Monday, December 28, 2015

Fit for the future now

Every modification or change you need or want to make in your personal and business life is only ever one quantum leap away.

As you finalise being ready for making 2016 your best year yet, decide where you want to be, personally, and in your working life at the end of 2016, and then work backwards to the quantum leaps you will take in January, February and March. I find beginning with the end in mind and focusing on 90 days at a time is a great formula for long term success.

As you decide the quantum leaps you're going to take, reflect on where the people you live and work with are at. Maybe better alignment with where others are at should be one of your quantum leaps.

Carefully considering any mismatches, and correcting them, is a key to you being fit for the future now.

The following two screenshots are from Mary Meeker's annual Internet Trends. They highlight mismatches between laws and the current economy, and the views of managers and employees. What mismatches could you eliminate in 2016?

As Daniel Pink rightly asserted there's a mismatch between what science knows and business does. Don't make this mistake in your business. Are you up with the latest scientific discoveries and are you applying them in your own way?

I'm sure you've realised that tomorrow never arrives. There's only ever this moment. You can only ever be fit for the future now. 

These great insights from Eileen McDargh may help you. And if you've not yet devoured Eckhart Tolle's great book 'The Power of Now', start there.

A quantum leap is a shift to a different place. And just like a change of heart or a change of mind, can happen in a moment. 

Of course the impact takes longer. And sometimes our world changes while we're in the air! The good news is that how we respond to what happens to us is mostly our decision.

I wish you well on your journey ahead.

Be remarkable.

The best way to predict the future is to create it (now).
Abraham Lincoln or Peter Drucker? Brackets mine.

Thursday, December 17, 2015

Nine Things Successful People Do Differently

Goal Setting for 2015Traditional goal setting doesn’t work anymore in our fast, flat and free world. Instead, use this system to design – and achieve – compelling goals in 2015.

Listen To the Episode

Listen to the episode here:

Watch a webinar version of this topic here:

The I Matter Podcast

This is an episode from the I Matter Podcast, which brings you regular ideas, interviews and insights into leveraging the power of the individual - for yourself, your teams and your organisation.

More ways to engage with me:

Tuesday, December 15, 2015

The Sharing Economy, Shared-value, and Something Better

The following facts are routinely (almost boringly!) presented today by futurists and others:

- The world's largest retailer (Amazon) doesn’t own a single store.

- The world's largest provider of sleeping rooms (Airbnb) doesn’t own a single hotel.

- The world's largest provider of transportation (Uber) doesn’t own a single car.

- The world's biggest media owner (Facebook) creates no content.

- The world's most valuable retailer (Alibaba) has no inventory.

The above are evidence of 'The Sharing Economy' which is a key component of the new world of work.

At the heart of this new world is shared-value.

I was thrilled when I first read Porter's comment 5 years ago because the idea of shared-value has long been at the heart of my work with my clients and the fundamentals, as I have come to see them, of all remarkable businesses as illustrated below.

…the future face of capitalism, say authors John Gerzema and Michael D’Antonio in their book Spend Shift will be defined by delivering value and values.

We have all seen values displayed on walls and written in annual reports. The failure to live what is said and written is one of the biggest reasons for poor levels of employee and customer engagement, and so defining our values is not just about words, rather it is about defining the actual behaviours, living by them and being accountable.

In my experience when agreed behaviours are measured as part of performance leadership systems not only does greater accountability occur, the corresponding increases in engagement and therefore productivity, mean profound changes in the delivery of value to stakeholders.

None of this happens unless employees feel valued.

In the context of employees feeling valued, living values, delivering value, and sharing and creating shared value, I'll be producing a short and succinct video (less than 5 minutes) every Monday morning in 2016. Then I'll be conducting a People, Process, and Profit Monthly Intensive via web TV that will expand on the videos through candid and convivial conversations based on your questions and input. Through these conversations we'll be co-creating something better together for our personal and business lives.

The above will be complimentary and exclusive to those who register which you can do here.

All will be in the spirt of the following insights attributed to Bruce Lee, and wisdom from one of the great pioneers of leadership development Mary Parker Follett.

I look forward to you joining me on the journey in 2016.

Be remarkable.

Wednesday, December 9, 2015

The Now Page Movement

Derek Sivers knows about movements so when I read his post here I got straight to it and created my own now page here.

Then I emailed Derek and now I'm here with lots of remarkable people.

Check out Twitter too here.

What are you doing now?

Be remarkable.

Monday, December 7, 2015

Guaranteeing 2016 is your best year yet

On Thursday February 4th 2016 I'm holding a one-of-a-kind in-person master-class. It's for you if want to achieve better business results in 2016 while at the same time improve the quality of your personal life.

Participation will enable you to:

do less but better

lift the capability of your team without reliance on you

follow a proven process in your own way, that means everyone is consistently bringing their very best to their work

You'll leave this master-class with a simple yet profound 90 day plan that when you execute, you'll guarantee that 2016 is your best year yet.

And, to help you to ensure that insights, inspiration and ideas translate into innovation, you'll have 24/7 access to my unique online resource centre as soon as you register, and for 90 days after the master-class, plus, we'll schedule a 1:1 online mentoring session for you at a time you decide most appropriate within the 90 days. The value of this 1:1 session alone will far exceed your investment.

Ian is a rare gem. In the ever increasing complexity of today’s modern world, Ian is always there - personally as an incredible supporter, encourager and also as a wonderful navigator of possibility.

In addition, Ian has presented for us on a number of occasions at various team events, providing memorable and immediately actionable insights for us to better our personal and business lives.

Peter Merrett Head of Customer Experience Property and Asset Management - Jones Lang LaSalle Australia

In this master-class I'll be sharing my learning from working with more than 1000 leaders, women and men, in over 40 countries since 1991.

My promise is that this master-class with Challenge Your Mind, Warm Your Heart, and inspire you to do what you've never done before.

We'll be going on a special journey together using my tried, tested and proven framework pictured below that is based on my work with salt of the earth leaders who work bloody hard and are always wanting to increase and sustain momentum.

We spoke about your presentation afterwards and the overwhelming view is that it was the best presentation, in terms of style and content, that we have ever had for our group.

Craig Walden, CEO, Australian Public Service Benevolent Society Ltd and Member The CEO Institute

Places for this master-class are limited. You can register here.

I'm holding this master-class in Ballarat, my place of birth as a small yet significant way of celebrating the beginning of my 25th year as a business and strategic adviser/mentor and professional speaker.

