Insights…

Latest Articles…

Practicing management over more than two decades has resulted in numerous insights.

In fact every day, we learn from our clients, our peers and the world around us.

We believe in sharing these insights and welcome your thoughts, ideas and feedback so together we can be better leaders and, most importantly, better people…

BY TOPIC 🧭 Management ⋮ 🎯 Purpose ⋮ 👫 People ⋮ 📈 Performance


Commitment & Accountability – the key to unstoppable teams… 1 June 2020 by Nick Marvin - Following our last note on Candour and Communication, we turn our focus to the next set in our core values of performing teams: Commitment & Accountability. Commitment Commitment in this context refers to the person’s contribution to the team and… Continue Reading »»»
Candour & Communication – Critical to performing teams 25 May 2020 by Nick Marvin - Candour & Communication, when working together can be a very powerful tool for organisations. They ensure clarity, efficiency and effectiveness. They can accelerate performance, provide agility and most importantly influence the way things are done. Continue Reading »»»
The power of strategic abandonment 17 May 2020 by Nick Marvin - Over time, organisations, like human beings, tend to become blithe, lazy, and inefficient. Gaining unnecessary ‘weight’ by adding costs that are not always productive. We are all susceptible to atrophy. But as Peter Drucker noted, “In turbulent times the enterprise… Continue Reading »»»
Navigating a three-phase Covid Recovery 3 May 2020 by Nick Marvin - As we pass the peak of the crisis it is useful to consider what the future will look like for managers and organisations. We perceive three critical phases to full recovery. Getting back to work Post Recovery Anomalies The New… Continue Reading »»»
Rugby’s troubles won’t disappear with Castle 27 April 2020 by Nick Marvin - Not long after the axing of the Western Force, Rugby Australia was made a once-in-a-lifetime offer by West Australian philanthropist Andrew Forrest to reconsider the inclusion of the Perth franchise in its elite international competition. Rugby rejected that offer leaving… Continue Reading »»»
Six practical considerations for your Covid-19 exit strategy… 19 April 2020 by Nick Marvin - As we head towards the COVIDI9 exit, organisations must re-evaluate how they engage in what will be a new world order. Reverting to legacy business models may well leave some flat-footed or even redundant. Over-reaching on a short-term spike or… Continue Reading »»»
The six core values of performing teams… 12 April 2020 by Nick Marvin - What is the secret to performing teams? What are the key ingredients to a successful team - whether this is in professional sport, organisations of all kind, even families. We are often asked this question in our practice. The short… Continue Reading »»»
Looking beyond the crisis… 4 April 2020 by Nick Marvin - There have been numerous articles published recently about managing through the current crisis: how to work remotely, accessing government assistance, health tips and the like. But considering the present circumstances and even the recent past give us great insights into… Continue Reading »»»
I just called…the wonder of a phone call! 2 April 2020 by Nick Marvin - How sport can lead through Covid-19 (Some random thoughts that I shall update, time permitting) Throughout my time as a sports administrator, I've always treasured the power of a phone call...particularly from a player or coach to a fan. We've… Continue Reading »»»
Things that make me go hmm… 28 March 2020 by Nick Marvin - Healthy mullets or the handsome dead? COVID-19 Restrictions - Australia - Haircuts Surely, we can go a few days without a trim, a colour or cut... Firstly, the idea of not 30-mins but sometimes an hour or two in close… Continue Reading »»»
9 Questions for organisations to consider when responding to COVID-19… 12 March 2020 by Nick Marvin - The current environment has disrupted our lives and how we live it. Leaders must consider carefully and swiftly how they manage through these times. Whilst there are great risks, there are also opportunities. Most importantly, society requires us to rebound… Continue Reading »»»
Australian Federal Government stimulus package… 11 March 2020 by Nick Marvin - Source: Simmons Partners Pty Ltd, Chartered Accountants (This is not advice) In response to the Coronavirus crisis, the Federal Government has outlined new measures in a stimulus package worth nearly $18 billion. SMEs, pensioners and selected sectors such as tourism… Continue Reading »»»
The pursuit of goodness… 15 February 2020 by Nick Marvin - What is our defining purpose? Amidst this fast-paced world where we feel we are are either fighting for survival or competing for success we may sometimes lose sight of the end game. Are we paying enough attention to the “Why”?… Continue Reading »»»
Failing our way to success… 20 October 2019 by Nick Marvin - Failing is an inevitable part of our lives. We experience it from a very young age. As we take our first steps, we fall...but we get up again and keep at it until we master the art of walking! And… Continue Reading »»»
Four proven steps to manage conflict… 16 October 2019 by Nick Marvin - Wherever there are two or more moving parts, we are bound to experience friction - in our personal and professional lives. Learning to work with others requires the ability to manage different ideas, personalities, values and cultures. If there is… Continue Reading »»»
