Footnotes for Paris… Have You Got the Fifth Element?

I have finished this article on January 7, in a sad coincidence with the dreadful terror attack in Paris. I have always wondered what makes us really different from animals and this question is more than relevant after what happened. What follows here is not directly about this attack but you will see how deeply related it is from both sides of the coin. For we all live in stress and all of us have experienced at least once in his or her life how does it feel to be a minority for any reason. You may just be minority for an hour when you meet new people or start a new job, but you may be Muslim, or Jewish or Christian for that matter, which may put you in a position of Minority and Otherness for whatever amount of time. Coming back to the difference between humans and animals perhaps the real difference is in the choices we have. As Janos Selye the famous ethologist put it, you only have 3 choices when you are in stress. Fight, flight or seek protection. The fourth is to get sick or die. It is about the seeking proctection part though, where it really gets interesting. The rest of it (fight and flight and gettins sick) is easy, straightforward reptilian reaction. It is a reaction you saw in Paris with a magnifying glass and in crazy and brutal way, but if we want to really deeply look into ourselves we cannot escape facing that we all have brutality and aggression somewhere in our nature. Our parents used to kill for survival...

Of the man and woman inside us

Leadership style dilemmas for women and men An interesting 2010 research from Hudson found that non c-level women in business pay more attention to people related issues and quality performance, while men seem to attach more importance to an effective control of emotions and an extroverted attitude towards the environment. At the same time, male leaders show an even more extreme male personality. They describe themselves a leaders with a great deal of impact and strong personal opinions who are focused on achieving long term objectives. They consider themselves less caring and people oriented. However, women at the top appear to have a male leadership profile with feminin nuances. C-level women tend to score lower on altruism and people centeredness compared to average women. Why should you care? Because research shows a very strong connection between employee engagement and profit. Recently, a Towers Watson study showed that companies with low engagement scores had an average operating margin just under 10 percent. Those with high traditional engagement had a slightly higher margin of 14 percent. Companies with the highest “sustainable engagement” scores had an average one-year operating margin of 27 percent.  At the same time among sustainably engaged employees, 74 percent in the study believed that senior leaders had a sincere interest in their well-being. Only 44 percent of traditionally engaged employees felt the same way, while only 18 percent of disengaged employees felt their managers genuinely cared about their well-being. This proves that no single behaviour influences more the quality of people’s energy than feeling valued and appreciated by their supervisor.  “The manager is at the heart of what...

Are you Guilty of Corporate Anorexia?

Many corporations I worked with recently seemed to have fallen victim to corporate anorexia. Corporate Anorexia is cutting resources back to the bone with the noble aim of increasing efficiency of the organization. The result unfortunately seems to be lower internal and external customer satisfaction, missed opportunities due to lack of appropriate resources and higher attrition combined with lower job satisfaction.  This is because most companies have responded with ever green solution recipe to the crisis: cut costs and kill all redundancies in the organization. However, every research into successful business and leadership practices seems to indicate that the new key ingredient which makes a company successful is a combination of mental and organizational agility. If you want to anticipate weak signals early in order to identify opportunities you will need a flexibility of resources and a more project based flexible organization that will be able seize those opportunities. It is Time to Refocus Leadership and Management on Promoting Change and Values and Achieving Great Results via Anticipating New...

CEOs and CSOs! Is delivering higher performance about stress and burnout or is it about increasing engagement?

“Today’s market pressures make it more important than ever to have the right workforce in place to drive positive results across an enterprise– from sales and customer service, to production and executive management,” said Robert Morgan, SHL President and CEB General Manager. “In fact, global executives believe the key to delivering profitable growth is a 20 percent increase in staff productivity. More than 100 studies have affirmed the connection between employee engagement and performance, but the Towers Watson 2012 Global Workforce Study — 32,000 employees across 30 countries — makes the most powerful, bottom line case yet for the connection between how we feel at work and how we perform In a broader analysis of 50 global companies, Towers Watson found that companies with low engagement scores had an average operating margin just under 10 percent. Those with high traditional engagement had a slightly higher margin of 14 percent. Companies with the highest “sustainable engagement” scores had an average one-year operating margin of 27 percent.  Among sustainably engaged employees a staggering 74 percent in the study believed senior leaders had a sincere interest in their well-being. Only 44 percent of traditionally engaged employees felt the same way, while only a miniscule 18 percent of disengaged employees felt their managers genuinely cared about their well-being. No single behavior reliably influences the quality of people’s energy than feeling valued and appreciated by their supervisor. I let you connect the...

Brave Women and Coward Men?

Leadership style dilemmas for women and men An interesting 2010 research from Hudson found that non c-level women in business pay more attention to people related issues and quality performance, while men seem to attach more importance to an effective control of emotions and an extroverted attitude towards the environment. At the same time, male leaders show an even more extreme male personality. They describe themselves a leaders with a great deal of impact and strong personal opinions who are focused on achieving long term objectives. They consider themselves less caring and people oriented. However, women at the top appear to have a male leadership profile with feminin nuances. C-level women tend to score lower on altruism and people centeredness compared to average women. Why should you care? Because research shows a very strong connection between employee engagement and profit. Recently, a Towers Watson study showed that companies with low engagement scores had an average operating margin just under 10 percent. Those with high traditional engagement had a slightly higher margin of 14 percent. Companies with the highest “sustainable engagement” scores had an average one-year operating margin of 27 percent.  At the same time among sustainably engaged employees, 74 percent in the study believed that senior leaders had a sincere interest in their well-being. Only 44 percent of traditionally engaged employees felt the same way, while only 18 percent of disengaged employees felt their managers genuinely cared about their well-being. This proves that no single behaviour influences more the quality of people’s energy than feeling valued and appreciated by their supervisor.  “The manager is at the heart of what...
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