Articles & Blogs

Corporate values - and how not to work with them.

The large number of employees also makes a code of conduct unavoidable. In many places, this also includes values that are desirable and are even used to assess employees and managers.

What happens time and again in everyday organisational life is that values are set in the hope that they will have an immediate generative effect. Values are therefore often highlighted in management workshops, propagated in training sessions or strived for by senior management. This is particularly noticeable when a change project is announced that is based on establishing new, better values: ‘We need to become more effective, more innovative, more entrepreneurial, more agile, build a culture of error, become a family, drive cultural change.’

General lack of understanding of the importance of values

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A destroyed bridge near Irpin

36 Hours in Kyiv, Between War and Big City Life

Last week, on March 19, 2024, I traveled to the capital of Ukraine to kick off the cooperation between the Cosmikk-Foundation and our new project partner, Future For Ukraine Foundation (FFU).  The Cosmikk-Foundation, founded by my colleague Uwe Achterholt and myself, provides NGO leaders free access to high-quality coaching.  FFU provides prosthetics to wounded soldiers, psychological counseling to women who experienced sexual violence, and social support to children with mental health issues.

Olena, president of FFU, and I had met in Warsaw back in January of 2024. Our teams had been working on finalizing the agreements to work together for some months. When we first met, Olena had invited me to join the premiere of a documentary on their work in March, and we agreed to combine it with a signing ceremony to kick off our joint project. Here are some of my impressions from this trip that changed and widened many of my perspectives, brought me new friends and simply changed my life.

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Secret of Resilience in Top Management Unlocked?

How It All Began
How do people manage to develop their full potential under the most difficult circumstances? And what can managers learn from these people? We have spent over a decade researching and working with countless managers to identify the individual factors that have a positive or negative impact on their crisis resilience. And we developed a scientifically sound procedure to measure the protective and risk factors, because skills can only be strengthened if they are recognized as relevant and if can be influenced. We are now in a position to present initial research data that provides exciting insights into the connection between crisis resilience and management careers.

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(B)uilding More Humane Organizations With Germany’s Newest B Corp: Leadership Choices

Nestled away in Wiesbaden, Germany, a city known for its famous mineral springs and for being the state capital of Hessia, is a professional services company with a global reach. With 150 coaches based in 27 countries (and fluent in 15 languages), Leadership Choices works with organizations around the world, coaching their leaders to be more resilient, supporting their teams to develop more psychological safety, and helping their people to build more humane company cultures.

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What are Corporates really looking for in Executive Coaches?

Well, I thought - why not ask them? At the end of February I facilitated a panel Q[&]A session in my role as Guildford Area Coordinator of the European Mentoring and Coaching Council. On the panel were heads of HR, Learning and Development and Organisational Development from 3 multinationals based in and around the Guildford area. So, what are these buyers of coaching looking for? The key requirements seemed to me to be twofold – quality assurance and value for money.

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Get rid of the Mayonnaise!

We need to talk. These words often trigger anxiety, whether at home or at work. In fact, for many, announcing feedback is right behind the dentist and tax return in terms of popularity. As coaches, we know good ways to counter this discomfort: Using the classic sandwich approach or the burger-method, where feedback is constructively wrapped between two or more layers of praise, recognition and mayonnaise. These methods are particularly effective when it comes to correcting errors on a factual level. However, if the focus of the feedback is on emotions or a sustainable change in behaviour, traditional feedback does not seem to be sufficient. If real change, if more creativity and personal responsibility are to be encouraged, feedback should not be improved, but be based on completely different basic assumptions. The first basic assumption that needs to be reconsidered is that the person giving feedback knows better what should have been done or said.

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Are You Successful? How Do You Know?

Nothing seems to be easier to answer than the question if you are successful. But the moment you start thinking about it, questions come up like “am I really successful?”, “what does successful mean?” or “successful in relationship to what?”. In a recent study with over 200 managers from all over the world I asked the question “What does long-lasting professional success mean for you?” I wanted to find out which ingredients are widely accepted in the recipe for success.

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