Archive for the ‘Leadership’ Category

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HP’s CEO loses his job for want of a strategic story

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 17, 2011
Filed in Communication, Leadership, Strategy

It’s quite possible you’ll lose your job as CEO if you are unable to persuasively communicate your company’s strategy. Léo Apotheker, the recently fired CEO of Hewlett-Packard, has just learned this lesson. Mr Apotheker was appointed CEO of HP in October 2010 less then a year before he was let go. Before HP, Apotheker was […]

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The tough side of business storytelling

Posted by  Mark Schenk —September 23, 2011
Filed in Business storytelling, Leadership, Strategy

Steve Jobs introduced iCloud at Apple’s WorldWide Developers Conference in June 2011 . iCloud is Apple’s ‘next big thing’. After explaining the iCloud concept, Steve says, “Now, you might ask ‘why should I believe them – they’re the ones that brought me MobileMe?’” The audience laughs uproariously. Everyone in the audience knows that MobileMe is […]

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Different ways to envisage the future

Posted by  Kevin Bishop —July 29, 2011
Filed in Communication, Employee Engagement, Leadership, Strategy

How do you get your people to think about what the future could be, in a way that inspires them and starts to spark action, but also takes into account the simple fact that the future is unpredictable? I was reminded of this challenge, yet again, last week. We were working with a client on […]

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Tom Peters on Stories and Leadership

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —May 6, 2011
Filed in Business storytelling, Leadership

Click to see larger version 800×600

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Employee engagement – good intentions are not enough

Posted by  Mark Schenk —April 17, 2011
Filed in Anecdotes, Employee Engagement, Leadership

My engineering friends would say it like this … good intentions are a necessary but insufficient condition for success. In my working life I have only ever met a handful of people who deliberately set out to humiliate, disempower, demotivate or otherwise disengage staff. Yet these are exactly the effects that many managers/leaders have. How […]

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Exploring employee engagement

Posted by  Mark Schenk —March 28, 2011
Filed in Employee Engagement, Leadership

We have been using narrative approaches for many years to help organisations with employee engagement. This 4 minute youtube video gives some insights into some of the things we’ve notice working in this field and some examples of behaviours that can build or undermine engagement. In 2009, we also posted a detailed description of how […]

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True importance

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —March 24, 2011
Filed in Anecdotes, Business storytelling, Leadership

This story was told the other day by General David Petraeus (The head of all international forces in Afghanistan) just before a press conference illustrating the meaning of true importance. “This was about 20 years ago when I was the aide to the Army Chief of Staff in the Pentagon and Colin Powell was the […]

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The Party Thieves by Barrie Cassidy

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —October 17, 2010
Filed in Anecdotes, Leadership

The meeting of MPs “happened in his office in September 2009, when a delegation chosen by the backbench went to see him about a proposal to cut MP printing allowances. This was an issue that directly affected the ability of the backbenchers to do their job, yet the decision had been taken without any consultation […]

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Four things you need to have in your head

Posted by  Shawn Callahan —September 29, 2010
Filed in Leadership, Strategy

Have you ever had this happen to you? I was chatting with a senior leader asking him about their organisational values. “Yeh, sure, we have a set of values. Let me see, where did I put the annual report?” He then ferreted around his office to find the list of values. There are some things […]

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Humanity at work

Posted by  Mark Schenk —June 17, 2010
Filed in Leadership

Last night I started reading Immunity to Change by Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey. I highlighted a phrase in the introduction that really stood out for me. This morning I was looking through my notebook and came across notes from a conversation I had with Shawn on 19 March this year after he had read […]

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