David Klaasen's Blog (100)

How healthy is your appetite for risk?

There is an element of risk in everything we do because even doing nothing has risks attached to it, especially in today’s volatile and uncertain world. What is your appetite for risk and is it balanced enough?

With hindsight it is easy to see that the West’s impulsive adventure…

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Added by David Klaasen on April 7, 2016 at 17:44 — No Comments

10 Tips for Managing your Boss

Managing others can be a challenge.  Encouraging, motivating and cajoling staff takes a lot of thought and effort but the most demanding management task of all can be managing your boss, or your peers.

As a young Chef back in the 1980’s it was simply unthinkable to consider any sort of upward…

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Added by David Klaasen on March 4, 2016 at 20:08 — No Comments

Are you innovative enough to succeed?

Developing a new habit, implementing a new way of working or forging into a new market takes a lot of effort and persistence as well as knowing when to experiment and change or adapt your approach.  How versatile are you in these traits?

There is an interesting example of a man who at the…

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Added by David Klaasen on February 4, 2016 at 20:14 — No Comments

Are you too rigidly organised (or not enough)

Yet again we’ve had another year with significant changes on many levels.  How well are you adapting to them?  How agile is your business and how well organised is it?  Are your people and your systems flexible enough to make continuous changes while staying organised enough to deliver quality products and…

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Added by David Klaasen on December 3, 2015 at 19:45 — No Comments

A Planning Resource for 2016

As 2015 is drawing to a close and we begin to think about 2016, I have updated my Year Planner Spreadsheet and made it available on my Resource Website.  You can get a copy by going to…

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Added by David Klaasen on November 12, 2015 at 19:52 — No Comments

How to overcome your lazy brain

Your brain is fundamentally lazy – it is always looking for short cuts or the path of least effort.  This can lead to a limited view of the world based on your own perspective.  How are you overcoming it? 

In order to function well our brain requires a lot of energy, mainly in the…

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Added by David Klaasen on November 6, 2015 at 1:30 — No Comments

Are you using stress to achieve?

How much stress is good for you?  We all have our own particular sweet-spot with just the right amount of pressure that stimulates, motivates and inspires us to greatness.  If it’s too much or too little our performance deteriorates and when it’s out of balance it harms our health. 

Over the last few…

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Added by David Klaasen on October 8, 2015 at 21:16 — No Comments

The surprising truth about rewards

When was the last time you had an unpleasant surprise?  How did you feel?  What did you learn from it? Neuroscientists are now uncovering some very interesting research about how our expectations influence our behaviour, memory and even our motivation to learn. 

Prediction Machine

Surprise comes…

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Added by David Klaasen on September 4, 2015 at 8:30 — No Comments

What is better logic or intuition?

How effective is your decision making?  Do you have a preference for logic and working out the rationale or do you prefer to use your intuition and your gut feeling?  There is now a lot of research that shows the limitations of both these approaches and it is interesting to identify our natural preference…

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Added by David Klaasen on July 6, 2015 at 20:44 — No Comments

The measurable edge of Emotional Intelligence

The emotional intelligence of your managers is affecting your business performance.  There is now ample evidence of a direct link between the emotional intelligence of managers and the engagement of their people.  Research also shows that engaged employees are more productive and this has a direct impact on the bottom line.  

But there is evidence that engagement has far wider ramifications.  Kevin Kruse, an expert in engagement, highlights what he calls the ‘Spill Over’ effect.  When…

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Added by David Klaasen on June 4, 2015 at 20:30 — No Comments

How to improve self esteem

Why do we often notice defensiveness in others but not in ourselves?  Why are we sometimes harsher with ourselves than others?  The answer lies in an interesting paradox.

I hear a lot of managers complain about people not taking responsibility for issues or things that have gone wrong.  But…

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Added by David Klaasen on May 7, 2015 at 20:09 — No Comments

5 Brain-friendly strategies to increase staff engagement

Far too many staff feel totally alienated by indifferent management and a lack of belonging at work.  Numerous surveys show that most businesses are suffering from a chronic lack of staff engagement.  But understanding some basic principles about how our brain functions, makes it easier to implement simple strategies that can improve engagement, collaboration and productivity.