I welcome your telephone call to +61 (0) 418 807 898 if you'd like to discuss any aspect of this master-class or the follow-through resources and mentoring package.

Be remarkable.

Saturday, December 5, 2015

When beliefs are personal and behaviour universal, success follows

To be human is to flock to belong to places where there's a shared-view or common belief. There'd be no religions, clubs, or movements otherwise. I celebrate this.

To be human at a higher level of consciousness is belonging to places where there's differing views and vigourous debate, yet mutual respect, a valuing of difference, and a willingness to collaborate. I celebrate this more.

The test of a first-rate intelligence is the ability to hold two opposing ideas in mind 
at the same time and still retain the ability to function.
F. Scott Fitzgerald

Fitzgerald's insight is a key to successful leadership, in politics, business, and everywhere else.

It mystifies me that we get hung up about other people's opinions and what other people believe or don't. The fact that some people resort to protests, and at worst violence over this, is a sign of their lack of intelligence, and total lack of appreciation of, and gratitude for, what it means to be human.

How amazing that despite the lessons of history, we're still fighting one another in some places and are unwilling to co-exist.

The slippery slope begins when we take offence at someone else's opinion. This mystifies me too. Your opinions are yours not mine, so how can I possibly be offended? Only when I choose to is the answer.

I choose to not be offended regardless of what other people's opinions are and how they're expressed. I have enough trouble being accountable for my own intentions, feelings, thoughts, behaviours, actions, let alone concerning myself with yours!

When beliefs are personal and behaviour universal, success follows

A client of mine is a devout Christian. Another client is a devout Muslim. Yet another client strictly follows what she sees as the Buddhist way. Still another is Jewish to his bootstraps. I could go on.  I know people from most walks of life who strongly believe what they do. I greatly admire each of my clients whether we share beliefs or not.

What we do share is the understanding that belief is personal and behaviour universal.

To collaborate successfully we respect and value the personal. We know that respect is earned and mutual success possible through behaviour.

Central to most belief systems is a faith of some kind.  Faith by definition cannot be proved.  If it could be proved it wouldn’t be faith!  The ‘proof of the pudding is in the eating’ the saying goes, meaning what we do counts for far more than what we believe. As one of the Apostles of the Christian Church is reported to have said, “Faith without works is dead.”

A lot of faiths are dead, dying, or in trouble today because the actions of a few of the faithful betray their stated beliefs.  I meet a lot of people more interested in being right, than being compassionate for example. Compassion for me is at the truthful heart of all the world’s religions. Compassion is not a belief, it's a behaviour.

If we are not living and breathing a compassionate life we render whatever we believe as null and void, regardless of what we say.

A new world is being born.  Compassion is a key component. There is a place for faith in this new world. For me belief is personal and therefore deserving of respect. What really matters in the universe though is behaviour.

Some people have asked me what has compassion go to do with the future success of my business? My answer is - Everything! particularly in a world where being purpose driven and people focused, and seeing technology as an enabler and enhancer of the human experience, is the leading edge.

Be remarkable.

Thursday, December 3, 2015

Kick Start Your Internal Thought Leaders

Kick Start Your Internal Thought LeadersIf you have passionate, articulate people on your team who have great ideas they want to share, let them! Champion their cause to be a thought leader in and for your organisation.

Most leaders don't proactively think about giving their team members a voice, so you'll stand out if you do.

1. Give them a voice

Start by encouraging them to contribute to your organisation's internal newsletter, the external quarterly magazine, the internal blog on the intranet, or the external blog on your Web site.

Some of these publications might be tightly controlled, so you might have to work hard to persuade their managers to accept other contributions, let alone contributions from "junior" people. But it's worth the effort, not only for your team members, but also for the organisation as a whole.

Don't limit your thinking to the written word. They could present (or co-present) at meetings, deliver training courses, publish videos, and present webinars.

2. Build their authority

Some team members will be so keen about speaking up that they want to become an authority in their own right. Give them a platform of their own, beyond just being a contributor to a shared platform. The focus shifts from "This month's newsletter has an article by Shamini about our supply chain process" to "Shamini is an authority on supply chain management, and we're proud to host her blog on our Web site".

This might take even more effort to get approved, but again it's worth it. Having a reputation as an organisation that fosters thought leadership is good for everybody.

3. Support their existing platforms

Some team members will already have a strong online presence. If that is aligned with your team or organisation, help them develop it further.

For example, Gillian might be passionate about women in leadership, and already has a blog, Facebook page, and YouTube channel about that topic. Any leader in any organisation can support this, especially if you work in a male-dominated industry.

Look for ways to support her – for example, giving her time to work on this passion, finding conferences and events for her to attend (or present at), showcasing some of her work in your internal publications, and so on.

Be careful not to "take over" her platform. You can invite her to contribute to internal publications, but don't force her to bring everything under the organisation's umbrella. If she's passionate enough to have built a following, she's passionate about it being hers. Support her in continuing to build her expertise and authority, and you will benefit anyway.

Which of these ideas can you use?

If your team is busy and fighting to keep to tight deadlines, you might wonder how you can spare the time for your team members to also be writing, blogging, or recording videos. But don't think of this as taking time away from their other work; think of it as adding energy and motivation. These team members are passionate and motivated to share their ideas, and that passion and motivation flows over into their other work as well.

Want to know more about developing judgement and wisdom in your team members?

There's more in the Judgement chapter of my book "The Future of Leadership". This chapter looks at how you can give your team members broader and deeper experience.

If you're interested in the future of leadership - and what it means for you - this book is for you.

Saturday, November 28, 2015

I'm looking for more people who don't normally talk to me

The clients I mentor are salt of the earth people who work bloody hard. They're highly successful yet always looking to be better.

​But...​ most are reluctant to seek outside help.

​Thats's why generally I only get to meet my clients via referral from people who don't easily refer because they don't want their friends/family/colleagues to know ​that at some point - even months or years earlier - ​they've brought in outside help!​ Can you imagine trying to make it in your own in top flight sport?​ Unthinkable, right? So why would that make sense in your business?

We can all benefit greatly from a fresh pair of eyes taking a look at our business from time to time.

In 'The most important things this chief executive has learned after 20 years running a $200 million business' CEO Garry Browne says: Have a mentor or a confidant you can talk to about absolutely anything from a business perspective. Don’t be shy, because no-one is an island.

Just so you know, I'm reluctant to ask for outside help too.

Yet I'm very glad that I do. Currently I'm being stretched and highly valuing it in working with my mentors Nick Haines and Matthew Newnham.

