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Copyright © 2006 The National Learning InstituteThese articles may be freely published electronically. They may be reprinted for individual use in hard copy but may not be reprinted in hard copy for commercial purposes.

Best managers

The Secret to Appointing the Best Managers

March 31, 2014 No Comments

Andrew O’Keeffe ©2014

One of the most important decisions organisations make is who to appoint as a manager. It’s not surprising for a social species that the leader of a group of humans plays a key role in team engagement and output. Our track record in manager appointments tends not to be good, and we could significantly improve our hit rate by using one lever. We could move the power of the decision from above and pass it into the hands of the followers.

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Too many jams

Are we spoilt for choice? Too many jams!

March 3, 2014 No Comments

Andrew O’Keeffe ©2014

Over the January holidays my wife and I dined with a friend at a fine-dining restaurant. At the early stage of ordering our meals there was so much choice we had trouble deciding. First we were presented with three menus (a la carte, degustation and “future concepts”) and in turn on the a la carte menu there were an incredible number of choices. The three of us struggled to choose!

While choice is a good thing, maybe we can have too much. The subject goes to human motivation and has implications in our dealings with customers and staff.

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Bonell Family

Does team size matter?

February 3, 2014 No Comments

By Andrew O’Keeffe ©2014 Hardwired Humans

Jeni and Ray Bonell live in the Australian city of Toowoomba. They are parents to a family of 15 children! Instinctively we know that’s an awfully big family – it’s clearly outside the normal size of a human family. We immediately wonder how they cope. The same question applies to workplace managers asked to manage teams of that size. How can they possibly cope? The short answer is managers can’t as the group size is beyond human tolerance.

The Bonells have a chance of functioning because in their case they are kin. But managers in workplaces aren’t generally managing kin. In abnormally large work teams team members get “lost”, the team fractures into sub-groups, and engagement and productivity suffer.

Two recent studies provide insight into our nature and the implications of team size.

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customer_service

Who is your customer? Why customers are different to consumers

January 16, 2014 1 Comment

To any savvy business manager, that may seem a simple or even silly question.  “Of course I know who my customers are, I wouldn’t be in business otherwise” might be the natural response.  However, one organisation who got this drastically (and what could have been tragically) wrong, and which almost crippled an entire country (well at least for a couple of weeks), was the US Federal Aviation Administration.

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Meeting-points

Meetings – Management Meetings – Why are they such a waste of time? How to follow the 80/20 rule and five steps to success!

December 3, 2013 No Comments

How often have you sat in a meeting thinking “This is such a waste of time.  I have so many others things to do.  I wish I could be somewhere else”  Sound familiar?  I’m sure we all have had these thoughts at one time or another and maybe for some of us, it has been very recent.

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Pay Reviews

Your Pay Review?

December 2, 2013 No Comments

By Andrew O’Keeffe ©2013 Hardwired Humans

When is the best time of the day for your boss to review your pay; the time that gives you the most favourable outcome? As humans we pride ourselves as being rational and logical. Not so, really. Other factors come into play in how we make decisions.

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James L. Jones

Why isn’t good leadership recognised?

November 26, 2013 1 Comment

He goes cycling at lunch time, leaves work early (apparently 7.30 pm is early for Americans) and takes a “bottom up” approach to leadership. Who is he? James L. Jones, President Obama’s national security advisor.

When asked by reporters about other White House officials who work deep into the night, he responded “Congratulations. To me that means you’re not organized“.

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Building realtionships

A Toolkit for Building Relationships

August 14, 2013 No Comments

By Andrew O’Keeffe ©2013 Hardwired Humans

In this article, noted expert on Human Instincts, Andrew O’Keeffe shares some interesting research on self-disclosure and how we can learn to use this to build relationships.

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Spin

Spin! When words fail to impress

June 10, 2013 No Comments

By Andrew O’Keeffe ©2013 Hardwired Humans

When Ford Motor Company announced 10 days ago the cessation of manufacturing in Australia, they engaged in a startling attempt of “spin” to “sell” the announcement. Because it’s such a great (poor) example it provides an object lesson for leaders to avoid spin when leading change.

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Listening

How good are your listening skills?

May 29, 2013 No Comments

How good are your listening skills?  Really good?  Enough to bet your life on?  Because that’s what British woman Ingrid Loyau-Kennett did last week when she calmly confronted two men who had just run over, then slashed another man to death in a busy London street.

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