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Analysis and Comment (30)

Under investigation. Under investigation. EPA/Maurizio Gamberini

Doubt for Lagarde’s leadership means doubt for the IMF

To have one leader investigated for serious misconduct may be regarded as misfortune; to have two come under investigation looks like carelessness. But the International Monetary Fund finds itself in that…
In his response to MH17, prime minister Tony Abbott acted according to some personal and cultural expectations of leadership. In his response to MH17, prime minister Tony Abbott acted according to some personal and cultural expectations of leadership. AAP/Alan Porritt

Abbott’s leadership role models serve him well in MH17 crisis

It was the bloodshot eyes that conveyed to one journalist the strain and weariness weighing upon prime minister Tony Abbott as he dealt with the MH17 tragedy. Australians learned of the office naps between…
Facing wicked problems, can Tony Abbott deliver leadership that is ‘about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, producing useful change’? Facing wicked problems, can Tony Abbott deliver leadership that is ‘about vision, about people buying in, about empowerment and, most of all, producing useful change’? AAP/Lukas Coch

Leadership: what it is (and isn’t)

Despite our familiarity with – and craving for – leadership, its precise meaning is often elusive and resistant to consensual definition. Partly because of this, actions that are adjudged as exemplary…
Shiny suit, bright future? Nokia’s new President and CEO, Rajeev Suri. Shiny suit, bright future? Nokia’s new President and CEO, Rajeev Suri. Nokia/handout/EPA

Nokia should stick to its guns on diversification, whatever the analysts say

Nokia has announced its new strategy. The Finish technology company will focus on the infrastructure business that keeps our mobile lives operating smoothly and will continue to chase opportunities in…
Why do company leaders get a different level of training to frontline managers? Why do company leaders get a different level of training to frontline managers? www.shutterstock.com

Productivity push should focus on frontline managers

Australia has more than two million registered businesses, and at least equally that number of actual places of work. These range from one and two person workplaces to groups of 100 people plus. These…
Do I look like I need leading? Do I look like I need leading? Linda Tanner

Why autocratic bosses are a dying breed

The idea that everyone wants leadership and wants to be led is a popular one, especially among corporate CEOs, but how true is it? Recent political events in Ukraine and Thailand should focus business…
After a long search, the right person was right under Microsoft’s nose. After a long search, the right person was right under Microsoft’s nose. Heisenberg Media

Microsoft seeks security in the expert hands of Satya Nadella

Faced with uncertain times, Microsoft has named Satya Nadella as its new CEO. His appointment follows months of speculation over who would replace longstanding leader Steve Ballmer, who retired last year…
Feeling threatened drives team members to highlight their distinguishing attributes. Feeling threatened drives team members to highlight their distinguishing attributes. Omar Gurnah/ Flickr

Team innovation and success: why we should fight at work

When your staff bicker and compete, your initial response should be to remind them they’re part of the same team and encourage them to be friendly, right? Not necessarily; we’re now realising that a level…
Motoring executives and politicians have met to discuss assistance for the manufacturing sector, but they shouldn’t overlook the need for local leaders. Motoring executives and politicians have met to discuss assistance for the manufacturing sector, but they shouldn’t overlook the need for local leaders. Joe Castro/AAP

After Holden: think national, act local

The Abbott government has made its first move to assist the regions affected by Holden’s planned closure. A high-profile taskforce, to be led by prime minister Tony Abbott and include two other federal…
High-profile leaders take a lot of flak. High-profile leaders take a lot of flak. Martin Rickett/PA

From business to football, boss bashing is easy but misplaced

Ever thought about how it felt to read about “your” performance in the papers? For high-level leaders such as football managers, but increasingly also CEOs of high-profile businesses this is part of their…
The business community may try to get as much out of Tony Abbott as possible, but do they recognise the clear differences between a CEO and a prime minister? The business community may try to get as much out of Tony Abbott as possible, but do they recognise the clear differences between a CEO and a prime minister? AAP/Bianca De Marchi

Beware PM, CEOs don’t get politics

The recent demands of business leaders for prime minister Tony Abbott to immediately reform the industrial relations system, rather than wait three years, should serve as yet another reminder of why corporate…
Who’s in charge here? Fish adapt to their new roles. Who’s in charge here? Fish adapt to their new roles. Shinnosuke Nakayama

Following fish teach us that leaders are born, not made

In our society, not many people are lucky enough to have an ideal boss who they would want to follow faithfully for the rest of their lives. Many might even find their boss selfish and arrogant or complain…
I am your leader, you know. I am your leader, you know. Ingrid Taylar

Leaders, fliers and foragers: the politics of being a pigeon

One of nature’s most fascinating phenomena is the collective behaviour of animals. A shoal of fish, a swarm of locusts, and a colony of ants can all act as superorganisms, where the group as a whole makes…
This election is a serious choice about the type of society we want to become. This election is a serious choice about the type of society we want to become. AAP