I'm also highly valuing being in a master-mind group with my colleagues Gihan Perera, Alicia Curtis, and Dr. Jenny Brockis where we're working on being better in the speaking aspects of our businesses.

The Power of "One Great Idea"​

​Over the past few months, I've held "One Great Idea" sessions with a wide variety of inspiring business leaders, and they all tell me how valuable these sessions have been. In fact, typically, they value them in the tens of thousands of dollars. I'd like you to get the same benefit - at zero risk. Here's how...

​We meet online or in person for 1 hour​, off the record​. I guarantee to generate one idea worth at least $5000 to your business. In exchange for that guaranteed $5000 value to your business, my fee for these sessions is just $500, payable in advance. And, to ensure this is totally risk-free for you, I will refund your fee immediately should you feel I didn't provide you with at least $5000 in value. Should we agree to work together in the next 90 days the fee becomes a credit against future work.

To ​find out if this is right for you, or to cut to the chase and ​schedule your "One Great Idea" session​,​ ​just telephone me on +61 418 807 898.

If an off-the-record chat is not for you right now please consider my Monday Morning Momentum and People, Process, and Profit Monthly Intensives. These are complimentary and exclusive for time poor people who register. Find out more and register here.

Be remarkable.

Thursday, November 19, 2015

The Troublemakers Will Inherit The Earth

The Troublemakers Will Inherit The EarthWe used to say "There's no 'I' in 'Team'". But that's changed now. Your team members have unique talents, individual goals, and innovative ideas. They want you to be their mentor, not just their manager. They want work that gives them meaning, not just money. They want to know what's going on – not just in their tiny corner of the organisation, but everywhere – because they might be able to help. They will happily share their knowledge of social media, technology, and online culture – if you ask. They might already have built a thriving following outside work, and will gladly partner with you – if you're the right fit for them.

That's why there is an 'I' in "Team" now. Your power comes from each person in your team, not only from the team as a whole. Tap into the power of those individuals and you'll build a strong, vibrant team.

That's why we also need a new kind of leadership. Now, the most successful leaders understand that people follow you because of who you are, not because of your job title; individuals perform best when you recognise and value their unique skills; and your teams aren’t restricted to just the people inside the four walls of your office.

Not all leaders will rise to this challenge. If you call your people "resources", define their roles by their job descriptions, see them as interchangeable parts in a machine, or view your Generation Y employees as demanding and self-absorbed, you won't be able to make this work. It's about embracing the talents and skills of the individuals in your team, and you can't do that if you expect them to just do as they are told.

You also have to be able to work with unreasonable people. As George Bernard Shaw said:

"The reasonable man adapts himself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to himself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable man."

The team members who are unreasonable, contrarian, difficult, challenging, argumentative, and sceptical might be the best people in your team.

Of course, this isn't always the case. Not every unreasonable person is a genius, nor is every quiet plodder incapable of a creative idea. But start by looking at your most "difficult" people from a different perspective.

You might have a new father who keeps pestering you to let him work from home, a senior manager who wants to spend one day a week supporting development work in Africa, a young team member who posts funny but caustic videos about his work life on YouTube, and a technology-crazy person who wants to hook up her tablet to the company network (even though it's not authorised). They might create short-term headaches, but if you can see beyond that, they can lead the way in virtual work, corporate social responsibility, social media, and IT infrastructure, respectively.

Can you embrace - not just tolerate - these people? If so, you might be just the sort of leader we need today. [iteam]

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Exclusive content and opportunity for unique human to human connection

Choosing what to read, view, and listen to today can feel overwhelming. LinkedIn is now reportedly the largest publishing house on the planet. Then there’s Twitter, YouTube, millions of blogs, and a myriad of other options. I am sure that you, like me, have become very selective.

With the above in mind I’ve decided to reduce the number of my broad offerings here and elsewhere and focus on providing a select group of people with exclusive insights and opportunity for human to human connection.

Introducing Monday Morning Momentum, and Monthly People, Process, and Profit Intensives

Every Monday commencing January 4th 2016, I'll be sharing my discoveries on topics you request. Recognising you’re time poor I’ll be presenting succinct insights in 5 minutes or less via video and visual.

Each insight will be in the spirit of three concepts I have discovered with my clients are foundational to success: 
less but better, 
creating more leaders, 
and focusing on one quantum leap at a time.

Then at the end of each month via live web TV I'll engage with you in a Q&A intensive where we'll explore topics in more detail to assist you in taking action in your own way. There'll be a simple separate registration for the intensives so that you can post your questions (anonymously if you wish) in advance.

The above offering is for you should your dream in 2016 be to have a highly respected, profitable, and growing business, and still have have a vital and fulfilling personal life.

Find out more and register here. 

As soon as you register you'll be able to download my best-selling Changing What's Normal book or an alternative resource should you already have the book.

Once you've registered I'll be in touch to ask you what topics you'd love me to explore.

Best remarkable.

Saturday, November 14, 2015

These three are fundamental for remarkable leadership

Purpose, role, and communication skills stand out for me as fundamental for remarkable leadership.

Almost 100 years ago Mary Parker Follett nailed the true purpose of real leadership for me.

Purpose (why, intention, reason) precede role. 

In their great book Bill Conaty and Ram Charan state:

Talent will be the big differentiator between companies that succeed and those that don’t.

I couldn’t agree more.

They also state:

Talent masters understand the subtleties that differentiate people.

Bill Conaty and Ram Charan also state:
The enlightened CEO recognizes that his top priority for the future is building and deploying the talent that will get it there.

Talent is another word for gift. My life’s work is to help business owners and leaders become maestro's of gift/talent enhancement - the number one role of leadership and the key to fulfilling the purpose.

To excel at purpose and role real leaders are forever improving their communication skills. This means a presence 1:1 and in small and large groups.

Great questions to ask yourself and your employees regularly:

How can I do better in fulfilling the purpose and number one role of leadership?
What more can I do to be a remarkable communicator 1:1 and in small and large groups?

Ask your employees
What suggestion do your have for me that will enable me to better fulfill the purpose and number one role of leadership?

What suggestion do you have for me that would help me to become a better communicator?

Be remarkable.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

Innovation is Everybody's Business

Innovation is Everybody's BusinessIn the past, when most organisations could rely on a few innovations a year, innovation was considered to be only the role of a Research & Development department. Now, when your organisation is more complex, employees have more ideas, and the external environment is changing so fast, innovation is everybody's responsibility.

