Is micromanaging a legitimate leadership style

Leaders cannot be nice all the time

Being a leader is not about being hard, aggressive or overly “macho”. It is about doing things through others, often for their reasons. The goal of the leader is to get things done on the journey to a set destination. Of course often the leader is setting the destination, other times it is set by another leader in the business and we need to deliver our elements in our own way. Individuals cannot have their own way all the time When one of the team is used to getting their view accepted all … [Read more...]

The best training should always be led by your manager

Managers time allocation

Being a manager is a journey, from our first days as team leader or supervisor through middle and senior roles to director level.  The more senior we become, the more of our time should be spend on developing our people. It is easy when we get promoted to keep doing the things we used to do, but as we can see from the graphic below, we should be spending time on our people not just “doing things”. As a team leader we start to take on people development activities, and as we progress, we do less … [Read more...]

Company Benchmarking – The Ultimate Question

benchmarking compare balance

Benchmarking is talked about in many industries and for many it is seen as necessary but expensive. Last week I came across an open source concept for benchmarking which has a lot of opportunities for organizations of all sizes. The ultimate question a single measure for business growth? History In 2006 author Fried Reichheld published a book – The Ultimate Question (The Ultimate Question 2.0 (Revised and Expanded Edition): How Net Promoter Companies Thrive in a Customer-Driven World) How … [Read more...]

Kurt Lewin three step change theory model – unfreeze, change, freeze

Kurt Lewin change model

Kurt Lewin three step model change theory Introduction to the change model The Kurt Lewin change theory model is based around a 3-step process (Unfreeze-Change-Freeze) that provides a high-level approach to change. It gives a manager or other change agent a framework to implement a change effort, which is always very sensitive and must be made as seamless as possible. The Kurt Lewin model can help a leader do the following three steps: Make a radical change Minimize the disruption of … [Read more...]

Report on the use of social media at work – infographic

Social media in HR Infographic - CIPD

The CIPD have recently published an infographic on the use of social media at work. The graphic is based on some research they have completed looking at our usage (or not) of these powerful collaboration tools. What is interesting to me is that 61% of employers that responded to the survey do not use any form of collaborative or social platform within the business. From experience I know that even the firms that have them are struggling to make them work, but when they are used, they … [Read more...]

Why not to trust an "independent" business adviser or mentor

multi purpose tool

Is a universal or multi tool as good at performing as individual specialist tools? Convenient yes, a long term solution... no It is true that no man is an island. When starting out in business as well as running and growing your business, quite simply you cannot do it on your own. You need trusted business advisers. But there is a problem. No one is truly "independent" no matter what their beliefs of education. Once a banker... always a banker Some years ago when I was working as a specialist … [Read more...]

What do we Mean by Soft Skills Training?

freelance consulting talking photo

What is Soft Skills Training? In the past, Soft skills training and learning was used to refer to manager, leader, influencing, and other interpersonal skills. In recent years the term soft skills is being increasingly used to refer to EQ or Emotional Quotient based training and development. Can you live on Soft Skills alone? Hard skills, or technical skills are all very well on their own, but it is widely recognised that to use hard skills effectively, an individual needs finely tuned soft … [Read more...]

But it’s only 40 slides – a common training mistake

PowerPoint logo

In business it is not only training team members that develop training materials, but local experts and specialists. Often I hear a subject specialist say things like "we need to educate users to do things differently, it wont take long, it is only 40 slides" On its own 40 slides as a framework is not significant, but we need to look at things from the learners perspective. When using a slide deck it is not unreasonable to expect each slide to take 1 to 2 minutes to explain. So a 40 … [Read more...]

Name and Shame – a new fashion in leadership?

hall of shame

One of the risks of promoting people into team leader and management roles without appropriate education, training and support is that they will do their own research and take the headlines from article and approaches and they risk miss-applying the approach or method. Name and shame is one such approach. Often used in projects and close knit team environments, “name and shame” is best used in association with “fame awards” as a part of long term engagement and team building. The concept … [Read more...]

LinkedIn Groups, why they don’t work for you


To answer this we can gain some insight with a tale of two LinkedIn groups. But before we look at this lets have some context. You do use LinkedIn for more than just job search…. Don’t you? LinkedIn groups are often formal or informal communities focussed on a sector, industry or profession. With the right selection of LinkedIn group memberships you can keep up to date with industry news, ask and answer questions (building your credibility), make business connections and friends, as will as … [Read more...]

