communication

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…

Many idioms referring to human behaviour are based on analogies to parts of the body, especially arms, hands and fingers (e.g.: to keep one’s fingers crossed, all hands on deck, elbow room, to be on hand, keep her at arm’s length, he is all thumbs, he would not lift a finger, give someone a free…

I have an interesting application on my phone which allows me to view the exact location of all domestic and international flights around the world at any time during the day or night. The application provides details of a plane’s registration certificate and flight number, departure airport and destination city, departure and estimated arrival times,…

“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…