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Norm Smallwood

Norm Smallwood
  • Leadership Development Principles That Deliver Results

    It is tempting and easy to cut back leadership investments in tough economic conditions. While recession times require appropriate management actions, leaders and CLOs should not under- or over-react.  Under-reaction would occur if training continues as usual. Over-reaction would occur if all leadership investments are stopped or dramatically changed. The five principles Ulrich and Smallwood propose help ensure that changes in economic cycles do not affect investments in leadership development.

  • Leadership Sustainability

    Most of us who are interested in developing leadership have been here. We have taught a leadership development course with the latest principles of effective leadership; we have coached an aspiring leader about how to interpret and use 360 feedback; or we have reviewed an organization’s leadership development plans with the board or executive committee.

  • Leadership Sustainability

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    Most good leaders want and try to become better. Around the world today, and every day of the year, thousands of leaders will attend leadership training to glean insights into how to lead better. At the end of the training, performance development, coaching, and 360-degree feedback, most of these leaders will resolve to use their new insights to become more effective. Unfortunately, few of them will implement these good intentions.


  • Leadership Sustainability: Develop Seven Integrated Disciplines - LE

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    Most good leaders try to become better. Thousands of leaders: attend leadership training; receive performance reviews; get individual development plans; receive coaching with ideas on how to change their behavior and deliver better results; and complete a 360-degree feedback process with data on how they are seen by others. At the end, most leaders resolve to use their new insights and be more effective. Unfortunately, few implement these good intentions.

  • Making Intangibles Tangible: The Architecture for Intangibles

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    In today’s financial markets, earnings account for barely more than 50% of a company’s market value. The other 50% comes from the firm’s “intangibles,” a catch-all category of factors not directly related to physical assets. Little wonder that CEOs and CFOs are increasingly frustrated. Under constant pressure to increase their company’s market value, they find themselves grappling with a set of variables whose very name—intangibles—suggests they can’t be defined, much…

  • Our Leadership Journey

    Leadership is a topic where the volume of writing does not match the value. Much is written and many of the same ideas are repeated. In the last decade, we have addressed the issue of how leaders have impact by contributing to this huge volume of work with four books and many articles. In this article, we review this work and synthesize how we believe we’ve contributed a unique perspective…

  • Results-Based Leadership

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    Few would argue that leadership matters. Companies that can attract, develop, and retain the best leaders are likely to flourish. The issue grows hazy when we attempt to define leadership, and hazier still when managers try to match today’s dizzying array of leadership practices with the specific needs of their organization. Results-Based Leadership brings refreshing clarity and directness to the leadership discussion, providing a hands-on program that will help executives…

  • Shared Mindset: Building Intangible Value from the Outside-In

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    Recent history demonstrates that the intangibles of business—quality leadership, the ability to make things happen quickly, a clear growth strategy, strong functional competencies, and brand recognition; matter in both bear and bull markets. When the dot-com bubble burst, stories of corporate dishonesty grew, and the economy tumbled into recession, some firms’ market value fell more than others in the same industry. We believe that firms that survived the market credibility…

  • Strategic Restructuring

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    During economic uncertainty, restructuring is common. While most leaders agree that structure should follow strategy, few have a process for moving from strategy to restructuring. With or without a strategic framework, restructuring goes on. As a result of not basing restructuring decisions on a clear strategy, few restructuring efforts involving downsizing ever improve profitability, even in the short-term. This article outlines how managers can create a clear strategy to guide…

  • The A to Z of Becoming a Business Ally

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    Effective HR professionals must understand both the business and external factors that influence the success of their companies. We often refer to this competency as being a “Business Ally”. This paper provides HR professionals with ideas about where to go for information about their business, their industry, and its competitive context in order to develop this competence.

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