Array
(
    [0] => WP_Post Object
        (
            [ID] => 8958
            [post_author] => 18
            [post_date] => 2015-02-10 17:34:20
            [post_date_gmt] => 2015-02-10 17:34:20
            [post_content] => To receive updates on new blogs posts :

  My experience working with a wide range of young businesses, from complex financial software through to artisan food producers says, it is easy to get distracted by products and forget that the underlying success drivers are the same regardless of what you make or do.

girl at wall

A visit to The Climbing Wall in Sandyford, a 3 week old fledgling business already packed with happy customers on a freezing January night made me stop to think.  What gets customers in this case to a business with no marketing or advertising budget?  What separates success and disaster for a young business in the early scary days?

“The wall” is an indoor state of the art climbing wall in Sandyford industrial estate. So, your business is very different, but the same answers apply and will help you succeed early.
  • Passionate attention to  all customers, including the ones future customers. I dragged along a friend who doesn’t climb, and had no intention of doing so.  She instantly felt welcome, even though climbing up the wall until then was something she only does at business meetings. Your customers may come in many forms and will have different needs. See the world from their perspective – are they confused? Scared? Stressed? Finding it hard to park? At the Wall you feel safe and at ease. And yes, of course, she climbed. And is now hooked.
  • Create a happy place where staff are as engaged as you are in looking after customers with care. Your staff must feel like a really core part of your baby business.  Get them on board and make sure to find ways of harnessing all their bright ideas about how to make your project a success
  • Know your customers intimately before you start. Alan and Brian really understand their market, and are well networked. They already understood exactly what climbers want and immediately ran simple high impact events that have built up loyalty, traffic to The Wall and loads of Word of Mouth publicity, always the most powerful form of marketing. This also helps you create a sense of community and shared values among your customer base, so your customers stay longer and believe in what you do.  Happy customers come back.
  • Be clever about how to position and communicate what you offer: .The Wall makes canny use of social media and press coverage to get the story out in a more targeted and dynamic way than any ad ever will.  Network, but be savvy about how you use that precious network.
  • Know your competition equally intimately, know when to compete (and how) and when to collaborate. Sometimes collaboration is the right strategy – work together and instead of splitting a new small market you can grow it together, creating greater awareness by acting as a group and attracting more people to a new service or product.
  • Good team - make sure all the practical stuff is under control.  The top team here includes a marketing whizz and an employment law specialist.  They have team skills to make sure the business is set up on a sound financial footing, property and planning skills and expertise to make sure design and operations are top class.
  • Finally – do something you love. The chances are you will be very good at it!
  Moira Creedon is a facilitator and consultant in Strategic Finance and has worked with both corporate and public sector clients worldwide helping decision makers at strategic level to understand finance and improve their ability to formulate and implement strategy. She teaches on IMI’s Diploma in Management and a number of Short Programmes including the Senior Executive Programme. See our Spring 2015 schedules here: IMI Diplomas Spring 2015 and IMI Short Programmes Spring 2015 [post_title] => 'Off the Wall' tips for early business success [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => wall-tips-early-business-success [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:45:36 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:45:36 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=8958 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [1] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 22610 [post_author] => 80 [post_date] => 2018-04-05 09:27:06 [post_date_gmt] => 2018-04-05 08:27:06 [post_content] => [caption id="attachment_22612" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership? Jack Welch was CEO of GE for 20 years. In a changing world, is he still the model for leadership?[/caption]   When discussing the challenges facing business leaders it seems almost de rigeur nowadays to talk about the level of change organisations are facing. The challenge to equip leaders to build the future in these uncertain times is certainly daunting, with seismic geopolitical shifts (in this context the Trump administration seems to be the gift that keeps on giving), disruptive technological change (how many of us even fully understand the implications of bitcoin, blockchain and whatever new technology will be unleashed on us next) and even severe climate and weather events. The very ubiquitous nature of these challenges may however inure us to their real potential as both a threat and an opportunity to affect a true paradigm shift in how we view leadership, a classic case of an issue being undervalued through overuse. . The Concept of Leadership From the perspective of the 21st century the development of our concept of leadership is a little clearer than it may have been in the past.  