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The Impossibility of Communication and What To Do about It

24 July 2017

Communication is arguably the most important leadership skill. Sadly, it is also the most neglected. Why should we learn something we have been practicing all our lives? Well, there are two problems that derail our communication, and there are six steps we can learn that will make any communication more effective. THE PROBLEMS Communication Happens…

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Avoiding Marikana: Four Years On

29 August 2016

The Marikana massacre four years ago, was a watershed moment in South African labour relations. The Farlam Commission into the tragedy pointed out multiple failures on all sides. For employers, the failure of management on a number of levels makes for sober reading. However, it is tempting to heave a sigh of relief at their…

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Democracy in the Workplace: Too Much or Not Enough?

16 August 2016

Sorry ladies. Women’s month got knocked off the front pages by the Local Government Elections this year. For those who supported the smaller parties, there was hope that this would be the year of breakthrough. Mixed results there. For ruling-party supporters, perhaps this would be the year of service delivery? But for everyone, whatever our…

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Changing Employee Benefits: Radical Steps Needed

12 August 2016

I’m taking a risk here. I’m likely to lose readers on this one either because the advice is so ridiculously obvious you’ll be bored or because it is so radical you’ll disown me. But humour me, please. It’s that important. Not many of us are brave or foolish enough to go about unilaterally changing contracts…

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Take Two in the Morning Before You Wake Up

29 March 2016

Instantaneous response; that’s what we have come to expect today. If Google takes more than a second to return its search results, we want to throw our computer out the window. And heaven help the car in front of us if they fail to respond to the changed traffic light before it happens. A friend…

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Three ways to increase certainty and control within chaos

25 January 2016

Following his book In Search Of Excellence, Tom Peters wrote another called Thriving on Chaos. It was a recognition that the environment in which a business operates and in which decisions have to be made is intrinsically chaotic, subject to constant change. Our 21st-century world is even more chaotic, and change is far more rapid…

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What matters: How to Make Your Business Fly

4 January 2016

What matters to you? What are you passionate about achieving in your business? What is it you want your employees to ‘get’ and to do better than anyone else? What is it you want your clients and customers to understand about you? What do you offer that is different from anyone else? What is really…

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VW and Discovery: Living Our Values

6 November 2015

I was invited to speak at the Pietermaritzburg Chamber of Business Breakfast Forum this week – always a pleasure. My inspiration came from David Grossman’s article last month on his Leader Communicator Blog: ‘HIT or MISS’IVE: Discovery Health CEO, Adrian Gore, Nails Post-VW Analysis for Employees’. Go and check it out. Better still, subscribe and receive his…

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Personal Hygiene and The Workplace: A Bit of Fun

27 July 2015

What do you do when personal hygiene issues disrupt the workplace? Sometimes there is one person whose (lack of) personal hygiene makes it impossible for others to share the office space. Take that person aside and explain the problem. Don’t criticise or humiliate. Aim to maintain the person’s dignity at all times. But if it…

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Flags and Statues: The power of Symbols

29 June 2015

In the wake of the tragic and shocking massacre of nine worshippers in Charleston, USA, the Governor of South Carolina proposed removing the old Confederate battle flag from the grounds of the legislature. Other Southern states appear to be following suit. I don’t know the historic or legal issues involved; mine is merely an observation,…

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