How to make waves – and influence people

first_imgHow to make waves – and influence peopleOn 1 Sep 2001 in Auto-enrolment, Personnel Today Previous Article Next Article Allowing managers to import outside ideas into their organisations canthreaten the established culture, yet also bring massive benefits. Training anddevelopment professionals can help broker such changes – but, say CatherineBailey and David Butcher, it takes courageConsider the following advice: most of what managers now need to learn comesfrom outside their organisation or, for that matter, from outside theirindustry. This may sound like management guru-speak, but ignore it at your peril. Most executives take it seriously, although what they mean when they talk of”getting an external viewpoint” is subject to a number ofinterpretations. They range from “broadening the thinking”,”benchmarking practice”, “seeking out the leading edge”,”injecting innovative thinking”, to “breaking out of themindset”. Whatever the slant, the underlying aim in getting this external view is tobe better equipped to challenge and change the way the business operates bybringing in or developing people whose ideas are counter-culture. Organisations want people who can think outside the box, are prepared to askthe unaskable, to challenge the intuitive core. In other words, they wantpeople who can think and act with a degree of irreverence – or at least theysay they do. External perspective Businesses exploit several routes in pursuit of the external perspective.Importing fresh blood, seconding key individuals, using seasoned mentors andwidely experienced external coaches, making comparisons through benchmarkingactivities and, of course, enabling their managers to participate on openenrolment development programmes. But despite the apparent value and investment in these activities, there ismuch evidence to suggest that organisations have considerable difficulty inmaking good use of them – of being able to work with ideas and people with thepower to challenge culture and transform the business. Managers imported at senior level frequently do not survive. Secondedindividuals can be left struggling with re-entry. Coaching relationships can bemore conducive to cultural collusion than challenge. And executives who are provided with off-line development opportunitiesoften feel that their insights are poorly used, their efforts to inject newideas undermined. Management development programmes are still the most common route tobuilding the external perspective, not just because they are structuredlearning processes, but also because they are economical with executive time.They vary greatly in the way this is achieved. Sometimes the external dimensionremains a background feature of the learning environment, coming into its ownin the bar once the formal learning has finished for the day. At the other extreme, programmes designed specifically to nurture theexternal view offer more than simple exposure to wider experience. If they are to succeed, they must challenge current thinking sufficiently tocreate a mindset shift for participants and, of equal importance, develop thecapability to use that well. The more ambitious and challenging the programme, the more it should enablemanagers to work with the paradox of an external viewpoint. What those managersthen offer their organisations is both the promise and the threat ofinnovation. If they are to be capable of introducing ideas with the power to transformthey need the skills to act with the political stealth to nurture the ideauntil it is unstoppable. In our view, management development processes designed to create and reapthe benefit of external mindsets have to accommodate this paradox and extol thevirtues of political skills. It is very much the development territory. If they stop short ofanticipating and preparing managers to use the external perspective, the job ofenabling irreverence is only half done and valuable development wasted. Open general management programmes, when they are designed to achieve thisaim, can do so with dramatic effect. Counter culture These outcomes are made possible by having both the mandate and the time tochallenge each participant personally and deeply to think irreverently. In each of these cases the programme served to suspend company culturesufficiently to generate, evaluate and legitimise counter-culture ideas. Itenabled managers to see how to extend their influence and then create changeusing the necessary stealth until the organisational benefit was clear,unassailable and welcomed. Programmes like this are at their most potent when attended by ambitiousmanagers, sufficiently robust to respond well to the illuminating personaldevelopment opportunities. This allows the development process to be stretched to its full potential,and the true power of the external perspective to be applied when eachexecutive returns to his or her unsuspecting business. Then, whether it iswelcome or not, the influence of that perspective can become unstoppable. For the perpetrator, however, pain and pleasure is experienced in more orless equal measure and it is, therefore, no light undertaking. Clearly, development processes must somehow overcome the tendency to rejectexternal viewpoints. Different routes need to be evaluated and practitionersneed to consider their own role in the process. Management development and training practitioners naturally play a pivotalrole in brokering effective development and use of the external perspective.They can influence culture, senior management thinking and behaviour, provideaccess to challenging development opportunities, select the right people, andprovide learning support. Managing the paradox How much of a challenge this presents to management development and trainingmanagers may in itself be an indicator of the organisation’s ability to use theexternal view well. This being the case, these professionals may find they haveto manage the paradox for themselves. So what should we make