Organisation Development
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Unilever maintains sustainability leadership by wide margin: it's CEO describes the survey result as depressing

Unilever maintains sustainability leadership by wide margin: it's CEO describes the survey result as depressing | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

“Survey: Unilever maintains sustainability leadership amid change GreenBiz.com (blog) Taking a longer view, however, the report is notable in showing how thoroughly Unilever has captured the attention of sustainability professionals globally.”


Via David Cooperrider & Christopher Johnston
David Hain's insight:

We need more Unilevers!

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David Cooperrider & Christopher Johnston's curator insight, May 24, 2014 7:41 AM
Unilever is recognized as the No. 1 corporate sustainability leader for the fourth year in a row, and its lead on the second-ranked company, Patagonia, is the largest ever seen. Unilever CEO Paul Polman himself was cited on Twitter as describing the company's dominant 2014 survey results "depressing" at a recent Guardian Sustainable Business event, poignantly highlighting his view that more companies need to step up.
Organisation Development
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Exploring the unobvious: from methods to mindsets | Nesta

Exploring the unobvious: from methods to mindsets | Nesta | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
This blog post is the second part in a series that shares our reflections on building an experimental culture in governments - see Exploring the unobvious: An overview for an introduction. In our previous post, we discussed how governments tend to explore only a small, fairly predictable subset of solutions. We argued that they need to get outside their comfort zone and explore the unobvious to develop better outcomes. So how do you go about exploring this space of the unobvious?

The good news is that there are multiple ways to explore and develop unobvious solutions to the problems that governments are facing. The methods mentioned below (read this post for a more in-depth look at this diagram) are all contributing, in different ways and at various phases of the development process, to building new understanding and creation of solutions.

David Hain's insight:

It's not frameworks we lack to innovate, but developing the mindset to want to experiment and iterate! Useful public sector focused contribution from Nesta.

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Culture for a digital age | McKinsey & Company

Risk aversion, weak customer focus, and siloed mind-sets have long bedeviled organizations. In a digital world, solving these cultural problems is no longer optional.

Shortcomings in organizational culture are one of the main barriers to company success in the digital age. That is a central finding from McKinsey’s recent survey of global executives (Exhibit 1), which highlighted three digital-culture deficiencies: functional and departmental silos, a fear of taking risks, and difficulty forming and acting on a single view of the customer.

David Hain's insight:

Cultural change is much slower to adopt than technological change. It also creates less noise. That's what makes it challenge number one in most organisations.

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The 6 Questions We Should Be Asking about the Future of Learning

The 6 Questions We Should Be Asking about the Future of Learning | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
In the near future, we should support students and young people in experiencing what it’s like to learn in online and in person spaces, managing projects and their own work, much like how they are living their lives.

Given this reality and given our goal of preparing young people for the world we think they may inherit, what learning experiences can and should we as educators design for? What does learning look like in the modern era?
David Hain's insight:

Written for educators, but applicable everywhere. If learning is the critical competitive advantage, how is it best fostered in the online age?

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People Alchemy's curator insight, January 29, 4:24 AM
Ultimately learning must be all about outcomes, how to apply it in real life. Just in time, rather than just in case.
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We’ve been structuring brainstorm sessions all wrong

We’ve been structuring brainstorm sessions all wrong | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
The traditional framework for brainstorms involves identifying a problem, listing solutions within a set of parameters, and then choosing the best.

But research on creativity and innovation suggests that truly innovative solutions result not from searching for a “correct answer,” but from the collision of different ideas, perspectives and life experiences.

Rather than encouraging convergent thinking, as traditional brainstorm sessions do, the goal should be to encourage divergent thinking: the practice of finding new ways to look at a problem and generating multiple solutions. In divergent thinking, the emphasis isn’t to agree on the best idea—it’s to get as far away as possible from the most obvious answer.
David Hain's insight:

Kids do better than adults at creativity. We need to actively encourage and read divergent thinking, yet most organisations do the opposite!

