February 20, 2018

The paradigm shift in performance management

First published on LinkedIn, 13 Aug. 2015 In recent weeks Accenture announced that it was following other Fortune 500 companies in getting rid of annual performance rankings. Their final realisation was inescapable. The system was not driving better performance. There had to be a better way. I shared their predicament with other HR professionals online by starting a discussion with the AHRI interest group. I asked how they would advise Accenture and other companies on what should follow. The response was comprehensive and spirited. Post after post told a similar story, their conclusions unanimous. The old system was broken in […]
February 20, 2018

Leaders: entrances and exits

First published on LinkedIn, 25 Sept. 2015 Two noteworthy events over the recent past have stirred my thinking about what it means to be a leader in contemporary Australia. The first is the elevation of Malcolm Turnbull to the position of Prime Minister. The resignation of Adam Goodes from the Sydney Swans is the second. Both events have roused much discussion in the media. Turnbull has made an impressive entrance but will he be effective in the role? Goodes has excelled as a sportsperson and is widely admired as a champion of social change. How will he be remembered? I […]
February 20, 2018

The new mantra: agility, innovation and creativity

First published on LinkedIn, 18 Sept. 2015 We have a new prime minister, and yes, a new foundation for our future prosperity. In his victory speech, Malcolm Turnbull put it this way: ‘The Australia of the future has to be a nation that is agile, that is innovative, that is creative.’ No one could argue with that. But we are not hearing this for the first time. Embracing change, being responsive in the marketplace and seizing opportunities have been on the agenda for some years. Mr Turnbull is simply bringing some old issues back into focus. Shoulders to the wheel […]
February 20, 2018

Why leaders should stay close to the coal face

I could feel the energy in the room rising. Health practitioners, senior managers and research teams exchanged ideas with an intensity I rarely see at conference meetings. I was invited to the meeting to help search for solutions to a perplexing problem – how to get nurses and other front line staff to use the latest techniques when assisting patients. Staff really care, so you expect them to soak up the information and ideas on offer. But in many situations it was not happening. Despite the memoranda, training sessions, demonstrations and the rest, people would often slip back into their […]
February 20, 2018

Five leadership lessons from the Beaconsfield mine

It is now 10 years since the Tasmanian town of Beaconsfield was thrown into crisis when gold miners became trapped deep underground. At that time Brant Webb and Todd Russell were working almost one kilometer below the surface when the rockface collapsed around them. Another colleague working nearby, Larry Knight, was killed in the incident while several others scrambled out. Their rescue is one of the greatest Australian survival stories, and takes its place alongside other industrial accidents and disasters that have shocked and captivated the nation. I have researched many such disasters over the years and the theme of […]