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Sensei Insights & Stories

The Succession Time Bomb – Preparing Leaders for the Future   by Malcolm Follos

Many leaders behave as if they have a barcode marked on their heads showing their ‘best before date’ clearly stamped for all to see. They focus almost exclusively on delivering results… read full article

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The Importance of a Technology Strategy   by Kevin McFarthing

For most companies, a technology strategy should be a fundamental component of the overall strategy, at either corporate or divisional level. In this context, technology means the science, tools, mechanisms or systems that enable your products or services to function… read full article

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Project Management Home Truth Series part 5   by Gerry McAuley

Home Truth No 5: Post Implementation Review Reports – If you do what you always do, you’ll get what you always get… read full article

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There are many people who are clearly to a large extent “born” to be what we call leaders… read full article

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by Melanie De jong

Here are 4 powerful steps you can take to engage, grow and motivate your teams, and thereby your organization… read full article

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1) Keep probing to understand the real issues… 2) Be direct… 3) Resources can be created… 4) Get clarity of next steps… 5) Improving performance is not a knowledge challenge… 6) Today’s challenge is tomorrow’s recommendation… 7) Careers and key relationships work by dint of natural progression… 8) Never be cowed by position… 9) Imagine, your operating paradigm was to try to make situations and opportunities better… read full article

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Some home truths (4)   by Gerry McAuley

Truth Four – Monitoring and reporting progress. Beware the written word and note the power of the dumb question…

The project objectives, scope and deliverables are defined, the team has been mobilised, a robust milestone plan and relevant activity schedules are in place. Who needs to do what by when is clear to all, and the project has moved from the start-up to the delivery phase. How do you now ensure the project is on track and stays on track? Here are some thoughts to help you get this right… read full article

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Some home truths (3)   by Gerry McAuley

Truth Three – Work with human nature, not against it. Manage by milestones!

The real good news for project sponsors and managers everywhere is that, by learning to correctly frame, set and manage by milestones, you massively increase your chances of success, and that of course means delivering on time, in full, to budget… read full article

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Some home truths (2)   by Gerry McAuley

Truth Two – Mobilise well, a great start matters!

Assuming there is a clear and compelling case for doing the project (see truth one – there is never a right way of doing the wrong thing), it is essential to mobilise the project but what is mobilisation exactly? What does it involve? How do you know if you have done it well … read full article

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PROJECT MANAGEMENT – Some home truths (1)   by Gerry McAuley

Truth One – There is never a right way of doing the wrong thing

Research into failed projects, my own wisdom and hindsight show that most go wrong at the beginning… read full article

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LEADERSHIP – The critical component of successful mergers   by Tim Vernon

Irwin Stelzer, writing in the Sunday Times once said “When it comes to mergers, hope triumphs over experience” and this is borne out by the well-documented facts about commercial mergers… read full article

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NEW TEAM FACES REAL CHALLENGE – Now is the time to liberate passion
by Ian Nicholls

Our belief is that a successful organization is one in which passion flourishes and people feel engaged to contribute.  However, as we start what will be an interesting journey as a nation, one in which tough decisions are taken and tough action followed through, passion may well be in short supply.  How to achieve success and liberate passion must be high up the “worry list” of Cameron and Clegg… read full article

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Sensei’s approach to consulting revolves around engaging human performance. It is an evolution of an approach called process consulting. The “process” refers to “human processes”. The approach of linking human performance to business results is not just a collection of techniques to be compared to some other set of techniques. It is a fundamental paradigm about how consultants can actually confer value to clients… read full article

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Organizations are made up of people who, like many of us, find change unappetizing and will go to great lengths to look for panaceas and band-aids, rather than grapple with real issues of human change and growth.

Bosses are happy to seek consulting solutions when they face cerebral, analytical, diagnostic challenges. They look for firms with pedigrees, fixate on theoretical models that are conceptually compelling, and leave the sordid matter of “implementation” for later … read full article

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Strategy means different things to different people, it requires us to see the ‘big picture’, think long-term, plug into future trends and make collective decisions that affect the future of the firm.   All of this is a very long way from the ‘operational’ activity that consumes our typical working day … read full article

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Consultants often congratulate themselves gratuitously on providing great service, caring about their clients, being trusted advisers, etc and ad nauseum.

Here is a simple but non-negotiable check-list to ascertain whether you are really providing premium relationship value — value by virtue of a client relating with you — over and above the type of general expertise that is almost certainly readily available through multiple sources… read full article

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Guarding Your Passion: Passion Killers and Possibilities   by Omar Khan

About a year ago, I heard, for at least the umpteenth time, yet another outburst from a client about the need to build passion and convert that passion into the bottom-line. Heady stuff and I agreed with him enthusiastically, until I realized something in the conversation was missing. … read full article

Six Tips for Coaching Success   by Omar Khan

Coaching is as much art as science. So much of it is a sense of how to connect with and enable people’s success. … read full article

Ten Ways Leadership Pros Defeat Resistance To Change   by Omar Khan

To be an effective leader in a global economy that requires constant change, one must “turn pro,” battle resistance, and take personal responsibility for delivering results. Amateurs rise to challenges occasionally-when they feel like it, when crises hit, or when they are obliged to by circumstances. … read full article

The Case for Real Change   by Omar Khan

A common strategic dilemma challenging leaders is how to ignite change. Corporate change programs are expensive adventures that rarely deliver the vision behind them. Even when change programs are compelled by a major crisis, the final results are usually far more prosaic than the exhortations, incurring damaging cynicism and disbelief. … read full article

How Not To Make Us Secure   by Omar Khan

I’d like to share a personal experience that has ripple effects on our collective sense of “homeland security.” As the head of a global leadership consulting firm, I travel frequently in and out of the United States. As a green card holder married to a U.S. citizen, I’d never had any problems doing so. … read full article

The Myth of Cross Cultural Awareness   by Omar Khan

I’m a global consultant, who was born in Egypt, Pakistani by nationality, grew up in New York (which I consider “home”) and lived in Kuwait, the Netherlands, Japan, Sri Lanka and England (to name only a few of my homes over the years). You’d think I’d be a champion of the importance of cross-cultural awareness. I am and I’m not. … read full article

The Opportunity of Adaptive Leadership   by Omar Khan

Organizations face key challenges as they try to become truly global. One such challenge is the highly astute distinction consultants draw between “technical” and “adaptive.” … read full article

Confessions of A Global Coach   by Omar Khan

As a global coach, you hear all kinds of arguments that reflect basic misunderstandings about the coaching process. … read full article