This is not a new idea, but it's more popular now than ever before. Broadly, it's called "Employee Driven Innovation", and is adopted by organisations in different ways, such as Kaizen (the Japanese process of continuous improvement), employee suggestion programs, and innovation communities. Even if your organisation doesn't have one of these formal programs, you can foster innovation within your team.

Innovation isn't always about massive changes, like iPhones, Google, or driverless cars. Regardless of your team's role, there are always opportunities for improvement, and your team members are often best placed to suggest these improvements. They could be as simple as removing an unnecessary step from a process, simplifying a form, changing a customer interaction, tapping into social networks, using a new software tool, or saving five minutes on a repetitive task. That's innovation, and it doesn't require a formal program or an R&D department.

By encouraging innovation, you not only improve your workplace, you also increase employee engagement. In an environment where employees have more choices, greater flexibility, and less loyalty, it's increasingly difficult to get, motivate and keep the best people. If you can give those people the chance to apply their skills and talents to innovation, you can keep them motivated and engaged. It blends innovation and employee engagement in a way that's attractive to your brightest team members. These are the people who believe they can make a difference, and might already be making a difference outside work. Now you give them the chance to also do it at work. [iteam-innovation]

Sunday, November 1, 2015

The one thing Kiwi's and Wallabies didn't have in common

This is a sequel to my previous post The one thing Kiwi's and Wallabies have in common.

Firstly I congratulate The All Blacks on winning the Rugby World Cup yesterday, the first team to win three, and the first to win back to back (4 years apart).

A long term plan and the willingness and ability to execute it I believe was the key differentiator in the end. 

A year ago the Wallabies were in disarray, so they do deserve credit for going as fas as they did.

With the benefit of hindsight they were unlikely to be able to stay the distance with an All Blacks team (players, coaches, and many others) consciously, carefully, and methodically executing a plan with everyone knowing and owning their role and fulfilling it.

I've always said worry is a wasted emotion. You have to plan for some of these things. We knew we could possibly have someone in the bin at some stage, so it's just a matter of making sure you have everyone knowing what they have to do.
All Blacks coach Steve Hansen as quoted in this article.

The image above featuring Hansen and captain Riche McCaw from Getty suggests to me a calmness about and an ownership of roles.

In my 25 years as a mentor for business owners and leaders the greatest work done by my clients has been:

a willingness to identify the value that needs to be delivered to all stakeholders,
create roles without people in mind that deliver such value,
match people to roles,
and provide people with whatever inspiration, support, encouragement etc etc that is needed for them to fulfill their role.

What lessons can you learn from the All Blacks (and the Wallabies!) and imitate them in your own way for the long term success of your business?

Be remarkable.

Saturday, October 31, 2015

The one thing Kiwi's and Wallabies have in common

The Rugby World Cup final (4 pm GMT Saturday October 31st) will be the first time New Zealand and Australia, both world champions on two occasions, have met in the deciding game.

As an Aussie my allegiance is obvious. We have never minded being the Underdogs. In fact we thrive on it. The All Blacks, who I have great respect for, will be wary of being the favourites.

For the record I expect New Zealand will win because I think the sentiment around this reportedly being the last game for legendary captain Richie McCaw, will give the All Blacks an edge. I won’t be surprised though if Australia wins for the same reason - the All Blacks may just try (no pun intended) too hard.

Regardless of who wins I have observed something both sides have in common that I think is a key to their greatness as it is with all remarkable teams - the coaches genuinely care for their players as people.

Star player David Pocock says the following here about his Wallabies coach Michael Cheika.
“Playing against his Waratahs teams for the Brumbies for a couple of years, I heard lots of stories. Now, I see a different side to him. He demands a lot but he really cares for the players.”

Humility is something I also notice about Michael Cheika.

The same can be said for All Blacks coach Steve Hansen who says in this interview:

“We want to be humble, grateful men and women for being part of it.”

I suspect both these coaches have accepted the challenge of leadership as expressed by Jim Rohn.

Which one stands true to this challenge, particularly when the game is at it’s hottest may well turn out to be game changer.

Be remarkable.
PS I'm not such a diehard fan that I’ll watch the game live, given 4 pm GMT/London is 2 am my time. I will awake curious to find out not just who won, more importantly who/what were the game-changers?, because in them will be remarkable lessons for leaders.

Thursday, October 22, 2015

I Want My Life Back

I’m sure that you, like me, are already having conversations with family, friends, and colleagues about the Christmas holidays. And it’s not all rosy in the garden.

This is what I’m hearing:

“I can't wait to be with my wife and kids, I’ve hardly seen them this year and I’m in the doghouse.”

“I’ve been flat out like a lizard drinking, and I need to come up for air.”

“If I don’t have a week off soon, I’m gonna go f’ing crazy. The holidays can’t come quick enough. The money’s been great but life’s been a bit sh.t”

In short, people are saying … their success at work is costing them too much.

As a response to this I’m running a special ‘I Want My Life Back Clinic'. 

This complimentary clinic is on a first come first served basis.

Since I know you’re probably under the pump, this will only be for 30 minutes, and it will totally be worth your time.

We’ll identify who or what isn’t supporting you in achieving the business results and life-style you want.

I’ll help you clarify an action to take to reduce your immediate stress to make sure you can enjoy your time off. And give you analysis of the wider issue to take you out of this situation for good.

These clinics will run throughout November (unless by special arrangement).

Our conversation will be 100% confidential and strictly between you and me.

If you want one of these sessions, just email and I'll be in touch.

Best remarkable.

Thursday, October 15, 2015

The #1 Mistake Even Good Trainers Make

The #1 Mistake Even Good Trainers MakeIf you’re a trainer, facilitator or workshop presenter, you might have discovered that your clients now expect more from you than just your training course. The traditional corporate training workshop is still common today, but you’ve got to offer more than just turning up, delivering your material, and walking out. Unfortunately, most trainers are still so focussed on their own material they forget the client’s big picture.

There’s still a place for in-person training courses, but they also have their limitations: Course content becomes out of date quickly, courses are scheduled only when there are enough participants and resources (trainers, budgets, and work schedules), everybody learns the same material regardless of their prior knowledge, and training costs a lot in lost productivity.

There’s one other big problem …

The other big flaw with the traditional corporate training course is that it’s good for developing skills, but not for sharing experience (and the wisdom that comes from experience). The modern workplace still needs skills training, of course – and that’s why they bring you in as a trainer. But it also needs ways for leaders and managers to accelerate the experience cycle of their teams. That generally doesn’t come from training alone, but the things that happen around the training. In fact, some research suggests about 90% of their development will happen outside the traditional training course.