of the advice about the importance of an externalperspective? Radical ideas, good intent, capable managers and investment aresimply not enough for organisations to really benefit. Irreverence is essential, but it spells danger. Development processes thataccommodate the paradox of the external view are probably the best bet forbusinesses wishing to counteract their own contradictory tendencies in thisrespect. Management development and training practitioners can make a majordifference to their organisation’s capability to use well an externalperspective and the irreverent views it generates. The question is, are youbrave enough? What can management development and training managers do?Top tips on fresh thinking– Get senior managers to think about what it would take for truly powerfuland radical management ideas to be on their personal agendas– Challenge unthinking culture-guarding responses – not least in themselves– Critically evaluate the use and limitations of routes that offer anexternal perspective.– Create development opportunities that explicitly nurture counter-culturethinking – Use providers who demonstrate their own ability to challengeconstructively– Target development at both the organisationally well-placed and theambitious “misfits” who are able to make most use of it– Prepare and support managers to work with the paradox that using theexternal view entailsNew thinking put into practiceBronwyn MckennaExperiencing wide-ranging ideas gained insight into changes neededBronwyn McKenna is director of services to members at Unison. As a solicitorheading up legal services and looking to move into general management, McKennasaw an open development programme as the opportunity to counter the apparentrigidity and narrowness that is often associated with the rigours of a legaltraining and approach. She found that exposure to wide-ranging management ideas and private sectorthinking helped her identify necessary changes in her approach to her role. After the programme, she led performance improvement reviews of a majornational function in the union. She drove an initiative to identify how theunion could use new technology to build a stronger sense of connection withmembers. And, most significantly, in terms of challenging culture, she importedcustomer relations management techniques to improve service to members andincrease efficiency. The result is impressive. Reviews have resulted in improved focus andperformance. In one area, an annual deficit of £950,000 has been converted intoa surplus of £25,000. Measures of members’ satisfaction with new and changed services are verypositive. The website has been rated in the top 10 sites world-wide coveringworkplace issues. McKenna’s growing reputation as one of the organisation’s”thinkers” has led to being invited to contribute to a prestigiousstrategic project entirely outside her own areas of responsibility – no smallpraise for someone coming from a function which typically does not encourageradical thought. And within a short space of time, she has been promoted to director withresponsibility for 95 staff and a total budget of £9m.Michael VoigtExposure to different approaches provided sharp insightsMichael Voigt is front-of-house manager responsible for 25 staff andreception services at Mayfair’s Connaught Hotel. Seen as  someone who could do more in the business,he attended a major business school general management development programme.He was keen to be more influential in instigating changes to increaseprofitability.Voigt soon found the limitations of his traditional management stylechallenged by others, and exposure to very different approaches provided sharpinsights for him. Inspired to reduce staff turnover and improve profitability, on return towork he set out to involve his staff in driving through their own serviceimprovement and cost reduction ideas. But he was working againstwell-established practices. After great initial caution, people were suddenly very involved. Task  groups met outside work time. Staff turnover more than halved from 58 per cent to 23 per cent and serviceimprovements accounted for several percentage points increase in revenue perroom.As for Voigt, his managerial credibility took a major step.  Sponsored by his general manager to speak atLegends in the Industry – an industry event for 500 general managers – hisprofile has been raised in a way he could not have imagined and the innovationhe inspired in his business has drawn considerable attention in the industry. Cliff mallardBenchmarking and testing brought the confidence to make a real contributionCliff Mallard is a business unit manager at Timken-Desford, a £25m-turnoverbusiness which employs 150 people in the manufacture of steel components forthe motor industry. A sustained period of sale and resale and the introduction of a lot ofchange added to the uncertainty and insecurity felt throughout the business. A major challenge was in the offing: the business needed him to reducevariable and compressible costs by 40 per cent in 18 months and it was clearthat reductions on this scale required radical changes. Mixing with others on a public management development programme,benchmarking and testing himself on the programme helped Mallard change the wayhe thought about his role and the real contribution he could to make. It gave him the confidence to take action and be prepared to make himselfmore prominent and visible. Freeing himself temporarily from the culture enabled him to find new ways ofthinking and behaving that supported fundamental organisational change. He cameto see, for example, that “disagreement doesn’t have to be conflict”,and that forcing decisions was not the way to achieve the radical changesnecessary.  The outcome? Two months ahead of target, the project has achieved a 39 percent cost reduction. As a result, the US parent has transfered manufacturing tothe plant, securing the future of the business. Related posts:No related photos. Comments are closed. last_img read more