From this remove we can see how the largely male, heroic models of leadership have greatly influenced the literature and teaching in this field. The business leaders who are most often cited, Jack Welch, Steve Jobs etc. are broadly from a similar mould and the models of leadership, with the exception of Servant Leadership (as a servant leader you put the needs of others, particularly team members, before you even consider your own, but how many executives really model themselves on this type of leadership?) extol an assertive, confident, out-going and mainly extroverted style. In fact, the Myers Briggs type most associated with leadership is the ENTJ (extraversion, intuition, thinking, judgment), which is described as the ‘general’, again exposing the military underpinnings of the leadership canon. We can clearly see this bias in the continuing popularity of books like Dale Carnegie’s “How to win friends and influence people”, the pseudoscience of NLP and programmes that teach executives how to create the right ‘impression’. Given the genesis of the leadership concept it is understandable that people might misconstrue the notion of leadership presence as the ability to impose oneself (and influence people), but there is real hope that we are about to experience a genuine shift in the paradigm. . Unhappy Influencers [caption id="attachment_22617" align="aligncenter" width="600"]Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them Richard Boyatzis studied how leaders influence those around them and how that effected their lives and careers[/caption] . Recent research conducted by Richard Boyatzis and colleagues from Case Western Reserve University examined the relationship between the extent to which people adopted an ‘influencing’ leadership style and their later satisfaction with both their careers and their life in general.  Interestingly they found a very strong negative correlation between these factors, i.e. the more people adopted an influence style the less satisfied they were with their careers and lives. Boyatzis and colleagues did not have an objective measure of career success, so one could still argue that the ‘influencers’ did better in their careers, but Boyatzis’ research does tell us that irrespective on how well an outsider might judge your career progress, the ‘influencers’ are less happy about their situation.  The researchers concluded that those who adopt an influencing style are pushing on their environment and trying to get more from others, e.g. they tend to show a high need to control social situations. The crux of the problem, especially in the context of a VUCA world, is that pushing on or trying to control an environment that is in a constant state of flux, verging on chaos is unlikely to be very effective and will certainly lead to people being highly dissatisfied and unhappy in their work and indeed their lives. Now would be the perfect time for the leadership movement to learn the lessons of evolutionary psychology that success in a changing environment falls to the most adaptable, those who can outlearn their competition.   The Adaptable Generation This will require a cadre of new leaders who are less ego-identified with success and winning, who don’t see problems as opportunities to impose themselves and demonstrate mastery of the environment. Rather we will see the emergence of leaders who can go with the flow, adapt to new realities quickly, work through and with others as either leader or follower and pivot gracefully as cherished paradigms fall away and hard-earned experience proves ineffective as a guide to new problems. There is no doubt that the idea of women in leadership is in the current zeitgeist and may or may not create a fundamental shift in how we see leadership in the future.  I am however hopeful, that as the new model emerges we will see less emphasis on the old machismo of the ability to impose oneself on others and on the environment and more emphasis on the willingness to adapt, change and ‘flow’ with emerging realities. Bruce Lee used to tell his students to ‘be like water’, perhaps that is not a bad metaphor for what leaders will need to become.   imi-colm-foster-810Dr Colm Foster is Director of Executive Education at the Irish Management Institute. He has acted as a leadership development consultant to organisations in the US, Asia and Ireland, particularly specialising in Emotional Intelligence. The next IMI Diploma in Leadership starts on 2nd May, 2018. [post_title] => 21st Century Leadership: The Shifting River [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => 21st-century-leadership-shifting-river [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2018-04-05 09:27:06 [post_modified_gmt] => 2018-04-05 08:27:06 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=22610 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [2] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 8010 [post_author] => 37 [post_date] => 2014-09-04 14:33:32 [post_date_gmt] => 2014-09-04 14:33:32 [post_content] => Due to a number of factors such as technology and globalisation our day to day lives - whether business or personal increasingly involve broader international networks.  