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Is it time to give up on Leadership Competencies?

January 19th, 2014

Very few organisations today are without a leadership competency model. In fact, it is often a requirement made of firms that are bidding for work with other companies that they specify their leadership model when they submit tenders, no doubt as a means to demonstrate that they understand leadership and have competent leaders. Competency models are used by organisations as a means to assess and develop managers, and are an integral part of their performance management system. The ubiquitous use of competency models is testament to the belief that the characteristics of successful managers and leaders can be sufficiently precisely…
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Every organisation wants “smart” people, but what exactly do they need to be smart at?

December 19th, 2013

On Intelligence One of the key findings of occupational psychology research in the last fifty years has been that the single best predictor of performance at school and in work is that of general mental ability or intelligence. People blessed with higher levels of mental ability appear to benefit by having more successful careers and better quality of life than those whose intelligence is assessed as below average. As clear as this finding is, it is not without flaws. From a social perspective, many people find it simply unacceptable that there might be an inbuilt inequality between people. The American…
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Talent management and sustainable business success

September 19th, 2013

Many companies are now pursuing ‘sustainability’ as part of their business strategy. This prompts me to ask: Why aren’t companies’ management development programmes under greater scrutiny, when nurturing talent is one of the determining factors in an organisation’s sustainable success? The more I learn about businesses’ managerial development programmes, the more I see that there needs to be less of a focus on improving managers’ performance in their current roles, and more on professional development in relation to, and preparation for, advancements to future roles. A mistaken focus on ‘horizontal’ rather than ‘vertical’ development means that, too often, promotions are…
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