That 90% includes things like mentoring, shadowing, group work, coaching, sponsoring, and other on-the-job experiences. As an external trainer or facilitator, you might not have the chance to be directly involved in these areas (because they are largely internal rather than external). But you should still be aware of them, and make your offerings fit in to them.

Your training course is not the only learning and development the organisation is doing for their people (unless it’s purely a “tick the box” compliance task – and who wants to be doing that sort of training anyway?). It’s just one part of their ongoing development, so you can get more traction if you align it with their broader programs.

For example, here are five other things an organisation or leader might be doing:

  1. Shadowing: Team members “tag along” with more experienced people (such as their manager) on various activities, observing what they do, and having a discussion and debrief afterwards.
  2. Case studies: Teams use case studies to explore typical scenarios they might face in the future.
  3. Online courses: Individual team members enrol in free or paid online courses to learn specific skills (but without having to wait for the organisation to provide the resources to run a training course).
  4. Student as teacher: Somebody attends a training course and then presents what they learn to the rest of the team. This embeds the learning for the first student and shares the knowledge with the rest of the team.
  5. Mentoring: People can get involved in mentoring programs – either a formal program offered by the organisation, or informal mentoring arranged by motivated people.

If an organisation truly believes these things make up 90% of somebody’s learning, it’s probably not surprising they don’t give a high priority to the other 10%. And that includes your training program.

How do you tap into that 90%?

Even if you can’t do some of those activities in the 90%, you can still integrate your programs with them. Often, all it takes is a simple conversation with your client. Ask where your training course fits into the overall learning and development, discuss what you can do together to tailor the training to fit, and plan what further actions the client will take to embed the learning.

For example:

  1. Shadowing: When somebody learns a new skill in a training course, how can they shadow somebody using that skill in the workplace?
  2. Case studies: After people attend a training course, ask them to facilitate a case study for the rest of the team, where they apply the skills they learned to the problem in the case study.
  3. Online learning: After a training course, identify online courses that takes them to the next level. If you have your own online courses, of course you will recommend them; but also research the many other options available now from other providers.
  4. Presentations: After somebody attends a training course, ask them to teach it to the rest of the team.
  5. Mentoring: If participants are also involved in a mentoring program, ask them to follow up with their mentors to share their training experience and ask for advice in applying it.

Don’t assume every participant will want the same thing. Everybody is different, and will want their own way of embedding the learning. If you have a small group, you and the client can design specific follow-up activities for each person.

Some of these follow-up activities won’t get you any extra work directly. But that’s not the point. You demonstrate your awareness of the big picture, build confidence in the client that your training will have a real effect, and position yourself differently from most other trainers and presenters.

Want to know more about accelerating the experience curve in your team?

There's more in the Development chapter of my book "There's An I in Team". This chapter looks at what’s available beyond the traditional corporate training course – including shadowing, case studies, facilitation, mentoring, and online training

If you’re interested in tapping into the power and potential of the people in your team, this book is for you.

Monday, October 12, 2015

"Human beings are not a resource"

I recreated the slide below from Raj Sisodia's TEDx talk.

Is this how you see the world?

A key for me is what Raj says at the 19 minute mark of his talk - "Human beings are not a resource."

Everything we know about change has changed except one thing - how we humans feel. We embrace change when we feel it will make our lives better and resist change when we feel it won't.

The one thing you can begin to do right now that will have the greatest impact on your life and your business is to "unleash human ingenuity."

What will you do next?

Be remarkable.

Friday, October 9, 2015

Give people freedom - one quantum leap at a time

Freedom is what everyone wants.

A key question is How is your business giving people (employees and customers/clients) freedom?

People want to be free from
Perceived unnecessary compliance
Bosses/leaders/managers who want to be in control
Corporations or any Institution seen as out of touch or disrespectful of individual and human rights
Being told what to do

I could make a long list.

Ask your employees and your customers/clients: What would you most love to be free from? 

Act on their answer.

My best advice is to take action one quantum leap at a time.

Be remarkable.

PS Would an online library of short, succinct client stories be valuable to you?

As is the case in the majority of my posts what I'm recommending you do has come from real world experiences with my clients. 

This post for example was inspired by a conversation with a client this week who when I asked him "How's things going?" replied "I feel like I'm in a jail trapped by a million and one things." I then asked the question that I've tried, tested, and proven and asked many, many times whenever it's been appropriate, "What would you most love to be free from?" 

What followed this week was a short conversation that led to my client to deciding on a quantum leap he could take straight away to free himself from his feelings of overwhelm.

I've been contemplating for some time about providing an online resource centre you could access with my compliments whenever you wish that would contain short, succinct stories of simple yet profound solutions to the every day challenges you're facing in your business. If you believe this would be of great value to you please say so with a comment below or if you wish to remain anonymous please email

I'll be taking whatever action responses dictate. Thank You in advance for your help.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Non-conformists please step forward

Are you surrounded by people who see the world differently than you do?

Are you embracing this diversity of feeling and thinking?

Despite your differences, and more importantly, because of them, are you all highly skilled at sustaining shared-view?

Be remarkable.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Emulate Hawthorn and immediately improve your business

Two days ago the Hawthorn Football Club won their third successive Australian Football League premiership. This feat has only been achieved 6 times in the history of the AFL.

I'm not a supporter of the club. I do admire them greatly.

Their Play Your Role campaign is one action you can emulate and immediately improve your business.

For a quarter of a century I've been helping my clients to dispense with job descriptions and replace them with role clarity statements. It all began when I met Bill.

Bill's story

I first met Bill in the early nineties. I was in the early days of doing discovery work into how I could best help Bill's organisation. This meant meeting with lots of people in the offices and factory.

I began to notice that each time I exited a conversation Bill was close by leaning on his broom.

Soon curiosity got the better of me and so I made a beeline for Bill. After explaining who I was and what I was doing I asked Bill "So what's your role?" "I thought you'd never ask me." he replied and then said "I'm the Assistant to the Managing Director.

Bill's job was Head Cleaner. His role was of far greater significance.

I invested several hours with Bill and learned everything I needed to know about the organisation. Included in what I learned from Bill were two insights he had previously passed on to the management team that they had failed to act on. When they did take action the bottom-line improved by 4 million dollars!

What have your employees been sharing with you lately that you haven't yet acted on?!

Like the Hawthorn Football Club every person working in your business has a key role. Not just the star players, every human being. If you're focused on a few and not the many you're missing a magic opportunity in your business as I explore here.