Rethinking ‘Moneyball’ – the secret to performing teams… 10 September 2019 by Nick Marvin - How do we get our teams to perform? This is a question we get asked almost every day in our practice. It’s one of the highest priorities of every CEO, chairman leader, manager and even coach. Unsurprisingly, there is really… Continue Reading »»»
The three critical perspectives for any organisation… 3 September 2019 by Nick Marvin - A key function of leadership is to constantly maintain a comprehensive perspective of the organisation. This means regularly taking time out from doing to observe. Getting the balance right is vital. Too little doing or too little observing can lead… Continue Reading »»»
Three traits that make a good manager 5 August 2019 by Nick Marvin - Recently in our practice we've witnessed an increasingly recurring question from our clients: What makes a good manager? It seems to be a common theme in the work place today. In fact, most people leave jobs not because of the… Continue Reading »»»
How will we lead our lives? 28 July 2019 by Nick Marvin - Life happens! Our environment shapes it and we adapt – until a defining moment when we must all pause and question: How will we live our life? It takes curiosity and courage to ask ourselves how will we be remembered… Continue Reading »»»
What I learned from spending an hour a week on the frontline… 21 July 2019 by Nick Marvin - “Why don’t you have anything for infants,” said the doting grandfather as he walked around the store. “What do you mean,” I responded, rather perplexed. “We’ve been life-long fans of the club and now that we have just had our… Continue Reading »»»
How to have a difficult conversation… 14 July 2019 by Nick Marvin - Addressing concerns in the work place can be uncomfortable. Most of us naturally tend to avoid conflict and sometimes postpone the difficult conversation, or at worst, don’t have it at all. As a result, the concerns persist, and often times… Continue Reading »»»
Why I banned swearing at the Perth Wildcats and here’s what followed… 7 July 2019 by Nick Marvin - In early 2009 I was assigned the task of managing the Perth Wildcats, a professional basketball team in Western Australia. Given my lack of basketball or even sporting expertise, I had to rely entirely on my management experience to turn… Continue Reading »»»
The Next Play – How to navigate the future 30 June 2019 by Nick Marvin - How often do we find ourselves overthinking our last mistake or spending too much time re-living a recent success? Neither of these are healthy. What then is the best way to move forward? Team USA and Duke University’s basketball head… Continue Reading »»»
Trust Trust, the fundamental requirement of management 16 June 2019 by Nick Marvin - Good managers require certain characteristics for success. Contrary to popular belief, being charismatic is not one of them. There are many great managers who have led their organisations to unprecedented sustained success with personal charisma no greater than that of… Continue Reading »»»
The six most powerful questions great leaders ask their people… 9 June 2019 by Nick Marvin - During my career in management and consulting I’ve been blessed with the opportunity to work with numerous entrepreneurs and managers. Whilst there were many things that were different, there were some commonalities - especially amongst the successful ones. From my… Continue Reading »»»
Putting Our People First 2 June 2019 by Nick Marvin - What is most valuable in an organisation has changed over time. Not long ago, it was capital - that scare resource that gave those with it an advantage over the competition. Early entrepreneurs employed capital in agriculture and industry for… Continue Reading »»»
The Secret Power of Rituals 26 May 2019 by Nick Marvin - Most of us have a general idea of our aspirations and what we must do to achieve them. The difficulty, of course, is in the execution. We also have a very human weakness of over-reaching for our short term goals… Continue Reading »»»
The five duties of a manager 19 May 2019 by Nick Marvin - Management at its most basic, is about clarifying an organisation’s purpose and empowering its people to achieve performance. But what are the key duties of a manager? Here are five, collated from available research and our own management consulting experience.… Continue Reading »»»
Understanding Organisational Performance 12 May 2019 by Nick Marvin - Organisations (and individuals) must eventually consider their results. Not in a one-dimensional utilitarian mindset but in the context of their existence and contribution. This provides everyone - inside and outside the organisation - an understanding of how time and valuable… Continue Reading »»»
Three steps to defining your organisation’s purpose 5 May 2019 by Nick Marvin - What should we do? This is one of the powerful questions we must repeatedly ask of ourselves and our organisation. In our fast-paced environment the answer changes all the time. It is why we may need to change the management… Continue Reading »»»
6 Areas that contribute to a meaningful life.. 28 April 2019 by Nick Marvin - In an earlier article, I shared my thoughts on purpose and “how we would like to be remembered and lead our lives.” Purpose provides context and meaning that helps us with our life’s direction, our aspirations and our goals. But… Continue Reading »»»
Is servant leadership worth the effort? 21 April 2019 by Nick Marvin - Many Christians, this weekend celebrate the solemn triduum of Easter commencing with the commemoration of Jesus washing the feet of his apostles. Regardless of one’s beliefs the growth of the Church is an amazing achievement for an organisation that began… Continue Reading »»»
