Saturday 19 November 2005

Amplifying Effectiveness - models to consider

Congruence Model
The intent of the Congruence Model (Figure 1) is to remind the user that in dealing with different situations, the person should consider oneself, others involved in the situation, and the context of the situation. The inclusion or exclusion of any of these elements results in a stance that that may be blaming, placating, overly reasonable, or congruent.

Figure 1: Congruence Model

NB In Psychology, the Congruence Principle is a corollary of the principle of cognitive dissonance, the notion that it is impossible for a person (or organisation) to live too long where there is incongruence between a belief and a behaviour.

Assertive-Cooperative Model (based on Thomas Kilmann)
A similar model is the
Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument (TKI), this model describes possible reactions to conflict based on consideration of self vs. consideration of others. It is possible to think of this model not in terms of a negative conflict but in the positive achievement of goals (expressed or suppressed) and whether you have consideration of your own goals (assertiveness) and consideration for other people’s goals (cooperativeness). A resultant situation that ends in both parties achieving their goals is an ideal situation and one of collaboration. In contrast a situation arising from compromise could be considered to be a very poor outcome where dissatisfaction is prevalent with all parties; the middle ground may be quite unsatisfactory and lead to conflict at a later stage.

Figure 2: Thomas-Kilmann Conflict Mode Instrument
The TKI reactions are as follows:
  • Avoiding. The goal is to delay or avoid.
  • Accommodating. The goal is to yield.
  • Compromising. The goal is to find a middle ground.
  • Competing. The goal is to win.
  • Collaborating. The goal is to find a win-win situation.
To use the models when in an uncomfortable confrontation, the user should take a moment to consider where he or she is, in relation to the model, and where he or she would like to be. Then, modify behaviour appropriately. 
As a general rule many of us end up unsatisfactorily compromising on our goals due to a failure to engage adequately in understanding the needs and concerns of others or through not being assertive enough, in a constructive way, with our own needs. I expect that at its heart the centrist political third way aims to achieve new common goals and principles through an acknowledgement, understanding and reconciliation of historically polarised positions. 

Tips and Ideas for Building Writing Skills and Confidence

  1. Learn from others. Find role models — people whose writing you like — and study their style. Read with intentionality. Notice what strikes you as good or bad writing.
  2. Writing anything is better than writing nothing. Practice makes less imperfect. Make every writing opportunity an opportunity to develop your writing skills.
  3. All good writing starts with the initial rough draft. Your first draft is just the starting point. Learn to trust yourself and the process.
  4. Don’t fall in love with your own words. Edit ruthlessly. Focus on tight writing. Become best friends with your delete key.
  5. Write like you speak. Eschew terminological obfuscation and fancy formality. Write in a conversational me-to-you tone.
  6. Let your subconscious do your writing for you. A great deal of writing happens when you are away from the keyboard. Write, put it away and then look at it later on with fresh eyes.
  7. When (not if) you get stuck, notice your writing “shoulds.” Acknowledge them and set them aside. Take a break then write an email about what you are stuck writing about.
  8. Find a setting that is conducive to writing. Use your favorite font. Play your favorite music. Find your favorite location. Use whatever approach works best for you

    Wednesday 2 November 2005

    Morale and what employees want

    'When dealing with people, remember you are not dealing with creatures of logic, but with creatures of emotions, creatures bristled with prejudice and motivated by pride and vanity.' Dale Carnegie quote

    A leader's day-to-day actions and attitudes are critical. When a leader is fair, professional and optimistic, morale in the unit will be good. Good morale leads to success, and success leads to better morale.
    The "short course" in understanding what employees really work for:
    1. appreciation of the work they do
    2. being part of something - belonging
    3. Being respected and understood
    4. Job security
    5. Good wages
    6. Interesting work
    7. Personal growth and/or promotions
    8. Good working conditions
    9. Emotional security and stability
    10. A sense of personal power
    In truth when you stop and think they are the same expectation of what you and I want from work.
    Dwight Eisenhower. 'Leadership is the art of getting somebody else to do something you want done; because he wants to do it.'


    The ability to understand another person's situation. Once you understand someone's position and why they are in it, you will be in a much better position to lead them out if it.
    'A man always has two reasons for doing anything- a good reason and the real reason.' J P Morgan.


    ''I like the dreams of the future than the history of the past.' Thomas Jefferson.
    The present is important, and we must learn from the past. But the future provides a vision not yet attained - a target to aim for.

