Has a plucky plumber put some hybrid estate agent business models in doubt?

first_imgHome » News » Has a plucky plumber put some hybrid estate agent business models in doubt? previous nextRegulation & LawHas a plucky plumber put some hybrid estate agent business models in doubt?Freelance pipe bender who took ’employer’ to court over his entitlement to holiday and sick pay may trigger a rethink at many hybrid agent’s headquarters.Nigel Lewis13th June 201802,244 Views A freelance plumber who took the company he worked for to court over whether he was entitled to the same rights as a permanent employee has won his case in the High Court today.The landmark decision throws huge doubt over the UK’s ‘gig economy’ including the business models of some hybrid agents.Gary Smith took Pimlico Plumbers initially to a tribunal and later the High Court to demand his rights after working solely for the firm over a six-year period.The outcome of the judgement is that the employment tribunal he originally took the company to after claiming to have been unfairly dismissed is “entitled to conclude” that he is a worker and entitled to employment rights.This will worry many executives running the UK’s hybrid agencies, many of whom employ representative on the ground in a similar way to the plumber involved in today’s case. He was VAT registered and paid tax as a self-employed person.Holiday and sick payNow, although workers such as Gary Smith will continue to be employed as freelancers, they may be entitled to holiday and sick pay.The colourful chief executive of Pimlico Plumbers Charlie Mullins told the BBC he was “disgusted by the approach taken to this case by the highest court in the United Kingdom”.“This was a poor decision that will potentially leave thousands of companies, employing millions of contractors, wondering if one day soon they will get a nasty surprise from a former contractor demanding more money, despite having been paid in full years ago”.The case comes at an important time for ‘gig economy’ employers who use freelance representatives and who view them as quasi-franchisees. The government is currently considering legislation to sharpen up these blurred employment lines.“This is going to put a spanner in the works of some hybrid estate agents like Purplebricks but not all – some like eMoov do directly employ their local representatives,” says Cornish agent Chris Wood of PDQ Properties.“But remember some traditional estate agents employ negotiators this way too, so it’s not just about the online agents. But anyone employing people this way will need to now think long and hard about several topics including National Insurance, tax and holiday and sick pay costs.Chris also says today’s High Court case also throws the positions taken by Trading Standards and the Property Ombudsman recently on gig workers within the industry.Read more about hybrid estate agents.High court hybrid estate agents pimlico plumbers employment tribunal June 13, 2018Nigel LewisWhat’s your opinion? Cancel replyYou must be logged in to post a comment.Please note: This is a site for professional discussion. Comments will carry your full name and company.This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.Related articles Letting agent fined £11,500 over unlicenced rent-to-rent HMO3rd May 2021 BREAKING: Evictions paperwork must now include ‘breathing space’ scheme details30th April 2021 City dwellers most satisfied with where they live30th April 2021last_img read more

PROBLEM SOLVING (Henry Harris)

first_imgPROBLEM SOLVING — Henry Harris Community School Grade 6 students in Mrs. McMahon’s Math classes began the year honing their problem solving strategies. Each student selected, applied and illustrated a given strategy to solve a problem. Pictured are Olivia Nieves and Gabriella Dominiquez ×last_img

Preliminary autopsy findings in on murder-suicide in Mishawaka

first_img By Jon Zimney – June 27, 2020 1 980 Preliminary autopsy findings in on murder-suicide in Mishawaka Facebook Pinterest WhatsApp Google+ Google+ Previous articleRep. Banks’ bill would make desecrating presidential memorials a federal offenseNext articleAttendance limited to 50 percent for Indianapolis 500 Jon ZimneyJon Zimney is the News and Programming Director for News/Talk 95.3 Michiana’s News Channel and host of the Fries With That podcast. Follow him on Twitter @jzimney. Twitter IndianaLocalNews Pinterest (Photo supplied/ABC 57) Preliminary findings from the autopsies performed on the two men found dead from gunshot wounds in Mishawaka on Thursday, June 25, show one man died as a result of multiple gunshot wounds. The death of Brent Gregory, 43, of Mishawaka was ruled a homicide.The autopsy performed on Kenneth Hunt, 43, of Niles show he died from a single gunshot wound. His death was ruled a suicide.Officers with the St. Joseph County Police Department were sent to the 16000 block of Valley Trail around 12:40 a.m. on the report of an assault in progress and found the two men with fatal gunshot wounds and multiple guns.The official rulings as to the manner of death will be made when the results of toxicology studies are completed. WhatsApp Twitter Facebooklast_img read more

