How Leaders Can Open Up to Their Teams Without OversharingHow Leaders Can Open Up to Their Teams Without Oversharing

In the age of social sharing, people who work together know more and more about each other. In general, this is a good thing for peers and leaders. Research shows our brains respond positively to people when we feel a personal connection with them. We try harder, perform better, and are kinder to our colleagues. Command and control management is on its way out, and bosses who practice empathy and make an effort to connect with their subordinates are in.

This willingness in leaders to be open and honest, even if it makes them vulnerable, is important because it builds trust — people can easily sense inauthenticity. We tend to assume that leaders are...Read more

The State of Globalization in 2019, and What It Means for StrategistsThe State of Globalization in 2019, and What It Means for Strategists

Globalization, since the Brexit and Trump shocks of 2016, has been shaped by a tug of war between economic fundamentals and policy threats. But predictions that globalization would collapse under a wave of economic nationalism have proven no more accurate than proclamations of a flat world that dominated the global business discourse a decade ago. The new DHL Global Connectedness Index (which we co-authored with Phillip Bastian) demonstrates that the world ended 2017 more globalized than ever before. While 2018 brought new obstacles — from tariff tiffs to blocked acquisitions — the result was a shifting playing field rather....Read more

Developing Leaders for a Sustainable WorldDeveloping Leaders for a Sustainable World

The 2008 financial crash ushered in a decade of profound suspicion about the role of business in society, even to some leading politicians seriously questioning the capitalist system. But, despite the doubters, it is business, rather than governments or NGOs, that is best placed to address our many global challenges, albeit collaboratively.

Winston Churchill observed that, “the inherent vice of capitalism is the unequal sharing of blessings; the inherent virtue of socialism is the equal sharing of miseries.” It is clear today, that for business to maintain its ....Read more

The Innovation NavigatorThe Innovation Navigator

In a business environment characterised by rapid technology driven change innovation is more essential than ever. Maintaining competitive advantage and achieving sustainable growth can depend on it – whether through radical inventions and breakthrough business models or by incremental improvements to business practice.

Advances in technology, which have exacerbated the need, have also been helpful in providing new ways for businesses to....Read more

Perfect Your Leadership StoryPerfect Your Leadership Story

What’s your story? You do have one, according to Kellogg Clinical Professor of Leadership Michelle Buck, who teaches in such Executive Education offerings as the Advanced Management and Women's Senior Leadership programs. And as a leader, you’re conveying it to those who work with you, even if it’s not the one you’d like to communicate.

“Every day, whether you realize it or not, you’re telling a story as a leader,” Buck explained. “What do you want that story to be, and how are other....Read more

Enabling Leaders to Develop their People.Enabling Leaders to Develop their People

External providers of executive education have long-struggled with the issue that many of their clients have a strong preference for having their managers and leaders be actively involved in the development of their own staff.

This is not just because it is cheaper to have managers you are already paying do the work, rather than bring in additional expertise to do it – though the cost element should not be ignored either – but because managers can build different relationships with the learners in these initiatives, they bring intimate understanding of the corporate culture and challenges and, above all, because by getting managers to lead the learning is a great way to change their behaviours too...Read more

CEOs Should Be Chief Enablement Officers.CEOs Should Be Chief Enablement Officers

Richard Rushton, CEO of Distell from South Africa, told us with conviction, “The days of the CEO who knows everything, makes every decision, exercises absolute control of the whole organisation are over.” The contemporary CEO cannot pretend he or she knows more than other members of the organisation, has access to data and information they don’t and sees further ahead than anyone else. Today’s knowledge workers have superior technical skills, and technology has made information accessible to all. In management, as in other fields, collaboration has long since replaced individual genius as the principal source of creativity...Read more

How Organisations Can Cultivate Innovation CatalystsHow Organisations Can Cultivate Innovation Catalysts

Given the highly complex, uncertain and dynamic environments facing all firms nowadays, it is more important than ever to prepare your organisation to tackle any business challenge with an innovative mindset. That is the only way to transform existing and emerging threats into opportunities for future success. Accomplishing this requires a special type of leader – a type I call the innovation catalyst.

Years of research and various collaborations with some of the world’s most innovative companies have given me ample opportunity to study innovation catalysts at work...Read more

How Leaders Can Maximise Their ImpactHow Leaders Can Maximise Their Impact

A leading supermarket chain in an eastern European Union country feared an 8 percent drop in sales as discounting giant Lidl was about to enter its market. So, in collaboration with researchers, it decided to run a randomised controlled experiment. The goal was to reduce its costly personnel turnover problem, in a bid to improve quality and operational efficiency. Selected store managers received a letter from top management, encouraging them to do something about the 90 percent yearly staff turnover. It worked: Over the next three quarters, the monthly quit rate fell by 20 to 30 percent...Read more

Three Principles for Targeted InnovationThree Principles for Targeted Innovation

Disruption in slow motion has been the theme of the consumer goods industry in recent years. Despite rising global demand, the biggest FMCG companies are being outmanoeuvred in the marketplace by agile, digital-savvy upstarts. The little kids are stealing the big kids’ lunch – between 2011 and 2016, US$22 billion in FMCG sales shifted from larger to smaller companies in North America alone, according to Boston Consulting Group...Read more

It’s Time for a Behavioural Revolution in InnovationIt’s Time for a Behavioural Revolution in Innovation

Innovations that provide incremental growth will always have a place in an organisation’s portfolio, but sustaining a business in the long term requires bigger, more meaningful, transformational thinking.

Transformational change is about seeing a new, valuable future for your organisation and overcoming the barriers to creating it.

Unfortunately, humans are wired to fear and resist change – a trait that is amplified in group settings...Read more

Will Apple Be the Next Nokia?Will Apple Be the Next Nokia?

I have recently had the privilege of talking with high-ranking executives at both Samsung and Huawei about the challenges that keep them awake at night. The chief concern both expressed was how to avoid becoming “the next Nokia”!

When Apple cut its revenue forecast for the first time in 16 years at the beginning of January, this unleashed a flurry of speculation and doubt as some observers wondered whether Apple was now in danger of following Nokia...Read more