    Mature, Consistent, Optimistic, Creative, Luck .... People with inspiration & vision

    Leaders create commitment and are absolutely essential in times of chaos, crisis or change. 'Anyone can hold the helm when the sea is calm.'

    'Think like a man of action, act like a man of thought'. Henri-Louis Bergson.

    'We are what we repeatedly do.' Aristotle. In leadership the best surprise is no surprise.

    'There is one thing stronger than all the armies in the world, and that is an idea whose time has come.' Victor Hugo.
    Stay up-to-date. The closer you are to the future, the easier it is to predict.

    Leaders always view a cup as being half full, not half empty. 'A leader is a dealer in hope'. Napoleon I. .

    Preparation, Learning & Destiny

    'Before everything else, getting ready is the secret of success.' - Henry Ford
    'The man who is prepared has his battle half fought.' Cervantes.

    Learning from the past.
    'The further back you can look, the further forward you are likely to see.' Winston Churchill.

    Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not something to be waited for but rather something to be achieved.

    on Leaders and Recognition

    The best leaders become cooler when the heat is turned up. Crisis is the true test of a person's leadership ability. 'The ultimate measure of a man is not where he stands in moments of comfort and convenience, but where he stands in times of challenge and controversy' - Martin Luther King

    Leaders recognise good work as quickly as they recognise poor work. 'The deepest principle of human nature is the craving to be appreciated.' William James.

    William James quotes (American Philosopher and Psychologist, leader of the philosophical movement of Pragmatism, 1842-1910)

    Other quotes from William James

    • Act as if what you do makes a difference. It does.
    • Nothing is so fatiguing as the eternal hanging on of an uncompleted task.
    • Whenever two men meet there are really six people present. There is each man as he sees himself, each man was the other sees him, and each man as he really is.
    • Only necessity understood, and bondage to the highest is identical with true freedom.
    • A great many people think they are thinking when they are merely rearranging their prejudices.
    • Most people never run far enough on their first wind to find out they've got a second. Give your dreams all you've got and you'll be amazed at the energy that comes out of you.
    • The greatest use of life is to spend it for something that will outlast it.

    Confusius say

    'The essense of knowledge is, living it, to apply it; not having it, to confess your ignorance.'
    Being unselfish - 'he who wishes to secure the good of others, has already secured his own'.

    Definitions; diplomacy and tact

    Diplomacy is the art of enabling other people to have your own way.

    'Tact is the ability to describe others as they see themselves.' (Abraham Lincoln).

    Monday 24 October 2005

    steer clear of the past lane

    originally an extract from 15/09/2005) Link no longer available

    This week: David Varney, HM Revenue & Customs executive chairman

    Sunday 23 October 2005

    what Mandela taught me

    originally an extract from (Filed: 08/09/2005) Link no longer available

    Bryan Sanderson, chairman of Standard Chartered and Bupa
    There are lots of lessons on people: most of all that they're the most important part of any organisation.

    hear it through the grapevine

    Originally an extract from 29/09/2005) Link no longer available.

    Lord Kalms, life president of Dixon's Group
    Knowledge is the most important thing that the boss has. He has to know everything that goes on in the business. He has to have an eye at the back of his head, be very sensitive, and be aware of everything that's happening.

    if pain outweighs gain

    originally an extract from ..(Filed: 13/10/2005) Link no longer available.

    Dawn Airey, managing director of Sky Networks

    build up a diverse team

    originally an extract from (Filed: 20/10/2005). Link no longer available

    Paul Skinner, chairman of Rio Tinto
    It was pretty late in my life as a business leader and manager that I began to realise just how important investing in people is.

    real leaders show, not tell

    Originally extracted from (Filed: 27/10/2005). Link no longer available.

    Senior international business figures have agreed to share their experience with Fifty Lessons. This week: Clive Mather, president and CEO of Shell Canada

    change and you beat the rest

    Originally an extract from 22/09/2005). Link no longer available.

    Karan Bilimoria founder and CEO of Cobra Beer
    Constant innovation is absolutely imperative because people are always going to copy what you're doing, and you can rarely stop that.

