Recent leadership articles

Investing Time in Important Tasks

We all say we never have enough time. But we all have just as much time as anybody else. It comes down to how we manage it.  Time management is a skill that comes from discipline and practice. Fortunately, it is a skill that can be learned. If you actively invest time in time management you will actually create more time. Most people say they do not have time to do the things they need to do, without realising that it is because they are not prepared to pay this small upfront price to reap the significant rewards later. Text

3 key steps to building an effective Personal Growth Plan

A Roadmap for Success

Every professional should have a Personal Growth Plan (PGP). A good PGP is an extremely effective tool in ensuring that you can grow professionally and personally. It provides a yardstick that will enable you to measure your professional growth and an impetus to continued progress. This is beneficial both to you as an individual and to your organisation. Text

Developing Subject Matter Experts - What is Expertship

We all understand what leadership is. It is the art and science of leading organisations and the teams of people within them. Leaders are people who inspire others, who set the agenda, who makes things happen. 

Our mission to help 10,000 subject matter experts: can you help?

Can you help us help 10,000 subject matter experts become much more valuable by adding more value to their organisations?
Here’s how we are attempting to do it:

The super development combo: coaching and mentoring


Induction and Onboarding: is there a difference?

Yes, there is. HFL Principal Consultant  Maria Leske explains that while helping a client select external talent for a new role, the organisation was putting its significant investment at risk because it was failing to position the new hire for success. Text

It's time to kill off the Individual Development Plan

HFL works with more than a thousand leaders a year, and their experience – when it comes to IDPs – is astonishingly consistent. The vast majority find undertaking annual performance reviews, at best, uncomfortable and, at worst, phony or pointless. Text

Succession risk: New challenges require new techniques

Every organisation has pivotal roles – individuals who often make an impact well beyond their pay grade and tenure. These roles are increasingly complex which makes succession harder to plan and replacement an expensive and risky business. Text

The great talent divide

How expert are your technical experts, and how can you tell? What career paths exist for them, and where are these documented? There exists, in many organisations, a ‘Great Talent Divide’: plenty of resources, frameworks and support for people leaders, but little or none for technical leaders.  Text

The question leadership facilitators fear most, and why

Is it possible that developing high potentials via accelerated leadership programs could lead to an exodus of that talent? And what does this have to do with the question that most leadership facilitators fear most? Text

The Geek Gap

As organisations rely more heavily on their technical infrastructure, technical experts – or ‘geeks’ as they are sometimes referred to – are having a growing influence on how businesses operate. The issue is that, despite these people being in critical roles and very difficult to replace, they are often left sitting outside the formal leadership structure.  Text

Leadership in Action

HFL has been designing and delivering action learning in all its various forms (including business simulations and complex multi-stage role plays) for many years. Over this time built up our Seven Most Important Rules for Successful Action Learning Projects.  Text

How we really feel about feedback

Years ago, at a conference in the US, I met with a statistician who was responsible for processing all of the 360-degree feedback responses associated with a 78-question leadership questionnaire. He had been doing some “number crunching” – analysing a massive data set of more than 100,000 people who had participated in the questionnaire globally – to see if there were any interesting patterns  Text

There’s No Single Template for Innovation

There are three different kinds of innovation for which all businesses must strive in order to survive. HFL Principal Associate, Jolyon Bone, examines the different kinds of innovation and why they require different kinds of leadership. Text

Virtual Leaders need to learn to lead virtually

It has been a matter of great debate: Do virtual leaders need to lead differently to leaders who work with proximate (same office) teams? Based on extensive research, and the piloting of new modules aimed at helping virtual teams work more effectively, the debate is over, argues Alistair Gordon. Text

How to triple the ROI from your leadership programs

To achieve returns on investment from L&D strategies, programs need to focus on Return on Learning - before thought goes into workshop content and beautifully created workplaces. Leadership programs can deliver up to 3x greater ROI if effort centres on how new skills and behaviours are applied in the real world work environment. Overcome the 5 Killers of Return on Learning. Text

4 Steps to a Killer Internal Pitch

The role of leader comes with a certain authority that allows us to gain buy-in from others - simply because of our job title.  But this authoritarian approach is not only outdated, it’s also not very effective. It may appear that we’ve successfully engaged others in our plans, but are they really committed?  And, of course, there are those who are out of our span of control – the Board, for example. So, is there a better way?  Yes, of course.  We call it ‘the internal pitch’. Text


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