Rosneft INP and ENH expand cooperation in Mozambique

first_img Image: Rosneft INP and ENH expand cooperation in Mozambique. Photo: Courtesy of Press-service of the President of Russia. Rosneft Oil Company and the National Petroleum Institute (Instituto Nacional de Petróleo, INP) have signed a Cooperation Agreement. The document was signed by Chief Executive Officer of Rosneft Oil Company Igor Sechin and Chairman of INP Carlos Zacarias.In addition, Rosneft has signed a Memorandum on Expansion of cooperation in Mozambique with the National Hydrocarbon Company (Empresa Nacional de Hidrocarbonetos, ENH). The document was signed by Igor Sechin and Chief Executive Officer of ENH Omar Mitha.The document exchange ceremony was held in the presence of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusi.Upon the signing, Rosneft will be granted the right to study available geological data on a number of onshore and offshore blocks in Mozambique in order to examine their potential; and the opportunity to enter the projects on those blocks in the future.Chief Executive Officer of Rosneft Igor Sechin noted: “Mozambique is one of the perspective areas of the Rosneft’s international business. We are keen on further expanding the project portfolio in the country. I sincerely hope that the agreements signed today will contribute to that.” Source: Company Press Release The document exchange ceremony was held in the presence of President of the Russian Federation Vladimir Putin and President of Mozambique Filipe Jacinto Nyusilast_img read more

Brexit planning + recession planning + proportunity

first_imgHome » News » Brexit planning + recession planning + proportunity previous nextProptechBrexit planning + recession planning + proportunityThe Negotiator11th December 20190177 Views New data from fintech company Proportunity shows London’s best spots to buy property if we slide into a recession. After crunching the data, they found that London hipster hotspots such as Hackney and Haringey and Newham will be resilient to any potential Brexit-induced house price dip.Proportunity offers Help to Buy-style loans for first-time buyers – available to all properties, not just new builds and their data platform can assess whether a property is overvalued or undervalued, helping customers find hidden gems.Outer London boroughs such as Bexley, Havering and Richmond were most vulnerable. Instead, first-time buyers in London should look to Camden, Hackney, Haringey, Newham, and Tower Hamlets for properties likely to withstand any Brexit-induced price dip.The top five factors behind poor price performance are:Below average percentage of new builds soldLarge millennial populationLower retired and baby boomer populationProximity to popular train stationsHigher than average flat pricesUsing these five metrics, along with other indicators such as transactions, crime rates, average number of rooms and the amount of residential floor space within a borough, Proportunity created a price resiliency index to help first-time buyers find recession-proof pads in the capital.The findings reveal that Tower Hamlets is set to perform best out all 33 boroughs in any future housing market slowdown.Camden, famous for its markets and music venues, with a budding millennial population and excellent transport links, was second.Finally, the hipster triangle of Hackney, Newham, Haringey, with large young populations and relatively low number of new build homes. The five most vulnerable boroughs were in outer London, with older populations, and had a high number of transactions.Flat prices in family-friendly Bromley was most vulnerable in a recession, then Havering, leafy Richmond-upon-Thames and Bexley and Sutton.Vadim Toader, CEO, said, “Buying a property is the biggest investment decision most of us make, it is vital to do it in the most informed way. Big data isn’t a crystal ball. But globally, property markets respond in similar ways to population, age, crime, accessibility and affordability issues. Now we have the tools to process these shifts, predict the reaction, and get that information to those who need it.”fintech company Proportunity house price dip Tower Hamletd Bromley recession Brexit Vadim Toader December 11, 2019Jenny van BredaWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