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Matthew Farmer's curator insight, January 9, 1:58 AM

This is an interesting take on a management stalwart - the brainstorm.  I'm involved in quite a few brainstorming sessions with different organizations and I'm often interested to see how groups norm around this kind of activity.  I was always taught that 'any idea is a good idea' and no evaluation should be made until the 'storming' session is over but not everyone thinks that way.

 

What I like about this approach, is the acknowledgement of the power of colliding perspectives.  Not only do they help us to see and think differently but they also help us learn as well!

 

Matthew Farmer

Emerging World

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No, mindfulness is not a fad – LA Times

No, mindfulness is not a fad – LA Times | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
You can't open a magazine these days without seeing something about "mindfulness." The concept has become so ubiquitous, a friend asked me the other day if its popularity was just a fad.
As a social psychologist who has studied mindfulness for nearly four decades, I am certain that it is not. Unlike, say, the hula hoop, mindfulness actually is enlivening, and it can improve our lives greatly in measurable ways.
But I do see a risk in its newfound currency: The idea of mindfulness could become so watered down or misrepresented that we fail to fully appreciate its ability to better our lives — that we become mindless about mindfulness.
Mindfulness is often described as the ability to be in the moment, to be in the present, to be aware. The problem with this is that everyone thinks they are already aware. Some people meditate to become more mindful. Meditation is really just a tool that leads to post-meditative mindfulness. Although it's a good tool, it's a tool nonetheless, not the end.
David Hain's insight:

Thoughtfulness on mindfulness!

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Carol Dweck: A Summary of The Two Mindsets

Carol Dweck: A Summary of The Two Mindsets | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
In this TED talk, Dweck describes “two ways to think about a problem that’s slightly too hard for you to solve.” Operating in this space — just outside of your comfort zone — is the key to improving your performance. It's also the critical element to deliberate practice. People approach these problems with the two mindsets …. “Are you not smart enough to solve it …. or have you just not solved it yet.”
David Hain's insight:

This has to be the base building block of any successful organisation development!

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Mental Health at Work Report 2016

Mental Health at Work Report 2016 | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
We undertook a national survey to understand the reality of how mental health is experienced at work.  The survey results tell us that progress is being made but there is a need for greater organisational awareness of the support required for better mental health at work. Significant and potentially damaging disconnects exist that demand an urgent response from business.

Employers need to recognise the scale of poor mental health in the workplace and take significant steps to reduce the risk of their workplace being a contributor.  Employers have a duty of care to their employees to respond to mental ill health just as they
would to a physical illness.  Organisations should equip their managers with the tools, support and organisational culture they need to do their job well, which must include managing employees with mental health issues. It makes good business sense to foster a culture of openness that supports employees with a mental health issue to work and stay in work.
David Hain's insight:

Poor mental health at work costs £bfs! But it doesn't have to be that way, and we can all do something about it!

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A transformation in management theory and practice is needed

A transformation in management theory and practice is needed | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
When it comes to Strategic Management for decades the focus has been on Scientific Management - which was never scientific in the first place - and the idea business could be run and controlled like a machine. Such ideas ignored the fact businesses are social systems – the clue being in the term “company” - and operate within even larger social systems. And for decades management theories have been obsessed with performance, efficiency and competition. I am not suggesting they are unimportant factors, but as Colin Price, a co-author of Beyond Performance[v] said in an interview with me, “When it comes to achieving sustained excellence in performance, what separates winners from losers, paradoxically, is the very focus on performance. Performance focused leaders invest heavily in those things that enable targets to be met quarter-by-quarter, year-by-year but they tend to neglect investment in company health; investments in the organization that need to be made today in order to survive and thrive tomorrow”. Good strategic management cares about performance and health in the short, medium and long-term.
David Hain's insight:

When thinking about change, focus on organisations as social systems not science experiments! Useful warning from Paul Barnett.

