Encourage Collaboration – Make It Easier

Collaboration takes time and resources. So if you want people to work together, you have to make it as easy as possible.

For example, you can use simple, off-the-shelf tools like Dropbox and Skype to help people share and communicate. (Be sure that any programs you use work seamlessly with your IT system.)

If some of your employees aren’t confident with the technology, pair them with someone who is. People are much more likely to adopt a new technology if they have someone they can turn to for help, rather than learning it on their own or relying on an IT hotline.

And for major collaboration projects, consider assigning co-leaders who can shoulder the administrative burdens.

Adapted from “How to Get People to Collaborate When You Don’t Control Their Salary,”
by Heidi K. Gardner


Trevor Lee





Candidates Who Decline Your Job Offer. WHY?

Every company gets rejected by job candidates, and you’re missing a big opportunity if you don’t ask these people why they did it. The next time you get a “No, thank you” call or email, explain that there are no hard feelings and dig deeper for more information. Focus on questions like:

  • What did you see as the positive aspects of the role?
  • What were your concerns about the role?
  • What were the most important factors in the decision you made?
  • What feedback or suggestions do you have about your interviews, interviewers, and the interview process itself?
  • Can you provide feedback or suggestions for the hiring manager, human resources, or the organization overall?

These conversations might be awkward, but if you don’t solicit feedback from people you’ve interviewed, they may give that feedback publicly via social media. It may not be good!

Adapted from “Why You Should Interview People Who Turn Down a Job with Your Company,” by Ben Dattner


Trevor Lee



Executive Search & Interim Management since 2001
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

Communicate the Vision

While agreeing that the vision is an essential platform for transformation, communicating the vision is even more important.

“You cannot sell change, or anything else,” says Rosabeth Moss Kanter, “without genuine conviction, because there are so many sources of resistance to overcome: ‘We’ve never done it before; we tried it before and it didn’t work.’ ‘Things are OK now, so why should we change?’ Especially when you are pursuing a true innovation as opposed to responding to a crisis, you’ve got to make a compelling case.


Leaders talk about communicating a vision as an instrument of change, but I prefer the notion of communicating an aspiration. It’s not just a picture of what could be; it is an appeal to our better selves, a call to become something more. It reminds us that the future does not just descend like a stage set; we construct the future from our own history, desires, and decisions.”

Acknowledgements: Rosabeth Moss Kanter et al

Trevor Lee



Executive Search & Interim Management
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet.


Hosted guest blog from Frank Lewis, Chairman and NED of both Public and Private Companies across Europe, China, Africa and the Middle East.

The FRC in the last few months have come out with a Report which looked at the increasing importance which Corporate Culture plays in delivering long term business and economic success.

Stakeholders and Society in general have a vested interest in healthy corporate values, attitudes and behaviors that lead to sustainable growth and long term economic success.

A healthy Corporate culture is a valuable asset, a source of competitive advantage and useful to the creation and protection of long term value. It is the Board’s role to determine the purpose of the Company, and ensure that the Company’s values, strategy and business model are aligned to the stated culture and vision.

Culture in a corporate context can be defined as a contribution of the values, attitudes and behaviours manifested by a Company in its operations and relations with it stakeholders. These stakeholders included shareholders, employees, customers, suppliers and the wider community and environment which are affected by the Company’s conduct.

Culture is much more about people than rules. Codes of conduct are a baseline. A culture is created by what you do rather than what you say.

Leaders, in particular the Chief Executive must embody the desired culture, embedding this at all levels and in every aspect of the business. Boards will have the responsibility to act where leaders do not deliver.

Even though not directly responsible for embedding culture, boards never the less play an important role in influencing culture and in supporting the efforts of the executive team to embed the values and reinforce desired behaviors and culture.

Two of the most important ways in which Boards can influence culture are in leading by example – displaying and communicating the values when in the business – and the selection and management of the Chief Executive.

Therefore for Boards, culture starts with their behavior in the boardroom. Employees need to see that the leadership is held to account and to the same standards as the rest of the organisation.

It is generally accepted that the Chief Executive has the most influence over the culture of the Business – even more so in smaller companies. The accountability for assessing and driving culture lies with the management team. And especially the Chief Executive, who sets expectations and drives behavior and change throughout the organisation.

There is a Board culture and an organisation culture. The two are linked, but it is the Chief Executive who most influences organisational culture. The key is to balance the focus of the Board, so to encourage the right behaviors across the organisation without trying to do the job of the Chief Executive.

