Collaboration: working together to fuel innovation

It’s official: the “Century of Ideas” has begun. The Turnbull government has come out swinging with its first major policy document: an Innovation Statement. After decades of lamenting the “brain drain”, Australians can now look forward to an era of greater investment and lower risk for researchers and entrepreneurs who invest in the commercialisation of new ideas. The […]

Should the workplace be an emotion-free zone?

“Leave your emotions at the door!” This has been the unspoken mantra of the corporate world for so long that it might as well be printed in the induction materials. For many years, I bought into this expectation. After spending five years training my mind in the hyper-rational disciplines of Science and Law, it made […]

Driving change: is principled negotiation the answer?

“Fair prices and minimal drama”: these were the words that caught my attention when I read The Age’s recent article on how a Harvard-based negotiation strategy helped the Geelong and Adelaide Football Clubs negotiate a complex player exchange. Senior executives from both clubs had recently completed short programs on negotiation at Harvard University and were sufficiently inspired that they put the theory into […]

Turnbull: Collaboration as a winning leadership strategy

Barely a week has passed since the latest Australian leadership spill, and it seems like the dust is settling faster than it has in the past. Perhaps these spills are becoming so commonplace that we barely raise an eyebrow anymore. Perhaps we all just want to get on with our lives. It’s easy to dismiss the change in leadership as a change that had […]

Negotiation: learn from the small stuff

Do you find yourself regularly dealing with minor day to day frustrations?  Or perhaps you have people bringing you endless small problems to solve.  These things certainly seem to crop up a lot for me.  And although I no longer work regularly on major negotiations, I certainly still get a lot of negotiation practice. As I […]

Harvard trip report: my professional pilgrimage

For many, the opportunity to study at Harvard University is a dream come true – like seeing the Northern Lights or swimming with a whale shark. (Or not.) In June, I had the good fortune to spend two weeks at the Harvard Negotiation Institute, attending intensive negotiation workshops led by acclaimed experts Bruce Patton, Sheila Heen and Douglas Stone. My […]

If it’s broken, fix it – don’t throw performance reviews away

It seems that performance review bashing has become the newest sport in human resources. Recent weeks have seen several major Australian corporates announce that they are scrapping annual performance reviews. These announcements are sending some practitioners jumping for joy – after all, plenty of research shows us that no-one like performance reviews. Before we get […]

Performance feedback: does “tough love” really work?

If you think reality television is a waste of time, think again. While some would say that it’s the detritus of the entertainment industry, there’s one area in which it generally excels – in the quantity and quality of its feedback conversations. The ability to give effective feedback is an essential leadership skill and, in our experience, […]

Driving lesson: mastering the learning journey

When was the last time you drove on the wrong side of the road? Not literally, of course. I’m talking about turning off ‘autopilot’ and venturing into unfamiliar territory – in the pursuit of growth and learning. Stanford University psychologist Carol Dweck refers to this as having a ‘growth mindset’, which has been shown to improve motivation and productivity in […]