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Concise and practical management articles

In this section we have taken the latest in management thinking and condensed it into concise, easy-to-read articles, designed to help you turn theory into practice.

From our database of over 85,000 articles we handpick the most pertinent issues for today’s manager in order to provide an action-based insight into the world of business.

Critical leadership challenges: how to build a flexible and responsive organization

As organizations operate in an increasingly borderless world where work is performed across various cultures, geographies and time zones, modern strategies and approaches for effective, global leadership are a necessity. Yet, IBM's Global Chief Human Officer study (to which more than 700 HR executives and workforce strategists around the world contributed) reveals that organizations continue to struggle to resolve a number of critical leadership challenges.

Sporting lessons can help to forge business success admirer

The traditional view of sporting leaders is of controlling, authoritarian types who rule by fear. Sportsmen and women in any field will not, however, respond indefinitely to the stick. Once they realize that their boss has nothing more to offer and that they will be castigated whether they perform well or not, they will lose any incentive to raise their game

Forget the competency models: leadership starts with the leader

Leadership competency models, although apparently a good idea, hinder rather than help individuals in the development of their leadership capabilities. Given the sound history of modelling in so many other spheres and disciplines, it would seem that extending this kind of benchmarking to leadership ought to be beneficial. Yet this thinking is fundamentally flawed. Leadership competency models inhibit leadership development.

Leadership for a global future: commentary with Kenneth Mikkelsen

Kenneth Mikkelsen is Managing Director of the Denmark-based knowledge-brokering consultancy Controverse. He has written about Executive Development for more than a decade. He writes here that companies no longer internationalize - they globalize. This new reality leads to new dilemmas and challenges for companies when they develop leaders to operate on the global scene.

Flattery will get you everywhere: commentary with James Westphal

A study finds much to question about the way directors attain special influence in the corporate world by gaining seats on multiple boards. According to a survey of 760 directors, that success has a lot more to do with boardroom conformity, flattery, and favours than with activities on behalf of shareholders, such as providing advice to company executives or actively monitoring or controlling their decision-making.

The leader is his own mentor: commentary with Mette Vestergaard

Mette Vestergaard is the CEO of Denmark-based Mannaz A/S (formerly The Danish Leadership Institute). Mannaz is a European leader in developing innovative executive development solutions and training. She writes here about every top executive carrying a personal responsibility to renew and upgrade themselves in order to meet change in the market. And how self-awareness is one of the most crucial competencies you can develop as a top executive if you wish to be at the head of a healthy organization.

Leadership at a crossroads

Leaders may be just as much in the dark as those around them. Witnessing how his theory of the origin of species is being played out in today?s business world would probably have fascinated Charles Darwin if he was alive today.

The shift from push to pull management

What lessons do the CEOs of large established organizations need to learn to make continuous innovation a part of the firm's DNA? Instead of innovation and organizational learning being the responsibility of a few iconoclastic, courageous, and rare individuals or departments, it needs to become institutionalized as an organization-wide capability.

The flipside of perfectionism

It can be the enemy of company performance and growth. Steve Barry is Director of Strategic Marketing at Forum Corporation, a Boston-based work-place learning company which helps senior business leaders execute their company strategies through people. His work involves translating major research studies into new leadership development programmes.

Beating low-cost rivals

Christian Hagen is a principal with A.T. Kearney's IT Strategy Group and is based in Chicago. Advising clients in the financial services, high-tech, energy, and automotive industries, he specializes in helping companies leverage information technology to increase efficiencies, improve customer relationships and gain competitive advantage. He writes here about strategic responses to low-cost rivals.