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How the Science of Well-Being is Evolving

How the Science of Well-Being is Evolving | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
The field of positive psychology was born when researchers noticed that psychology was awfully negative—focusing on illness and suffering but mute on the topic of how to thrive and flourish.

Two decades later, you could say that positive psychology is moving past this dichotomy of positive and negative, toward a more nuanced perspective on the good life. At least, that was one of the themes at the International Positive Psychology Association’s 5th World Congress, a four-day conference held earlier this month that brought together more than 1,300 researchers, practitioners, students, and journalists in Montreal, Canada.

Researchers shared the complexities and complications they were uncovering about the elements of well-being, from gratitude and mindfulness to passion and grit. Here are some of their insights.
David Hain's insight:

Insights from the latest wellbeing research. It's not as simple as following god/bad buzzwords!

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Sandeep Gautam's curator insight, July 27, 2017 6:54 AM
PP 2.0 is more nuanced
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Agile working: Key characteristics of an agile worker - Pearnkandola

Many organisations are looking at developing more effective agile working strategies to enable their people to work with more flexibility, freedom and time/cost efficiency. The immediate focus for these organisations is often on the technology and work space solutions to ensure their teams are equipped to work anywhere with WiFi and a power source.
What often gets overlooked or ignored – sometimes because it is simply too difficult – is the way that people respond and adapt to agile working. The psychology behind agile working is interesting and not at all straightforward, and so in this article I will explore some of the important findings from our own research and work with leaders in this field.
Over a period of five years we were invited, by one of the world’s leading technology companies, to get involved in researching the impact of agile and remote working on their leaders and teams.
We looked in particular at the psychological impact on team members and their leaders, as well as the performance implications and productivity. Through a series of interviews, live observation of interactions between teams that were using video and telecoms technology, as well as gathering data on the personality and attitudes of leaders and their teams, we built a picture of what it takes to be successful in an agile environment.
So, lets examine in more detail one of the key findings, which is that there are definite characteristics that enable some people to be better and more effective working in an agile environment.
David Hain's insight:

Stuart Duff on why some people suit agile working and others struggle. Good starting point for appropriate interventions...

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Top 10 Talent Practices

Top 10 Talent Practices | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

I am a big fan of top 10 lists. I make them all the time.  To name a few: “Top song covers that are better than the original”, “Top hockey fights”, “Best movie sequels”, “Most underrated guitar players.” I could do that all day.  So when a friend of mine asked me what talent practices are on my short list, I jumped at the challenge of turning it into a top 10 list.  

Here are the criteria for the list:

Low cost and/or high return on investment – The cost of most of these are more about time than money, some may require investment but they are high return
Non-technology – There are many important talent management technology innovations out there, but that is a separate list
Not dependent on size of company - I tried to include practices that equally apply to large and small companies
Here is the list, it is numbered but that is not indicative of importance or value:

David Hain's insight:

This is a good list of the most effective ways to nurture your people. And it's all simple stuff!

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How To Build A Winning Organizational Culture 

How To Build A Winning Organizational Culture  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
We are at an important inflection point. For most business organizations to survive and thrive, they must innovate. Innovation requires a business culture of purpose, values, and relationship capital. Many leaders have had the false belief that their organization’s culture was not a lever that they could effectively manage for higher levels of performance. Culture is often overlooked as a business driver because it’s an asset without a dollar value. Leaders need to assess and implement new operating models that leverage the innate purpose, values, and creativity of the individual and the team with the flexibility and efficiency of technology.
David Hain's insight:

Nice mini case studies on the effectiveness of measuring relationship capital!

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donhornsby's curator insight, June 28, 2017 10:39 AM
For many organizations to compete effectively in the marketplace, they will need to cooperate effectively within their organization and with customers, partners, and suppliers. This may require them to nurture and shape their culture by capturing and building relationship capital.
 