Three key factors to organisational success 13 April 2019 by Nick Marvin - What are the key factors to look for when considering the environment an organisation operates in? This has been a recurring question arising from my recent conversations with CEOs and managers, and one worth exploring further. In our PURPOSE, PEOPLE… Continue Reading »»»
What limits us from success…and how to overcome it. 7 April 2019 by Nick Marvin - Last week, I spent a day with Lewis Trigger organised by the Institute of Management Consultants here in Perth on the theory of Constraints (TOC). Trigger is a global expert on Constraint Innovation having dedicated the last few decades to… Continue Reading »»»
The importance of being innovative… 31 March 2019 by Nick Marvin - innovation creates value from new capabilities, often of existing resources. And creating value is the everyday mandate of any organisation - it ensures finding and keeping a customer. Continue Reading »»»
How do we spend our time… 24 March 2019 by Nick Marvin - “Time,” as Peter Drucker said, “is our scarcest and most precious resource. You can obtain greater quantities of every other resource except time.” PRIORITIES Purpose! It is not just about getting things done, but about getting the right things done.… Continue Reading »»»
Winning isn’t everything 9 March 2019 by Nick Marvin - Winning isn’t everything - It’s just as important to follow the compass as it is to check the clock when pursuing our personal best. Continue Reading »»»
Is it time to abandon annual performance reviews? 7 March 2019 by Nick Marvin - (This is part#2 of a series on PEOPLE - see part#1 here) Managers and leaders have to re-wire their organisations to evolve in order to satisfy these needs and still perform in a competitive and challenging environment. They need to… Continue Reading »»»
How organisations can truly engage with their people… 6 March 2019 by Nick Marvin - People are the core of any organisation. Attracting the right people, engaging them with a meaningful purpose and empowering them to perform is critical for success. Continue Reading »»»
Rethinking Management 5 April 2018 by Nick Marvin - It’s time to rethink management - not just for the current environment but for what lies ahead. Many of the most valuable and successful organisations in the world today, did not exist a decade ago - evidence that a flexible,… Continue Reading »»»
The urgency delusion of work 30 November 2016 by Nick Marvin - The immediacy of our work environments have had numerous positive and negative implications on how we perform. One phenomenon, is the sense of urgency that has permeated everything we do in the work place. The addiction to ubiquitous screens endlessly… Continue Reading »»»
Primacy of the human Person Focusing on the person – the primacy of the individual 8 November 2015 by Nick Marvin - There are no teams! There are no departments. There are no business units. There are no customers and there are no suppliers. There are, however, individuals who comprise all of the above! The human person. It is the human in… Continue Reading »»»
Eliminating the weakest link 1 November 2015 by Nick Marvin - The management practice of maximising an individual’s strengths and making their weaknesses irrelevant is rightfully becoming widespread these days. However, this will only be successful if weaknesses are above a certain acceptable level. A person with a speaking difficulty or… Continue Reading »»»
Short and Long Term Goals Managing for the short and long term 25 October 2015 by Nick Marvin - In the not too distant past, when time and weather permitted, I used to find myself on a stand-up paddle board on Perth’s beautiful Swan river. Over the hour-long paddle the often calm waters could turn into quite a swell… Continue Reading »»»
Beware the first straw Beware of the first straw on the camel’s back 11 October 2015 by Nick Marvin - There is an old saying about the last straw that broke the camel’s back. Whilst this is a valid statement, in management, one must pay more attention to the first straw. Whether it’s people, processes, the economy, markets, even disruptive… Continue Reading »»»
Management is performance The true test for Management is Performance 4 October 2015 by Nick Marvin - In a recent conversation with an ex-colleague, I was asked the question: “What must I do to go to the next level in my career?”. Answering it took some thought and consideration. There are two types of people in an… Continue Reading »»»
Developing Business Strategy The four steps to developing your business strategy 21 September 2015 by Nick Marvin - This week, I had the privilege of spending some time with post-graduate business students from the local university. The topic for discussion was creating a business plan. The conversation gave me an opportunity to reflect on the matter and put… Continue Reading »»»
Address concerns in the work place How to address concerns in the workplace 5 September 2015 by Nick Marvin - During my time in the work-place, I’ve witnessed the ‘spray’ at all levels: staff meetings, management get-togethers, and locker rooms.  This is where the boss addresses the entire group with a generalised outburst on what’s wrong and how it needs… Continue Reading »»»
Key functions of a manager The 2 key functions of the modern manager 23 August 2015 by Nick Marvin - For too long management has been mistaken for authoritative control of people. Where a manager is a powerful figure…almost dictatorial...ruling over his workers in the pursuit of efficiencies. The decline in the number of manual workers and the ubiquity of… Continue Reading »»»