    Sunday 7 August 2005


    When Ingham and Luft first presented "The Johari Window" to illustrate relationship in terms of awareness, they were surprised to find so many people, academicians and nonprofessionals alike, using, and tinkering with, the model. It seems to lend itself as a heuristic device in speculating about human relations. (To read an article by Dr. Dorothea von Ritter-Rohr explaining the Johari Window in more detail, click here--PDF file.) It is simple to visualize the four quadrants which represent the Johari Window:

    Monday 25 July 2005

    Sunday 24 July 2005

    Strategic reminder - Boston Consulting Box (BCG) and Portfolio Analysis

    boston consulting box

    The business portfolio is the collection of businesses and products that make up the company. The best business portfolio is one that fits the company's strengths and helps exploit the most attractive opportunities.
    The company must:
    (1) Analyse its current business portfolio and decide which businesses should receive more or less investment, and
    (2) Develop growth strategies for adding new products and businesses to the portfolio, whilst at the same time deciding when products and businesses should no longer be retained.
    Methods of Portfolio Planning
    The two best-known portfolio planning methods are from the Boston Consulting Group and by General Electric/Shell. In each method, the first step is to identify the various Strategic Business Units ("SBU's") in a company portfolio. An SBU is a unit of the company that has a separate mission and objectives and that can be planned independently from the other businesses. An SBU can be a company division, a product line or even individual brands - it all depends on how the company is organised.

    Monday 18 July 2005

    We don't need another hero

    Research from three associates of Ashridge Business School has brought to light the leadership values for the 21st century. Gone is the CEO superhero dispensing wisdom from on high, and in its place is the human leader with frailties and weaknesses like the rest of us.
    Here, Ashridge associates George Binney, Gerhard Wilke and Colin Williams reveal their blueprint for legendary leaders

    Also from Ashridge Leadership skills for the 21st century

    Monday 20 June 2005

    Owed Two a Spell Chequer

    Eye halve a spelling chequer, it came with my pea sea;
    It plainly marques four my revue miss steaks eye kin knot sea.
    Eye strike a key and type a word and weight four it two say
    Weather eye am wrong or write, it shows me strait a weigh.
    As soon as a mist ache is made it nose bee fore two long.
    And eye can put the error rite, it's rare lea ever wrong.
    Eye have run this poem threw it and I'm shore your pleased two no
    It's letter perfect awl the weigh,
    My chequer tolled me sew.

    Adam Wood
    Senior Trainer
    Hitec (Laboratories) Ltd.

    A peau hem

    I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg. The
    phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid. Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at
    Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod
    are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the
    rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it
    wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey
    lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? Yaeh and I
    awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt

    Optimising time

    Remember to take breaks.

    • RAF trainers work on 50 min hours
    • Even 1 min off looking at bright light is beneficial
    • Chilled water helps the brain to work more effectively

    How mad are you?

    from Independent article (26 April 05)
    Knowing your mind
    As a trait: cautious, observant
    As a disorder: suspicious
    Best: where caution and attention is rewarded
    Worst: in jobs that require spontaneity
    As a trait: independent, calm, a little bit cunning
    As a disorder: manipulative, emotionally cold
    Best: in self-motivating, high control jobs:
    Worst: in jobs that require interpersonal skills
    As a trait: sensitive, volatile, spontaneous and imaginative
    As a disorder: prone to self-harm, changing moods
    Best: in creative, non rigid environments
    Worst: in threatening situations; the army, police
    As a trait: adverturous, clever, ready to fight for his cause
    As a disorder: agressive, lacking conscience
    Best: in exciting, fast-paced environments
    Worst: in jobs or relationships that require caring
    As a trait: self-confident
    As a disorder: arrogant, egotistical, greedy, uncaring
    Best: in competitive, entrepreneurial environments
    Worst: in jobs that require following orders
    As a trait: stylish, fashionable
    As a disorder: demanding, self-centred, vain, superficial
    Best: in Ab Fab-style environments
    Worst: in business-like environments
    As a trait: reliable, reclusive
    As a disorder: painfully self-conscious, suspicious
    Best: in structured environments where there is a minimum of new experience
    Worst: at public speaking, can be unpredictable
    As a trait: faithful to partner
    As a disorder: weak, insecure
    Best: in secure environments where they can become close to others
    Worst: in challenging environments, singles bars
    Obsessive compulsive
    As a trait: single-minded
    As a disorder: inflexible
    Best: in any ordered environment such as accountancy, admin, police
    Worst: in chaotic environments which lack rules

    CLP Assessment Centre Update

    1. Successful leaders need to be able to balance and judge approach with people based on
    . Task
    . Process
    . Climate
    2. Feedback from previous years suggests over longer term (3+ years)most successful (high potential & high performance) score well on intelligence measures.
    3. Ability to deal with change as a constant challenge is the third key ingredient.

