South African companies are increasingly offering top executives paid sabbaticals as part of their remuneration packages, in an effort to lure and retain top talent. In the past, sabbaticals – or the request for one – were frowned upon and were rare outside of academic circles. However as a younger generation of leaders start filling the higher echelons, companies are recognising that financial incentives are not the only answer to keeping their leaders happy.— Debbie Goodman-Bhyat, CEO, Jack Hammer
For many years the human resources function has been attempting to establish and improve its legitimacy. Many books, articles and journals have been written on what “HR Champions” should be doing. So with all this guidance, thought leadership and competency frameworks - why is it that we still do not have a “place at the table” and be called business partners – a title which we have endowed on ourselves but do not have the legitimacy that we so desire. — Andre Pandy, Managing Director, Human Insights (Pty) Ltd
Executives’ ability to see themselves from the outside and others from the inside, plays an important role in effective team formation. Empathic executives are better at managing relationships. They establish safe environments in which people can express hopes and fears. Because it is “contagious,” empathy contributes to better negotiation, collaboration, and conflict resolution. —Manfred Kets De Vries, Distinguished Clinical Professor of Leadership Development & Organisational Change at INSEAD and The Raoul de Vitry d'Avaucourt Chaired Professor of Leadership Development, Emeritus.
According to the Business Process Outsourcing (BPO) Learning and Development Research Report (2014), 84% of South African businesses spend between 10% and 20% of their annual payroll expenditure on Learning and Development initiatives. This is a significant financial investment, in no uncertain terms. Why then, when times are tough, are training budgets the first to be sacrificed? — Amorey Pote, Talent & Service Delivery Manager, Namibia Breweries Ltd
By regularly “checking-in” with employees, leaders create emotionally sound companies able to help drive organisational change. Rabobank, the Dutch multinational financial services company, came from humble but proud beginnings as a cooperative of small agricultural banks providing finance to Dutch farmers. So, when the push for fast growth through derivatives and secondary market trading left it mired in the LIBOR interest rate-rigging scandal, the consequences shook the organisation to its foundations.— Loic Sadoulet, INSEAD Affliate Professor of Economics, and Gerlinde Silvis, Rabobank’s former Chief Human Resources
In the modern corporate world where we are expected to eke out the maximum value and return from every resource available to us, the key assets we have available to achieve are our high-performing individuals. One of the key disruptions happening today that we need to manage our organisations through, is the move from an analogue world into the new digital age. What do high-performing individuals in the digital world look like? — Raymond de Villiers, Tomorrow Today Global
10 Commandments for the executive coach
First, do no harm: This commandment might appear self-evident but, given the reports of abuse in coaching ( Berglas,2002), it is perhaps not entirely superfluous. Moreover, it has been demonstrated that therapeutic approaches do very badly if they are used not therapeutically but, say, as a way of passing the time or in order to create a ‘stationery’ control group (see Wampold, 2001). The conclusion often drawn in medicine from the rule of primum non nocere is in dubio abstine, ie if in doubt, it is better to do nothing than carry out an intervention that may be harmful.
Are you a player–centered leader?
In many ways, changing one’s leadership behavior goes against nature - or at least nurture. But, given the dynamics of the modern organization, a leader cannot afford to remain stuck in old patterns; no matter how comfortable or useful they have been in the past. The great leaders we know serve as role models for thoughtful decision making, allow players to try their decision –making wings, reward successful decisions, and reinforce learning from not-so-good ones. Then they let go.