Tag Archives: Leadership

Successful project leadership through applying insights from neuroscience

NeuroBusiness 2015 is the first conference of its kind in the UK.  The programme focuses on enabling businesses and organisations to benefit from the power of breakthrough research in the field of neuroscience and associated disciplines.

Leading international speakers and global experts on the latest developments in neuroscience, emotional intelligence and psychology in the workplace are presenting key notes and workshops.

The conference is aimed at business leaders, HR professionals, researchers and line managers to gain new insights, skills and approaches which can be easily applied in the work place to tap into the latent potential in their workforce.  This will help to maximise the value they generate through the way they lead and engage with their people and the cultures they create.

The full conference programme can be found here.

On day 2 of this conference, there will be a ‘team animation’ session hosted by Donnie MacNicol, ex-chair of the APM People SIG (specific interest group) entitled ‘Successful project leadership through applying insights from neuroscience’. This will be a 1 hour breakfast session from 8am with breakfast provided from 7.30am.

This session will be bookable separately to the rest of the conference and anyone interested in attending should book a space by clickinghere. The cost is £13.50.

Session description:
Organisations are changing due not only to new technologies and market and consumer pressures but also internally from employees who now wish to work in more collaborative and supportive environments. Project and program leadership is now a critical capability for all organisations – whether to make the changes necessary internally to adapt in the current climate or provide value to customers through their services or products.

Appropriate and effective project and program management practices, which are continually evolving, should provide the leader with the structures and processes to deliver the expected outcomes and benefits but success is not always guaranteed. Fortunately neuroscience is providing insights into many areas of individual and collective working including motivation, delivery of change, building trusting relationships, etc which is of particular value to those involved in the delivery of projects. The session will focus on what project leaders should do to deliver success, informed by neuroscience, in this challenging environment. It will identify how we should modify project practice, collaboration and the organisations themselves to ensure sustained success.


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Filed under Business Project Management, Learning

Why leadership-development programmes fail

In this blog post we have included an excellent report by McKinsey & Company into why leadership-development programmes fail.

Aspire Europe have supported a range of SRO (and still do) and other development programmes in the past and can vouch for these findings, which match our experiences.

It highlights the four common mistakes companies make:

  • Overlooking context
  • Decoupling reflection from real work
  • Underestimating mind-sets
  • Failing to measure results

And how sidestepping them can help companies develop stronger and more capable leaders, save time and money and boost morale.

To read the report – Click here


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Filed under Articles, Programme Management

9 Fresh Insights for Modernising Leadership Training

Developing the skills of leaders and managers to work in an ever-changing, technology enabled, virtual world is a constant challenge. The Towards Maturity Leadership study, in partnership with KPMG in the UK, is in the process of exploring what successful organisations are doing to prepare their leaders and manage

Click here for some early insights to challenge your thinking

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Filed under Articles, Learning, Sponsor Advice, Training

Leadership makes or breaks complex projects

Leadership makes or breaks complex projects. Why? Because complexity requires people to accept change. And people only accept change and flourish when they feel safe enough.

So who creates environments people can thrive in? It’s you. If you invest in becoming a leader, that is.

Becoming an effective leader isn’t about management training. It’s not about a new process, method or tool, or about command and control.

Becoming a leader is about looking in the mirror. It’s about listening to painful home truths. It’s about changing your behaviour to become the leader others choose to follow. And it’s not vain self-indulgence to focus on yourself. Your leadership is vital to creating the ‘people-intelligent’ project environments we need to deliver complex projects successfully.

There are three areas where most leaders can benefit from developing themselves:

Firstly, generating an exciting project vision and ensuring that everyone understands their part. That’s the way to create meaning and commitment and to obtain discretionary effort from everyone involved.

Another factor is being trustworthy, so that your teams learn how to nurture trusting relationships with customers and suppliers. This is because when things go wrong, it’s relationships that create solutions.

Finally, it’s important to focus everyone’s energy on what’s important – in other words, deliver measurable results. Prioritising, delegating and making good decisions are critical to prevent a limited supply of energy going to waste.

Interestingly, most leaders readily ‘get’ the above – and enthusiastically self-report about doing these things well. I recently watched one such leader demolish a team member who reported some disgruntled customer feedback. This leader’s much avowed ‘open and honest’ policy was seriously undermined because he was unaware of his fragility with perceived criticism.

Winners listen to feedback, no matter how painful it is. They then choose if or how to adapt. Their focus is on maximising success and they accept that others’ perceptions are key. At such times, I recommend a ‘think slowly, act swiftly’ approach.

If you want your complex project to be successful, then look in the proverbial mirror and relish honest feedback. In the words of Winston Churchill:

“Courage is what it takes to stand up and speak; courage is also what it takes to sit down and listen.”


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Filed under Articles, Programme & Portfolio Office, Programme Management, Project Management