Blog - E-Mediate
 
From the pen of Ellen Edwards

Workplace diversity has been a hot topic for a number of years, with businesses everywhere striving to be more inclusive in their recruitment of talent. Most of this effort, however, is focused on cultural diversity – ensuring a good mix of employees from different racial, religious and gender backgrounds. More recently, however, companies and HR practitioners are appreciating the immense value of having teams that are cognitively diverse too. A fascinating study in the Harvard Business...

Many of us believe we’re allergic to conflict. What we really mean, however, is that we’re allergic to destructive conflict. Destructive conflict makes us uncertain, anxious and uncomfortable. We raise our voices and say things we don’t mean, hurting feelings and damaging relationships. No wonder we try to avoid it at all costs. Constructive conflict, on the other hand, is actually a good thing. It gives us an opportunity to verbalise our needs -and get...

Think for a minute, if you will, of a philharmonic orchestra. Made up of between 70 and 100 musicians, playing up to 24 different instruments, a well-led orchestra produces harmonious and beautiful music that is so much greater than the sum of its parts. The secret of how this happens lies heavily in the “well-led” part. A great conductor understands each of the different musicians in his orchestra, and the sounds their various instruments produce....

“You can’t order people to change. That’s not how the brain works. So decide to focus on one thing. If you start by disrupting the habits around one thing, it would spread around the entire company.” These were wise words spoken by Paul O’Neill who became CEO of Aluminum Company of America in 1987 and successfully managed to multiply the company’s nett income by five during his 13-year tenure. Managers spend a lot of time and...

Definition of insanity! A well-known definition of insanity reads “Doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”. It must therefore have been a chain of events that was leading someone close to insanity to coin the industry buzzword known as continuous improvement. It almost seems too simple, continuously improving your business, processes, and way of working. How you go about studying, implementing and evolving that improvement is where it gets more complicated. You...

A recent video doing the rounds on social media, shows a doctor’s waiting room where people stand up every five minutes for no reason. Newcomers to the room soon start joining in the bizarre behaviour, without knowing why or even asking the question why. This reminded me of the well-known “Five Monkeys and a Ladder” social experiment which illustrates the idea of the most damaging phrase known to the business world, “It’s always been done...

We don’t understand how we are put together. Wouldn’t it be nice if you had a manual for everybody that you work with? The Enneagram personality profile can give you just that… ...

When a new baby is born there is huge celebration. Parents are congratulated, flowers and balloons are sent and dad gets patted on the back and given a cigar! In many companies, when a big account is won or a new customer goes on the books, a bell is rung, there is applause and the sales person wins an award. Every effort is made to impress the socks off of that customer from day one. Yet...

I feel a bit like Jerry Maguire as I sit and write this. I too am out of town on business, sitting restlessly in my hotel room, trying to make sense of all the thoughts I have. And just like Jerry, I feel the need to write a mission statement. You see, where my movie counterpart had a different vision on how sports star clients should be managed by their agents, I have a different...