Merton’s new ‘Countdown kid’

first_imgMerton College is to welcome a minor celebrity this term when Countdown octochamp Jeffrey Burgin joins its ranks.Burgin has won the popular British quiz show eight times. He’s currently the 4th seed for the quarterfinals, which are due to take place in November.“I’m hugely looking forward to joining Merton, it obviously has a very prestigious history of academic excellence which I hope I can live up to,” said Burgin, who will be studying Economics and Management at the college.For Burgin, who is currently being considered for the Philippines national football team, life in Oxford will not all be about studying.“The people I’ve met at Merton were all very welcoming and some definitely look as if they can party with the best of them!”last_img

BakeMark UK

first_imgBakeMark UK (Wirral, Merseyside) brings a new twist to an old favourite with the launch of two new varieties of coconut macaroon.With Belgian chocolate chunks or French cherries, the indulgent Chocolate Chip Coconut Macaroon and Cherry Coconut Macaroon are ready-to-bake in pre-cut individual squares for freshly-prepared appeal.Vera Malhotra, head of marketing at BakeMark UK says: “With increasing consumer interest in the provenance of ingredients, as well as a growing preference for high-quality products, we are strengthening our commitment to delivering premium goods baked with top-of-the-range ingredients.Our new macaroons deliver a deliciously sticky chocolate or fruit-based cake-style snack in an easy-to-prepare format.”last_img

Hovis ramps up donations of loaves to hunger charity

first_imgHovis has donated nearly 50,000 loaves of bread to FareShare amid the coronavirus outbreak.The bakery brand has been working with the hunger fighting and food waste charity since 2017 but has recently increased the number of loaves it donates in order to meet the surge in demand.In April alone it donated nearly 30,000 loaves and May’s total has reached 19,952 so far, Hovis said.The partnership will be valuable at a time when many people are facing income reductions and, as schools are shut, this is placing additional strain on vulnerable families whose children were receiving school lunches, it added.“At this incredibly challenging time for the UK, it is vital that we all pull together to help those whose livelihoods have been impacted by the Covid-19 crisis,” said Nick Taylor, site manager at Hovis’ Nottingham Bakery.“While we cannot hope to replicate the heroic work being done by NHS workers and care staff on the front line, Hovis can help by donating good food to those in need, helping to fight hunger and cut food waste at the same time.”The scheme started at its Nottingham bakery but has since been extended to five other Hovis sites, ranging from London to Glasgow.Once received, donations go to FareShare’s network of charities and community groups across the UK.“These organisations include homeless hostels, domestic violence refuges and community groups and food banks, delivering food parcels to the doorsteps of vulnerable older people and families facing financial hardship. Hovis’ donations will benefit many of those who are most in need during this crisis,” added Ashley Davies, commercial manager at FareShare.Roberts Bakery has also supplied FareShare with additional loaves during the coronavirus crisis.last_img read more

Daily Dirt: Outdoor News for May 20, 2013

first_imgYour outdoor news bulletin for May 20th, the day Charles Lindbergh departed New York for Paris in the first solo trans-Atlantic plane crossing in history:Weekend Incidents UpdateTwo incidents cast a shadow on what were supposed to be fun, inspiring events this past weekend, and Blue Ridge Outdoors was at both of them.First, was the car that plowed through the Hikers Parade at Trail Days in Damascus, Va. on Saturday, sending dozens to the hospital but luckily not killing anyone. The cause of the accident seems to pegged on an elderly man with a medical condition who was driving his car in the parade. The man, whose name has not been released, has been described as being in his 80s and is a former thru-hiker. There is no indication that this was an intentional act, but that the man suffered an unspecified medical problem at which point his vehicle accelerated to around 25 mph into the crowd walking in the parade.Another incident with many less casualties, but of a more criminal nature occurred at Dominion RiverRock in Richmond on Saturday night. Reggae legend and leader of Toots and the Maytals Frederick “Toots” Hibbert was struck in the head by an empty glass vodka bottle while performing on stage. According to police, the suspect in the bottle tossing is William C. Lewis, 19, of Henrico County who is being charged with aggravated assault, a felony and misdemeanor public intoxication. Police say he stole the bottle from one of the RiverRock vendors before chucking it a stranger performing art for the community and ruining everyone’s good time.New Campground at the New River GorgeTwo years in the making, a new climbers campground is finally becoming a reality in the New River Gorge. This past weekend, the American Alpine Club hosted the grand opening of the campground off of Ames Heights Rod/Co Route 5. The Fayetteville campground sits on 40 acres procured through a partnership between the AAC, the Access Fund, and local climbers and is within walking distance to popular New River Gorge climbing spots. The project is moving is phases and the plan calls for bathhouses, electricity, and other infrastructure eventually. Camping is free for a limited time, and this week, the AAC will be there handing out swag and info.More on the new campground and future plans can be found here.Fittest Cities AnnouncedThe Healthy Living section of announced the 10 Fittest and 10 Fattest Cities in America list and our offices are located in two of the top 10. Coincidence? I think not. The headquarters of our sister publication Elevation Outdoor is located in Boulder, Colorado, which came in at #1 in the rankings and our main BRO office is in the #2 fittest city, Charlottesville, Va. The rankings appear to be based solely on obesity rates from a 2012 Gallup-Healthways Well-Being Index, which states the national obesity average is 26.2 percent.last_img read more

