Theory and practice – is there a difference between the two?

A quote attributed to Chuck Reid recently caught my attention – “In theory, there is no difference between theory and practice; in practice, there is.” It’s something I’ve pondered on since, especially in relation to leadership and management. Theories certainly give a framework for viewing and considering how things may be and why so, and that’s fantastic. The understanding and possible application of the theories in the workplace, is problematic as situations, contexts, individuals and interpretations are all so different. the ideal is one thing, the reality is often another. I’m with Chuck on this. What about you?

Small things make a big impression

One small issue has made a big impression on me of late, and that was the lack of care taken with important documents, especially so contracts. I have seen contracts for service that had incorrect information in them and required the recipient of the contracts to point the errors out and ask they get altered. Errors may be made in documents however when some documentation requires cutting and pasting material from one source document into another, it requires the cutter/pasting person to proof-read their work and check that what should be in a document, is actually there and correct. Oftentimes, that doesn’t happen because of a pressured workplace and a high workload. The pity of it is that the recipient of incorrect documentation may be left wondering about the skill levels of the staff, their attention to details and the overall quality orientation of the organisation. Small things do matter.

New book offers strategies for dealing with a difficult boss

A recent edition of NZBusiness alerted readers to a book out from Michael Smyth (the ‘Approachable Lawyer’), entitled Employed But Under Fire – Strategies for Dealing with a Difficult Boss. The book explains what goes on at the workplace and offers employees strategies to adopt to get out of the stress. The book is available in paperback and in an E-book. See www.employedbutunderfire.com

Next Generation survey now out from PwC – well worth reading

PwC have just published their Next Generation Survey, called Bridging the gap: Handing over the family business to the next generation. They conclude that succession may be a make-or-break moment in family firms and there are a number of factors that need to be worked through, to make the process successful. It is a comprehensive report and a great read.

It’s International Coaching Week 19-25th May – spread the word

The International Coaching Week is acknowledged and celebrated all around the world. The Australasian Charter Chapter of the International Coach Federation (ICF) is encouraging coaches to spread the word. A recent, independent Pricewaterhouse Coopers study on aspects of coaching found that 86% of companies reported coaching provided a return on their investment (they made at least their investment back); 99% of clients are satisfied with the overall experience when they have a coach; and 70% of clients report improved work performance from coaching.

A new App to encourage women and girls to broaden their career options

A newly released free app – Occupation Outlook 2014 – has been released from the Minister of Tertiary Education, Steven Joyce. The app aims encourages women and girls to broaden their career options and in doing so, find more rewarding career options and higher incomes. Some 50 career options are included. It’s available for iPhones and iPods and other devices. Some of the same information is available through www.dol.govt/nz/publications.

Australian Centre for Clinical Interventions has great resources

The Centre has a range of resources available for adults with complex mental disorders who engage with the public mental health service. They have workbooks for a range of different topics and the books guide the reader into answering specific questions and thinking about things.

One of the workbooks looks into mastering worries, perfectionism, self limiting beliefs and panic attacks – a resource that could be useful for many busy employees and employers facing long work days, stressful days, constant pressure and relentless deadlines. See: http://www.cci.wa.gov.au – and go to Resources – Consumers.

Worksafe’s Best Practice Guidelines for bullying a great resource

If you haven’t already done so, check out Worksafe’s latest best practice guidelines to help employers and employees deal with workplace bullying. The resource is terrific. Every workplace should have documented human resources policies and procedures; and documented policies and practices around bullying. That’s the base and they need to be accompanied by on going educative sessions. Ignorance isn’t bliss – it’s damaging.

http://www.business.govt.nz/worksafe/information-guidance/all-guidance-items/bullying-guidelines

Theft and fraud affects many companies – have you been affected?

A recent newspaper article (The Press, 20/02/2014, A11) reports the results of a recent PwC’s 2014 Global Economic Crime Survey – that ‘fraud affects a third of New Zealand businesses, with theft by far the most common’. The authors said theft represented 70% of fraud and was followed by procurement fraud, bribery and corruption, human resources fraud and cybercrime. It is a great reminder that organisations, large and small, need to have good revenue assurance policies and practices in place. If they don’t have this infrastructure, then it’s important to get professional risk management/assurance specialists in to review all their business processes in the revenue chain.

Information trees need frequent trimming, says management coach

I’ve realised of late that for those of us who aren’t professional librarians and information-finders-and-keepers, it can be a challenge to set up and maintain our own information trees. These trees grow when we set up folders, sub-folders, sub-sub-folders and the like and rarely take the time to review the trees, prune them, relocate wayward branch files and remove dead branches. Earlier this year, when work was quiet, I set aside a chunk of time and discovered:I had more information trees than I realised, some material was misfiled, some information was no longer needed, and some sub-folders could be removed completely. Now, having done my pruning, I find information more quickly, because it is in the right place and I don’t have so many sub-sub-folders to rummage through. I thoroughly recommend the exercise – it’s a timely reminder to spend time to save time.