Skip to main content
Home page
Site map
Search
Contact Us

Explore and inform - how to hold great conversations about someone's future

6th July 2017


Explore and inform - how to hold great conversations about someone's future People are craving better conversations about the future and line managers need to be ready to engage. In volatile times, they may want reassurance about their employability,...

read post →

Why the bad guys sometimes win!

15th March 2017


Why the bad guys sometimes win! OK, cards on the table. I don’t think the election of Donald Trump was a victory for the straight and true. Yet, despite the most appalling press coverage highlighting the behaviour of someone, who it is claimed; lies, treats...

read post →

Agenda One or Agenda Two - what sort of change?

8th February 2017


Agenda One or Agenda Two - what sort of change? For a number of years, we have facilitated ‘off-sites’ for groups of between 6 and 60 plus senior leaders, in organisations all over the world. We are usually there to gain clarity and commitment around a...

read post →

Has your company got talent? How can you spot those with high potential?

25th January 2017


Has your company got talent? How can you spot those with high potential?  Leaders are expected to identify and nurture the next generation of talent, to spot those with high potential… but business leaders tell us that they are at a loss for how to do this. ...

read post →

Cold War Companies – what to do when hidden conflict destroys

6th October 2016


Cold War Companies - what to do when hidden conflict destroys I once did some work for the production team of a very large manufacturing company. I was told by them with all seriousness that the marketing department, who were also responsible for new product...

read post →

From Career Ladder to Career Laboratory

30th June 2016


From Career Ladder to Career Laboratory The idea of a career ladder is out of date and is damaging our businesses.  With growing uncertainty in the world of work we are limiting our people and our organisations by seeing careers as being about steps and rungs.  It no...

read post →

Talent Liberation - manager as catalyst, a lesson from Ranieri?

5th May 2016


The Talent Liberation - Manager as catalyst, a lesson from Ranieri? Many of you know that I come from a family of Leicester City supporters (all still grinning!).  Back in November I wrote a short blog on Jamie Vardy and outlier talent. We now turn our attention to the...

read post →

The Lonely Moment of Truth – the real test of leadership

12th April 2016


The Lonely Moment of Truth - the real test of leadership Not so long ago a CEO asked me to have a beer with him after work. I was a little surprised; this was not his usual style. I sat with him later in a quiet bar and he started to talk about what he said was...

read post →

Talent Management – time to end the war and liberate talent

18th February 2016


Talent Management - time to end the war and liberate talentIt’s time for an outbreak of peace in the war for talent.  We’ve all heard (and many of us have used) the metaphor of ‘war’ in terms of talent – and it’s been great at...

read post →

Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal – Are Manchester United and Chelsea really football ‘teams’?

6th January 2016


Mourinho and Louis Van Gaal - Are Manchester United and Chelsea really football 'teams'?  Chelsea have a squad that cost nearly £300 million; Manchester United nearer £400 million. Between them they boast some of the finest footballers in Europe, perhaps the world....

read post →

Mergers and Acquisitions - Time to take people more seriously? It's a 'no brainer'

29th October 2015


Mergers and Acquisitions Time to take people more seriously? It's a 'no brainer' Due diligence can be a fraught process – so much data to collect, decisions to make and delicate relationships to manage.  Many professions are round the table giving their valued...

read post →

Think/Decide/Act 2: Collaboration - The Real McCoy? a blog about collaboration

5th August 2015


Think/Decide/Act 2: Collaboration - The Real McCoy? a blog about collaboration Most organisations recognise the need to ensure the potential inherent in the wisdom and experience is not locked away within silos and furrows of organisation design and culture. McKinsey...

read post →

UK Productivity: Why the Chancellor – and the rest of us might be missing a competitive trick

9th July 2015


Re-Shaping Britain’s EconomyAmongst the post budget discussions about National Living Wages and welfare cuts, was an explicit and implicit argument that organisations / businesses were going to pay for all this by becoming more productive and therefore more...

read post →

Think, Decide, Act: a case for a little organisational anarchy

2nd July 2015


Think, Decide, Act: a case for a little organisational anarchy - a blog about collaboration This is the first of a series of blogs about the leadership of collaboration by Steve Carter, Apter Development LLP. Apter Development is an award winning International...

read post →

Do Senior Leaders Trust Development?

9th April 2015


Organisations all over the world are struggling to change; they invest millions in consultants, new systems etc. but still the proportion they invest in the development of the people who have to lead and implement change is far too small. Is it because they think people...

read post →

Playing to your strengths? It’s your move.

9th April 2015


There are many variables in leadership style that could contribute to making a great leader but what gives certain people the edge on performance?  There isn’t one definitive quality that answers this question, however the importance of understanding yourself as...

read post →

Simple ways to develop your team.