Video: Irwin’s calls for more flavour in mass-produced bread

first_imgThere is a place for all scales of bread production and industry players need to stop competing with each other, says bakery expert. Niall Irwin, technical director at Northern Ireland’s Irwin’s Bakery, told British Baker that small, medium and large-scale production are all “equally laudable” and have a place in the market.He pointed out the differences between large-scale commercial production of bread using the Chorleywood bread process, large-scale production of fermented products – such as Irish batch bread – and artisanal bread ranges, which result in high unit costs.He said: “I would suggest there is an intermediate step, which is commercial production of fermented bread. It produces wonderful bread of flavour through overnight fermentation, which is heightened throughout the baking process.“I think the bread industry needs to and should embrace fermentation in its production.“All three [types] have a use in the market place and should be valued, nurtured and preserved, rather than competing with each other.”British Baker went to visit Irwin’s in Belfast to see the factory in action. Watch the video below for insights into what consumers want and where the bread market is lacking.last_img read more

Religion and conflict in Syria

first_img Read Full Story Members of the Faculty of Divinity are expressing doubts about the prospect of a U.S. military strike in response to Syrian President Bashar al-Assad’s reported use of chemical weapons on the country’s civilian population.Ahmed Ragab, William Graham, and Harvey Cox lament the failure of the international community to avert the humanitarian disaster now unfolding in Syria, but say that unilateral intervention is unlikely to improve the situation, now that it is complicated by sectarian violence.Ragab, the Richard T. Watson Assistant Professor of Science and Religion, spent much of the summer in the Middle East. He says that one of the greatest tragedies of the Syrian conflict is that neither violence nor sectarianism were initially at the heart of the revolution.“This movement started as entirely peaceful,” he says. “For months and months, people took to the streets in peaceful protest. They were attacked by the regime but they continued peacefully protesting for a long time. The escalation of the violence by the regime led to the fact that these people took up arms to defend themselves. It was at this moment – when the violence became more central to the conflict – that we saw armed factions and extremist groups like Al-Qaeda become more influential in the conflict.”last_img read more

