Leadership is such a vague concept. When we hear the word we think of charismatic individuals, great generals, engaging politicians, or renowned business people. We generally think of people situated at the top of an organization who attract attention to their accomplishments. And, as of late, the topic of leadership is often discussed in the context of succession and looming leadership gaps.
Boards are as diverse as the organizations they serve. However, there are a number of common challenges boards face including an evolving regulatory environment, increasing role complexity and rising demands for transparency and social responsibility. As the expectations of boards increase, so too does the importance of ensuring that your board is up to the challenge. In our experience, there are six critical steps to building an exemplary board for today’s challenging board rooms.
There is almost always a palpable sense of fear when an organization decides to conduct an employee engagement survey for the first time. What if my employees are unhappy with the leadership of the organization? What if my employees feel under compensated or overworked? Employee engagement surveys, if developed appropriately, should assess a host of different areas across an organization, including leadership effectiveness, career development opportunities, work-life balance, and job design.
Like it or not, every company has a brand. In the traditional marketing sense, a brand is what differentiates one good, product or service from another. A name, design and reputation all shape a brand’s image and the public’s understanding of the value proposition. Similarly, employer brand is the look, feel, and reputation of an employer and is what current and prospective employees use to evaluate whether or not your company is an attractive place to work. Often, employer brand goes hand-in-hand with consumer brand - but not always.
Organizational models today are shifting from hierarchical to flat. Careers are no longer an upward trajectory, but more likely to be a series of experiences, projects and development opportunities. But, a lack of awareness around the new flat organization dynamics is resulting in a perceived lack of opportunities for career movement within companies, and frustration among employees and leaders.
In Atlantic Canada a hot topic amongst employers is the difficulty organizations have attracting and retaining top talent. If your business is located in a rural area, that challenge is felt even more acutely. Many of our clients with operations in rural areas site attracting top talent to be there number one challenge.
Teams are essential for accomplishing business goals in today’s work environment. Businesses are becoming increasingly reliant upon teams for solution finding and production. Additionally, virtual teams are increasing in acceptance and popularity, as five million employees are projected to work remotely by 2016. Based on these trends, research is warranted in exploring teams. What are the characteristics of effective work teams? What challenges are teams faced with today? Are there uniquely important aspects which distinguish effective virtual teams from effective face-to-face teams?
Providing coaching to high potential employees has come to be seen as a must in many high performance companies. Many leaders who want to differentiate themselves and enhance their contribution to the organization enlist a coach to help them achieve their potential and make their mark on an organization’s success.
Leaders often see the end of the calendar year as a time of planning and fiscal review. This comes naturally to most leaders. However, what does not, or is often not welcomed, is the most dreaded component of the talent cycle – annual performance reviews. It harbours fear in some of the most seasoned leaders, offering relief only when it is ‘finally over.’ On occasion, I have met leaders who have embraced and mastered the talent management agenda.
Leaders often preach the importance of constructive feedback but do we practice it? Corporate communications, job descriptions, engagement surveys, and even corporate values all point to the significance of feedback and yet we rarely provide it and when we do, it is often not done well. We even go so far as to let someone go so we don’t have to give them honest, constructive feedback. So what makes it so hard? In countless sessions I have given on feedback the overriding concern remains the same – “I don’t want to hurt them.” Sadly, not giving feedback will hurt them even more.