27th March 2015


Developing your team doesn't need to take a lot of time or cost a lot of money - give it a go and see the difference it can make! 1. Review After a meeting with a customer/other function have a 5 minute review with your team - what went well, what didn't go so well,...

read post →

Advance Hints and Tips - Leading your business - insight

20th March 2015


1. Know what’s going on Keep your eye on what’s happening in your market or industry – subscribe to a weekly summary, and read it! 2. Share what you know Encourage the team to talk about what’s going on in the business and the market –...

read post →

Leaders: A Blind Spot?

12th March 2015


There seems to be a catastrophic leadership assumption that whilst you might have to study for an MBA to understand strategy, or finance, or spend heavy duty time in order to be able to strut around having achieved a black belt in process analysis, none of this is...

read post →

A Zombie or A Phoenix – the emerging need for “Middle Management!”

18th February 2015


For a decade or more organisations have been delayering – reducing the headcount particularly amongst what was referred to, sometimes disparagingly, as middle management. The goal, and what was often delivered, was to unclutter the hierarchy and build a stronger...

read post →

Advance Hints and Tips - Leading the Business - Focus

3rd February 2015


1. Keep your eye on performance Remember to set up and maintain key performance measures so you and your team know how well you’re doing against the things that matter most 2. Use your resources Think about your people, systems and processes – are they...

read post →

Rehearsing Success

29th January 2015


Ever wondered why: Performance Management doesn’t deliver; strategic change fails to deliver; important conversations fail; old ways are constantly reverted to? We would argue that fundamentally it is because of a lack of practice and rehearsal. Of course, what...

read post →

Miracles take a little longer...

29th January 2015


The importance of developing talent is increasingly understood and promoted by CEOs; companies that don't develop leaders, don't sustainably perform.    There still needs to be greater confidence amongst CEOs that leadership and management development lifts performance...

read post →

Idea Fishing or do you mean Innovation?

28th November 2014


Idea Fishing or do you mean Innovation? “We need to be more innovative.” “I am looking for innovative ideas.”  Line managers, purchasers, consumers are all looking for the new. The need for innovation now involves not just...

read post →

The Mindblind and the Mindful Organisation

13th October 2014


The Mindblind and the Mindful Organisation There is a lot of talk about ‘mindfulness’ in organisations at the moment. Usually this is about the useful personal techniques to raise self-awareness, build resilience, quell ‘noise’ and improve...

read post →

The First Law of Screw-ups

4th September 2014


The First Law of Screw-ups Those of you who know me will know that I am in a constant search for radical thinking in organisations, and to be honest am often disappointed! Recently I gained some insight into the problem though when I found myself sitting enjoying a...

read post →

A liberal man leading the dance of the elephants

11th February 2014


A liberal man leading the dance of the elephants I was sad to hear of the death of Graham MacKay just before Christmas. As the CEO of South African Breweries he had masterminded the development of the organisation from a regional conglomerate, hemmed in by apartheid...

read post →

The Compatibility Error – Delusional Insights in Marketing and Performance Management Motivation.

11th September 2013


It seems to me that there is a common error in the ascription of motivation to human behaviour when many practitioners seek to explain performance or consumer activity. This is that behind seemingly contradictory behaviours in an individual there most be some underlying...

read post →

Surviving and Thriving at the Waterhole

22nd July 2013


The Giraffe probably does not have a thought process which allows it to reason. ‘Perhaps if I got up early and headed down to the waterhole a little sooner tomorrow I could get a good drink and be back up here amongst the lush foliage before that hungry old Lion...

read post →

The Red Nile and the crisis of corporate character

18th June 2013


What is a river? What is an organisation? I have been reading Robert Twigger’s marvellous and magical new book “The Red Nile – A Biography of the World’s Greatest River. In his unique and idiosyncratic way he explores the geography, the biology,...

read post →

Chief Secretary of State Gets Taken Hostage Shock!

30th April 2013


Eddie Mair, is a fine radio journalist on the BBC known for his probing and assertive style. Just recently however, this assertiveness has, not so subtly, changed into a more aggressive approach culminating in a high profile interview with Boris Johnson in which he said...

read post →

Leadership as an Adventure

3rd April 2013


For many years, Apter Development have worked with Stephen Venables, the first Briton to climb Everest without the support of supplementary oxygen. We therefore were delighted to be co-sponsors, with Rolex, of the 25th Anniversary Reunion of this remarkable event which...

read post →

Women on the board - A lonely place?