Using keyboards may harm academic performance

Keyboard vs pen

Do you believe that taking notes using a laptop or keyboard in learning events helps you learn better? Well research published in Psychological Science suggests not. The authors Mueller and Oppenheimer conducted memory research after a self realisation that taking notes in different ways had a very different impact on recall. Long hand vs typed In the research the authors looks at how people took notes and compared those that used a laptop and types notes, and those that wrote their notes in … [Read more...]

Macro, Micro and Global approaches to learning using the 70-20-10 model – have we got it wrong?

clasroom training - 70:20:10

In the move from training activity being classroom centric to a more balanced approach, much has been written about the 70-20-10 approach to learning and development, but have we thrown out the baby with the bath water? Let’s get some common understanding: 70-20-10 70 percent of learning should happen on the job – macro – step by step, words in a sentence if you like 20 percent of learning should be from coaching – micro – the role, paragraphs if you like 10 percent of learning should … [Read more...]

Who owns training in your organization?

Who has ownership of training

This is a perennial question, and from time to time the ownership and drive moves from one area to another. As a Training Manager I have operated within HR and Operations. And without doubt the best impact comes when Operations owns and indeed demands training. This does not mean to say that HR or a Training function should not be involved in the process, and could help to develop standards and help operations look to the long term, not just a "quick fix". Why in operations? When operations … [Read more...]

L&D the land of the walking dead… zombies? #cipdldshow

training the walking zombies

I have spent the last 2 days at  premier conference for the learning and development profession in London.  I have been in the profession for over 30 years, and in that time I have seen a lot of changes. In the last two years I have come to an increasing realization that maybe the profession is dead... but most people in the profession have not realized this yet. We are all the walking dead, zombies. We keep doing what we do, and have not realized the we and many of our colleagues have … [Read more...]

What Trainers can learn from world class professionals at #cipldshow

presentation tips

When attending any conference there is always a lot that can be learnt. these things can be ourselves, our thoughts and reactions and of course the content and style of delivery of others. As a "seasoned" (old) professional I have been attending learning and development conferences for longer than I dare to remember. Of course the longer one has been in a profession, the harder it is to find the "new" ideas or nuggets. However this year I have learnt a couple of things, and these should be … [Read more...]

30 Behaviours for Effective Learning

30 behaviours for effective learning

Using researched based learning and instructional design Based on research from the fields of cognitive science and neuroscience, Ewell* suggests that there are 30 behaviours which when adopted lead to effective learning. For those of us responsible for workplace learning and development activity, we should consider these behaviours and build our development strategies towards harnessing them in our learning and instructional design. Whether we use the outdated 70:20:10 or the 3-33, there … [Read more...]

Motivating difficult trainees during training

which-way Training and difficult trainees - sign post

It is said there is no such thing as a “difficult trainee”, just the unknown and our reactions to that. Not everyone is like a spring lamb or an inquisitive 3 year old! We have all been there,  seen it and done it before, indeed many have the T-Shirt. Often, when things are new and we believe passionately about it, on occasions we can seem a “little” too over enthusiastic. J This can happen in your training too. As trainers we can appear to be “too full on” or almost as a disciple for the … [Read more...]

70:20:10 – has the model had its day?

70:20:10 learning model

The 70:20:10 model was developed by Michael Lombardo and Robert Eichinger whilst at the Center for Creative Leadership in 2000. Jay Cross says that “The 70-20-10 model is more prescriptive. It builds upon how people internalize and apply what they learn based on how they acquire the knowledge.” The 70:20:10 in context Based upon research that took place in the 1980s and 1990s, the 70:20:10 was the summary of activities in the process of developing leadership (then management) skills. In the … [Read more...]

What is the difference between community managers and sports referees? #cmgr


About $200,000.... Some of the readers of my blog know that I also moderate and manage a small number of communities. This week has culminated in me reluctantly removing some members from one group. This action, along with the run-up of events has caused me to reflect on the role, and how group members perceive it.  What makes a "community"? There are several definitions, including: the condition of sharing or having certain attitudes and interests in common In the context of social … [Read more...]

How not to give feedback – the “Sh*t Sandwich” or Feedback Sandwich Technique

Feedback or shit sandwich ©mm

Feedback Sandwich Technique This morning while looking up some policies for an organization I do some work with I discovered an interesting set of "visual aids" for training trainers. This method has also been given in training in the past to managers in many, many organizations around the world. The actual wording on the visual aid was: Giving feedback > KISS - SLAP - KISS > Start with a positive response. Review their actions > Consider developmental needs – If you were to do … [Read more...]