Therefore the relationship between the Chairman and the Chief Executive is important in defining cultural behavior and policies across the business. The more closely they work together the more likely it is that a strong ethical culture will evolve across the business.

Dominant personalities can be disruptive in all sorts of ways especially culture. Therefore choosing the correct balance of people, especially the Chief Executive, is key to the culture of the organisation.


Therefore Company Boards

  1. Should be connecting their purpose and strategy to culture.
  2. Aligning values and incentives which support and encourage positive behaviours consistent with the Company’s purpose, values, strategy and business model.
  3. Assessing, measuring and reporting on Company culture in Annual Financial Statements



Trevor Lee – CEO Worldwide




Executive Search & Interim Management
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

Collaborative Leaders

These 6 attributes may not be the familiar leadership competences taught at many business schools but it is our belief that they underpin success in today’s collaborative world.

1. Patience
The terrain will change, but collaborative leaders are patient with their partners and with themselves. Your direction may be clear, but you will need a flexible approach to getting there and accept that this will take time.

2. Collective decision making
Decisions made by leaders in isolation and enforced by hierarchical power aren’t sustainable in today’s world. Inclusive decision making informed by bottom up data is key.

3. Quick thinking
You need to be able to see both opportunities and risks before others do, and act in response to them. This requires a quick intellect, and the confidence and courage to implement new ideas whilst taking people with you.

4. Tenacity
The world we describe isn’t a stable one. Governments come and go; dramatic events happen, you cannot produce a detailed plan of action and expect to see it through step by step. Successful collaborative leaders are tenacious in the pursuit of results that deliver the overall common purpose.

5. Building relationships
Collaborative leaders go out to find future partners, identify sponsors, make new alliances – and are prepared to do all this in unexpected places. They invest energy in doing this sort of networking activity ahead of time, so they can call on these relationships when the pressure is on.

6. Handling conflict
Interdependent relationships are multi-layered and always contain seeds of possible conflict. Collaborative leaders don’t see conflict as a mark of failure – rather it is part of the territory, and they are confident in holding the difficult but necessary conversations that help to bring about a resolution.




Trevor Lee – CEO Worldwide



Executive Search & Interim Management
Connecting you with the best certified executive talent on the planet

Discuss Your Company’s Culture

Company culture can feel hard to control, which is why many leaders avoid deliberately creating it. But you can’t just let culture happen. In fact, companies should be as intentional about culture as they are about strategy and business model innovation. To become more systematic about culture design, you need to have tough conversations about what your current culture is and what your ideal culture looks like. Then you can work to bring the two closer together. Start these discussions by focusing on three elements:

  • Outcomes. The things you want (and don’t want) your culture to achieve.

  • Behaviors. The visible parts of your culture; the positive or negative actions people perform every day that result in outcomes.

  • Enablers and blockers. The formal or informal policies, rituals, actions, and rules that enable or block your culture — they’re the elements that truly help you achieve your desired culture.

Adapted from “Don’t Let Your Company Culture Just Happen,” by Alexander Osterwalder, Yves Pigneur, and Kavi Guppta


Trevor Lee – EP International




We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.

Consumer Behaviour – from minor player to lead role in shaping the Enterprise

A guest post by Nick Rowley, who leads the Marketear Limited team in helping companies’ transition to a truly customer focused approach.

In the last decade two undeniable truths have emerged:

  • Consumer behaviour drives commerce – which the Enterprise depends on
  • The Enterprise has to adapt to the new order or perish

Social Media burst in to visibility thanks in large part to the explosion of the web and has galvanised consumer opinion across disparate individuals and communities who otherwise were unlikely to be known to each other. But Social Media itself is only a single dimension of Consumer Behaviour. Consumer Behaviour has always been in evidence, be it nurture, environment, responses to advertising, disposable income, peer pressure or need, to name but a few examples. These components and more, had been islands of influence, but are now inextricably linked and are creating a massive energy field that the Enterprise has to embrace. Likened to Pandora’s box, once opened, there is no turning back, the Consumer Behaviour ecosystem will only become more deeply integrated and influential.

Some, 250,000 people watched ‘United Breaks Guitars ‘ on YouTube, before United Airlines saw fit to do the right thing for Dave Carroll; but was that really any different to the Libyans gathering in Martyrs’ Square to demand Gadaffi be overthrown? A protest yes, but not a consumer decision influencing mechanism. The question is, would ‘United’ have done anything without the aggregated power consumers unknown to each other, committed to fair play?