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The Fish Rots From The Tail, While The Head Is Clueless

The Fish Rots From The Tail, While The Head Is Clueless | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Hierarchies have odd effects on us, physically and mentally. Where we sit in a power structure can influence our stress levels, our ability to cooperate, and even how we perceive the reality of our organizations.
We’ve just completed an analysis of more than 500 organizations and a pattern that emerged from the data was one that we see all too often with our clients: your perception of your organization’s commitment to its people is correlated with your position in that organization.
The higher up you are, the better your workplace seems (not just for you, but for everyone else, too).
David Hain's insight:

Appears our perception of organisational health is skewed by where we sit. All the more reason for seeking out others in a non-homogeneous space!

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Why is it so hard to resist ‘fixing’ things? | Nesta

Why is it so hard to resist ‘fixing’ things? | Nesta | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Humans are problem solvers - we are good at fixing things and we are compelled to do so as a means of survival. My favourite discovery in Kahneman’s Thinking Fast and Slow was that humans have an in-built desire for shortcuts - a drive to solve problems using the least possible amount of effort. We prefer to use the information we have in front of us and don’t naturally seek additional information.

I wondered whether this desire for shortcuts could help to explain the ubiquitous ‘fix-it’ culture that we see in our public services. Does our innate drive to reach solutions quickly (amongst other obvious influences such as social and organisational pressures) play a role?

Add empathy into the mix and our desire to ‘fix’ things may be perpetuated further. As a practising clinical psychologist, I find it hardest to resist offering solutions when people appear to be struggling the most – as if empathy intensifies the urge to ‘fix’. We don’t want people to suffer – so it makes sense to find an answer and fast!

But is this the most helpful response? In some situations a fast solution is appropriate, such as with urgent medical care. But if a person has a more complex problem to solve, then a question is likely to be more useful than an answer.
David Hain's insight:

This is why the best OD people I have worked with are much better at questions than answers!

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Case Study Connected Leadership: Engaging for Performance • Six Seconds

Case Study Connected Leadership: Engaging for Performance • Six Seconds | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Developing leadership to improve relationships and accelerate change is a key goal in many organizations, so what’s the secret that helped 73% of leaders in this global tech company measurably improve?
Excelitas is a global technology company with R&D and 19 manufacturing facilities around the world.  To improve performance, the company set out to strengthen the leadership skills that would improve workplace climate to strengthen employee engagement. Recognizing that emotional intelligence would be a valuable ingredient in this initiative, company partnered with Six Seconds to develop a program measurably improve leadership. This case study reviews outcomes of the program and key ingredients that the company used to create this success.
David Hain's insight:

How to develop more emotionally intelligent leadership, and why it mattes!

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Why Leadership Development Isn’t Developing Leaders

Why Leadership Development Isn’t Developing Leaders | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
The mismatch between leadership development as it exists and what leaders actually need is enormous and widening. What would work better?

Over the last 16 years I have carried out research into how leaders create change, and I’ve worked in the change leadership field for 25 years in multinational corporations. Over that time, I’ve come to appreciate four factors that lie at the heart of good, practical leadership development: making it experiential; influencing participants’ “being,” not just their “doing”; placing it into its wider, systemic context; and enrolling faculty who act less as experts and more as Sherpas.
David Hain's insight:

Some very insightful observations on the state of leadership development in this article.

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Jerry Busone's curator insight, January 10, 8:49 AM

Great thoughts  on developing leaders. a perfect example of this is our Emerging Leaders Experience ... Its engaging, experiential action based simulated learning . Guest faculty are spliced in to add real time leadership. ...

Ian Berry's curator insight, January 10, 4:10 PM
Lots of good insights I particularly like "influencing participants’ “being,” not just their “doing”;" as in everything leadership development is who before do
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It's Not You, It's Me: Supporting Workplace Inclusion

It's Not You, It's Me: Supporting Workplace Inclusion | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Former Surgeon General Vice Admiral Vivek H. Murthy recently wrote an article for Harvard Business Review titled, "Work and the Loneliness Epidemic." In it, he explains that loneliness -- the "subjective feeling of having inadequate social connections" -- can impact an employee's well-being and their work performance. He calls on organizations to make social connections a strategic priority. Employees should have genuine opportunities to foster friendships. Removing "coldness" from a workplace culture is the right thing to do, and it's a smart business decision.
David Hain's insight:

We all need to feel we have mates at work!