Why birds don’t crash

first_imgNavigating a cluttered environment at high speed is among the greatest challenges in biology. Yet it’s one virtually all birds achieve with ease.It’s a feat that David Williams is working to understand. A former postdoctoral fellow in the Harvard lab of Charles P. Lyman Professor of Biology Andrew Biewener, and now a postdoc at the University of Washington, Williams is the lead author of a study that shows birds use two highly stereotyped postures to avoid obstacles in flight.The study could open the door to new ways to program drones and other unmanned aerial vehicles to avoid similar obstacles. The study is described in a paper recently published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.“This was somewhat surprising to us,” Williams said of the results. “In lower-order animals like insects, we think of these very stereotyped motor programs where you stimulate your muscle, and the passive dynamics of your exoskeleton or the tendons attached to that muscle control most of the motion.Pigeons in Flight Here pigeons use the wings paused and wings folded postures to squeeze between a set of obstacles. The paused case is used more where gaps are larger and allows faster traversals with less height loss. The folded case, used in tighter settings, is significantly more resistant to collision-induced loss of control. Video credit: Ariah Kidder“But when you look at higher-order animals, it’s common to expect that those motor programs are going to be more complex, and there’s going to be more subtle gradations in those programs. So it was surprising to see a very high-order animal like a bird using very simple motor programs. Biology is optimized to be just good enough to work, so what that indicates is those are very effective motor programs.”While most other research into bird flight has focused on what scientists call “clear-sky” flying, Williams’ study was focused on understanding how, once birds identify gaps between obstacles — whether those are buildings, cars, or trees — they adjust their in-flight posture to squeeze through those spaces.“A big part of biological motion is energy minimization and robustness,” he explained. “You want to be able to get around without exhausting yourself, and if you do hit something, you don’t want it to be something that’s unrecoverable. You don’t want to fall to the ground, or to break a wing.”The expectation, Williams said, was that birds would adopt a myriad of postures to allow them to fit between obstacles of varying sizes. The reality, however, was more interesting.“What we actually found was there are two very distinct, stereotyped postures that are adopted,” he said. “We thought there would be body rotation. We thought there might be intermediate stages where they would pull their wings in a little bit. We thought there would be stages where they might have one wing up and one down. We thought it would be catch-as-catch-can, and it’s not.”In the first posture, what Williams calls “wings paused,” the birds’ wings are held wide out, at the top of the upswing of their flapping. In the second, the birds tuck their wings back against their bodies, almost as if they were perched on a branch.“The paused posture … interrupts their wing beat cycle for shorter periods of time, so they tend to lose less height, and their wings are ready to hit the air running, so to speak,” Williams said. “We thought maybe they were using the ballistic posture in cases where they want to get smaller, but it doesn’t actually make them much smaller from a forward angle. What it does do is reduce the amount they’re going to rotate or be disrupted if they do collide with anything.”To understand the birds’ in-flight postures, Williams and colleagues built a 20-meter-long flight corridor — essentially an obstacle course consisting of a number of vertical poles — for birds to fly through.Researchers then fitted pigeons with small backpacks that powered a series of tiny, infrared LEDs, which were placed along the birds’ backs, at their wingtips, near their wing joints, and on their heads. As the birds flew through the corridor, the LEDs were tracked by an array of five high-speed cameras, allowing researchers to determine their postures precisely.Going forward, Williams said, researchers hope to expand the study to include horizontal obstacles similar to tree limbs. The findings in the current study may offer insight into how unmanned aerial vehicles could be programmed to avoid obstacles.“When most people think about drones, they think about quad-copters … people are getting better at controlling them through very narrow and complex obstacle courses, but there are experimental flight devices that feature adjustable wing-aspect ratios,” Williams said. “This suggests that if we can build the brains into the material structure of an object, rather than into the computation controlling the object … we can change the stability through that mechanism.”last_img read more

