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Situational Leadership

Situational Leadership
Situational Leadership
Situational Leadership

There are more models of leadership than you can shake a stick at. So how should you know which is the best? That’s the question that is answered by Situational Leadership.

The principle of Situational Leadership is simple. There is no one best approach to leadership. To lead well, you must adapt your approach to the situation.

Situational Leadership has deep roots. And let’s start by setting aside our certainty that people have been managing and leading by adapting their approach to the people in front of them, for centuries. The academic study of this approach goes back to the 1950s.

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10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice

10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice
10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice
10,000 Hours and Deliberate Practice

How do you become an expert at something, and truly master it? The answer, some will tell you, is with 10,000 hours of practice.

The so-called rule of 10,000 hours originated in a best-selling book, ‘Outliers’, by journalist, Malcolm Gladwell. He based the ideas at the core of his book on research that Anders Ericsson carried out, along with Ralf Krampe, and Clemens Tesch-Römer.

Then, he was a Professor at the University of Colorado. Now he’s at Florida State University. But here is the thing… Ericsson has been openly critical of the 10,000 hours formulation. And that offers both good news and bad for any of us who want to become world-class masters of any field.

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Seasonal Sales

Seasonal Sales
Seasonal Sales
Seasonal Sales

Seasonal sales are nowadays most closely associated with Black Friday, Cyber Monday, and Boxing Day. But it wasn’t always so.

Indeed, the original seasonal sales were in January, and they were known as ‘White Sales’. Not because of the seasonal snow that went with them, though. The story is a little more interesting.

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Boxing Day

Boxing Day
Boxing Day
Boxing Day

Why is the day after Christmas apparently given over to the ancient pugilistic art of boxing? Well, it isn’t. That’s not the origin of Boxing Day.

That said, Boxing Day’s origins are a little unclear. And of the many variant theories, one outlier is that the now traditional Boxing Day sports once did include boxing.

We’ll set that one aside for lack of… evidence.

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PRINCE2

PRINCE2
PRINCE2
PRINCE2

Project Management is an important skill, not just for professional project managers. Increasingly, managers of all sorts are called on to manage projects. And one big idea in project management is PRINCE2.

PRINCE2 was developed in the UK, for public sector projects. But there, some non-Governmental organisations have adopted it. Some have done so because they work with the public sector. Others because it offers a valuable framework for accountable projects.

The same reasons account for the uptake of PRINCE2 outside the UK. It is at its most popular in:

  • northern Europe (Germany, Netherlands, Belgium) and
  • the English-speaking world (Australia, South Africa and the United States)

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Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing
Permission Marketing
Permission Marketing

Permission Marketing is still a teenager. Born in 1999, it is not just vibrantly fit and energetic. It already seems mature and part of the community. This is so much so, that we see it everyday, and think nothing of the revolutionary change it has created.

Of course, it’s the term ‘Permission Marketing’ that’s a teenager. It was coined in 1999 by entrepreneur and marketer, Seth Godin. The idea, like so many, had been around for a long time.

It was just waiting for someone to give it a name, describe it, and see it as a powerful trend for the future. This is what Godin did in his breakthrough book, titled… yup: ‘Permission Marketing’ (US|UK).

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The Wisdom of the Crowd

The Wisdom of the Crowd
The Wisdom of the Crowd
The Wisdom of the Crowd

Why do many countries have a legal system that favours a jury over a judge to determine guilt or innocence? The answer is that humans have many times discovered the wisdom of the crowd.

In its modern form, crowdsourcing ideas has become fashionable. But written evidence for this big idea goes back a long way. In his ‘Politics’ Aristotle classifies constitutions.

So why are the many wiser than individual experts? 

It turns out that they aren’t always. But they can be. The better question is when are the many wiser than individual experts?

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The Halo Effect

The Halo Effect
The Halo Effect
The Halo Effect

The thing about cognitive biases is their pervasiveness. They can affect all areas of our thinking. But some have a bigger impact on management, leadership, and business decisions. And one example is the Halo Effect.

The halo effect can take a single example of excellence, and create the impression that we have a star in our midst. This could be company results, an effective middle manager, or a new hire.

With all of these, we have the ability to see something great and assume it is part of a pattern. The evidence for this may be lacking. Indeed, it may be a one-off hot-spot in a field of mediocrity.

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The Black Swan Effect

The Black Swan Effect
The Black Swan Effect
The Black Swan Effect

Black Swan is a movie that follows the story of a ballerina in a New York ballet company. Her life is consumed with dance.

Oops. Wrong Black Swan.

The Black Swan is a book that sets out the nature and impact of rare, improbable events. The author, Nassim Nicholas Taleb, coined the metaphor of Black Swan to describe them.

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ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning
ERP: Enterprise Resource Planning

ERP, or Enterprise Resource Planning is nothing more than a big piece of software. It sits at the centre of big organisations, handling lots of important tasks.

More recently, smaller scale ERP applications have come onto the market. These allow new and small businesses to get the benefits of  linked back office functions. This is due, in large part, to the availability of managed, cloud-based software.

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