Category Archives: Leading Company


MBA’s and Career Transition Stories

Leon Gettler from Leading Company recently did a piece on MBA’s who have made career transitions, it was titled  ‘How an MBA can propel you out of a career rut’

As a careers strategist working with MBA’s I was approached about the subject as were a number of MBA students who have made successful career transitions.  While the academic benefits of doing an MBA are unquestionable, more recently people are also starting to see the career benefits that an MBA offers beyond simply climbing the corporate ladder. Doing an MBA does open up a lot of new career possibilities to students and can lead them down a new and exciting career path that they may never have contemplated.

In his article Leon states – “The MBA is about more than just getting skills. For many, it’s a career-changing tool. It can turn engineers into financial analysts, IT specialists into brand managers and administrative assistants into procurement specialists. In recent years, ex-military people have begun doing an MBA to move into consulting and financial services.”

To read about some exciting career transition stories from MBA students visit Leading Company

Summer Reading Ideas

booksI recently wrote a short review for Leading Company for their article ‘A holiday reading list: How to get inspired this Christmas’ which is well worth a look if you are interested in some short reviews on leadership books by various writers and bloggers.

I contributed a review from a terrific book by James Waldroop and Timothy Butler – ’12 Habits that hold good people back.’ Using real-client case studies, executive coaches who’ve worked with clients from some of the world’s biggest companies distil 12 behaviours that lead people to fail in their careers. This book is brilliant for anyone who manages others and /or is looking to manage their career more effectively.

Share your leadership reading suggestions.

Wishing you all the best for the new year.

Toyota’s Redundancy Performance

I spoke with Kath Walters yesterday from Leading Company in relation to the retrenchments at Toyota. Kath has written a great piece ‘Eight leadership challenges facing Toyota’ in which I am referenced. I am keen to add further points to this article and clarify my views.

Yes, the reality is that retrenchments (the role is made redundant, the person is retrenched) are part of work life for everyone and have been for 10 plus years now. Nor is it unusual for most of us to expect to be retrenched multiple times in our careers.

As the Leading Company article highlights, the key is for organisations to manage the process in the most dignified manner possible, adhering to best practise, which unfortunately does not always occur.

When we join an employer, we engage in a contract with each party agreeing to uphold their end of the bargain. I don’t advocate employers unfairly treating employees, nor do I advocate employees taking advantage of their employers. While the majority of employers and employees do the right thing, there are always those that play by their own rules!

In the instance of Toyota, it was a mixture of both the company not performing, resulting in them assessing staff who had low performance ratings.  It is likely that those low performing staff were doing so for a variety of reasons – from not being in the right work environment, the right job or just not being engaged due to their own personal reasons.  One would hope that Toyota took the steps to address and assist them, before making decision to go down the redundancy path.

I certainly wish that those who lost their jobs with Toyota receive great outplacement support and go on to find rewarding jobs and careers.

Are you losing good staff? The best way to keep them costs nothing

Talent retention has long been communicated by companies as a key challenge.

Often companies instigate or upgrade Human Resource Information Systems (HRIS) or engage consultants to help solve the problem.

Added to this, companies are now also concerned about internal talent mobility, as cited in The Australian’s story, ‘What they do not know can hurt them’ by David Wilson [November 26, 2011].

Wilson’s article states “employers desperate to match the right … to the right jobs face chronic shortages of computerised staff background information and data to make fully informed decisions.” This may well be the case, but the solution to these challenges does not necessarily rest with having more computerised data about staff – well not initially, anyway.

What companies need to look at is their overall process, rather than jumping in to buy or upgrade their HRIS.  While having a snappier computer system is theoretically easy (albeit expensive), it rarely fixes the real problem – which is the data these systems contain.

Data is only as good as the relevance of information inputted.  Which, in reality, often has little input from the staff member – rather, it contains their resume (a historical document) and some personal or interview data and maybe some performance reviews. All offer questionable strategic value.

To read the full article, visit Leading Company