New Marshall scholars gaze ahead

first_img The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Related The thrill of winning a Rhodes Oxford adventures await for Harvard undergrads Brittany Ellis and Jin K. Park At this point in the year, most Harvard College seniors are turning their attention to planning for winter break, or beginning to think ahead to job searches and graduate school.But not Lyndon Hanrahan, Justin Lee, Manny Medrano, and Vaibhav Mohanty.The four seniors were among the students selected this week as Marshall scholars, meaning they’ll have the next two years to study at a college or university of their choice in the United Kingdom.Created in 1953 to commemorate American aid to Europe after World War II under the Marshall Plan, and sponsored by the British government, the scholarships are among the most prestigious academic awards in the world. As many as 40 promising scholars and likely future leaders in their fields are selected from across the United States each year to receive the scholarships. Here’s a look at the students and their early plans.Lyndon HanrahanRoyal College of ArtFor Hanrahan, being selected as a Marshall scholar came as something of a surprise.A joint concentrator in English and Visual and Environmental Studies, with a secondary concentration in Theatre, Dance & Media, Hanrahan aspires to a career as a filmmaker. He hadn’t expected even to be in the running for the scholarship, let alone receive one.,“It’s shocking, especially because I want to be an artist,” said Hanrahan, who plans to attend the Royal College of Art. “My plan was always that I was going to graduate, and I was going to move to Paris, and I was going to wing it. This came as such an enormous surprise. It’s astounding and immensely gratifying.“While I think there are a lot of benefits to attending film school in terms of the practical side of wanting to be a filmmaker, [that can] detract from the conceptual part of the work,” he said, “whereas the Royal College has a wonderful program called The Moving Image pathway. And what that will allow me to do is blend the practice of filmmaking with conceptual and theoretical work in a way that isn’t possible elsewhere.”Unlike a traditional film school, Hanrahan said, the program will allow him to expand his cinematic vocabulary beyond narrative storytelling and to interact with a wide array of artists, from filmmakers and people using moving images in other ways to fine artists.“This program doesn’t have a narrow focus in the way when you go to film school you study fiction directing or documentary directing or screenwriting,” he said. “This is open to anyone. That includes things like scripted, narrative stories, but it also includes video installation work, documentary, and more. So it’s very encompassing in that regard.”Justin LeeUniversity of Oxford“I have wanted to study at Oxford for a long time,” said Lee, an Eliot House resident and economics concentrator. “So I feel extremely privileged to have this opportunity.”For Lee, the Marshall represents not just two years at Oxford but two years delving deeply into what he called the humanistic, rather than mathematical, side of economics.“This is about getting a wider view of the field and thinking through the evolution of the philosophy behind economics,” he said. “I’m primarily interested in international development, and a big question there is, ‘What is economic value?’ How do we calculate if people’s lives are getting better around the world?“Often, when people talk about development or poverty, they only focus on statistics like GDP,” he added. “But these measures don’t provide the complete picture. As an example, my family is originally from Hong Kong. The GDP per capita there is very high relative to other places, but ironically there is not a country that is less happy than Hong Kong that is wealthier than Hong Kong. I want to study and understand alternative measures of growth and prosperity.”,Gaining a better understanding of the measures that add or detract from economic value will help economists create better models, Lee said.“A big trend now is the move toward building complex models where we can input various factors, get outputs, and then derive results from these outputs,” he said. “But you have to know what to put in to understand what you get out. To do that requires knowledge of economic and social history … it will be fascinating to get that perspective at Oxford.”Manny MedranoUniversity of St. AndrewsFor Medrano, receiving a Marshall scholarship is both the opportunity of a lifetime and the culmination of years of work aimed at deciphering khipus, a knotted-rope system used by the ancient Incas of South America to record everything from tax and census records to military organization.His plan, he said, is to pursue a Ph.D. at the University of St. Andrews under Sabine Hyland, Europe’s foremost expert on the colonial period in the Andes Mountains and on the use of khipus after the Spanish arrived in 1532.“[Professor Hyland] does ethnographic work in modern communities in the Andes where people have some cultural memory of the use of khipus … and broadly, I’ll be analyzing her colonial-era khipu data,” he said. “Specifically, there are two khipus from a tiny village called San Juan de Collata that are thought to encode war-planning messages between native chieftains who were organizing a revolt against the Spanish.“Just last year, the data from those khipus was finally compiled,” he continued. “The khipus themselves are still in Peru, but the data sits with one department in the world, and it’s at St. Andrews. So I’ll be looking at the colonial period and using the mathematical techniques I’ve honed here at Harvard to bring a new angle to what is often thought of as a humanities problem.”,Though khipus have traditionally been thought of as being used for numerical data, such as tax or census records, Medrano said it’s believed that many may also encode other information, so deciphering the knotted ropes is hugely important for understanding the Americas before colonization.“The 200th anniversary of the decipherment of hieroglyphics is in 2022, and … we still have one of the world’s most important languages sitting on the table,” he said. “Khipus were used to administer an empire of more than 10 million people. But to this day we don’t know the name of a single person on the continent before 1532 from a primary source because we haven’t been able to read them. There’s a whole continent of history that remains opaque to us because of it.”Vaibhav MohantyUniversity of OxfordMohanty, who plans to pursue a Ph.D. in theoretical physics at Oxford, said the Marshall scholarship will start him down the road to becoming not just a physician-scientist, but one with a deep understanding of the physics that underlie biological processes — and how to harness them for therapeutic and diagnostic purposes.Mohanty, a Quincy House resident and concentrator in chemistry and physics with a secondary concentration in music and a joint master’s degree in theoretical chemistry, said that in many ways both physics and chemistry can inform on important biological questions in medicine. As an example, he pointed to the development of MRI technology.First developed by physicists, MRI was later adopted by chemists interested in exploring the structure and interactions between atoms in various materials. It wasn’t until later, he said, that the technology’s diagnostic potential was fully realized.,Today, Mohanty said, new technologies may be developed that can offer similar insights on processes such as protein folding, DNA and RNA folding, and more. He said his goal is to not only be part of the conversation in developing those tools, but also to understand how they can be applied to key biological processes.A composer, pianist, and saxophonist, Mohanty is looking forward to collaborating with both scientists and musicians, and joining the musical community at Oxford and in London.“I’ve tried to make my training broad and deep enough, and grounded in fundamental science … because a major goal for me is interdisciplinary work,” he said. “Whether it’s applying math and physics to understand musical chord structures or taking the principles of diffusion physics and applying them to medical imaging, I like to think that disciplinary boundaries are artificial and are beginning to blur.”last_img read more

