Coaching and mentoring
Young Professional Development Programmes

Young Professional Development Programmes

The older you get the more likely you are to be attracted by nostalgia and the belief that things used to be better. Whether this is really the case is not the subject of this blog, but there is one subject on which almost all companies, whether in Russia, Europe or...

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HR and The Business

HR and The Business

One of the classic challenges for HR professionals, even heads of HR, is understanding the business. My career is unusual in that I have had both senior HR roles and senior business roles, and in fact there was a period where I moved back and forward between the two....

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Developing Competence Frameworks

Developing Competence Frameworks

I was recently asked by a consultancy if I could help with their bid to a client who, as part of the project, wanted to set up competence frameworks. Did I have a couple of slides to explain how one would develop such competence frameworks and some examples of...

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Stakeholder Mapping

Stakeholder Mapping

I was recently asked by a fellow consultant if I could help and shed some light with information about Stakeholder Mapping, for a company for whom they were designing leadership workshops. I’ve used Stakeholder Mapping a lot during my career, especially when running...

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The Leadership Qualities of Positivity and Optimism

The Leadership Qualities of Positivity and Optimism

Some time ago I was coaching a very senior director in Russia and about a year after we began, their company invited a well-known international consultancy to conduct a leadership potential assessment on the top fifty or so executives, of which they were one. Although...

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Identifying quick wins

Identifying quick wins

One of the executives I am coaching in Russia has recently helped set up a new department on Sustainable Development. This is a new area for him (his background is commercial) and also for the chemical company for which he works. Consequently there are many different...

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GAPS

GAPS

I wrote in my introduction to this series of blogs about them ‘containing my ideas, thoughts, observations and helpful tools, based on my experience’. GAPS is one of those incredibly helpful tools. In the late 90s and early-to-mid Noughties when I was at Shell, I did...

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External or Internal Executive Coaching?

External or Internal Executive Coaching?

It seems that at almost every Russian or Kazakh company for which I work, I end up helping them design their Executive Coaching programme and process. I am of course more than happy to help. It’s pleasing to see Executive Coaching becoming more acceptable and...

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70-20-10

70-20-10

Having worked with CCL (Center for Creative Leadership) in both Russia and Kazakhstan, who were the originators of the 70-20-10 meme for corporate learning & development many years ago (sometimes written 70/20/10 or even 70:20:10), and also being a researcher by...

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Talent Magnet

Talent Magnet

I was having lunch with somebody who used to work for me in Kazakhstan and who had recently left to join an international consulting firm. In fact I had hired him and seen him grow and develop so that he was actually heading up our HR Consultancy team before he left....

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Left hand column

Left hand column

I have written previously about the Ladder of Inference, one of my favourite tools for promoting productive conversations. https://valshebnik.com/blog/the-ladder-of-inference/ This helps us understand why we jump to conclusions, rightly or wrongly, and gives us a...

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The Power of Silence

The Power of Silence

I’ve been recently conducting some focus groups for my Russian clients. Finding out what I already know: that Russians in general are not a very mobile workforce, and in this case do not necessarily want to move from their larger city place of work to a much smaller...

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The Ladder of Inference

The Ladder of Inference

One of my favourite tools for promoting productive conversations in teams is the Ladder of Inference. I first came across it more than twenty years ago when we were trying to change our ways of working in a huge global reorganisation and transformation. The phrase was...

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Delayering

Delayering

My current Russian client, a large and very successful petrochemicals company, has had many reorganisations in the last couple of years. One of these that they are implementing in all their production locations, is a systematic delayering.   I recently designed...

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When is a team a team and when is it a group?

When is a team a team and when is it a group?

Two recent events have reminded me about work I did almost twenty years ago about the differences between teams and groups (and even bigger ‘teams’ like communities and networks). I was coaching a young lady recently promoted to manager in one of my new clients in...

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