empowerment

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…

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…

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…

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…

“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…

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…

“If serving is beneath you, then leadership is beyond you” (Anon) The team members that know that their leader is there for them, cares for them, checks in to see how each one is coping and, furthermore, develops the skills they need to advance their careers are team members who will be loyal no matter…

We see the abuse of power by leaders in many contexts today – government and political parties, aid and other charity organisations, corporations, sport administration, gangs, etc. – the list is seemingly endless. Those, who are in some way controlled by these selfish leaders, feel disempowered, helpless and disheartened. Work becomes a misery that has…

“The best way to demotivate and lose top performers is to reward mediocrity in an attempt to maintain status quo” (Jameson St Claire) Governments do it. Many big corporates do it. They reward poor performance to maintain the status quo. Governments prop up ailing industries at the expense of those same industries, of necessity, reinventing…

“Success is never owned. It’s rented and rent is due every day” (Unknown) Success seems to be a fairly short-lived commodity – just being successful in one year doesn’t mean that the feat will be repeated in subsequent years. Exceeding annual sales targets significantly in one period does not guarantee future successes. The results derived…