Russian Propaganda Invades Latin America

first_imgBy Gustavo Arias Retana/Diálogo February 22, 2019 Russian pro-government media carry out an ongoing campaign to discredit nations unaligned with Russia’s interventionist policies. Russian cable and online TV broadcasts spearhead the disinformation campaign. The broadcasts, disguised as news and documentaries, reach the televisions and computers of hundreds of Latin Americans who are exposed daily to Russian propaganda to influence regional governments. RT TV and internet network is the main pillar of the Russian campaign in Latin America. The network started broadcasting in 2009 and operates in Moscow, Madrid, Buenos Aires, Caracas, Havana, Mexico, Washington, D.C., and Miami. Without factual evidence, RT claims to have a weekly audience of 18 million viewers in 10 countries in the region. The network was able to access Latin American audiences by purchasing different cable companies. In Venezuela and Argentina, the signal is also transmitted through open TV. Carlos Murillo, an international relations specialist at the University of Costa Rica, warns that the Kremlin uses information as a weapon, and RT became one of its main means to attack Latin America. “Moscow can’t promote its hegemonic project actively; it prefers to use subliminal techniques, so that the world can know its alleged noble purposes. If we remember the czarist period and its cultural influence, Putin’s regime is a hybrid between the czarist and Soviet eras. Therefore, news stories at RT feature the message of ‘Russia’s good,’ distorting and adapting interviewees’ statements to strengthen the [hidden] official message,” Murillo told Diálogo. “In short, it’s an extensive and intensive use of communication as a soft power resource, as a political weapon to position their interests in the region.” Alejandro Barahona, a political scientist at the University of Costa Rica specialized in Latin American studies, agrees with Murillo, and adds that Russian TV stations try to present themselves as alternative media outlets. In reality, they are part of a communist propaganda mechanism that only tries to promote Russia’s role in the region. “Power tends to be more and more [fluid]. This helps us understand the multiple spaces necessary to manage it, and mass media are essential to influence public opinion. That’s why Russia promotes its media and agencies to fuel its expansion both politically and militarily in Latin America,” Barahona said. In addition to RT, Russia seeks to increase its presence by way of the Sputnik news agency, a platform presented as an international service, which only disseminates the distorted discourse of Russia and its allies, just like RT. Every year, both media outlets organize paid visits to Moscow for Latin American journalists to promote themselves to the Latin American press. Unconditional support Russia seeks to influence countries in the region with these platforms. The two most recent cases are Venezuela and Nicaragua. Russian TV channels replay altered and exaggerated speeches of Nicolás Maduro and Daniel Ortega, referring to so-called coup d’états. They also attack international organizations, such as the Lima Group that advocates for a democratic transition in Venezuela and Nicaragua. “RT becomes a key element for all those under direct Russian influence. The Kremlin knows that Venezuela and Nicaragua are partners that enable it to show what a good, loyal partner it is and that it’s there for its partners no matter what. Moscow needs Caribbean coasts, and these two countries along with Cuba are key. They are in the United States’ backyard, hence the urgency to reinforce regimes that might be of help. So RT’s coverage on these cases is based on the position of an attempted coup d’état,” Murillo said. Complaints in other latitudes The concern about RT’s role is a troubling topic beyond Latin America. Several countries reported that the network is mere propaganda and publishes fake news to interfere in local affairs. For example, Spain accused RT of promoting social unrest and seeking to interfere in Catalonia’s bid for independence in 2017. The network was also linked to fake social media accounts used to disseminate information that defended the secession. France experienced a similar situation during the 2017 presidential elections that saw the victory of Emmanuel Macron. “During the campaign, RT and Sputnik were influence agents that spread fake news about me and my political campaign,” said Macron during Vladimir Putin’s visit to France in May 2018. Far from new, the Russian strategy intensifies around the world, and Latin America is no exception. The presence of its interfering propaganda in Latin American countries is undeniable. RT and Sputnik depict an idyllic and happy Moscow that doesn’t exist, a purportedly well-intended Moscow that in reality only seeks to expand its politics and military power in Latin America for its own benefit.last_img read more