When everyone is playing their role you win.

One simple yet profound action

Begin today to have conversations with your employees about their roles.
Over time get rid of job descriptions and replace them with role clarity statements.

Here's some further reading to help you to take action. There's a template for role clarity in the second article.

Your work is not your job.

Dispense with job descriptions and watch your people soar.

Be remarkable.

PS Maybe I can help you to take action.

Call me on +61 418 807 898 to arrange an off-the-record chat.

When we talk I promise to give you one-great idea.

Of course, if we’re a great fit for each other and you’d like to discuss how we could work together going forward, fantastic.

On the other hand, if either of us decides we’re not a great fit, no worries – you’ll still get top value from me that you can use straight away.

(And just so you know, I don’t do ‘hard sell’. That’s not what I believe works for effective change, so it would be against my own integrity for me to even go there.)

So if that all sounds like a great fit for you and your situation, let’s have that off-the-record chat, shall we?

I've been contemplating for some time about providing an online resource centre you could access with my compliments whenever you wish that would contain short, succinct stories (like the one above) of simple yet profound solutions to the every day challenges you're facing in your business.

If you believe this would be of great value to you please say so with a comment below or if you wish to remain anonymous please email

I'll be taking whatever action responses dictate. Thank You in advance for your help.

Thursday, October 1, 2015

The Future of Healthcare - Free Webinar

The Future of HealthcareEvery industry is facing change, but none more so than healthcare. Big data, predictive analytics and the consumerisation of healthcare are just a few of the trends affecting the way we will look at healthcare in the future. In this webinar, I’ll share some of the biggest changes that we’ll see now, soon and in the future.

When: Thursday 15th October, 8-8.30am WA time, 11-11.30am AEDT, 1-1.30pm NZ time

Register Now

This webinar will be recorded, and the recording will be available to everybody who registers.

The Future Proof Webinar Series

This webinar is part of my Future Proof webinar series, which will keep you in touch with our future – what’s ahead, what it means for us, and how to stay ahead of the game.

In each webinar, I’ll cover an important topic about the future – for example, the shift of power to Asia, the changing workplace, healthcare technology, the shift to customer-centric business, big data, and more. This is not just theory; I’ll also give you practical examples and ideas for you to future-proof your organisation, teams, and career.

Here are six compelling reasons to attend the Future Proof webinar series:

  1. You’ll understand how the Internet is affecting your world, which means you can take advantage of the opportunities and avoid the risks and threats.
  2. You’ll be consistently getting updates on what has changed, so you don’t fall behind.
  3. You’ll be learning what most of your competitors are not learning, so you get a competitive edge.
  4. You get the chance to ask me questions live on the webinar, so you get your questions answered. I won’t hold anything back – I’ll answer in as much detail as I can in the time available
  5. You tap into my 15+ years of experience in helping people understand the future, so you’ll learn from real businesses and get practical, relevant ideas.
  6. There’s some really cool stuff happening! So attend the webinar series and I’ll show you what’s on the horizon – for both your personal and professional life.


When you register, you’ll get automatic e-mail reminders before each webinar, so you don’t miss any. You’re registering for the entire series, but there’s no obligation to attend every webinar (of course).

Register here

(On that page, you can also see the webinar time in your own time zone)

Friday, September 18, 2015

What to do today to overcome change fatigue

I’ve been taking a really hard look at the uncertainty and overwhelm we face.

Right now, the cost, time and stress of people and performance related issues is higher than I have ever seen it since I began working as a mentor for business owners and leaders 25 years ago.

Some business leaders are worrying about the threat of recession, others political inaction. Some leaders are losing sleep through fear of being disrupted in some way. Many leaders are worrying about all three.

Astute leaders are having conversations and making decisions about something else entirely. I'm naming it the Darth Vader in the way of increased and sustainable momentum - change fatigue.

Vast numbers of people are suffering from this dis-ease. Failure to address it will kill your business.

Find out what you can to do today here.

Be remarkable.

Thursday, September 17, 2015

Your #1 Innovation Threat: Your Brain

Your #1 Innovation Threat: Your BrainObviously we all use our brains, but one things leaders do especially well with their brains is pattern matching. We’re great at seeing, recognising and acting on patterns in the world – and that gives us valuable insights, judgement, and wisdom.

A lot of what we call intuition comes from pattern matching – even if it’s subconscious. For example, you get a routine e-mail from one of your team members about a task she’s working on. It looks like a fairly simple e-mail, just reporting on an interaction with another team member. But you know she’s upset. There’s nothing obvious in the e-mail, but subconsciously you spot something there that’s different from her normal e-mails – in other words, something that doesn’t match her usual pattern.

Or you’re making a presentation to a group, and you stop for questions. You look around the room, and even before somebody raises their hand, you know they’re going to ask a question. You call on them, and they are amazed – because perhaps they didn’t even decide themselves to ask the question! But you spotted something in their posture, or a microexpression on their face, or a tiny change that crossed your subconscious mind and registered as a pattern.

Pattern matching is great because it fast-tracks our decision making. If we drive a different car for the first time, we get the hang of it quickly because most of the features are exactly the same. If we eat at a new restaurant, we broadly recognise most of the items on the menu, even if we’ve never seen exactly those items before. When we recruit somebody new into the team, we have a pretty good idea what they need to know in their induction program.

Pattern matching is a double-edged sword.

Although pattern matching is very useful, it can also get us into trouble, especially in a world that’s changing fast. Some of the patterns that used to serve us can sometimes hold us back – and perhaps even harm us.

Here’s a quick puzzle:

Maria’s father has five daughters: 1. Chacha 2. Cheche 3. Chichi 4. Chocho, and … What is the fifth daughter’s name?

The answer is … (drum roll, please) … Maria. If you said Chuchu, as many people do, that’s because you fell into the pattern matching trap.

Here are three more puzzles (answers at the end of this article):

Puzzle 1: A cricket bat and ball together cost $11. The bat costs $10 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

Puzzle 2: If five men can paint five walls in five minutes, how long does it take for 10 men to paint 10 walls?

Puzzle 3: A fish weighs 500g plus half its weight. How much does it weigh?

Here’s a real-world example.