And while in the IMI blog we often consider our "effectiveness" in how we interact with and manage others but all too often we do not discuss the critical factors of nationality and culture. How do cultural differences impact on your ability to do business? And how can we make sure we are maximising our relationships with those in our network who may be operating with cultural differences to our own.   Erin Meyer is a professor at INSEAD, one of the world's leading international business schools. Her work has appeared in Harvard Business Review, Singapore Business Times and Forbes.com. In 2013 the Thinkers 50 named her as one of 30 up-and-coming thinkers and in October 2013 British Airways Business Life magazine on their list of 'Ten Dons to Watch'. Her work focuses on how the world's most successful global leaders navigate the complexities of cultural differences in an international environment.   Erin-Meyer IMI: Based on your current work - if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be? EM: Succeed Globally with a Culture Map IMI: What does this mean? EM: Today, whether we work with colleagues in Dusseldorf or Dubai, Brasilia or Beijing, New York or New Delhi, we are all part of a global network (real or virtual, physical or electronic) where success requires navigating through wildly different cultural realities. Unless we know how to decode other cultures and avoid easy-to-fall-into cultural traps, we are easy prey to misunderstanding, needless conflict, and ultimate failure. Yet most managers have little understanding of how local culture impacts global interaction. Even those who are culturally informed, travel extensively, and have lived abroad often have few strategies for dealing with the cross-cultural complexity that affects their team's day-to-day effectiveness. To help people improve their ability to decode the cultural differences impacting their work and to enhance their effectiveness in dealing with these differences, I have built on the work of many in my field to develop a tool called the Culture Map. It is made up of eight scales representing the management behaviours where cultural gaps are most common. The eight scales are based on decades of academic research into culture from multiple perspectives. To this foundation I have added my own work, which has been validated by extensive interviews with thousands of executives who have confirmed or corrected my findings.   The scales are:
  • Communicating: explicit vs. implicit
  • Evaluating: direct criticism vs. indirect criticism
  • Leading: egalitarian vs. hierarchical
  • Deciding: consensual vs. top down
  • Trusting: task vs. relationship
  • Disagreeing: confrontational vs. avoidance
  • Scheduling: linear-time vs. flexible-time
  • Persuading: applications-first vs. principles-first
By analyzing the relative positioning of one nationality to another on each scale, managers learn to decode how culture influences day-to-day international collaboration and therefor avoid the common pitfalls. Managers have always needed to understand human nature and personality differences – that’s nothing new. What is new is that twenty-first century managers must understand a wider, richer array of work styles than ever before. They have to be able to determine which aspects of their interactions are simply a result of personality and which are a result of differences in cultural perspective. IMI: Where should we look for further information? EM: Read The Culture Map: Breaking Through the Invisible Boundaries of Global Business.  Or my HBR article:  Navigating the Cultural Minefield www.erinmeyer.com. Erin Meyer will be holding a Masterclass at IMI on September 30th.  If you are interested in attending click here to register. [post_title] => "Decode cultural differences to suceed globally" Six Word Wisdom from Erin Meyer [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => six-word-wisdom-erin-mayer [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:50:23 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:50:23 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=8010 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [3] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 11945 [post_author] => 63 [post_date] => 2015-10-05 11:20:50 [post_date_gmt] => 2015-10-05 11:20:50 [post_content] =>
thimon
Thimon de Jong runs over the past ten years has consulted with leading organisations such as Ikea, Deloitte, Aon, Samsung and GDF Suez, on sharpening their business strategies to sync with wider socio-cultural trends. Thimon runs his own company, Whetston, a strategic foresight think tank. He also teaches at Utrecht University on how sociocultural trends can be used to improve business strategy. He will be a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference on 8 October 2015 IMI: Based on your current work – if you only had 6 words of advice to give a business - what would they be?

