In the 12 blogs of Christmas, Kathryn Hobbs looks back over the year and shares Curium’s most-read blogs of 2017
As we head towards Christmas and New Year, I’d like to take a little time to look back at 2017 and share some of the Curium blogs, which have most resonated with you.
From CEOs wrestling with competitive retail or legal markets, to individuals overcoming their fears, each of our most popular blogs focuses on how people can empower themselves to achieve their personal and professional potential.
Here are our 12 blogs of Christmas.
January – The guy on the plane
Have you ever sat next to someone on a plane, at a conference or even at work and not said a word to them? Why do you think this happens?
Is it that we genuinely don’t think to speak to them? Is it that we can’t be bothered? Or could it be fear? Jo Rix shares her story of a chance encounter, which ultimately led to a new career opportunity: joining Curium.
February – It’s all about the impacts
If you’ve delivered your project to scope, time, cost and quality, then it’s been a resounding success, right? The statistics suggest not, as up to 70% of change projects fail to achieve their desired outcomes.
Too often, the expectation is that by delivering a new system, methodology or process, great benefits will materialise. But systems and processes alone don’t trigger benefits.
Rob McCracken talks about the need to plan for and measure impacts: the changes, typically in behaviour, that need to be created to deliver benefits.
March – The probation mindset
“If your presence doesn’t make an impact, then your absence won’t make a difference.” Making a positive impact in a new role starts from day one.
Chris Prees reflects on his first few months at Curium, and how teamship and having the right mindset can make probationary periods an enjoyable experience.
April – Changing while running
Changing while maintaining business as usual is the norm for many people and organisations. Change specialist Kathy Coleman writes our guest blog and considers the steps leaders can take to make it easier for their people:
- Take time to think about “what can give”
- Really prioritise and phase change over time
- Allow people to make mistakes
May – Three men in a two-man tent
An unexpectedly cosy camping trip may have taken Founding Director Andy Dawson away from a potential career as an investment analyst, but he remains a keen follower of company strategies, delivery and results.
Once you have set the strategy, it is all about execution and delivery. In his blog, Andy looks at how CEOs and other company leaders can galvanise their employees to execute strategy, because:
- Organisations spend £4bn on strategy consultancy in Europe each year
- 90% strategies fail to deliver their intended results
- 95% employees do not understand the strategy
As he says: “If you are passionate about the business you are in, with a strong delivery focus while ensuring customers and employees are engaged, then you give yourself the best possible chance of success.”
June – Never lose sight of the importance of your people
Andy makes a second appearance in our top 12 blogs of 2017. Following a conference keynote presentation from Kevin Green, CEO of the Recruitment and Employment Confederation, Andy’s blog features current issues concerning talent, recruitment and engagement.
As Simon Sinek says: “Happy employees ensure happy customers. And happy customers ensure happy shareholders, in that order.” Whatever happens, the importance of your people should never be underestimated.
July and August – Failure to transform
Our survey-led report: ‘Failure to transform: how business transformation can go wrong’ proved popular for two months running, and continues to be downloaded on a daily basis. Having analysed responses from 100 senior leaders, we discovered that:
- Just 50% have effective, timely and appropriate structures in place
- Less than one-third of respondents think that their organisation has an effective change management team
- Two-thirds doubt their organisation’s ability to communicate change effectively
- Less than half understand the role of the project manager
For more results and commentary about turning strategy into reality, improving change capability and managing payback, take a look at the report.
September – Retail insolvency bingo
By mid-July, 28 retailers in the UK had gone bust. According to the Centre for Retail Research, only 30 retailers failed in the whole of 2016. Time and time again, well-established brands, often with sensible strategies, fail. Why?
In her guest blog, retail expert Donna Worsley argues that meeting customer demands, dealing with pace of change, developing digital capabilities and more, are not impossible. But, only if companies have both the right strategy and an engaged army engaged and willing to fight.
October – Law firms can succeed if they can do one thing: manage change
What is common in other sectors is slowly moving into the legal mainstream. Law firms are increasing their in-house change capability, with many of the top firms hiring transformation directors, project managers and change professionals.
In October’s top blog, I take a look at the challenges besetting the legal market and ask whether law firms are really ready for change.
According to the results of Curium’s law firm-focused business transformation survey:
- Only 38% of the law firm respondents surveyed think that change initiatives have appropriate sponsors actively involved in their performance
- Just 25% believe that their firm has an effective business transformation team
- Almost 90% do not believe that their organisation can communicate change effectively
- Only 50% are satisfied that their firm articulate and manage project risks and opportunities
If success depends on the ability to change, then our research suggests that law have a challenge on their hands.
November – The power of encouragement
Chris Prees pops up again with November’s most-read blog, writing about his experiences of how encouraging those around you can promote a more positive environment.
As he says: “When we look back, we remember the people who have had a positive influence on our lives; those who encouraged us when we were feeling down and needed to hear a positive word.”
With an increased level of confidence, people are capable of so much more. Do not underestimate the power that your words and encouragement will have on your team, colleagues, family and friends.
December – “If you think you can or you think you can’t, you’re probably right.”
We end the year on a positive note from Stuart Bailey, whose blog tells three stories, each one about the power of our minds to overcome obstacles or shift perceptions and behaviours.
Two involve work situations and one concerns Stuart sharing techniques (an imaginary ‘boost button’) to help his son push on during a gruelling cross-country championship race. We love a happy ending at Curium, so we are very pleased that Stuart’s son won a silver medal!
If you like what you have read, visit our news and views pages, sign up for our regular updates or follow us on LinkedIn and Twitter (@CuriumSolutions). Here’s to more insightful thoughts, stories and reflections in 2018.