Cornell ranks NY counties on vulnerability to coronavirus, why health officials aren’t worried

first_imgNear the top of the list were Delaware County at number six and Broome County at number seven. “That is a pretty significant portion of our population that is over 80,” said Holochak. “So, we do know they are more at risk. They are part of the population we are putting most of our efforts in.” Following shortly down the lines of 62 counties, Chenango came in at 13 and Tioga at 30. (WBNG) — After Cornell University released a study of the most vulnerable counties in New York, 12 News caught up with local health officials on why some Southern Tier areas ranked so high. Meanwhile, Broome County Public Health Director, Rebecca Kaufman, says the county’s ranking is also due to the older population as well as people grouped in larger facilities such as nursing homes. She says in response to this and other data they are looking at, they have specifically been working with the county to assist the elderly population. “A lot of the group living facilities or senior living facilities will work with the emergency operations center in both planning and procurement of PPE,” said Kaufman.center_img More information on this study can be found on Cornell University’s website. Neighboring counties ranked lower on the list, such as Tompkins County at 52. Kylie Holochak from the Tioga County Health Department says she’s not alarmed by the ranking, adding that more than five percent of the county’s population is people over 80 years old. Holochak says in Tioga County, officials have seen an increase in family households, especially ones with three generations in one home. She advises anyone who tests positive and lives at home to isolate in a part of the home and dedicate a bathroom solely to the individual who is sick.last_img read more

Grosvenor branches out with two new joint ventures

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

French privacy watchdog okays coronavirus tracing app

first_imgBut the CNIL watchdog, which gave provisional approval for StopCovid in April, said Tuesday that the app met the legal requirements for privacy protection, with ample safeguards to prevent abuse.It nevertheless made a number of recommendations to make it even safer, including improving the quality of information provided to users, allowing users to object to information shared, and providing an option for erasing stored data.The app will not rely on geolocation, but instead use Bluetooth technology which allows mobile phones to communicate with each other over short distances.The French parliament, which must vote on the rolling out of the app, will debate the matter on Wednesday. If it says yes, StopCovid could be available in app stores from this weekend.France started reemerging on May 11 from a two-month lockdown to curb coronavirus spread. Public transport has resumed, though many people are still working from home and most schools have yet to reopen. Bars, restaurants and public parks remain shuttered.The issue of how to track coronavirus spread with mobile technology has sparked privacy concerns in several countries now lifting strict home confinement measures as they hope to kickstart their economies.As a result of the lockdowns, few people in most countries have been exposed to the virus, and thus do not have immunity and remain at risk of infection, raising fears of a second wave once people start mixing again.The European Commission has recommended that data harvested through contact-tracing apps be stored only on users’ own phones and that it be encrypted. France’s privacy watchdog gave the green light Tuesday to a government-backed cellphone app that will alert users if they have been in contact with an infected person.Use of the app called StopCovid will be voluntary, and will keep track of users who had been in close proximity of one another over a two-week period. If any become infected, they inform the platform, which alerts the others.Privacy defenders have expressed fears that the app marks the first step towards a society under constant online surveillance.center_img Topics :last_img read more