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Project management shows participants how processes, methods, knowledge, skills and experience can be used to achieve specific goals.

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12 Tips for Handling Paperwork

Article Overview:
This article, from Clare Forrest, provides 12 great tips for managing the paper mountain!

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Article Overview:
This article, from Clare Forrest, provides 12 great tips for managing the paper mountain!

Opening Words:
1. Get your manager to write margin notes on letters. You can compose a reply with their comments.

2. Speed read through mail/reports etc. Highlight key points before handing to your manager. Collect any information needed for an answer and attach it to the original. Can't speed read? Contact us.

3. Reply by phone instead of letter wherever possible.

4. Always provide a summary to a lengthy report.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone who finds themselves dealing with a mountain of paperwork.

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Culture - Help or Hindrance?

Article Overview:
Joe Espana explores the importance of organisational cultures, and their impact on all aspects of business life; especially change programmes. Joe looks at the difficulties in defining culture, and therefore identifying a 'right' culture, and asks ultimately how can we ensure the organisation's culture is having a positive impact?

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Article Overview:
Joe Espana explores the importance of organisational cultures, and their impact on all aspects of business life; especially change programmes. Joe looks at the difficulties in defining culture, and therefore identifying a 'right' culture, and asks ultimately how can we ensure the organisation's culture is having a positive impact?

Opening Words:
There are a number of inter-related performance factors in a company's operating style/culture (the way things are done) that can significantly influence its organisational effectiveness. Poor execution caused by organisational issues is held responsible for over 50% of corporate failures to fully deliver business strategy.

Moreover, at least 60% of company mergers fail to realise their anticipated pre-acquisition values, and approximately 75% of all change programmes are unsuccessful. Why? Because organisational culture can secretly conspire against these efforts.

Useful Reading For:
Managers.

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Don't Make Me Go Back to the Gym

Article Overview:
In this article, Rod Webb wonders why he's not motivated to return to the gym after Christmas this year, and considers the lessons here for organisations and managers. The article outlines key thoughts and ideas about motivating people at work and managing change.

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Article Overview:
In this article, Rod Webb wonders why he's not motivated to return to the gym after Christmas this year, and considers the lessons here for organisations and managers. The article outlines key thoughts and ideas about motivating people at work and managing change.

Opening Words:
I had one of those moments this morning, which seem to come with increasing frequency once you reach your forties. The image in the bathroom mirror just seemed to be a little more out of shape than normal – the sagging more noticeable, the posture a little worse. On really bad days I see my father in the mirror. Nothing against my father, you understand, but when he was my age (and I wasn’t) I thought he looked old, whilst I of course know that I’m still very much in my youth.

Anyway, this unfortunate revelation got me thinking and wondering whether once again I should try and lose some of the post Christmas excess via lots of exercise at the gym.

I’ve tried the gym before – many, many times, without any discernible difference being achieved in the few weeks my commitment lasted before the excruciating boredom became unbearable and I was driven back to the sofa - and chocolate.

Useful Reading For:
Managers and team leaders who need to motivate others.

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Organisational Maturity

Article Overview:
In this article, Paul Ackerley discusses the need to work more efficiently and effectively in the current global climate.

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Article Overview:
In this article, Paul Ackerley discusses the need to work more efficiently and effectively in the current global climate.

Opening Words:
At the time of writing (April 2011), a major topic of conversation here in the UK, particularly for those working in the public sector are the cuts being implemented as a result of last year’s Spending Review. There is understandably much concern and trepidation around due to the potential impact of the spending cuts.

As you will have seen from the news, many public sector organisations started to make cuts in spending and people resources even before the results of the Spending Review were known, in anticipation of the reduction in finances. Many private sector organisations had been going through a similar process for some months, or indeed, years already.

Useful Reading For:
Managers

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Playing To Your Personal Strengths

Article Overview:
This interesting article from Sheila Williams, looks at personal conflict in the workplace and looks at how our preferred behaviours can bring us into conflict with others who have different preferences.

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Article Overview:
This interesting article from Sheila Williams, looks at personal conflict in the workplace and looks at how our preferred behaviours can bring us into conflict with others who have different preferences.

Opening Words:
In a week of battling against the winter elements I have also been exploring conflict of a different nature – person to person. The type of interpersonal conflict that can for no apparent reason (at least to the warring parties), spring up in the workplace. Part of this has led to an exploration of how we deploy our personal strengths and whether over-use of these, in certain circumstances, can tip them over into becoming weaknesses.