Creating space for the leadership Australia needs

In a recent lecture, Ross Garnaut argued that after decades of prosperity, Australians must now choose between two radically different approaches to our problems. The choice is between a “business as usual…
The sacking of Melbourne Demons Coach Mark Neeld has parallels to business management. The sacking of Melbourne Demons Coach Mark Neeld has parallels to business management. AAP

What big business can learn from football

It’s often said the AFL has become a big business, increasingly embodying many of the rules of the marketplace. But people rarely look at it the other way - that is, how business is like the AFL. The sacking…
Having a sound corporate vision is a key driver of a company’s success, but a recent study suggests that most employees are ignorant of corporate strategy. Having a sound corporate vision is a key driver of a company’s success, but a recent study suggests that most employees are ignorant of corporate strategy.

All talk, no action: why company strategy often falls on deaf ears

Corporate consultants often say that a company’s success depends not only on having a clear vision, but the ability to articulate it to all levels of staff. But how many employees know or understand the…
The sensible thing for Tony Abbott to do would be make himself as small a target as possible as the election draws near - but sooner or later he will need to put forward some detailed policies. The sensible thing for Tony Abbott to do would be make himself as small a target as possible as the election draws near - but sooner or later he will need to put forward some detailed policies. AAP/Lukas Coch

Never mind the leadership, what about the Opposition?

When Tony Abbott became leader of the Liberal Party by just one vote in December 2009 he saved the Liberal Party and non-Labor cause nationally from annihilation. Kevin Rudd as prime minister was riding…
When former leaders take the public stage, nostalgia hits for voters. When former leaders take the public stage, nostalgia hits for voters. ABCTV

A return to Rudd and Turnbull won’t raise the level of debate

Kevin Rudd and Malcolm Turnbull’s appearances on Q&A last night were always going to make a splash. High-profile media appearances by Rudd and Turnbull inevitably prompt speculation among the media…
Confronted with poor productivity growth and middling economic performance, it’s time for Australia’s managers to step up their game and skill up. Confronted with poor productivity growth and middling economic performance, it’s time for Australia’s managers to step up their game and skill up. Image from www.shutterstock.com

Productivity growth provides a reality check for the lucky country

As Australian economists and thought leaders continue to ponder what will happen when the resources boom ends, declining productivity levels are causing alarm. According to the global survey by the Economist…
Thinking outside the box will help managers get the best out of their employees. Thinking outside the box will help managers get the best out of their employees. swambo

Embracing the unknown is the key to tapping workplace talent

If you can’t measure it, you can’t manage it. Therefore, managers need a formal, cascading set of KPIs (key performance indicators), KPTs (key performance targets), and annual performance reviews to keep…
“Business as usual” isn’t an option for Prime Minister Julia Gillard if she wants to look like a leader. “Business as usual” isn’t an option for Prime Minister Julia Gillard if she wants to look like a leader. AAP

How Gillard should think the unthinkable and look like a leader

Now that the party’s votes are in, Prime Minister Julia Gillard has to make up ground with the voters. The polls are indicating the Labor Government is in deep trouble. Kevin Rudd was nothing if not analytical…
Can Kevin Rudd in 2012 be a different kind of leader to the Kevin Rudd of 2010? Can Kevin Rudd in 2012 be a different kind of leader to the Kevin Rudd of 2010? AAP

Sure we can change leaders, but can a leader change?

As a Monday showdown looms, one of the big questions being asked by members of the Labor caucus is whether Kevin Rudd in 2012 can be a different kind of the leader to the Kevin Rudd of 2010. Even as Rudd…
The leadership spill could lead to constitutional confusion if Rudd wins next week’s ballot. The leadership spill could lead to constitutional confusion if Rudd wins next week’s ballot. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

What happens if Kevin Rudd wins the leadership spill?

Prime Minister Julia Gillard announced this morning that she will hold a leadership ballot at 10am on Monday, to “settle once and for all” Labor’s escalating leadership crisis. Kevin Rudd has not formally…
Kevin Rudd has announced he will stand down as Foreign Minister. Kevin Rudd has announced he will stand down as Foreign Minister. AAP

‘Ambitions to lead Labor’ as Kevin Rudd quits as Foreign Minister

Foreign Minister Kevin Rudd has announced he will step down from his post, sparking immediate speculation about his next move and whether he will challenge Julia Gillard as Prime Minister. In a press conference…
Kevin Rudd will only give a smug smile when asked about his designs on Julia Gillard’s job. Kevin Rudd will only give a smug smile when asked about his designs on Julia Gillard’s job. AAP Image/Alan Porritt

Will he or won’t he? Why Kevin Rudd won’t give a straight answer on his leadership aspirations

Watching Kevin Rudd in his almost daily struggle to avoid giving a straight answer to questions about whether he’ll challenge Julia Gillard is as painful as listening to a smoker justify why they won’t…

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