Full Engagement 7 Steps to full engagement with your people… 17 August 2015 by Nick Marvin - You don't hire just a hand, the whole person comes to work! Managers today must understand that they employ the entire person - regardless of the role. This requires full engagement with the individual, which can be achieved by focusing… Continue Reading »»»
3 ways to grow your organisation’s revenue 9 August 2015 by Nick Marvin -  Growing revenues and profits in any organisation must be an ongoing focus. With the ever changing environment, disruptive technologies and new opportunities and challenges, a culture of growth must be encouraged and embedded into the routine. A structured model to… Continue Reading »»»
The 5 negatives of interruptions during work 1 August 2015 by Nick Marvin - Getting interrupted whilst working or managing a project can be annoying. However, recent research suggests the negative effects can be a lot worse. In 2013, Erik Altmann and Zach Hambrick of Michigan State University and Gregory Trafton of the US… Continue Reading »»»
Budget for growth to ensure organisational success 26 July 2015 by Nick Marvin - As we enter a new financial year, most companies have been through the process of financial forecasting or budgeting. Notwithstanding, as argued before, that a 12-month cycle may be too long a time-frame for such a process it is a… Continue Reading »»»
Schedule your priorities not prioritise your schedule 13 July 2015 by Nick Marvin - For a long time now, time management experts have extolled the virtues of tasks or schedules and then to prioritise them. Whilst this in itself is a good endeavour, a more effective method to achieve one’s outcomes is to set… Continue Reading »»»
Focus on the outside 28 June 2015 by Nick Marvin - As managers, it is often easy to get caught up in the everyday. The constant demands of the email in-box, the regular board and management meetings, the routine of operations or the unending unforeseen issues that require your attention can… Continue Reading »»»
Core competence – Individuals in the organisation 22 June 2015 by Nick Marvin - We've discussed the strengths/weaknesses theory previously, but how does it work best in an organisation? One's management of one's strengths and weaknesses is critical in managing one's self and career. Most people don't quite know what their weaknesses are, let… Continue Reading »»»
Here’s why you should not rely too heavily on three and five year plans… 19 June 2015 by Nick Marvin - A critical role of management is strategy - interpreting the outside world for the organisation and ensuring it responds appropriately to it. In the past, this has meant having a long-term outlook. Three, five and even ten year plans. Unfortunately,… Continue Reading »»»
Pursue your strengths and give back until it hurts 19 May 2015 by Nick Marvin - Following are my notes from a recent talk at the Perth Young Professional meeting on 23 April 2015. The world is changing at an accelerated pace. Five-year and three-year plans are no longer reliable. They are almost redundant. The taxi… Continue Reading »»»
Outsourcing Life 18 January 2015 by Nick Marvin - BPO or Business Process Outsourcing is the buzz word of this decade, pioneered by the Indians who through their insatiable desire for education and knowledge have raised a generation of English-speaking graduates in their millions waiting to serve the world.… Continue Reading »»»
The Integrity Myth 15 November 2014 by Nick Marvin - In almost any poll of managers, employees, CEO’s or leaders, integrity is always rated in the top three values they aspire to, see themselves as having, or require in the organisation’s they work for. It has almost become a buzz… Continue Reading »»»
Strengths and Weaknesses 15 January 2014 by Nick Marvin - Something I’ve learnt in management over the years is how to deal with a person’s strengths and weaknesses. There is a tendency amongst many managers to focus on weaknesses of employees and constantly work to improve them. I believe addressing… Continue Reading »»»
5 Steps to being more effective 15 December 2013 by Nick Marvin - Distractions have a major impact on anything we do at work and at home. Unfortunately, technology has only increased and magnified these distractions. In the past we’ve had to deal with just the phone and the walk-ins that break down… Continue Reading »»»
Good manners please 7 June 2011 by Nick Marvin - Good manners are the grease that keeps the moving parts in all organisations working together smoothly and efficiently. This applies to as much to management as it does in society. I’ve always insisted on this in every organisation I’ve managed… Continue Reading »»»
Milk war lacks innovation 12 March 2011 by Nick Marvin - So Coles and Woolworths drop milk to $1 a litre here in WA. They claim it is to attract customers. The 101 of price slashing is that it's a slippery slide to the bottom. The price of milk is not… Continue Reading »»»
Abandonment 11 September 2010 by Nick Marvin - Whilst management is often focussed on doing new things…commencing new strategies it also useful to consider the process of strategic abandonment. In business and in life I practice strategic abandonment. What is it that we are doing at present that… Continue Reading »»»
Simple clear communication 5 December 2008 by Nick Marvin - Attentiveness is critical for not just good managers and leaders but all men and women of good character. Lack of attentiveness is fast becoming commonplace. We seem to be living in constant state of distraction. No one person or task… Continue Reading »»»

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