Category Archives: Leadership

I loved an observation by Manfred Kets de Vries, Professor of Leadership Development at INSEAD who said:  “When we talk about leaders, we too often think about an individual with specific abilities. But no one can do everything. Leadership is a team sport. What’s really at stake here is finding the right combination of complementary ...

In my last blog I asked whether in the new circumstances of the Fourth Industrial Revolution we still needed leaders and what should they look like? The answer I think is that we need leaders more than ever and we need more leaders more than ever, but these are different leaders with different skills.  If ...

I spoke last week at the IACCM conference in Rome about leadership and what skills would be necessary for leadership in the future.  The new skills needed for leaders created considerable debate and discussion, so I thought I would share this thinking in a three-part blog – the new model of leadership, this week and ...

Last week I spoke at Accenture’s International Woman’s Day conference. It was a great event, with a bunch of really interesting speakers. I’d been asked to speak on disruption, in particular the disruption that technology causes in business (I wrote in an earlier blog about the emergence of disruptive business giants). While I was planning ...

Innovation is today’s buzzword. Every CEO claims that his company is at the forefront of innovation – at least every CEO who wants to keep his or her job. Every politician talks about the need for his country to be innovative if it is to grow and prosper. The innovation word is everywhere but I ...

Lately I’ve been working with a number of senior people who are looking for a new challenge. Some of them are in companies that are re-organising; some have just reached the end of the road in their current job and cannot see a future ahead of them in their current company. All of them are ...

If your image of robots is that of C3PO and R2D2 bumbling around in Star Wars, think again. An algorithm is now a director sitting on the board of Deep Knowledge Ventures in the Far East, with voting powers equal to the humans. A robot prepared a meal for Michelin-starred restaurateur, Angela Hartnett, requiring it ...

This week the great and the good will gather in Davos to discuss ‘Managing the Fourth Industrial Revolution’ – what it means and how to respond. But I am concerned that the debate will be superficial, futuristic and miss the point. We are in the middle of a crisis – now. And we need to ...

Technologies and markets are now moving so fast that few organisations escape the need to reorganise. Reorganisation is rarely easy and never simple but there are some things that I have learnt painfully over the years that may help. 1. Make change long term and inspirational All change, particularly changes to culture, take time: between ...

Predictions of the future have to be taken with a large pinch of salt – especially when considering the impact of technology on business over the next 12 months. However, as someone who started her career as a historian, I know that if we do not think hard about the future now, then we will ...

2015 has not been a good year for many businesses from Ashley Madison to VW. In this blog I wanted to explore why that might be and some of the lessons that can be learned. When the great recession started is a matter of debate, according to the US National Bureau of Economic Research it ...

The time between Christmas and New Year is a real gift of down time from work. Yes there is all the busyness of Christmas but there is time to do some thinking about the things that are important, as opposed to all the urgent things that we spend our days on. When I talk to ...

A recent story unfolded from the United States about a sophisticated hacking which led to share price manipulation and thousands of people being duped into buying or selling stocks. As corporate hacking becomes an everyday incident, every chief executive should be sitting up and thinking about their own business. In this blog I want to ...

We are on the cusp of extraordinary times. Businesses are automating functions from online bookings to telling you which lift to get for the quickest rise to your destination. We are all too familiar with computer system failures. The call centre operator saying, “I’m sorry the system is down” or the supermarket checkout that thinks ...

I mentor a number of ambitious, driven senior executives and there are a number of questions that come round again and again. The one I want to talk about today appears in many guises, but can be summed up as “what is enough?” (I will look at some of the other themes that appear regularly ...

  I recently spoke at the Balanced Business Forum about the skills that businesses need for the future. In the panel session, there was a very interesting question about how did I see career progression in the future. I used the analogy of bridges. Most of the owners of iconic bridges such as the Sydney ...

One of the most frequently recurring themes among my mentoring clients is “how do I get a seat on the board?” Some clients are looking to take the next step up to be Executive Directors, others are looking at NED (non-executive director) roles. Neither is an easy step to make and few people really think ...

Today I have published a report, March of the Robots … into the boardroom. In it I challenge UK bosses to start understanding and managing technology before our businesses lose profitability, brand names and even their jobs within the next three to five years. Will your job be here in the next five years? Have ...

There are a number of themes that run through my mentoring work but one of the most common is “How do I get a Non Executive Director (NED) role”? Senior leaders have two reasons for wanting to be an NED: 1. To get another viewpoint on board governance and to understand what NED’s need from ...