14th February 2013


How can we increase female representation on Boards?  This question is attracting a lot of global attention through policy, research and debate.  This is a great move and in the UK, the rest of Europe and the US there are big initiatives to make it easier to access the...

read post →

The Power of Conversation and Elvis Presley

1st February 2013


That great management guru Elvis Presley was not having a good day when he drawled “A little less conversation a little more action please”. I am sure that man from Memphis was quite rightly railing against the focus groups, working parties, paper writing...

read post →

Cometh the hour, cometh the man (and woman)

18th January 2013


Maybe it’s a personal thing based on the passing of the years, but I am constantly amazed at how people need to compare themselves with others on the basis of age.  People easily slip into the language of comparison:  “older, younger, my/our age, past it,...

read post →

Self fulfilment or socialisation?

4th December 2012


Women’s role in the workplace seems to be constantly in the news in one guise or another – whether it’s glass ceilings, equal pay, lack of representation at board level or last week, the debate about women Bishops.  I believe we all have a role in...

read post →

Leaders as Teachers

26th November 2012


One of the most impressive CEOs I have come across, leading a large multinational European business, was once asked in a Q & A session with some junior managers what he really wanted from them, what it would take for them to have been said to succeed.  He thought about...

read post →

Adventurous Leadership

19th November 2012


Apter Development, along with Rolex is co-sponsoring a rather special event at the Royal Geographical Society in March 2013. It is the 25th Anniversary for the team who undertook one of the most remarkable climbs in human endeavour. This was the ascent of the Kangshung...

read post →

Do Senior Leaders Trust Development?

1st November 2012


Organisations all over the world are struggling to change; they invest millions in consultants, new systems etc. but still the proportion they invest in the development of the people who have to lead and implement these changes is far too small. Is it because they think...

read post →

Banking, Change and Us

18th October 2012


I took a trip up North recently to the beautiful hills of Galloway to take part in a panel discussion with Martin Vander Weyer, Business Editor of the Spectator, Carl Wilkinson of the Financial Times and Dave Patrick of the ‘Ban Bankers Bonuses Party’  at...

read post →

Coalitions and Collaborations and Thinking Together

8th October 2012


The fractious state of the current UK governing coalition might be seen as a good argument against the idea of collaboration; the idea that a diversity of ideas and wisdom shared in a common cause can achieve great results and in this case revive the UK economy.  The...

read post →

Do ‘healthy’ organisations need Facebook?

10th May 2012


Somebody asked me last week was social media a good or bad thing for organisations.  They were not thinking about its marketing role such as generating direct feedback on products and services, but in a more general way. Was people chatting together via Facebook or...

read post →

Coping – an entrepreneurial approach

24th April 2012


Tough times. Uncertain worlds. Turbulence.  Constant change. How do we cope, and how do we flourish? Sage and useful advice from the prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous: (God grant me the courage to change things I can, and the serenity to accept the things I cannot)  to...

read post →

Talent Management: are businesses fussy eaters?

15th March 2012


The imperative to explore the untapped pool of talent that exists within many organisations In the next ten years according to the CIPD, the UK will face a massive shortfall in available talent. 13.5m jobs will need to be filled but only 7 million people will be...

read post →

Leadership In A Time Of Famine

1st March 2012


I've been working in Ireland for one of the financial institutions supporting their regeneration through the evaluation and development of their leadership capacity. It has been a compelling, tough assignment. It is rare to be involved in work that has not just...

read post →

Strength on the Bench

16th February 2012


For much of the last twelve months we have been engaged in two large projects which focused a very similar question: Do we have the capacity in a key group of people to drive through a significant change in the way we operate and the new levels of performance we...

read post →

Change is in the eye of the beholder

3rd December 2009


More musings on change. Further to my last blog, what is becoming more and more clear to me is that 'change' is the eye of the beholder.  Almost any change, particularly any significant change is automatically imbued with meaning and different meaning to different...

read post →

Do not bin the old ideas!

3rd November 2009


I offer the following as really useful models, that we probably all got taught sometime in our development as leaders and managers. They are still incredibly useful but probably underused.My List would include: Lewin’s Force Field Analysis, the Ishakawa...

read post →

Leading With Impact

19th October 2009


Can you have positive impact as a leader without being yourself? I think not. The essence of leadership is to operate from a position of strength – strength not expressed through authority and formal power but through what used to be known as character and is...

read post →

Making Performance Count

5th October 2009


I think an increasing art of leadership is defining the most effective sort of performance expectations in others. Probably the most empowering approach is when you can mutually agree some defined outcome and possibly some very broad parameters around how this should be...

read post →

Both/And Leadership - Are you wasting time trying to resolve the irresolvable?.

28th September 2009


Are you wasting time trying to resolve the irresolvable? One of the toughest things a leader has to develop is an awareness that he or she faces two general types of challenges. Firstly there are those that require taking tough timely decisions between a number of...

read post →