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Tom Wojick's curator insight, December 2, 2017 10:58 AM

One important factor and characteristic of resilient people is that they have a well developed support system. Americans are workaholics, by both necessity and preference, which leaves precious little time to develop support systems outside of work. Organizations can improve their resiliency and that of their  employees by making social connections strategies a priority. 

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The yin and yang of organizational health | McKinsey & Company

The yin and yang of organizational health | McKinsey & Company | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Actions necessary to support longer-term corporate-performance objectives, on the one hand, and a rapid performance transformation, on the other, might seem at odds. But our research paints a different picture. When coupled with organizational health, long- and short-term performance can become interdependent and complementary—just as yin and yang in Chinese philosophy are inseparable, unable to exist without each other, despite their apparent opposition.

Simply put, healthy organizations are more likely to orient themselves toward the long term. And companies in the midst of a rapid performance transformation boost the odds of sustaining those efforts when they improve their health. The evidence for these propositions is substantial, and it underscores the fundamental link between organizational health and performance.
David Hain's insight:

There are short term needs, and there are corporate principles. Makes sense that the two need to dovetail!

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Jose Luis Yañez's curator insight, November 30, 2017 4:19 AM
The yin and yang of organizational health | McKinsey & Company
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The Evolving Organization

The Evolving Organization | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
I wasn’t receiving complaints from the people on the team. I could just see it in the their eyes. There was exhaustion and not the good kind of exhaustion from doing complicated and hard work. It was the exhaustion you see when individuals on a team have to do too much interpersonal yak shaving. Writing software, the core job of a software engineer, had become too taxing and it was taking a toll.

It was incredibly hard for a simple feature to get out the door because we found ourselves in an all too common collaboration overload situation. Our wish to create continuity meant that the managers in the tech organization had to maintain expertise over 5-6 different priorities across 5-6 different tracks and at any given time would have to switch contexts to help one of their engineers out or discuss an ongoing project or upcoming release. For individual contributors and product managers, it manifested differently with questions of who was responsible for what. It didn’t lead to finger pointing, but ownership was sufficiently muddy that it became hard to move as quickly as we’d like. Even worse, personal and team success became elusive because a matrix, by its very nature, diffuses responsibility across the collective.
David Hain's insight:

Nice little mini-case on some downsides of matrix structures.

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What We Learned from Improving Diversity Rates at Pinterest

What We Learned from Improving Diversity Rates at Pinterest | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
I joined Pinterest as the company’s first Head of Diversity in January of 2016. By the end of that year, we had hit or exceeded most of our goals, improving hiring rates of underrepresented engineers from 1 to 9% and increasing underrepresented talent from 7% to 12% in other roles. But we saw limited movement for women engineers, only increasing our hiring rate from 21% to 22%, which fell short of our goal. While higher than industry norms, this flatness was in large part due to our focus on putting more women in senior roles versus in entry-level roles (more on that later). Over the course of my first year at Pinterest, I’ve learned four key lessons about how to improve diversity from within a company:
David Hain's insight:

Insights on tackling diversity.

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How Vital is Your Organization? Key Findings & Report on the 2017 Vitality Survey • Six Seconds

How Vital is Your Organization? Key Findings & Report on the 2017 Vitality Survey • Six Seconds | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Are people in your organization energized and happy or anxious and stressed? Does it matter? New research offers important insights into people and what drives performance. Here are three key findings, and a link to download the full report.
David Hain's insight:

Evidence of the clear link between organisational EQ practice and performance.

