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Bob Selden

Bob Selden

Bob Selden is MD of the Australian National Learning Institute and author of What To Do When You Become The Boss. He has been a boss many times over. He's also worked for many. Some of these relationships have been fantastic and some did not work as well as they might have.

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How good are your listening skills?

28 May 2013

How good are your listening skills? Really good? Enough to bet your life on? Because that's what British woman, Ingrid Loyau-Kennett, did last week when she calmly confronted two men who had just slashed another man to death in a busy London street.

All that glitters is not gold

01 Mar 2013

After years of near-domination in the pool, Australia's swimmers have seen their success evaporate over recent years, a sporting decline which Bob Selden argues is a direct result of a failure of management.

Can you really work from anywhere?

19 Feb 2013

Google's Chief Financial Officer ruffled a few feather recently when he said that he believed working from home is not the best way to generate ideas and innovation. But is he right?

On Lance and lies

17 Jan 2013

With all the publicity this week about the Oprah – Lance Armstrong interview, the subject of "lying" has been centre stage. But what can we learn from this episode for management?

Zero tolerance?

30 Nov 2012

Is zero tolerance an effective management strategy? It certainly seems to be an effective crime reduction strategy, judging by the example of New York City since the mid 1990s. But when applied elsewhere, it can be deeply counter-productive.

Microsoft and dumb decisions

24 Aug 2012

With Apple's iPhone now generating more revenue than all of Microsoft's wares combined, the astonishingly foolish management decisions taken in Microsoft over the last decade - and particularly its insane performance management system - seem to be coming back to haunt it.

Another withdrawal from the Trust Bank

06 Jul 2012

Once upon a time, bankers were respected pillars of the community. Not any more. And a major reason for their vilification is that they have forgotten that trust is a learnable and measurable skill that makes organisations more profitable, people more promotable, and relationships more energizing.

Short-term, short-sighted

18 Jun 2012

Despite all the evidence that short-termism and an obsession with quarterly results is a flawed strategy, many firms seem unable to look further than the next six months. Bob Selden explores why this continues to be the case.

Are you a viral manager?

14 Mar 2012

Why does something "go viral" – and what has this got to do with management? The answer has to do with content, intent and emotional impact, all things that have a profound effect on the way we communicate and the way we engender change in the workplace.

A new variety of carrot?

02 Mar 2012

The metaphor of carrots as motivators is still alive and well. But carrots don't work for all of the people all of the time. So how do we package reward and remuneration to meet the needs of people at all levels of an organisation?

Lies, lies, lies

22 Dec 2011

On average we all tell between two and five lies per day. But we are more likely to lie in writing than we are when communicating face-to-face, via video conferencing or audio chat. So, what has lying got to do with business, and particularly management?

Leadership, management and the Eurozone crisis

24 Nov 2011

One side-effect of the Eurozone crisis seems to be that the age old question – what is the difference between leadership and management – has been thrown into sharp relief. Yes, there is a difference. Just ask the Greeks or Italians.

How powerful are your customers?

17 Aug 2011

For too long, customers have taken a back seat to investors. But are they now making their voices heard? Three recent news stories suggest to me that they are.

Are you ready for your Murdoch moment?

22 Jul 2011

As corporate crises go, the one engulfing News International is a pretty major one. An organization is never more vulnerable than when a crisis strikes, but some leaders can handle crises in a way that sets them apart. So what do these leaders do that others do not? And how does News International stack up?

Does your organization pass the longevity test?

29 Jun 2011

Of the top 25 companies in the Fortune 500 in 1961, only six remain there today. So what leads to organizational longevity? And what about the iconic companies of today? Will they survive? Do they pass the longevity test?

To outsource or not to outsource?

26 May 2011

Whatever the numbers might suggest, it is almost impossible to successfully outsource the sharp-end of your business, particularly when that means your interface with customers. Yet many organisations still don't seem to understand this.

Texts, transactions and relationships

07 Mar 2011

Today, many people text more often than they talk on the phone. Among teenagers, around nine out of 10 of all phone communications are now text messages. So what's this got to do with management? As Bob Selden explains, the answer is "rather a lot".

Respect, trust, confidence and Facebook

24 Feb 2011

If you don't want to see your firm being slammed by an unhappy employee on Facebook, ask yourself whether you have a culture of recognition within your company. Because such comments invariably stem from someone's lack of trust in their employer. And that comes down to poor management and leadership.

Money, happiness and motivation

01 Dec 2010

The first thing Clive Palmer did when he bought a loss-making Australian nickel refinery in July 2009 was to raise the of pay of its employees and then ask them how to run the business. The results have been impressive – and so too Clive Palmer's generosity in return.

Google and the new management challenge

02 Nov 2010

The biggest challenge for modern organisations is not just how to ensure the best ideas are nurtured. It's also ensuring that the knowledge generated by individuals can be shared and maintained as a real corporate asset and not vanish when somebody walks out the door.

What are you worth?

02 Sep 2010

Despite the recession, CEOs continue to pay themselves vast sums while expecting others to suffer - with those CEOs who slashed their workforces the deepest earning the most. As a new report puts it, "CEOs laid off thousands while raking in millions."

What's in your knowledge hard drive?

25 Aug 2010

How do you encourage the transfer of knowledge within and across an organisation? Or, to put it another way, what are you learning on a day-to-day basis about how you conduct your business - and how are you passing this experience on to others?

Blogging – the hero in all of us

02 Aug 2010

It's understandable that organisations are trying to jump on the social networking bandwagon and an internal blog seems an obvious place to start. But it's easy to get it wrong and end up broadcasting messages that alienate employees rather than resonate with them

Who's in charge?

14 Jun 2010

Poor management practices lie at the heart of the Gulf of Mexico oil disaster. And as with the global financial crisis, it seems that both the regulators and management were unclear about their roles or even about who was meant to be in charge.