Cuomo Adds Medical Marijuana to 2014 Agenda

first_imgSign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo delivered his fourth State of the State address on Wednesday, Jan. 8, 2013.Gov. Andrew Cuomo proposed tentatively legalizing medical marijuana during his election-year State of the State address Wednesday, meaning New York State may become the 21st state in the nation to do so.The much-anticipated-yet-still-controversial idea was expected, although the governor didn’t spend as much time discussing it as he did offering updates on earlier initiatives such as building casinos, strengthening public corruption laws and passing a Women’s Equality Agenda—in addition to a few new items on his agenda.“We have to make New York healthier,” Cuomo told the audience while outlining his plan to launch a pilot program that allows up to 20 hospitals to provide medical marijuana to patients being treated for serious illnesses. “Research suggests that medical marijuana can help manage the pain of cancer and other diseases.”His announcement came a month after state lawmakers held a hearing  in Mineola on a medical marijuana proposal.The address came a day after Vice President Joseph Biden and Cuomo announced a plan to “re-imagine” New York with $16 billion worth of public works projects to rebuild upstate bridges, modernize New York City airports and storm-proofing subway tunnels—a plan they called a national model.Key issues he raised for Long Island—aside from taxes—included spending $100 million statewide on affordable housing, building strategic fuel reserves to pre-empt gas lines like those after Sandy and enhancing storm early detection systems.He also unveiled new plans to freeze property taxes for two years to help homeowners, reform the corporate tax structure to make the state more attractive to business and lower the estate tax so that it’s aligned with other states.Other new plans Cuomo outlined in his address include establishing the nation’s first college specifically for emergency preparedness and homeland security, ensuring three-time drunken-driving convicts lose their licenses for good and offering full scholarships to the top 10 percent of high school graduates who pursue degrees in math or science and agree work in New York for five years after graduation.He announced his support for an existing proposal that would ensure 16 and 17 year old minors would no longer be automatically charged as adults when accused of committing non-violent crimes—a distinction New York shares only with North Carolina.On the casino front, Cuomo said requests for proposals for four upstate Las Vegas-style casinos will be issued in March with bids due in June and winners will be announced in early fall.He additionally tried to defuse bickering sparked by his Moreland Commission on public corruption, co-chaired by Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice, which began investigating the New York State Legislature in the wake of the latest string of lawmakers’ arrests.“It reflects badly on all of us, because people don’t distinguish,” Cuomo said. “And it goes to the essence of what were trying to do.”He wants new anti-bribery and corruption laws, publicly financed elections and lawmakers to disclosure outside clients with business before the state, among other changes that some in the state Senate and Assembly have resisted.State Senate Co-leader Dean Skelos (R-Rockville Centre), who issued a statement after the address saying that Republicans are “prepared to pass legislation that attacks corruption in government,” signaled that Cuomo’s proposed Women’s Equality Agenda is still a point of contention.While state Assembly Speak Sheldon Silver (D-Manhattan) stated after the address that Democrats are prepared to once again pass all 10 parts of the proposal, Republicans in the state Senate have backed all but one: reinforcing a woman’s right to an abortion.“Let’s enact a women’s equality bill that protects all women from discrimination in the workplace and ensures equal pay for equal work,” Skelos said, without mentioning the hot-button reproductive rights issue that sank the legislative package last year.“It’s just been another year where government has failed to act on behalf of women,” Cuomo had said during his address. “Stop playing politics with women’s rights.”last_img read more

