Is your organisation a cult?

Manfred Kets De Vries | 08 Nov 2018

Many businesses display cult-like characteristics, offering a form of meaning, purpose and belonging but demanding strict adherence to their set of beliefs and swiftly punishing or ostracising those who don’t conform.

Compassion

Duane Dike

Compassion is not typically revered in the corporate world. Bosses are simply supposed to get things done. But if they're not careful, they can become impersonal, non-compassionate and ultimately, non-human.

Social media: how did we get here?

Rod Collins

One of the great ironies of the digital revolution is the environment of toxic tribalism that has been enabled by social media and the collective unconscious blindness it has brought with it.

Three lessons in crisis leadership

Piyumi Kapugeekiyana

There’s no one-size-fits-all approach to crisis management. But studying examples of crises that have been handled well can teach us some very valuable coping mechanisms that could help avoid a crisis turning into a disaster.

Emotional intelligence doesn't translate

David Livermore

Emotions are universal. But the ways in which different cultures express them are not. So what’s considered appropriate in one culture could get you in trouble if blindly applied to colleagues and friends elsewhere.

Do you run meetings or lead them?

Wayne Turmel

Any meeting, whether in a conference room or online, can be run. But successful meetings need to be led - and there is a huge difference between running a meeting and leading one.

New ways of thinking and acting

Rod Collins

For more than a century, the basic formula of management has been “plan and control.” But today this no longer works because strategies are no longer planned, they’re discovered. So the new formula for business should be “explore, experiment and execute”.

From the archive

Morale: a moving target

Duane Dike

What we think we know about morale is probably wrong, especially the black and white notion that morale is either ‘good’ or ‘bad’. Like most human feelings, morale is a moving target, which is why being sensitive to its nuances is such a key skill for leaders.

Wayne Turmel

How politeness can ruin your team's meetings

Wayne Turmel

Being too concerned about being polite and nice can have a negative impact on your ability to lead a remote or virtual team and get the most from them in virtual meetings.

Max McKeown

Idea fishing: put dinner on the table

Max McKeown

It just isn't possible for one organisation to realise the benefits of all its ideas. Which means that there any numbers of good ideas out there just waiting to be exploited. All it takes is someone to see their potential. Just ask Steve Jobs.

Dan Bobinski

Fixing broken trust

Dan Bobinski

In work, as in life, people are going to let us down and break our trust. But if we're going to move forward, we have to find a way to forgive, however counter-intuitive this might seem.

John Blackwell

A mandate for change

John Blackwell

Economic instability, uncertain energy supplies and climate change will leave organisations no choice but to reform their archaic working practices. But far from being a burden, this offers a unique opportunity to overcome corporate inertia and dismantle the barriers to transforming work.

Earlier opinion

Ask your team a 3,000 year-old question

Wayne Turmel

If you're mindful as to your meeting's purpose and desired outcome, you will accomplish far more than if you approach it as an empty ritual.

Culture fit vs. authenticity

David Livermore

Authenticity - being yourself - can sometimes collide with organizational values. So how far should any of us be expected to give up our authentic preferences for the sake of an organizational purpose?

Nine habits that build trust

John Blakey

There’s a lot more to trust than just delivering on your promises. In fact, doing what you say you will do is only the basic entry-level requirement if you want to inspire trust in those you lead.

Managing risks in a hyper-connected world

Rod Collins

As we all know, risk is a fact of life. But as the world becomes more connected, new risks have emerged that demand new tools to mitigate them and to thwart a new generation of threats.

What can be done about bullies at work?

Manfred Kets De Vries

Workplace bullying is a silent epidemic that causes a host of psychological and physical health problems. So why is addressing the problem and stamping out bullying such an uphill battle for everyone involved?

The mortar in a project's wall

Wayne Turmel

What holds a wall together is the mortar between the bricks. And what holds a project together is the effective, clear and proactive communication between individuals.

Shut up first, talk later

Wayne Turmel

On team conference calls, it can sometimes seem almost impossible to get people to contribute or share information effectively. Here’s how you can change that.

10 characteristics of customer-focused businesses

Andy Hanselman

Customer-focused organisations are dramatically and demonstrably different from their competitors. They don’t just meet customer expectations, they consistently try to exceed them in everything they do.

Why change? Why not?

Duane Dike

Change often fails because it is based on a plan/do model. We plan, and then expect people to do. But that ignores the exploration, thinking, mistaking, learning, testing and struggling that needs to come in between.

Accountability is more important than accounting

Wayne Turmel

What's more important: that people are working on exactly what you want them working on at that exact moment, or that important tasks and outputs are done on time and team goals are met?

Are you addicted to power?

Manfred Kets De Vries

In democracies, a free press and the separation of powers reduce the risk of leaders becoming power addicts. But most businesses concentrate power at the top, a design that all too easily leads to power intoxication.

Leaders, go away!

Duane Dike

Too many bosses fail to understand that every individual thinks and works at different rates or that we all need to distinguish between important and not so important work to operate effectively.