Stories by Catherine Fox

The strategy fad is dead, long live thinking

A few years ago, an audience worthy of a rock concert turned up at
Sydney's Convention and Exhibition Centre to listen with rapt

Written by Catherine Fox06 Jan. 09 22:00

Street angels, office devils

Mary had been with her employer in a senior role for a number of years, capping off a successful 30-year career, when a new CEO was appointed to the business. "I had got on extremely well with the previous CEO and then they employed the one who I worked with for three years," she said.
"It became three years of hell. He became abusive to me in front of my colleagues. He spent three years undermining me and setting me up for failure. There were mixed messages, telling me one thing then when you did it, it was not what he wanted. He let you know you were incompetent and incapable and too old to do that."

Written by Catherine Fox25 Sept. 08 22:00

I'm feeling lucky

When Richard Kimber was running HSBC's online bank First Direct in the UK, he chopped his traditional media budget and went for more online spending to boost new business. It wasn't just a cost issue but the transparency of online that really appealed - and delivered results.
"From an advertiser's view it works, and it worked really well," he says. "I moved a lot of media budget to online at first direct. The UK went through a credit squeeze a while ago and we were using the internet to attract deposit account holders. We changed the marketing investment away from direct mail to the internet. In financial services, the reason it worked well is it was interfaced with CRM [customer relationship management]; it became the most measurable of our marketing channels."

Written by Catherine Fox29 May 08 22:00

Glass ceiling firmly in place

The mental model of male leadership was still deeply embedded in business and this meant formal policies to increase the number of women in management were failing, said researcher and consultant Hannah Piterman, author of The Leadership Challenge: Women in Management.
"The move by women into leadership has been sluggish to say the least. There's a moral dimension that cannot be ignored. Entrenched beliefs regarding the role of men and women in society continue to be played out in organisational life," she said at the launch, organised by the Committee for Economic Development of Australia (CEDA) in Sydney.

Written by Catherine Fox17 March 08 23:00

Softly, softly

Most of us run a mile from conflict in the workplace and that's not a good thing, says US author, mediator and leadership thinker Mark Gerzon. By ignoring or repressing friction points on the job, we risk having the problems harden into something Gerzon calls cold conflict. It's hard to identify or flush out in the open so it can be very tricky to deal with - but deal with it we must.
Conflict is part of the human condition. Leaders everywhere need a suite of skills to guide them in such a sensitive arena, Gerzon argues in his latest book Leading Through Conflict (Harvard Business School Press). Today, he points out, with more than 63,000 transnational companies, comprising 800,000 subsidiaries, employing more than 90 million people and producing 25 per cent of the world's GNP, the need for mediation and negotiation skills permeates every part of society.

Written by Catherine Fox18 Feb. 08 22:00

Sexism in the city

Women in senior jobs in Australia's largest companies earn up to 50 per cent less than men in similar positions, a government report has found.
Women chief executives earn 32.3 per cent less than men in the top job, while the gap for chief operating officer and chief financial officer positions is about 50 per cent, according to the report by the federal government's Equal Employment for Women in the Workplace Agency.

Written by Catherine Fox23 Jan. 08 22:00

It's all in the mind

No matter how many times you observe the phenomenon there's something intriguing about the metamorphosis of a new management trend. From relative obscurity or an unrelated field of expertise an idea is plucked, packaged and pitched to a business audience, buoyed by some media hype.
As science produces more fascinating details about the way the brain works, the prefix "neuro" is being attached to disciplines from marketing to economics and finance. Neuroleadership refers to a blend of certain findings from neuroscience with a set of leadership practices and principles designed to encourage more consultative, creative and empathetic corporate chiefs.

Written by Catherine Fox10 Nov. 07 22:00