Why leadership has become more difficult and why this matters

I spent a significant part of my working life developing leaders in organizations. What strikes me is that during COVID-19 the demand for this type of work has not decreased; if anything, the demand for leadership development has increased. That is remarkable. During the financial crisis in 2007-2008, for instance, most companies tried to save money, and one of the first things they considered was decreasing the out-of-pocket costs associated with these, and other kind of developmental activities.

Recently I was asked why companies continue to invest in the quality of their leadership at all levels of the organizations, despite the economic uncertainty they are facing.

In my opinion, the reason is that companies have come to realize the growing importance of the quality of leadership at all levels of the organization. I believe that this is a good thing, especially because leadership roles have become more demanding in the last couple of decades, not only for senior leaders, but also for first, and second-level leaders in organizations. 

Continue reading

Wunderlist RIP – Why ToDo is pushing me outside Microsoft’s ecosystem

Why the decision to eliminate a key feature of Wunderlist is hard for me to understand

By Dirk Verburg

I am very interested in personal effectiveness and am using a number of apps to ‘hack’ my personal productivity level:

  • Grammarly – Unbeatable to spell check anything I type in a brower. Great integration with Google Chrome
  • Small Pdf – A small Swiss gem, shrinks pdf’s to manageable sizes, and does so much more
  • Google keep – Great for keeping notes. Again: available on all platforms I am using. Not the best (Evernote has much more features but useful version are not freeware; OneNote is clumsy if you write entries in more than one language)
  • Wunderlist – Great activity tracker. Available on all platforms I am using: Apple, Android, and my Chrome Web browser

The core of my IT set-up, however, is Microsoft Office. Both on my Windows PC at work, as well as on my Mac for private use. There are programs in Microsoft Office I love (Powerpoint and Excel), programs that are good (Outlook), and again others I consider to be ‘ok’ (I find Word for instance hopelessly complicated).

Ecosystems

Strangely enough, my ideal is the same as that of tech giants like Microsoft, Apple, and Google: stay within a single ecosystem. 

Continue reading

Three imperatives for Talent Management in a VUCA world

Talent management originates from the late 1960s. Since then the business environment has changed dramatically. However, talent management practices in a number of organizations have not been adapted to cope effectively with these changes. This makes these organizations vulnerable to disruptions in their environment. Talent managers should therefore do three things to ensure their businesses have the necessary adaptive and innovative capabilities to cope with disruptions.

Picture Article Talent Management

By Dirk Verburg

Almost 50 years ago, in 1968, Paul S. Ostrowski published an article with the title “Prerequisites for Effective Succession Planning”. This article is often seen as the starting point for Talent Management. The business environment at that time looked completely different from today:

Continue reading

When do you need to think different?

By Dirk Verburg

One of the most inspirational videos I have ever seen is the Apple commercial ‘Think Different’. This video shows footage of several leaders from the worlds of business, arts, politics, sports and science, such as Richard Branson, Pablo Picasso, Albert Einstein, Martin Luther King, Mohammed Ali and Mahatma Ghandi. The key message of the commercial is that these people were able to change the world, because they were thinking differently. The suggestion is, of course, that people who purchase Apple products also ‘Think Different’.

The ability to ‘Think different’ is extremely important, but unfortunately not something that comes ‘naturally’ to us as human beings. There are several reasons for this. The most important ones are our ‘Bounded Rationality’, reliance on ‘Heuristics’ and ‘Theory-Induced Blindness’. Continue reading