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Graham Birkenhead

Leadership & Management

Doing Operations

Graham Birkenhead, October 6 2020

This is the second of two articles exploring the connection (or rather, often the lack of it) between strategy and operations.  Last week we discussed how ‘doing strategy’ was about keeping in your mind’s eye on what you want to be and where you want to go as a company, while at the same time being aware of the art of the possible. The future is un...

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Leadership & Management

Doing Strategy

Graham Birkenhead, September 29 2020

This is the first of two articles exploring the connection (or rather, often the lack of it) between strategy and operations.  The two things are separate but inseparable.  Any organization needs them both to be working in harmony and feeding each other.   We see many companies embarking on an exercise of strategic planning while simultaneously dri...

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Leadership & Management

Creatures of Habit

Graham Birkenhead, August 11 2020

For as long as I can remember, I have been interested in why people do some things and why they don't do other things. Why some people achieve a little or a lot – seemingly regardless of how big or small they think.  The nature of luck - is there such a thing or do you make your own luck? And, the roles of motivation, challenge, power and fear, cul...

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Leadership & Management

Accommodating the Non-standard Worker

Graham Birkenhead, July 28 2020

By the late 40s, the US Air Force was experiencing an unacceptable increase in the rate of air incidents and crashes.  This was the era of the introduction of jet aircraft. Apart from appearing to be pilot error, there didn't seem to be a common underlying cause.   But there was.   Back in 1926, the Air Force realised that pilots came in all differ...

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Leadership & Management

Swimming in Circles?

Graham Birkenhead, July 21 2020

I love open water swimming, the fresh air, the peace and quietness, the natural smell of water rather than chlorine, and having the sense of going somewhere rather than bouncing off a wall every few strokes.  As you swim along with your head down, you are thinking about what your body is doing and how efficiently you are moving through the water, i...

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Leadership & Management

The Human Cost-Benefit of the Home Worker

Graham Birkenhead, July 14 2020

In my last post about Working from Home and the Office (WFOH), I mentioned that often people are more productive when working from home. So why is that and what can we do to help more people be more productive at home?  And could those same principles help people be more productive in the office too?

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Leadership & Management

Working from Home and the Office [WFHO]

Graham Birkenhead, July 7 2020

We are a mere 4 months into the new rapidly evolving world order, and it is nowhere near over. It will be many months (being optimistic) before the first vaccines are available, there are no effective treatments in sight, and as we learn more and more about this new disease, we realise that its physiological impact is a lot more complex than we at...

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Leadership & Management

Onboarding the Remote Worker

Graham Birkenhead, June 23 2020

Following on from Andrew’s blog last week about onboarding the remote worker – what do we need to do differently to ensure success? Well, in general terms, we have exactly the same objectives: we need to welcome the new person to the team, ensure they quickly feel that they belong and are connected to their co-workers, give them the tools and expe...

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Leadership & Management

I See You - Leading in a time of crisis

Graham Birkenhead, April 7 2020

Learning to SeeSawubona is a Zulu greeting which means “I see you”. The idea is that you don't merely acknowledge a person by saying “hi”, but you take a moment (or 5) to look just a little bit beyond what you see on the surface, or maybe a little beyond the assumptions you are making when they reply “good” to your standard “how are you”. In some c...

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Leadership & Management

Look after You - Leading in a Time of Crisis

Graham Birkenhead, March 31 2020

My last blog was about leading your newly home-bound team.  In this blog, I am going to talk about one very important member of your team – you. As the leader, it is essential that you pay attention to yourself, and to ensure that you are in a good place to lead.   As the flight attendant says: ‘put your own oxygen mask on first before helping othe...

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