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Larry Reynolds, managing partner

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Telling the truth

by Larry Reynolds on January 15, 2015

Last week I was helping a senior manager to prepare a presentation to her board of directors about a key organisational change. Her approach was to frame the proposal as ‘current arrangements work well, and this change would make it even better.’

I asked her if this was true. ‘No’, she replied, ‘the current arrangements are no longer fit for purpose, given the challenges our company is facing right now.’

I asked her which approach was more likely to get a result with her directors, the ‘things are good and this will make it better’ approach, or the ‘things are no longer working and we need to change’ approach.

Her reply was interesting. ‘I’m sure the second approach is more likely to get the directors to take action, but I just don’t want to come across as negative in a company culture that’s generally so positive’

What about you? How confident are you about telling the truth, when there is bad news to be delivered?

The more you pay the worse they do?

November 21, 2014

You’ve probably already come across Dan Pink’s book Drive, and what it says about motivation. If you haven’t, you can find a great ten-minute video summary here. Here’s one of the most surprising things about motivation. If you are asking someone to do a very basic, mundane, low skill job, performance related pay works – […]

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If you get these wrong, what else are you getting wrong?

November 10, 2014

What do these three phrases have in common? Alas poor Yorick, I knew him well Play it again Sam It’s life Jim, but not as we know it. They’re all misquotations. But repetition has convinced many people that they are true.  This may not matter much when it comes to fictional characters, but it matters […]

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Is challenging strengths more powerful than challenging weaknesses?

November 3, 2014

Let’s say you want to challenge someone to be more prepared for meetings. You could say: “When you turn up for a meeting without having read the briefing papers, I have to spend time bringing you up to speed, and this means we have less time on decision making.” This is the classic ‘challenging weaknesses’ […]

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Four easy things to support your team’s performance

October 27, 2014

Most people respond pretty well to a bit of positive support. Here are four easy things you can do. Give a piece of specific positive feedback – not just “well done”, but “when you did X, the positive effects were Y” Make a small gesture of support. Sending a handwritten note, or taking the time […]

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