According to the flourishing new field of Neuroscience our brains are hard-wired to assess threats to our…

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Added by David Klaasen on April 9, 2015 at 20:00 — No Comments

Are you being too Harsh or too Permissive?

Managers often fall into the trap of being either too harsh or too permissive.  Both of these traits are due to…

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Added by David Klaasen on March 5, 2015 at 20:26 — No Comments

5 Tips to Optimise your Performance

Your brain is very fussy.  Neglecting it causes problems that can undermine your performance by having you overlook important factors, reach faulty conclusions and make poor decisions.  But once you know why it’s so fussy you can practice some simple techniques to optimise your performance.

Making sense

The billions of neurons in your brain are only useful to you if they are communicating with one another.  Have you ever had the experience of sticking your key in the…

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Added by David Klaasen on February 5, 2015 at 20:30 — No Comments

Using your Inner Director to achieve your goals

As we get used to it being 2015 and consider what the New Year holds in store for us, it is a good time to reflect on what we would like to achieve this year.  Setting and achieving a goal takes commitment and focus and while a lot of people start with best intentions many let their motivation fizzle out and get lost in the busyness of work and personal life.  But there is now a simple a way to tap into your deepest resources so you can focus on achieving results.   It involves the latest…

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Added by David Klaasen on January 8, 2015 at 19:30 — No Comments

13 Tips for saying ‘No’

Anyone can say Yes.  Saying Yes is easy.  When we say Yes people like us because it’s a simple way to avoid confrontation or argument.  However, when you say Yes, what are you actually saying No to?  What are you sacrificing?

As the year comes to a close and you look back at your achievements in 2014, it’s healthy to review what you said Yes to and what you said No to i.e. what did you intend to do but sacrifice for the sake of something else? 

When you say Yes to daily…

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Added by David Klaasen on December 4, 2014 at 20:00 — No Comments

Are you engaging in enough Candid Conversations?

There is no getting away from the simple fact that effective management is about effective communication.  Survey after survey is also telling us that on average 70% of employees are disengaged from their work.  What is going on?  What are managers missing?  As is often the case, the answer is surprisingly simple . . .



A number of years ago two of the researchers at Gallup reverse engineered literally millions of employment survey responses and collated the key things that great…

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Added by David Klaasen on November 6, 2014 at 20:00 — No Comments

Demystifying Teamwork

One of the classic questions in management is ‘Why do some teams outperform others?’  There are thousands of books on the topic of teamwork and many people call it an Art rather than a Science because of all the variables.  But some very sophisticated scientific research is throwing an interesting light on the subject.

In a recent paper Professor Alex Pentland, and his team at the Human Dynamic Laboratory at MIT, mentioned how they conducted a number of fascinating studies that show…

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Added by David Klaasen on October 3, 2014 at 20:00 — No Comments

4 Steps To Increase Learning And Growth

The rapidly increasing complexities of modern business mean that if we are not effective at learning we will flounder and our team or our business may fail.  Some of the biggest brands have disappeared from our high streets because too many of their leaders and managers had the wrong mindset.  Is your mindset helping or hindering your performance or the performance of your business?

Dr. Carol Dweck, Professor of Psychology at Stanford University, is one of the world’s leading…

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Added by David Klaasen on September 4, 2014 at 3:30 — No Comments

3 Tips to be Smarter Happier and More Productive

It’s a simple fact of business that if you try to do it all on your own you won’t succeed, yet many managers fall into the trap of being too busy to engage with their teams and develop positive working relationships.  The latest findings in the neuroscience community tell us that effective leadership and high productivity is about balancing our analytical thinking with ‘social’ thinking because it makes us smarter, happier and more productive.   

The Social – Non-social…

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Added by David Klaasen on July 3, 2014 at 18:00 — 3 Comments

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