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The CEO’s guide to competing through HR 

The CEO’s guide to competing through HR  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it

We believe the time is right to accelerate the reinvention of HR as a hard-edged function capable of understanding the drivers of strategy and deploying talent in support of it—most importantly as a result of the availability of new technological tools that unleash the power of data analytics.

To advance the agenda, we believe businesses need to concentrate on four things: rethinking the role of business partner to enable a better understanding of the vital link with strategy, using people analytics to identify the talent actions that will drive the value, fixing HR operations so they are not a distraction from HR’s higher mission, and focusing HR resources in more agile ways so as to support these fresh priorities. Companies that take these steps will move toward a next generation of HR that’s data driven, not experience driven; systematic, not ad hoc; and consistent, not hit and miss.

David Hain's insight:

McKinsey on potential  re-influencing of HR through cultivating a big data enabled strategic edge.

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5 ways companies can attract and retain female talent 

5 ways companies can attract and retain female talent  | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
The calls for gender balance have been going on for years, yet organisations still struggle to source, attract and retain top female talent. Changes in the basic nature of our workplaces accompanied by demographic shifts of declining and aging populations, it’s clear that recruitment practises need to be re-assessed or even completely revamped to attract and retain female talent. The days of dipping into the “old boys” network to produce candidates just like themselves should be long gone. Yet they linger. With strong business cases for gender balance highlighted by leading global organisations and large companies publicly taking the initiative at CEO level, there is still much work to done and changes to be made.

Research from Deloitte suggests that the demographic to involve more pro-actively is at middle management level. With organisations still sourcing and  interviewing candidates in traditional ways, affinity and confirmation bias play a key role in selection choices. There is no doubt that despite the wide publicised gender dividend the female talent pipeline has at best a stress fracture and in some parts a massive leak. It needs a serious fix.
David Hain's insight:

None of these positive discrimination practices looks difficult - yet still we struggle to improve gender balance!

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10 companies that are great at empathy

10 companies that are great at empathy | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
If this year’s index is anything to go by, that change might already be taking place. Take Ryanair, the budget airline with a somewhat chequered history when it comes to customer service. Last year it finished second from bottom in the index.

Perhaps it was the repeat profit warnings, but the company realized change was needed: low prices weren’t going to be enough to keep customers coming back. So it embarked on what has been described as a Damascene conversion.

Through its Always Getting Better programme, Ryanair set about listening to customer feedback and scrapping the policies people didn’t like – unallocated seating, draconian luggage rules and hidden charges.

The new approach is already paying off: this year Ryanair not only increased net profits, but it climbed 13 places in the Empathy Index. Proof that empathy isn’t just about being a nice guy: it makes good business sense.

You can see the full 2016 Empathy Index here.
David Hain's insight:

Nice little tale about Europe's formerly most hated airline seeing the light - and improving the bottom line as well as the customer experience!

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The insidious problem of men not taking parental leave, resilience and the mental stress of Brexit

The insidious problem of men not taking parental leave, resilience and the mental stress of Brexit | Organisation Development | Scoop.it
Jamie Lawrence, Editor, HRZone: What will crack the insidious problem of men just not feeling able to take parental leave or even admit to employers they want to spend time caring for their children?

Sir Cary Cooper, Professor of Organizational Psychology and Health, Manchester Business School: It’s a really big issue. Men don’t apply for parental leave or flexible working as much as woman do and that is a real issue.

And the reason they don’t - I’ve done a big study funded by the Lottery fund and I did it with Working Families and a colleague from Lancaster - and we looked at both a large public and private sector body and tried to find out why men don’t do this.

And the answer was "it will adversely affect my career." Yet women apply - they also feel it will adversely affect their career but not to the same extent that men do.

Because for men it’s about them feeling that the organisation will think they’re less committed - and they’re not, and won’t be, they are just trying to engage with their family and participate and be ‘new mannish’ and get some good balance between work and life but what inhibits them is the fear that taking flexible working and parental leave will adversely affect their careers.
David Hain's insight:

Job anxiety affecting parental leave - can't be a good thing!

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