Delivering impactful leadership education

first_img 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Stuart R. Levine Founded in 1996, Stuart Levine & Associates LLC is an international strategic planning and leadership development company with focus on adding member value by strengthening corporate culture.SL&A … Web: www.Stuartlevine.com Details A leadership educational program can only be deemed a success if it changes targeted behaviors and leads to improved outcomes. A recent McKinsey and Co. survey “Decoding Leadership – What really matters,” describes how over 90% of CEOs plan to increase leadership development investment, as it is critical to the health of the organization. But the data also uncovered that most CEOs (57%) were not confident that these training investments would be effective. Often, there are few clear answers about where to focus leadership development investments. Unfortunately, programs can address a broad range of matters, may not be focused on the organization’s needs and are often ineffective and unsustainable.McKinsey researchers found that four characteristics of leadership were correlated with “healthy organizations.” The qualities are: solving problems effectively; operating with strong results orientation; being supportive; and seeking different perspectives.These leadership qualities fit well with successful leadership demonstrated by our clients. We can learn by examining how a good leader employs these qualities to increase organizational effectiveness. One client CEO, who embodied these characteristics, implemented a learning program to increase leadership and organizational capacity. She chose one area where she believed there would be an immediate and measurable effect. She felt that a positive change in meeting culture would increase leadership and organizational capacity – clearly a results-oriented approach. After collecting data from middle managers through senior leaders in her organization, the CEO learned that 66% of her management team spent between one and three full days in meetings each week, yet only 18% believed that all meetings attended were absolutely necessary. Meetings almost never started and ended on time, and very few meetings had all the correct participants. Agendas were generally lacking, as was a clearly defined purpose for the meeting. Ultimately she found out that only one in five meetings were achieving their stated objectives.Knowing that the existing meeting culture was holding back productivity, she decided to impact their culture through the focus on meeting management skills. Armed with the above data, the CEO rolled out a 90 minute on-line interactive leadership-learning program with follow-up that included personal action plans – with each participant making a commitment to implement the newly learned effective meeting behaviors. The program was highly successful and especially impactful for middle managers looking to increase their leadership capacity. Senior management was then held accountable for modeling the newly learned behaviors, as everything starts within the C-suite of the organization. No training program that is not embraced or modeled at the senior-most levels of an organization will survive or become part of the fabric of the company.The CEO knew that an educational program could only be deemed a complete success if it changes targeted behaviors and leads to improved outcomes. After the organization implemented this meeting-focused leadership program, meetings started and ended on time, had a defined purpose and included only, and, for the most part, all the right people. The participants were taught to stay on topic and the meeting facilitator assisted in this goal. By each meeting’s end, participants developed an actionable and accountable plan for follow-up.This results oriented program, which took about three hours of employee time in total, was estimated to add days of additional productive time each month for each employee. It also relieved some of the frustration meeting participants felt due to the previously wasted time spent in meetings. Participant feedback was extremely positive as over 90 percent felt that the learning would make them and the organization more efficient overall. As this enlightened CEO demonstrates, an actionable results-oriented program can create a large impact on the culture and productivity of an organization. The seemingly simple task of running more efficient and productive meetings resulted in more professional interactions involving more strategic thinking and effective implementation of plans, not just in formal meetings, but also for the organization’s capacity as a whole.last_img read more