We develop behaviours that, when used to good effect, over time, become our preferred way of doing things. We consider them as our personal strengths. However, the more we use them and the more success we have with their use then the more we can slip into auto-pilot mode, with an expectation that their use will always produce success. In this way, we sometimes overlook the fact that using a particular personal strength may be inappropriate to the context or situation in which we find ourselves.

Useful Reading For:
Line managers and trainers.

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Trainers as Internal Consultants - Part 1

Article Overview:
In this first in a series of articles she wrote about consultancy, Diane Bailey looks at the situation in which trainers working as internal consultants will have to work, including the new relationship they will have with colleagues.

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Article Overview:
In this first in a series of articles she wrote about consultancy, Diane Bailey looks at the situation in which trainers working as internal consultants will have to work, including the new relationship they will have with colleagues.

Opening Words:
More and more in large organisations, in both the public and private sector, training and development staff are being required to act as internal consultants. This is often a significant shift in relationships for both training and development staff and the line managers and others, with and for whom, the will be required to work. A consultancy/client relationship is very different from that of a service department providing for the needs of others. Consultancy is about providing help and assistance, working with the client, rather than for them, and the consultancy relationship gives the client much more choice than the classic service department scenario.

Many trainers are currently being asked to play this new role with very little preparation.

Useful Reading For:
Any internal trainer who's been asked to take on a more of a consultancy role, or anyone involved in implementing a change in trainer's role to involve more consultancy.

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Trainers as Internal Consultants - Part 2

Article Overview:
In this, the second part of the article, she considers the further skills and abilities required by trainers who operate as internal consultants, such as problem solving and project management.

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Article Overview:
In this, the second part of the article, she considers the further skills and abilities required by trainers who operate as internal consultants, such as problem solving and project management.

Opening Words:
In part 1 of this series of articles, Diane Bailey looked at some of the changes required of trainers who need to operate as internal consultants. She discussed some of the possible dilemmas or pitfalls which might affect the changed relationships and some of the skills needed for effective internal consultancy.

In this, the second part of the article, I will consider the further skills and abilities required by trainers who operate as internal consultants, such as problem solving and project management. Additionally, I will look briefly at some of the dos and don'ts and introduce and explain the continuum of consultant behaviours identified by Schmidt and Johnson during some work they did at ICI. Their work related to the use of external consultants, but the behaviours and their use are equally applicable to the situation and work of an internal consultant.

All consultancy work is about change; much of it is about problem solving. The trainer as internal consultant can help the client move systematically through the problem-solving process by contributing to the following tasks and asking appropriate questions.
• Diagnosing the situation: What are the forces for change? What are the forces resisting change? Who are the champions? Who are the opposers?
• Assessing readiness for change: How strong are the various forces for and against? How realistic is change under existing conditions? What can both the client and internal consultant do to make change possible?
• Identifying goals for change: What outcome or result is required? What degree of change is possible? What action seems appropriate at this point?

Useful Reading For:
Any trainer who's been asked to take on more of a consultancy role, or anyone interested in developing their consultancy skills.

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Trainers As Internal Consultants - Part 3

Article Overview:
The conclusion to this insightful set of three modules about trainers' use of consultancy skills. In this article, Diane Bailey looks at the process of consultancy with each of the stages clearly identified.

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Article Overview:
The conclusion to this insightful set of three modules about trainers' use of consultancy skills. In this article, Diane Bailey looks at the process of consultancy with each of the stages clearly identified.

Opening Words:
Every consultancy project or assignment is different but each follows the same stages and involves the same processes. These are:
• Initial contact.
• Diagnosis.
• Contracting.
• Planning.
• Intervention.
• Evaluation.
• Withdrawal.
• Follow up.

Useful Reading For:
Any trainers interested in developing their consultancy skills or in making the transition from 'trainer' to 'training consultant'. Anyone interested in developing their understanding of the consultancy process.

Although the processes are described separately, they are not necessarily discrete stages. For example, it may be necessary to plan the assignment or project and use that plan to negotiate resources during the early contracting stage.

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What We Want Most From A Leader

Article Overview:
In this article, Richard Nugent asks what is it that we want most from our leaders.

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Article Overview:
In this article, Richard Nugent asks what is it that we want most from our leaders.

Opening Words:
Let’s get straight to the point. There is one thing that people want from their leaders more than anything else. In fact if this one thing is absent, even if the leader demonstrates strong leadership characteristics, he or she will struggle to maintain their ‘followership’.

So last chance for you to guess – what is the single most important thing that followers want from their leaders more than anything else?

Well most text books and research calls it ‘honesty’. I have found through my work, that more specifically it is congruence.

Useful Reading For:
Anyone who wants to develop their leadership skills or increase their understanding of what makes a good leader.

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