With consumers having choice and significant voice, now backed up by influential muscle, no longer can companies adopt a dismissive or reactive culture. Choices for the consumer are becoming far more granular, across the full spectrum of products and services they consume, right down to the basic utilities flowing into one’s home, the consumer can now choose which supplier and the type of product/service being provided. So how do they decide? No longer the billboard, the clever TV advertising campaign, the most ‘liked’ supplier on Facebook, or other sensory receptor open to supplier manipulation – the consumer has taken control and sovereignty.

Consumer Behaviour is all about the consumer exercising independent choice, which multiplied out by us all (we are all consumers), awards business to enterprises. It can be transitorily fickle – such as when we all boycotted Starbucks for a millisecond when we discovered it was not paying taxes – but it can’t be tamed. Like water rushing downhill, there is not only the inevitable direction to it but significant energy, which provides the opportunity to be used constructively, but is all too often interpreted destructively or obstructively. It is the role of the enterprise to invest far more energy and resources than they have done previously, in understanding how to work with these new forces.

Taking a simple example. If an insurance business interacts with its customers through their preferred channels, using competent resources, it will almost certainly provide a better experience, for customer and company alike, leading to a reduction in costs. Reduced costs offers bigger profits. But wait. If you are communicating in a way the customer wants, they are likely to be happier. A happy customer is way more inclined to increase loyalty, reducing churn and more disposed to promote the company, encouraging others to your product/service. It gets better still, happy customers complain less, meaning your customer service operations can deal with real problems rather than noise. Fewer, more focused queries, will – with quality staff – deliver higher staff morale and that in turn reduces staff turnover, promoting lower costs (decreasing the need for recruiting and training) and driving a more experienced workforce.

It is easy to see how doing the right things for customers positively impacts so many functions in a business, with the potential for a virtuous circle of benefits, and all from a shared cultural disposition toward Consumer Behaviour; it is however more often a vicious circle where the initial disregard for the customer triggers almost the exact opposite of the positives just described.

So, if it is not the business’s actions, in a positive sense, influencing the consumer, what other than the negative or indifferent actions of the business is determining Consumer Behaviour?

The main drivers:

  • Activity levels: The sheer volume of mainstream personal administration, (number of transactions per capita per annum), for example credit cards, store cards, mobiles, utilities, insurance, e-commerce etc. etc., have increased 100 fold since 1975, eroding the consumers personal time and showcasing a growing spectrum of sub-optimal service styles.
  • Accessibility: All aspects of accessibility have or are moving in the Consumers favour:
    • Availability: Some form of 24 x 7 is becoming the standard
    • Channel: Alternatives emerging, though not necessarily by current provider(s).
    • Access Device: Choices available according to user preference and nature of interaction required.
    • Digital Communications: Enables mobility and time independent access.
  • Free Information repositories: Have promoted two key behaviour modifications:
    • A mindset geared to research
    • An expectation of immediate responses across all access points
  • Social connectivity: From casual interaction to more meaningful business related relationships, consumers are discovering a new source of trusted advisors, bypassing the traditional corporate advisor. Social connectivity is also competing for the consumers valuable time, given it is a generally a more pleasant experience.
  • Rate of Change: The requirements of the customer/consumer are already moving faster than the ability of the business to change, unduly pressurising the quality and timing of decisions.

There are many secondary drivers contributing to the changes in consumer behaviour, but most can be tracked back to the five main drivers identified, thus consolidating the shift in the balance of power to the consumer.

It follows that the corporate world is increasingly being shaped from the outside in, even though business continues to focus its changes from the inside out. So how long can the business world ignore this imperative, continuing with ‘more of the same’?

The reality is somewhat obvious, not long at all, dependent on their industry and position in that industry; however, the operational and cultural changes required to move to the new paradigm are significant and require experienced practitioners with the correct balance of tools and techniques to work with an organisation’s specific issues.

Marketear Limited provides the necessary thought leadership, through to programme ownership, delivery, support and on-going mentorship.

How prepared is your organisation for this most significant change?

Nick Rowley is MD of Marketear

07768 715 715 or nick.rowley@marketear.co.uk


Post hosted by:

Trevor Lee – EP International




We provide C-suite services in the field of talent acquisition, development and retention.