I often have participants in my workshops lamenting that they have a poor relationship with their manager, or that they feel dis-empowered, or have little ability to influence their manager. Even when I’m training them in skills that the organisation has requested, I’ll get comments like my...

I find it quite interesting that when I ask managers what are your biggest time wasters at work? they often respond with email! and yet when I suggest they should check their email only 2 or 3 times per day, there’s extraordinary push back.    Think about that for a minute. Doesn’t it seem a...

Sandwiched between workers and leaders, managers often have to translate the vision, mission and strategy to practical goals and objectives.  This requires them to have understanding and knowledge of what is happening at the strategic level, and communicate that effectively to their team...

Eastern cultures often refer to westerners as having “monkey brain”. Our brains are never rested, jumping from one thing to another, and lacking in focus.    This largely comes from an inability to filter information and the overload of data we are exposed to.  It’s also based on years of...

One of the biggest struggles I regularly hear from managers is about the act of delegation. The comment I hear most is “I should delegate more, but I don’t know how to”. So many organisations train things like “7 steps to delegation” and trust it will work. There is nothing wrong with these...

In the busyness of our work we sometimes neglect one of the most basic skills that can have a tremendous impact on our productivity and relationships with our team members. Listening.   As a manager, the quality of your listening can impact everything from productivity, through to...

One of my favourite ever quotes about life, the universe and everything is “The grass is always greener where you water it” which is attributed to Neil Barringham.   This is particularly true for managers.  When you spend time and effort in actually managing your team, you will end up with a...

I've had a few managers in my time with varying levels of management skill. When I reflect back on my favourites, those who I have modeled and those that have made a positive impact on my life, I realise they had several things in common, the most glaring was an internal locus of...

How well are you preparing your middle management for the future leadership of your organasiton?   What mindsets are you fostering? What skill sets are you developing? What toolsets are you providing?   Your management development programs (MDPs) are laying the foundation for what is widely...

I wonder why it is that there is often such a disconnect between strategy and operations.  One of my global clients often laments that there is a layer of “mud” between the messaging that we think is getting cascaded at the senior levels, to what is actually being received by the troops at the...

I love working with the fattest part of an org chart.  It’s where the soul of the organisation lies, and where the true test of espoused culture lives.  It’s also where all the work gets done.   In my experience, from a professional development perspective, it’s also the most...

Australians largest ever leader survey conducted the Centre for Workplace leadership at Melbourne University (2016) has found “that for every $10 spent on senior leaders, only $1 was spent on frontline leaders”   It also found what many of us have known for some time, that promotions happen...

Are you devaluing your colleges or team members?   I had a call from a friend recently who was rather distraught. She explained that when she was packing up to leave work for the day, one of her colleagues snidely remarked, “Don’t need to check the clock to know it is 5.30 because Anna is...

I’ve been working with the HR function of a large organisation lately and the engagement has been two-fold.  One is teaching principles of systems thinking, change management, team development, facilitation, coaching and strategic planning.  The other side is coaching and mentoring various...

Following on from my last blog, Future of YOUR work I have been thinking about the massive size of the scope of a project like “Future of work” for an organisation.   Scope is always a problem generally in managing change, particularly when the opportunities for improvement in many...

Whether you are a morning person (early bird) or an evening person (night owl) it’s likely that you still have to show up to an office or workplace according to routine hours.  And for about 80% of us, it's expected to be a 9am to 5pm work day.  I know many of you now are reading this and...

There’s a new radio ad from MYOB that keeps grabbing my attention, as it’s a play on the old “what advice would you give your younger self”.  The ad has someone taking a phone call from their future selves, telling them that business is booming and they should make the decision to get onto MYOB...

Professional services firm, Ernst & Young UK recently announced that having a graduate degree was no longer on the list of pre-requisites to be considered for employment.  Their rationale was that a degree was no indication of skill, knowledge or ability.   I have worked with professional...

I seem to have attracted lots of articles recently into my various social media feeds about the notion of 30 hour work weeks, or 5 hour work days (or even 4 hour work weeks!).  And they say this is the future of work. However, I reckon it’s the NOW of work, but we aren’t reaping the benefits of...

I write a lot about the future of work and a recent article caught my eye regarding the future of living. Much has been said about co-working spaces and the versatility and cost savings it promotes for small (or large) businesses.  With the increased ability for most of us to work anywhere...

So much has been written about the future of work that has a somewhat bleak angle. The idea that robots will take our jobs is not a new one. However whether this future is presented as Utopian or Dystopian depends entirely on the current social, cultural and political climate.   All of our...

I think we have always come at this from the wrong angle.  Instead of accepting that no-one is indispensable, I think we should be asking ourselves “How do I become indispensable?” With the amount of media coverage currently being given to AI and Robotics, it is more important than ever to...

    I have been reading and researching for my next book “The First Two Hours” and have come across many articles around the notion of how we are slaves to our smart phones and other technologies. We are technically addicted.   Not one to shy away from a challenge, I decided to test a few...

How good are we at storytelling?  Or at describing a compelling future or vision of success for a task or project?   People are motivated by having a sense of purpose about their work.  In his book Drive, Daniel Pink says there is a trifecta of intrinsic motivators: Autonomy, mastery and ...

Shop

Buy Donna's Books

“A note of thanks and feedback 9 months on from participating in your time management course.   I’ve been through both time mgt and objective/goal setting courses before, however,...”
See more testimonials