous news needs to be celebrated together with others; sadness needs empathy and closeness within meaningful relationships. The work environment is no exception as it,…

I was told by my parents never to point my finger, particularly not at people. Pointing out a passing ship or a whale frolicking offshore was fine, but finger-pointing for me was limited to natural wonders and animals. As I have grown older, I have understood the wisdom exhibited by my parents as I have…

The expression ‘in the same boat’ is typically construed as a negative idiom – “you say that you have run out of money – well, I am in the same boat”, meaning that I have run out of money too. It implies that you find yourself in a similar situation or in the same position…