Free Articles for Business Growth and Development

Managing under pressure

Staying Cool When the Heat is On: 16 Practical Ways to Lead and Manage through Stress

  “Lurching from one crisis to the next”. That’s how it is sometimes for leaders in stormy waters. “If only there were a dull moment”, one coaching client recently said. “I yearn for a dull moment”. Pressure and the resulting stress response is both part of the journey but potentially a big problem for leaders

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Corporate Priorities

Choosing Business Priorities: Trump, Welch, Gates and Buffett

A friend of mine who designs websites once characterised the typical client dilemma with a hint of sarcasm:  “I want everything to be prominent.  Everything has to stand out above everything else.”  This is something we all experience. I often see good organisations drowning in “corporate priorities”.  A great long shopping list, hundreds of items long

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Core Values

Values Schmalues! Are Corporate Values Just More Bullshit?

What do you think of the Values below? Good? Great? Our Values Communication.  We have an obligation to communicate. Here, we take the time to talk with one another… and to listen. We believe that information is meant to move and that information moves people. Respect.  We treat others as we would like to be

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Sizzling Strategy Questions

No matter how big the business, there are some questions that are always relevant and, if answered with insight, honesty and creativity, will give you armfuls of value.  Here are some useful strategy questions I use with groups and individuals:  

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9 ways to make time for Strategy

With the best of intentions, strategy is often neglected.  One of the Catch-22 problems of growing a business is that the more successful you are, the more operationally demanding the business becomes.  The more operationally demanding, the less time to think about and plan for the future.  Very soon, business managers run into the busy-ness

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Facilitating conflict

Facilitating Conflict in Boards and Teams

You get a call.  Ostensibly, the request is couched as an innocuous “team-building day” for a senior team. But scratch beneath the surface, there is often unhelpful conflict that one or more of the group wants to work on and which has motivated them to get in contact.  The more I do, the more I

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Chairing Skills

Chairing Skills: The Socratic Method

The Chair is the Chief Facilitator of the Board.  Having an orderly process for dialogue makes meetings so much more satisfying.  When I train or coach Chairs, one of the tools they love is the Socratic Method of enquiry.  Two and a half thousand years old, named after Socrates, it’s a method of asking and answering questions to

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Pitching for success

Winning the tender process

After the brain-ache of creating a tender that gets shortlisted, you are invited to present/interview.  A frisson of excitement is followed by a fairly large black cloud as you think of the amount of work required to prepare.  Yet my guess is that most bidders focus on writing slides and don’t even do a run through to

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Strategy questions about the future

7 Questions about the future when Business Planning

It’s the future (or not keeping pace with it) that does you in. The trouble is, most companies just trot out the same-old, same-old tired PESTLE and SWOT grids at Business Planning time.  What they really need is a vigorous and stimulating debate.  Inventive, speculative conversations where people really take a view based on intuition,

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Strategy Business Planning

7 Strategy Questions to Create a Shared Map

Imagine being on a team trek and each person is following a slightly different destination and map. It would make progress hard work, slow and fractious.  We’ve all been there. Many companies and organisations are like this.  People, teams, departments have a slightly different view of the destination and nobody is quite certain what the

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