When I mentor leaders and presenters who are using webinars for the first time, I often find that the more experience you have as a presenter, the more difficult it is to run your first webinar! That’s because the webinar environment is so different, and some of the patterns you have learned don’t work. For example:

  • You don’t have those subconscious cues that somebody is about to ask a question.
  • You don’t get friendly smiles and nods from the audience when you make a point.
  • You can’t tell whether your attempts at humour are working or not, because you can’t hear people laughing (or not!)
  • You don’t know whether people are paying attention or not, because you can’t judge from their eyes or posture.

Ironically, less experienced presenters often do better, because they have never learned these patterns. So they just get on with it, and do just fine. But experienced presenters sometimes feel unnerved by it.

So pattern matching is a double-edged sword. It can be powerful and it can be dangerous.

How did you do with those puzzles?

Here are the answers to the three puzzles I posed earlier:

  1. A cricket bat and ball together cost $11. The bat costs $10 more than the ball. How much does the ball cost?

    The obvious answer is $1, and that’s what your pattern-matching brain might say because it sees the $11 and $10 and jumps to a shortcut. But that’s wrong. If you do the maths, the ball is actually 50 cents and the bat is $10.50.

  2. If five men can paint five walls in five minutes, how long does it take for 10 men to paint 10 walls?

    Again, if you just used a pattern-matching shortcut, you might say 10 minutes. That’s the obvious pattern, right (5-5-5 should match 10-10-10)? But the correct answer is 5 minutes. If five men can paint 5 walls in 5 minutes, it takes 5 minutes for a man to paint a wall. So if there are 10 men and 10 walls, it still takes 5 minutes. If there are 1,000 men and 1,000 walls, it still takes 5 minutes.

  3. A fish weighs 500g plus half its weight. How much does it weigh?

    Again, if you used a pattern-matching shortcut, you might take the 500g and add half of that – which is 250g – to come up with the answer 750g. But again that’s not right. The correct answer is 1kg, and this time I’ll let you figure out why!

Beware the pattern matching trap!

As leaders, it’s tempting to take shortcuts based on patterns we have seen in the past. This is often useful, but it’s sometimes risky. If you want to be more innovative, more flexible, and future-proof your career, your team, and your organisation, be careful not to get caught in the pattern matching trap.

Want to know more about innovation?

There's more in the Innovation chapter of my book "There's An I in Team". This chapter looks at how you can foster innovation in your team and make it part of your regular work.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power and potential of the people in your team, this book is for you.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

15 Instant Innovation Questions to Future-Proof Your Business

Instant Innovation Questions to Future-Proof Your BusinessIn the past, when most organisations could rely on a few innovations a year, innovation was considered to be only the role of a Research & Development department. Now, when your organisation is more complex, employees have more ideas, and the external environment is changing so fast, innovation is everybody’s responsibility. If you’re running your own business, of course this has always been the case!

Sometimes innovation is forced on you because of outside factors – like digital music destroying the CD industry, Uber tackling the taxi industry, and even review sites like TripAdvisor changing every hospitality business. But why wait until somebody else changes your business? It’s far better to be proactive and look for ways to change it yourself.

You could just sit around and wait for magic moments of insight, but that could take a long time! A better approach is to “seed” ideas by asking provocative questions.

Involve your team.

Don’t just do this yourself, either – involve everybody in your team. In fact, this is where your team members shine, because they look at things in different ways. They come from different backgrounds, have different skills, are different ages, follow different trends, tolerate (or don’t tolerate) different things, and so on. They often see things others can’t see and make connections others don’t make.

Here are fifteen questions you can ask to spark innovation in your business.

Work more closely with customers

Your customers and clients are your best marketing experts, because they already know why customers buy from you! What’s more, they now have more influence than ever before, so it just makes sense to involve them more in your business. For example:

  1. What if they trusted us more? If you’re in an industry with a poor reputation, how can you build trust?
  2. How can we remove intermediaries? Can you reach customers directly, even if it means risking relationships with your traditional “middle men”?
  3. How can we connect customers to each other? Don’t only think of customers connecting with you; also give them ways to connect with each other – by hosting online forums, discussion groups, and support networks.
  4. What if we could help customers sell on our behalf? Your best customers and clients want to promote you to their network. What are you doing to help them? Do you pay a referral fee, send thank-you gifts for referrals, or run customer events and ask them to bring a friend?
  5. What if we could help our competition sell more? sells books at retail prices, but also promotes independent book shops selling the same book for a lower price. Some customers will choose the cheaper option, but it’s still better for to have them as a potential customer.

Learn from other organisations

You might be able to tap into things other people are doing – even outside your industry. For example:

  1. What are other industries doing? When Belinda Yabsley created the first Mercedes-Benz Airport Express in Australia, she turned to the hotel industry, not the car industry, for inspiration. How can you tap into other industries?
  2. What is the rest of the world doing? You might be doing the best you can, but what can you learn from the best in the world? Keep in mind that “world” means anybody outside your current scope of operations. For example, if you work in local government, the “world” can be as near as your neighbouring local council or as far as South America.
  3. What are trendy start-up companies and entrepreneurs doing? Start-up companies don’t have the baggage of experienced organisations, and are more likely to take risks by trying new things. What are they doing that you can adopt?

Observe consumer behaviour

Finally, watch what consumers in general (not just your own customers and clients) are doing. The best ideas might come from completely unexpected places, and they won’t necessarily need a huge investment of time and money. For example:

  1. What are the young people doing nowadays? What are the latest trends, memes, and “hot” things from popular culture? They might seem superficial and shallow, but can they spark ideas?
  2. What trends can we leverage? Russia’s Alfa-Bank rewards customers who exercise by giving them a higher interest rate on their deposits. Can you tap into trends and fashions – even outside your industry?
  3. What old ideas could we use again? Edward de Bono once suggested that a fruitful way to find new ideas was to trawl through lapsed patents, looking for ideas that failed because they were before their time. Your older team members in particular might be able to share discarded ideas from decades ago that could be useful now.
  4. What’s personal that could be professional? Smartphones and tablets were personal devices before they became work devices; Facebook is for personal use but can be used to make professional connections; business class air travel grew out of a need to provide something more affordable than first class luxury travel. What is happening in personal lives that you could use in your organisation?
  5. What’s so funny? In the 1990s, Japanese inventor Kenji Kawakami coined the term “Chindogu” to describe things that are “not exactly useful, but somehow not altogether useless”. Although it was done for fun, some of these “unuseless inventions” turned out to be useful products – such as the selfie stick.
  6. What if this was more social? How can you tap into the power of social networks for ideas, leads, referrals, feedback, and support?
  7. What if this was more local? Do your systems unnecessarily involve “head office” or other parts of the hierarchy? As a result, are they too broad, too generic, too convoluted, or missing out on local knowledge?

