Keep Your Writing Simple

When you’re writing for work, it can be tempting to rely on industry jargon or big words to puff up your ideas. But overblown language doesn’t make you sound smart, and it can be off-putting to readers. Most people are drawn to a more conversational tone. So, choose shorter, more familiar words and explain things in a way that anyone could understand. For example, write “things that could affect the merger” instead of “issues potentially impacting the successful completion of the merger.” Also, whether you’re writing an email or a formal proposal, make sure that your content is glanceable, since it probably will be read on a screen — and these days, often a phone. Assume that your readers will be distracted, busy, and on-the-go. Formatting can help: Try using subheads, bullet points, diagrams, and tables to highlight your key takeaways. Short sentences and short paragraphs help too. A good rule of thumb is “one thought per sentence.” If there are too many linked ideas in one sentence, your readers may get lost and just give up.

This tip is adapted from “Writing About Business (Without Being a Bore),” by Mike Reed

Don’t Just Have a To-Do List — Timebox It

The only thing worse than having a long to-do list is not knowing how you’re going to get everything done. Timeboxing can help: It’s a way of converting your to-do list into blocks of time on your calendar, so you have a plan for what to do and when. Start by looking at your to-do list and figuring out each task’s deadlines. For example, if a promotional video has to go live on a Tuesday, and the production team needs 72 hours to incorporate your edits, then put a hold on your calendar at least 72 hours before Tuesday. Repeat for each item on your to-do list. If you work on a team where people can see one another’s calendars, timeboxing has the added benefit of showing people that the work will get done on time. But the biggest advantage of timeboxing might be that it gives you a feeling of control over your calendar — which can help you feel happier at work.
Source: Harvad Business Review.

Manage Your Emotions Before, During, and After a Negotiation

Negotiations can get emotional, to say the least. Whether you’re asking for a raise, more resources for your team, or to restructure your position, you might feel anxious, reluctant, or worried. But you won’t be successful if you’re worked up, so take steps to handle your emotions. Before the negotiation, ask yourself how your counterpart might respond — and why. Doing so will help you identify potential setbacks and gather additional information to respond to their challenges. The more you prepare, the less anxious you will feel. During the negotiation, if you find yourself getting upset or nervous, pause and reflect on the underlying reasons and formulate a strategy to address them. After the negotiation, try to avoid carrying negative emotions. Reflect instead on the moments you were most proud of during your interaction, and focus on how you will use your experience to get the result you want in the future.

This tip is adapted from “3 of the Most Common Challenges Women Face in Negotiations,” by Mara Olekalns et al.

Source: Harvard Business Review

7 Characteristics of Leadership 4.0

What successful leaders do differently

Author: Christina Boesenberg

Recently, I have received many questions of whether I could clearly differentiate traditional leadership and Leadership 4.0 (what some are calling “digital leaders”), so I am providing a short synopsis of insights and observations in context with what is perceived as a new phenomenon.

Digital technologies have disrupted everything, not only within IT, but also leadership styles and how we manage our organisations. Leaders at every tech company are not digital leaders, but it is undisputed that Elon Musk and Mark Zuckerberg are two of the best examples today. What do they have that the majority of managers do not?

First and foremost, there is a difference in management style. Both men have the gift to inspire their employees to innovate and “hold” onto these ideas. Their acumen in applying benchmarks of digital leadership shows a fast, cross-hierarchical, cooperative, and team-oriented approach often integrating the innovation peak ideals of Silicon Valley. Above all, the personal competence, the mindset, and the application of new methods (or instruments such as “design thinking”) are crucial. There are several traits that are exhibited, ones that we also use to differentiate Leadership 4.0.

Seven things successful leaders in the digital era do differently

  • Responsibility

Traditional managers clearly define responsibilities and roles; team-oriented or cross-functional tasks beyond the manager’s outlined hierarchy immediately lead to conflicts.

Digital leaders learn how to distribute tasks according to the situation and team competence, where the abilities of managers together with employees are continually linked; success means all participants contribute their competence networking intelligence.

  • Results

Traditional managers control orders, plan resources, and evaluate results (and as a rule, their own comfort zone will define the borders of a project).

