Place Based Leadership

“The social world is accumulated history” (Bourdieu, 1986)

“The social space we occupy has been historically generated.” (Skeggs, 1997)

One of the best parts of research is when you stumble across one or two pieces of information that enable your current thinking to ‘fall into place’, even if this is only temporary. That was the feeling I got when yesterday when I came across these two quotes in quick succession. They’re from two of the theorists that I see as being central to my thesis. When this happens, it can be interesting to consider the process of crystallisation behind such moment of clarity.  Continue reading “Place Based Leadership”

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My Own Reflection

I’m currently reading Roald Dahl’s Matilda with my middle daughter. I smile, not just at the funny parts, but when Matilda is curled up with her nose in a book while the rest of the family is watching TV. Certainly my parents were not like Matilda’s, but I do remember them making objections to me doing the same, particularly in social situations. Continue reading “My Own Reflection”

Leadership isn’t Hereditary

The latest book I’ve been toting around with me is Antonia Fraser’s two-volume history of Charles II. You’ll remember him, mainly because Parliament beheaded his father, forcing him into exile. Prior to this he was being schooled by his father the King (Charles I) in the art of running the Country.  Continue reading “Leadership isn’t Hereditary”

Inspiration is a Two Way Street

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These days it’s widely recognised that many of the enabling tools and techniques of Human Resources need to be two-way to have any chance of being effective. A top-down, dictatorial style is no longer working (if it ever did in the first place). Communication and engagement are things we do together with our people, not to them or at them. In an ideal world anyway. Yet one of the key concepts of the latest management theories, inspiration, works very differently. Continue reading “Inspiration is a Two Way Street”

An Ode to Great Managers

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In HR we sometimes fall into the trap of thinking we are the lynchpin that holds the organisation together. But being that essential glue isn’t within our remit. In fact it would be impossible for us, because we’re not in the right places at the right times. That role belongs to the manager. Continue reading “An Ode to Great Managers”

How would HR be remembered?

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The last few months have seen the re-emergence of rumblings sounding the death knell for HR. These naysayers and doom-mongers, fed by the economic downturn, view the HR function as an expensive and unnecessary luxury. For the purposes of this article let us imagine that these apocalyptic style predictions have some truth in them (which of course they don’t). Who would deliver HR’s retirement speech and more importantly, what could be said about the HR profession’s achievements? Continue reading “How would HR be remembered?”

Flavour of the month

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Favourites. It’s a dangerous game to play and one in which there aren’t many willing participants.

Bias is something we all participate in and act upon. We might prefer people who we perceive as being like ourselves, or those who are what we aspire to be like. We might gravitate towards people if we enjoy their sense of humour, or respect their intelligence. It’s only natural. But letting that bias creep into management decisions is a whole different ball game. Continue reading “Flavour of the month”