What comes first, teamship or friendship?

When you think about a great team you have been in, do you think about the work, or do you think about the people you worked with? For me, it’s the people.  Thinking back to my first start-up, my team and I led creative workshops for some of the biggest global TV shows in the world. Every year the production teams would meet to share ideas, collaborate, and plan, and we made these events happen.

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Is your team toxic? The warning signs and what to do about it

How would you describe your team at work?  Are they a group of professionals who do their best to work well together to achieve their goals?  Or are they more like a dysfunctional family who make excuses for each other’s bad behaviours and terrible habits?  Most work teams are somewhere between the two – we spend so much time at work that we can’t help getting to know each other well. 

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The Power of a Team Vision

The US team brought 9 sports psychologists to the Sochi Winter Olympics in 2014.  Elite athletes are expected to be in peak physical condition, but they also substantially improve their competitive advantage with psychological training.  Athletes are trained to visualise in great detail what success looks and feels like, achieving a winning combination of mental and physical performance.

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How to speak up to your boss (without losing your job)

There are lots of tools and training courses for bosses on how to manage people, but we hardly ever talk about how people can manage their bosses.  “Managing up” is being able to speak up to your boss about how they can support you more, for example to ask for help, to share your concerns about your work or team, or even to ask them to change how they work.   Finding the courage to speak up to your boss can be difficult, but it is more important now than it ever was before. 

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Managing the Four Generation Workplace

I started researching this article thinking I would write about the problems of intergenerational working.  Boomers complaining about millennials for not using apostrophes properly, Gen Z making fun of Millennials for their avocado toast and coffee obsessions, Gen X’s hedonism getting out of control at the Christmas party, that sort of thing.  We’ve all noticed it – different generations bring different beliefs and behaviours to work. 

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Should bosses be banned from sending emails out of office hours?

Since the pandemic, we’ve developed more productive ways of working.  Bosses have realised that people can be trusted to work from home well, which means we are likely to have more choices about where and when we work in future.  However, flexibility also means blurred boundaries, and when expectations aren’t clear it can be more stressful for employees and leaders.

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Ban the Committee and the Workshop! How Language Influences Culture

Committees have been described as “a cul-de-sac down which ideas are lured and then quietly strangled” (Barnett Cocks), and “a group that keeps minutes and loses hours” (Milton Berle).  In my worst experiences of committees, more time is spent on talking through the minutes of the last meeting, listing who is present and absent, arguing about pedantic points of order and scheduling the next meeting, than on any actions or deliverables. 

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Optimising Hybrid Working

I’m a massive fan of remote and hybrid working, mainly because I have a team of 30 people who work together from 7 countries around the world, and I would not have access to their talent without allowing them to work from anywhere.  However, we have learned a lot of lessons in how to do it well, (and how not to), because for all the upsides, there are of course downsides too. 

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How to handle a toxic team mate

In a long yacht race, a 10-person crew sail together for up to a week, 24/7. Crew members work in shifts, with an intensive three hours on deck followed by three hours of sleep, on repeat until they cross the finish line. These are brutal journeys in cold, dark and often dangerous conditions, and it’s no surprise that the team and their teamwork is pushed to the limit. 

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