    Tuesday 10 May 2005

    HPC recruitment

    • Read intranet guidelines prior to undertaking activity that not routine experience.
    • Plan structure and have fair scoring system
    • Check contractual framework exists and that agency is on approved list before agreeing to interview candidates
    • Agree approach for recruitment at outset and keep under review (pass plan by SMEs)
    • Particularly in case of JV partners agree common framework & advertising
    • Peopleclick process assumed to understood and used by people (prior to my own training).

    However due to it being a new untried process there were more teething problems: greater opportunity for support should have been built in to help learning and avoid future rework


    Wednesday 16 March 2005

    Results 2005

    . ISTCs
    . Focus on organic growth
    . Key: inspire and lead
    . Remember everyone has a right to monthly quality dialogue, team talk, annual review and objectives

    Saturday 5 March 2005

    3 minute talk (...only three minutes for your speech - then use this aide memoire)

    Using the following check-list you can do a three minute talk or speech on a any topic 

    without any real preparation or notes

    • Go back in time 
    • History of
    • Types, uses
    • Cycles, Seasons & Patterns
    • Visual Picture
    People often recommend only having three topics or themes as that is what most people can typically remember and
    past, present and future are therefore the usual stalwart to frame a talk around - taking the above as a guide this can be far more imaginative. 
    • Past /go back in time, for example in the case of an apple, could be anything from Adam and Eve to your childhood or just last summer
    Try it out with
    • apple
    • moon
    • potato
    • your best friend
    • you
    • your best-man or bridesmaid's speech
    It is fascinating what you'll have to cut out of only three minutes

    De Bono Hats

    De Bono Hats : How to Use the Tool:
    You can use Six Thinking Hats in meetings or on your own. In meetings it has the benefit of blocking the confrontations that happen when people with different thinking styles discuss the same problem.

    Each 'Thinking Hat' is a different style of thinking. These are explained below:
      White Hat  : With this thinking hat you focus on the data available. Look at the information you have, and see what you can learn from it. Look for gaps in your knowledge, and either try to fill them or take account of them.
    This is where you analyse past trends, and try to extrapolate from historical data.

     Red Hat : 'Wearing' the red hat, you look at problems using intuition, gut reaction, and emotion. Also try to think how other people will react emotionally. Try to understand the responses of people who do not fully know your reasoning.

     Black Hat : Using black hat thinking, look at all the bad points of the decision. Look at it cautiously and defensively. Try to see why it might not work. This is important because it highlights the weak points in a plan. It allows you to eliminate them, alter them, or prepare contingency plans to counter them.
    Black Hat thinking helps to make your plans 'tougher' and more resilient. It can also help you to spot fatal flaws and risks before you embark on a course of action. Black Hat thinking is one of the real benefits of this technique, as many successful people get so used to thinking positively that often they cannot see problems in advance. This leaves them under-prepared for difficulties.

     Yellow Hat : The yellow hat helps you to think positively. It is the optimistic viewpoint that helps you to see all the benefits of the decision and the value in it. Yellow Hat thinking helps you to keep going when everything looks gloomy and difficult.

     Green Hat : The Green Hat stands for creativity. This is where you can develop creative solutions to a problem. It is a freewheeling way of thinking, in which there is little criticism of ideas. A whole range of creativity tools can help you here.

     Blue Hat : The Blue Hat stands for process control. This is the hat worn by people chairing meetings. When running into difficulties because ideas are running dry, they may direct activity into Green Hat thinking. When contingency plans are needed, they will ask for Black Hat thinking, etc.

    A variant of this technique is to look at problems from the point of view of different professionals (e.g. doctors, architects, sales directors, etc.) or different customers.


    3 Stage Model
    Stage 1 - Exploration
    Stage 2 - New Understanding
    Satge 3 - Action Planning

    Model can be used in a number of ways
    * to reflect upon what nmentoring involves, and assess yourself as a mentor
    * as a schedule for a mentoring meeting - to work through the stages
    * as a map of the mentoring process - to see what ground has been covered and what needs further attention
    * to review the mentoring relationship over time, as the mentee moves towards achieving the goals identified earlier in the relationship,
    * to enhance shared understanding of the mentoring process and relationship, and to develop the mentee's ability to use the model indpendently.

    ref Mentoring Pocketbook Geof Alred, Bob Garvey & Richard Smith