TDJ: Develop a digitally balanced business strategy

IMI: What does this mean? TDJ: Society, human behaviour, business: our world is rapidly getting more and more digital. But parallel to this development, the need for the real, the personal and the unconnected is growing. In the future, a successful strategy will cater both these trends with a digital balance in any part of business: products, services, marketing communication, HR etc. IMI: Where should we look for further information? TDJ: This fall, I will release a series of articles on this, published via LinkedIn and my website: www.whetston.com NMC 2015 A4 HEADER Thimon de Jong is a keynote speaker at the IMI National Management Conference taking place on Thursday 8 October. This event has now reached maximum capacity however if you would like to be added to the waiting list, please email your contact details and company name to conference@imi.ie. [post_title] => "Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => develop-digitally-balanced-business-strategy-six-word-wisdom-thimon-de-jong [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-12-04 16:19:02 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-12-04 16:19:02 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=11945 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) [4] => WP_Post Object ( [ID] => 14099 [post_author] => 77 [post_date] => 2016-03-16 11:02:45 [post_date_gmt] => 2016-03-16 11:02:45 [post_content] =>

One of the most common struggles people have in life is speaking in public.

presenting 2

Source: www.webdesignerdepot.com

You may have always managed to avoid these scenarios like the plague. You may also be in a place where enough is enough and you just want to be equipped to be comfortable and confident to present without the all the drama attached. From a personal perspective, it can be sometimes easy to wiggle out of these stressful scenarios.  Sooner or later from a professional context, avoiding a presentation at work or leaving it until the last minute can start to impact your career or work life.

Where to start – start with yourself and your thoughts

Most people have the same fears, looking silly, what will people think, being forgetful, babbling or not getting to the point. It is really important to overcome these fears and understand where these unhelpful beliefs come from.  Once you challenge these beliefs you can make huge strides which will impact both your personal and professional life.

Understanding stress

Most people become stressed when it comes to public speaking. Surveys often quote that the number one fear amongst the population is public speaking. To put this in context fear of death is number two on the list. It is useful to remember the purpose of stress. Stress is a function of the human body designed to protect you, once you reframe how you see stress it will make public speaking such a different experience. To help with this reframe remember: FEAR stands for False Evidence Appearing Real. The more relaxed you are the easier it is to communicate, so find ways to relax before presenting.

Confidence

Helpful beliefs about your self is a great start to increasing your confidence. Always play to your strengths. What people tend to do is compare themselves to others and then they never match up. Comparing yourself to others can be limiting and damaging. Everyone has their own personality and style. Play to your strengths be your authentic self. Sometimes you just got to imagine that confident state and fake it until you make it can be a good strategy until it comes second nature to you.

Structure

Always start with the audience in mind. What is the purpose of your presentation? What would interest them? It is really important to capture the audience’s attention and maintain their attention. Here preparation is key. Have structure, a beginning, middle and end. Ensure you know what key messages you would like them to remember and find ways to make those messages memorable. Remember: what would you like the audience to think, feel or take action on.

Engage the audience

Many people would love to have the confidence to engage the audience but just don`t know how. This is about understanding your audience and meeting their needs. Build rapport, be brave and curious when it comes to audience interaction. Being able to read people`s body language and influence people will increase your ability to engage the audience. Remember, always put yourself in the audience’s shoes.

Practice makes perfect

If you ever learned to drive a car, you will know you didn't just drive automatically to your destination without guidance. Treating presentations the same will help you improve. Seek feedback from others on how you could improve and look specifically at what others do. Remember, look back, reflect on what you did well and find ways to improve. Focus on presentations as a learning experience to becoming an expert to presenting with impact confidently.
Corless William IMI
William Corless is an ICF accredited ACC Coach. He brings over fifteen years’ experience in general management, supply chain, team development and strategy. William is an IMI associate faculty and teaches on Presenting With Impact.  _____________________________________ [post_title] => “I have just been asked to do a presentation”... Relax and take your finger off the panic button [post_excerpt] => [post_status] => publish [comment_status] => open [ping_status] => open [post_password] => [post_name] => just-asked-presentation-relax-take-finger-panic-button [to_ping] => [pinged] => [post_modified] => 2019-11-08 10:19:16 [post_modified_gmt] => 2019-11-08 10:19:16 [post_content_filtered] => [post_parent] => 0 [guid] => https://www.imi.ie/?p=14099 [menu_order] => 0 [post_type] => post [post_mime_type] => [comment_count] => 0 [filter] => raw ) )
Simon Boucher

Simon Boucher

12th Apr 2019

Related Articles

'Off the Wall' tips for early business success
21st Century Leadership: The Shifting River
"Decode cultural differences to suceed globally" Six Word Wisdom from Erin Meyer
"Develop a digitally balanced business strategy" Six Word Wisdom from Thimon de Jong
“I have just been asked to do a presentation”... Relax and take your finger off the panic button

Agility: elusive, but essential and the key to thinking differently

Agility is a hot topic right now, but how can it actually be implemented? (Picture Source)
Agility is a hot topic right now, but how can it actually be implemented? (Picture Source)

.

