Five practices of winning companies

Most companies fail to create a compelling strategy, or if they do have such a strategy they fail to put it into practice; however, a small number of companies naturally combine strategy and execution in everything they do. According to Paul Leinwand and Cesare Mainardi in their book Strategy That Works: How Winning Companies Close the Strategy-to-Execution Gap, the products and services of these companies have an enviable position in the markets they care about, and the firms reliably deliver on their promises. They each have their own unique way of competing, but they all have one thing in common: their success is clearly related to the distinctive way they do things: their capabilities.

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Interesting new ideas on leadership development

Despite the complexity and ambiguity of the world today, we all have the potential to develop as leaders, according to Alan Watkins in his book 4D Leadership: Competitive Advantage Through Vertical Leadership Development. Successful leadership development requires a focus on upgrading our operating system, not just adding-on more ‘apps’ in the form of skills and experience.

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Key skills for speaking on behalf of your organisation

It should go without saying that an organization should get its spokespeople media trained, according to Robert Taylor in his book Media Interview Techniques: A Complete Guide to Media Training. Journalists conduct interviews day in day out, so if your spokespeople have never had any training or practice they’ll immediately be at a big disadvantage, just as someone who has never learned to cook will probably make a hash of preparing a meal for a dinner party.

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Techniques for re-framing issues to improve decisions

Left to our well-honed, pattern-seeking tendencies, we will begin paying attention to those parts of our environment that fit our frames. Just as significant, we will ignore or downplay those parts of our environment that do not fit our frame. Not only is our brilliance unquestioned, it is inappropriately reinforced by our search for evidence, according to John Austin in his book Unquestioned Brilliance: Navigating a Fundamental Leadership Trap.

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Useful ideas for enhancing learning

If you’re a good trainer and people are learning, you are fundamentally changing people’s brains, so it is worth understanding enough about the hardware and software that you’re working with to get the best results, according to Stella Collins in her book Neuroscience for Learning and Development: How to Apply Neuroscience and Psychology for Improved Learning and Training.

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Useful overview of ways to control information security risks

Faced with the emergence and speed of growth in the information economy, organizations have an urgent need to adopt IT governance best practice, according to Alan Calder and Steve Watkins in their book IT Governance: An International Guide to Data Security and ISO27001/ISO27002. The authors define IT governance as ‘the framework for the leadership, organizational structures and business processes, standards and compliance to these standards, which ensures that the organization’s information systems support and enable the achievement of its strategies and objectives’.

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Exercises for improving business performance

Fit leaders and fit companies mindfully and intentionally pursue a well-defined course of action that makes them stronger, faster, and more agile over the long run; they engage in rigorous, scientific thinking at all levels of the organization to analyse and solve problems, and they eliminate the fear that shackles employee creativity and liberate employees to close the baps between where they are today and where they want to be tomorrow, according to Daniel Markovitz in his book Building the FIT Organization: Six Core Principles for Making Your Company Stronger, Faster, and More Competitive.

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How to create a highly desirable workplace

A fundamental shift is indeed taking place all around us: more and more, today’s businesses find that, rather than asking or forcing individuals to step into line with the organization’s needs, they must adapt and transform themselves to attract the right people, keep them, and inspire them to do their best work, according to Rob Goffee and Gareth Jones in their book Why Should Anyone Work Here: What It Takes to Create an Authentic Organization.

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How to find and eliminate negative behaviours in a workplace

Rooting out corrosive behaviours is not simple, since they are often mutant excesses of laudable aspects of organisational life and group behaviour. Slowly these sabotaging behaviours become part of the working culture, and spotting them, much less extricating them, is not easy, according to Robert Galford, Bob Frish and Cary Greene in their book Simple Sabotage: A Modern Field Manual for Detecting and Rooting Out Everyday Behaviors That Undermine Your Workplace.

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Unscientific criticism of unscientific leadership training practices

Inspiration is a very poor foundation on which to build substantive change, and the leadership tales we hear, stories that often have only modest amounts of validity, routinely make things worse, and possibly much worse, according to Jeffrey Pfeffer in his book Leadership BS: Fixing Workplaces and Careers One Truth at a Time. The author goes on to make his case with a number of non-validated propositions supported by inspirational or perhaps de-inspirational anecdotes.

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