Category: Leadership

  • “There are few things more important in the world today than what you are doing here.”

    These words greet every visitor to the David Attenborough Building in Cambridge. The people who are based here work for a range of organisations and disciplines, including the University of Cambridge, the RSPB and the UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre. They’ve been brought together to understand and preserve ecosystems and biodiversity – under greater threat…

  • Every organisation needs a strategy – but what’s a strategy, and how do I develop one?

    Every organisation needs a strategy, if it’s to meet its potential. Good luck and keeping your fingers crossed won’t work indefinitely. But what’s a strategy, and how do you develop one? What is a strategy? Strategy is a description of how your organisation will “win”, or prevail, given the circumstances it finds itself in. Unlike a vision…

  • Looking from the outside in

    I came across a thought-provoking article from Lora Cecere on LinkedIn a few weeks ago. She discusses the downfall of Caterpillar’s CEO Doug Oberhelman, as a result of the dogged pursuit of an unsuccessful strategy, and the lack of adaptability of his company to changing market situations. Sales-driven and marketing-driven processes are internally focused on…

  • Truth

    In general, the people around us don’t tell us the truth. Leaders don’t get told the truth by those around them. They don’t get told the truth by their bosses and are even less likely to get told the truth by those they manage. They don’t get told the truth about the organization and they…

  • Fear leads to anger. Anger leads to hate. Hate leads to suffering.

    The best quote from the worst film in the Star Wars series. At the risk of going the full David Brent, I’d like to offer the following: Trust leads to conflict. Conflict leads to commitment. Commitment leads to accountability. Accountability leads to results. Results are the measures of success of high-performing teams. It may not have the…

  • It’s not about you – helping your team to focus on results

    Many potentially high-performing teams still lose their way. Trust is high, fierce debate is present, commitment and accountability is well-developed – but when three, six, twelve months have passed, there’s always a reason why they haven’t delivered. The reasons may be understandable; the decisions justified – but given their time again, the team would have…

  • Three Steps to Build Accountability

    We’ve talked about trust, conflict and commitment. They’re vital ingredients of high-performing teams except… we haven’t actually done any work yet. Following a decision, once work is underway, teams can often be tripped up by a lack of accountability – an unwillingness to hold each other to account for delivery. Accountability can only be built on…