What will you do differently?

If you ask just one question a week – for example, at your weekly staff meeting, or just privately for yourself – you’ll be way ahead of most businesses. More importantly, you’ll be creating an innovation mindset in yourself and your team – and that will help to future-proof your business.

Want to know more about innovation?

There's more in the Innovation chapter of my book "There's An I in Team". This chapter looks at how you can foster innovation in your team and make it part of your regular work.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power and potential of the people in your team, this book is for you.

Monday, August 31, 2015

11 questions to answer to increase and sustain momentum in your business

There's greater than usual volatility in world stock markets at the moment. It's a reminder that having your life's savings only in stocks is always a gamble. (A gamble by the way that I don't personally take). It's also a reminder as I heard one commentator say, that the stock market is not the real economy.

In a conversation with a client last week (a medium sized family business in the real economy and not tied to the post of the stock market) I drew the following diagram

I then explored with my client the 11 questions people in his business need to answer with actions in order to increase and sustain momentum, regardless of what the stock market is or isn't doing or any other factors where people have no real influence.

1) How high are the levels of positive and productive energy in all the interactions and transactions of the business?

2) Is leadership leading to more people leading?

3) How can processes, policies, procedures, practices and systems mean it's more simple for people to bring their very best to their work every day?

4) What changes need to be made to ensure that leadership and management are resulting in greater effectiveness and efficiency?

5) How can the ways we lead and manage better result in people taking it on themselves to be accountable?

6) What more can we do that means we're different, better, or more unique than our competitors?

7) How well are we solving the problems of our employees and customers?

8) What more can we do that helps to solve the problems and challenges of the world?

9) How much do people feel better as a consequence of doing business with us?

10) How can we become more of whom we're capable of becoming?

11) Can we dream bigger? How much more is possible if we set our aim higher?

How would people at your place answer these questions?

Be remarkable.

Monday, August 24, 2015

So what did you achieve this week?

This weeks sparkenation.

Here and here last week I suggested you should have revolutionary goals and then take evolutionary steps towards achieving them (one quantum leap at a time).

So what did you achieve this week?

What did you hear? What did you do?

Be remarkable.

More below to help you to be accountable to yourself

Where do you stand on the accountability ladder?

"Discipline is the bridge between thought and accomplishment."

Thursday, August 20, 2015

Are You Driving Your Staff to Distraction? Beat Your Office's Biggest Productivity Threat

Are You Driving Your Staff to Distraction?When do you get your best work done? Is it when you shut yourself off in a meeting room, work from home for some peace and quiet, or sit in a café for a couple of hours? If you’re lucky enough to choose your work environment, you can choose what works well for you.

But what if you’re office-bound? Whatever works for you, I bet the best work environment is not when you’re sitting in a crowded office, surrounded by people who interrupt you and e-mail that distracts you. And if that’s true for you, it’s probably true for your team members as well. And they probably have even less control over their work environment.

The traditional office has its place.

The traditional office still has many advantages: easy and fast access to colleagues, a more collaborative feel, and trust built through personal connections. However, it also tends to impose some inflexibility and rigidity, such as regular working hours, regular work days, a fixed work location, uninspiring furniture and fittings, expected work patterns, a uniform dress standard, IT policies about hardware and software, and HR policies about training and development.

Even if you can’t control every office rule and policy, consider what you can do to accommodate your team members. Some flexibility might be completely within your authority, some might simply need permission, and some – if it’s important enough – is worth fighting for.

Here are five areas where you can consider being more flexible for your team members.

1. Give them more work “places”.

Outside the traditional office, workers are finding different places to work: home, cafes, shared offices, and co-working spaces. Even if team members spend most of their time at their own desks, consider some of these options as well.

Other workspaces can increase productivity (if they find a quieter space to work on a complex task), creativity (by stepping outside their usual environment), collaboration (by engaging with others), and personal satisfaction (for example, if they work from home one day a week for family reasons).

Ask your team members to suggest workspaces that suit them. Some people work effectively in a café because the low-level buzz of human activity helps them (and the Journal of Consumer Research suggests this is especially effective for being creative). Others find that same noise too distracting, and would rather go home an hour early to spend time with their children, and then make up that time after their children go to bed.

2. Offer flexible working hours.

Flexible working hours are not a new idea, but they are more valuable than ever, because your team members have so many other demands on their time. Parents with young families are the obvious example, but other people also appreciate the flexibility – for example, for being involved in a social cause, using a gym at off-peak times, and avoiding peak-hour traffic.

Discuss this as a team and agree on the best way to accommodate this flexibility – for example: Schedule all meetings between 10am and 3pm (to allow people to start work late or leave early), ask for 24 hours’ notice of absence, or use a shared team calendar to show everybody’s planned working hours each week.

3. Let them manage their energy.

It’s unreasonable to expect anybody to be fully focussed for the entire work day. A generation ago, workers took a break by going outside for a smoke; the modern equivalent could be checking Facebook, going for a walk, or even taking a nap.

They will be more productive if they take regular breaks, and only they know what kind of break works best for them. Respect their ability to understand and manage their own energy during the day, and resist the temptation to criticise them for doing so.

4. Investigate BYOD options.

Your team members use their smartphones, tablets and personal computers at home, and might want to use them at work as well. This concept is known as BYOD (Bring Your Own Device).

This is one area where you should be careful in exercising independent discretion, because there are legitimate concerns about IT security, data security, insurance, compatibility, legal requirements, and other issues . Be open to your team members’ requests, but check carefully with others in the organisation who are responsible for these areas.

5. Give them flexible learning options.

Many organisations still choose the traditional training workshop as the default learning option for their in-office staff. Although it might be the best option, there are others as well – such as online courses, mentoring, shadowing, and presenting.

Consider all of these options, and be open to the idea of looking outside the office. For example, many professional associations have mentoring programs for women, and that might be better for some of your team members than an internal mentor.

Which of these ideas can YOU use?

Despite the inflexibility, some people enjoy working in an office. They like the social interaction, discipline of fixed working hours, and mentally having a separate place where they “go to work”. However, many of them would still appreciate more flexibility if it was available.

What can you do to help them?

Want to know more about extending your workplace and teams?

There's more in the Workplace chapter of my book "There's An I in Team". In this chapter, we look at managing and facilitating the dynamics of different people in your workplace: in-office staff, telecommuters, contractors, and freelancers.

If you’re interested in tapping into the power and potential of the people in your team, this book is for you.