“Agility” is an easy word to write on a page. Anyone keen to learn about what’s current in leadership development will see the word jumping out from magazine covers and website banners.

Easy to say and easy to write, “agility” trips off the tongue, allowing the writer to solve a great deal of problems with a single stroke. And there are a lot of problems to solve.

Close to home, Ireland’s business leaders face a sea of complexity in 2019. As I write this, Brexit is just weeks away and there is still no concrete roadmap for future relations between Britain and the EU.

Given the complexity of Britain’s exit from the EU, Brexit has rarely been referred to as an agile process, except perhaps in the negative. Brexit appears so complex, people are looking for a deal that will put it all in a neat box, giving us rules to follow and structures to implement.

This kind of complexity affects us as individuals, forcing leaders and professionals to contemplate what they will need to survive in this new economy – and the impact on executive development is utterly transformational.

 

Like riding a bike

Developing agility in business is often as much about how you get there then what you do when you arrive (Picture Source)
Developing agility in business is often as much about how you get there then what you do when you arrive (Picture Source)

.
We have long moved away from the “talk and chalk” philosophy of imparting knowledge, towards a interactive and personalised approach that aligns learning with strategic aims and organisational roles.

But, even as this becomes the new norm, we need to move forward once again. It is no longer enough to define the characteristics or develop skills needed for future-fit leaders.

Agile mindsets are needed to apply these skills and characteristics in a complex environment. Again, an easy statement to write on a page, but how can it be achieved?

Developing an agile mindset is as much about the process as it is about the “product”.

This means densely packing educational programmes from short executive courses to diploma programmes, with information for participants to draw upon and apply to their own experiences.

Case studies, specific toolkits are frameworks are the kinds of tools we use regularly. And they work – except when they don’t.

This style of information transfer, even when it’s applied to real tasks, is limited in its ability to permanently change behaviour.

We are all familiar with going to a fantastic workshop, feeling we are going to change the way we work, and then barely apply one or two of the learnings on a regular basis. Months after the workshop, we hardly remember it.

Of course, when we are exploring new territory, lessons from case studies and rigid frameworks may no longer apply and it becomes apparent that new ways are required to make our leaders future-fit.

 

The kids are alright
.
Ironically, in the world of executive development, we can learn a lot from the kids around us. Children come to new challenges without preconceived notions; hence the endless ‘but why?’ questions us parents have come to dread.

With modern executive development, the first thing that is required it to disrupt thinking patterns that have become ingrained within us.

By opening up our minds to new thinking, new thinking might actually occur.

execseriesSimple, one-off interventions are rapidly fading away, replaced by developmental journeys (or ‘experiences’) that deliver habit forming changes. No longer will professionals attend a one or two-day programme and be expected to apply all their learnings immediately. Instead they will be empowered by bite-sized advice that is reinforced at regular intervals while they do their work.

We can imagine that artificial intelligence and machine learning will better equip us to engage with these interventions at the exact moments they are required, and we’ll also become more agile in tailoring best practice advice to each unique challenge.

This process will need to be repeated constantly throughout a career, flexing those agile brain muscles until dealing with the next complex task is the new normal.

Because if there is one certain truth about developing agility, it is that like everything else, it takes practice.

We need to consistently challenge our brains to think differently, to not retreat into our shells and old habits, and to realise that as the possibilities around us are expanding, so are the solutions our mind should reach for.

Agility is certainly an easy word to write down on a page but, as the various negotiating teams trudging between Brussels and London will tell you, a lot more challenging to apply in the real world.

.

.


dr-simon-boucher-1Simon Boucher is CEO of IMI. This article originally appeared in the Sunday Business Post.