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What makes difficult conversations so hard?

Having difficult conversations is part and parcel of working in teams. Every difficult conversation is an opportunity to build a bridge to better teamwork. Difficult conversations require courage but they are so worth the effort.  I want to share with you a few key strategies that make difficult conversations more effective. I didn’t say ‘easy’

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Activity Based Working is one way to thrive in the future of work

HR is not a particularly safe profession at the moment – information systems and HR technology are supporting some roles but replacing others. Like many other white collar jobs, the coming wave of innovation presents challenges and opportunities.  A colleague and I met over lunch this week to plan a presentation we’ll be delivering on the topic

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It’s the fish John West rejects that makes John West the best

I was talking with a business colleague today about ideas. We have ideas coming out of our ears and flowing off our fingertips almost constantly. When I led a larger team in the Australian Public Service, ideas still flowed freely, although the situation and ‘infrastructure’ of my organisation and team were completely different. The problem we

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5 strategies to help your team make better decisions

Here are five simple strategies you could use in most organisations for team decision making in non-crisis situations.  Usually when a decision is put to a team rather than an individual, it is either because a complex problem is at hand or because you need team buy-in to move forward. If you need team buy-in,

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Eliminate time-wasting tangents with these creative strategies

Have you ever been in a meeting when one of your colleagues began to drift off course? Tangents in meetings can be amusing or annoying at best. They can also be incredibly serious.The usual advice for eliminating tangents goes like this: “articulate a goal, clarify the agenda and stay focused.” Certainly without doing these things

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We lost our leader: the super-powers of self-managing teams

 If I ask you to envisage a team in any government, business or not-for-profit organisation, no doubt a manager will be part of the picture.  What would happen if that manager walked away from the team and left team members to their own devices?  You’d expect chaos, frustration and paralysis.  And yet thousands of managers

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The good and the bad of virtual teams

Updated 20 July 2020  Virtual teams are on the rise but they divide people. Some managers love them and others hate them.  Savvy business owners ought to ask themselves: “What’s in it for me?”, now that web-based videoconferencing, shared screens and cloud-based software have made virtual teams so ‘easy’ and employees want flexibility. Below I have outlined

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