In the last episode of the very good BBC Radio 4 series “The New Workplace”  Justin King, late boss of Sainsbury’s claimed that introducing a nationwide minimum wage is “ludicrous” and went on to say: “One of the consequences of productivity is fewer people producing the same output. Companies will invest more in productivity and ...

An article this week by Aaron Krumins in Extreme Tech says that DARPA is teaching an Artificial Intelligence to improvise and play jazz. Now the interesting thing about jazz is that it requires a high level of innovation, something we have always seen as the preserve of humans. So if computers can start to innovate ...

Pat Chapman-Pincher has a long history of working at the highest levels of some of the world’s biggest technology companies and today works with a range of FTSE 100 businesses helping leadership teams to plan for the future and manage the risks posed by technology today. In the podcast below, Pat is interviewed by the ...

Leadership skills and management styles have always evolved over the years, but businesses are facing an unprecedented era of change in the way they manage their teams. Intelligent automation in the workplace, or “the age of robots” as many are calling it, presents a difficult question. How do you manage humans and robots as they ...

Driving instructors (another dying breed as we go to driverless cars!) tell their pupils that “objects in the rear view mirror may appear larger than they are”. An HBR article on managing business risk that was published last week reminded me of this. It was mainly about the financial services industry, but the lessons are ...

The route to business success is strewn with the debris of failed corporate giants who failed to plan for the future and prepare for the disruptive new technologies that lay ahead. But how do boards create the strategies they need for an uncertain future? How do they manage the risks before they appear? And, how ...

Is intelligent automation the key to our productivity crisis? A lot of people are worrying about the UK’s productivity, not least the Bank of England’s Governor, Mark Carney in his last press briefing. It seems a strange anomaly that when some of the economic statistics for the UK look good versus our EU colleagues, our ...

My colleague Victoria Tomlinson sent me this great blog she had written on how to chair board meetings and it set me thinking about what chairing skills are timeless and what skills we will need in the future. I’ve spent a lot of time sat around board tables, as a member of the executive team, ...

As anyone reading my blog will know, I am currently on a mission to help boards understand and manage artificial intelligence and its rapid impact on our business world. One of the issues is that most people on boards tend to be older and happy to admit ‘I don’t do technology’. Here I look at ...

Will this be the last election when we vote with pencil and paper? Could it even be the last time we vote as we know it – and data analysis could form future governments? The wonderful Josie Rourke, Artistic Director at the Donmar, is always an inspiration. She made some comments about voting in a ...

One of the difficulties about the future is predicting time-scales for change. There is no doubt that the world is changing faster than ever before but getting leaders to think about the future never gets any easier. It’s the short term that is the most difficult. 50 years is not a problem, 10 is much ...

I have spoken recently to two senior leaders, one in retail, the other in professional services. Both were clear that they are looking to automation for the cost benefits it can deliver. So they would be replacing jobs currently done by entry-level staff with automation. What neither had, was a working model for what their ...

Stephen Hawking has always been one of my heroes, not just because he has a brilliant mind, but for the way in which he has never let adversity get in the way of what he wanted to achieve.  He has also managed to maintain a sense of humour through all the problems that he has ...

In my last blog, the 5 things nobody tells you about being CEO, I looked at what nobody tells you about until you get the job. I’ve learnt them from my own experience as a CEO and also from mentoring smart and successful CEOs.  What I want to do here is share my (and their) ...

One of my roles is mentoring chief executives of businesses and other organisations.  They are smart, hard working, experienced.  They have finally got to the top of the organisation or they may have been brought in from outside.  If they are new to the CEO role then I can guarantee one thing – they won’t ...

Trying to understand what the future might hold is one of my passions.  I firmly believe while the future is hard to predict, at least thinking about possibilities will make it easier to deal with when they happen. And also because it is such a fascinating thing to do.  But it is very hard. I ...

Have you looked at adverts for watches lately?  Watch manufacturers spend a fortune on promoting watches but not to tell you the time any more.  It’s because everyone now has a super-accurate device in their pocket that will do that for them. So watches have become high-end items of jewellery now their original purpose has ...

blog image

I mentioned I am sharing old blogs that still seem relevant, as I kick-start this new blog. Here I bring together extracts from three posts which looked at three aspects of customer service. 1. Sales teams are disconnected from customer follow-up I had the same conversation with three different major customers in just one week ...

Lauren Yecies

The question of whether you can ‘make’ an entrepreneur, as opposed to being born one, must be one of the most hotly debated topics in business schools and government policy-making teams around the world. Over the years both Cranfield School of Management and Bradford University School of Management have asked me to add my own ...