What is leadership? The big debate…

What is leadership? The big debate…


This article was originally published on APM.

Leadership is such an interesting and evocative abstract noun. It conjures up a variety of different expectations, experiences and contexts. Despite the enormous amount of literature about leaders and leadership over the ages, there is still much debate over the essence of leadership.

‘What is leadership?’ is such a simple question, yet it continues to draw extensive debate. My favourite definition of leadership is:

A set of skills enabling an individual to have followers. This individual may or may not have formal authority or a hierarchical position, but they are highly visible and set a positive example.

Traditional views of leadership tend to focus on a formalised role, title or hierarchy – on centralised command and control. These views often emphasise the ‘lone’ hero or maverick. More recent views of leadership have introduced an emphasis on social and ethical behaviour: Richard Greenleaf (1970) has given us the concept of servant leadership; Rosabeth Moss Kanter (1994), David Chrislip and Carl Larson (1994), David Archer and Alex Cameron (2008), and Ken Blanchard (2015) have developed the idea of collaborative leadership; Daniel Goleman (2003) has given us ideas around emotionally intelligent leadership, Bill George (2004) authentic leadership, and Deborah Ancona (2007) incomplete leadership.

Leadership and change

In today’s context – think climate change, disruptive business models, refugees and economic migration, artificial intelligence, globalisation, extended supply chains, data harvesting, exploiting new energy sources – leadership is about change. And this is how it connects strongly with the project world. We recognise that projects introduce change, especially those major complex projects involving infrastructure, digitisation and organisational transformation. Continue reading “What is leadership? The big debate…”

Designing Learning in Global Organizations: What Our Brain Can Teach Us

Designing Learning in Global Organizations: What Our Brain Can Teach Us

Development Sector

This blog was originally published on Linked In by Emma Proud.

Mercy Corps is an organization of 5,000 people. We live in over 40 countries, and speak 26 primary languages. And of course, we all have different cultural backgrounds and personality types. We all learn differently.

How, then, can we design a behavior (and action) change program that works for everyone?

(We are working to support all our teams to embody our culture, ‘think big and disrupt’, and to ‘insist on seeking out new and better ways of doing things.’)

Well, we may all be different, but luckily we have a common denominator, and it sits inside our head:


How can we capitalize on this commonality? What does it look like to design with the brain in mind? Continue reading “Designing Learning in Global Organizations: What Our Brain Can Teach Us”

Routledge: publisher of academic books, journals and online resources

Routledge: publisher of academic books, journals and online resources


Routledge publishes thousands of content in the Humanities and Social Sciences. The organization was founded in 1836 and has published many of greatest thinkers and scholars of the last hundred years, serving scholars, instructors, and professional communities worldwide.

Our current publishing program encompasses groundbreaking textbooks and premier, peer-reviewed research in the Social Sciences, Humanities, Built Environment, Education and Behavioral Sciences. We have partnered with many of the most influential societies and academic bodies to publish their journals and book series. Readers can access tens of thousands of print and e-books from our extensive catalog of titles.” – Routledge website

There you can find many resources, including free resources! Don’t miss this opportunitie: https://www.routledge.com/free-resources

Raising the Bar on Benefits Management

Raising the Bar on Benefits Management


Let’s be realistic – benefits don’t just happen; benefits don’t just get realized by themselves. In fact, benefits from programs and projects are often not realized unless they and the required business changes are proactively managed during and typically post-initiative closure.

We have all seen it, the dilemma when a program or project is closed out: resources, decision makers and funding are all disbanded, but the benefits are not yet realized. Benefits take time, money and resourcing to be realized. But whose role is it? The project manager is onto the next project, other resources are consumed elsewhere and senior management’s attention is focused on the next challenge.

So yes, we need to get better at understanding and managing benefits, regardless of size or type of organisation. It isn’t about finger pointing but rather recognizing that benefits management is an integral element of strategy, portfolio, program and project management. To be successful it needs to be incorporated throughout the business change lifecycle.

5 tips to embarking on benefits management Continue reading “Raising the Bar on Benefits Management”

PMD Pro Starter on your phone

PMD Pro, PMD Pro Starter, Project Management

PMD Pro Starter is a guide and website that has been put together by LINGOs working together with Plan International, PM4NGOs and the Humanitarian Leadership Academy.

LINGOs team has break PMD Pro down into fifteen tools. Each tool has an explanation, a template, a short, two minute animated video and a short slide deck of three/four slides.

Peter Marlow has developed a mobile version that can be acccessed offline – that´s the PMD Pro Starter Guide to take anywhere you go!

You can also read the story behind PMD Pro Starter at our blog, access the PMD Pro Starter mobile website at http://pmdprostarter.org/ to watch the videos and download the content, or download the Pocket Guide below.