Digital leaders control voting processes and discourse, evaluate tasks and results together with team members, and use resources according to potential and competence (cross-functional and cross-hierarchical); practical results are generated by integrating constant feedback between internal and external stakeholders.

  • Distribution of Information

Traditional leaders typically distribute information under an obligation to provide data in a “strategic” and piecemeal manner (embodiment of the “knowledge is power” syndrome). Freedom of information (or choice) leads to control mania.

Digital leaders create a transparent framework, counts on a “collectable debt”of self-responsibility and proactive behaviours.

  • Objectives and Assessments

Assessing the performance of employees individually in fixed cycles is within the comfort zone of a traditional manager. Situations determine the need for assessing employees and teams equally by a digital leader, with exchange/ feedback continually occurring.

  • Mistakes and Conflicts

Rules with consequences for violations avoid mistakes are the hopeful path the traditional manager takes before conflicts occur. An open atmosphere with the learning effect in errors is endorsed by digital leaders, who places the company’s own responsibility for solutions in the foreground.

  • Change

Maintaining budgets, stable quality, and minimised risks are a priority for Traditional managers, leaving little room for creativity. The energy of a digital leader sustains the high-level willingness and ability for change within the company while deliberately promoting as well as encouraging high agility between the market, customers, and employees.

  • Innovation

Creating new ideas for new products is typically extremely challenging for a traditional leader, as it does not fit the normal cycles or processes. The future is invented and designed; a digital leader knows innovations are based on a team’s focus on a common goal to make the best possible use of the abilities of each individual (Right Potential). Innovation is learnable; this is helped by transforming old structures through the use of multidisciplinary teams, flexible working environments, and creative processes.

It is all about the mindset and how we look at the world

It is more difficult to sustainably change yourself from within than learn new skills because modifications mean new thought patterns are adopted, developed as habits, and energise future actions. Sounds easy, but is not. Even using Apple shows the complexity of a digital leader’s success. A user of the online community platform Reddit asked what the CEO of Apple was doing right. Steve Wozniak answered, “Tim Cook acknowledges his employees and the customers of Apple as real people.” For Oxford Leadership, this means weQ (weQuality).

Agility is the key principle of digital leadership, relating to customer orientation and responding directly to the needs as well as desires of a target group. At the same time, Leadership 4.0 is about the involvement of employees, their individual abilities (Right Potential instead of High Potential ©), motivations, and ideas. An open, transparent, and innovative culture is the basis for high agility, rapid market adaptation, and the DNA within the digital leader.

For organisations to react more efficient to market changes, digital leaders must give much more responsibility to their teams. They allow employees a lot of freedom (and trust) in their own decisions. The co-creative fast community culture of the weQ requires a high learning flexibility of each individual as essential.

Source: Oxford Leadership

Find Ways to Be Productive in an Open Office

An open office can be a nightmare when it comes to noise — especially when you’re working on something that requires your undivided attention. To get the focus you need, talk to your team to sync up expectations about how you can all work optimally. Develop some ground rules. For example, you all might agree that when one colleague is on the phone, everyone else will only whisper. It’s also smart to invest in noise-canceling headphones. They not only drown out unwanted noise but also serve as a visual cue that you don’t want to be disturbed. Another tactic is to scout out a private, quiet space — an underused conference room, say — that will allow you to write and think when you truly can’t be interrupted. Finally, if noise is still a problem, ask your manager about moving to a new desk. Don’t lodge complaints about your talkative coworkers; be positive and tell your boss that you’ll be more productive in another space.

Source: Harvard Business Review 

Adapted from “Staying Focused in a Noisy Open Office,” by Rebecca Knight 

CxO & Global bring Prof. Wade from IMD Lausanne to Belgium

CXO in partnership with Global are honoured to invite you to an exceptional “Digital Strategy Execution ” initiative with Prof. Wade from IMD Lausanne, Director of IMD’s Global Center for Digital Business Transformation and a world authority on digital transformation.

As the final step, in what can sometimes be an arduous process, strategy execution is vitally important and is widely considered to be the hardest challenge executives are facing.

Often strategies fail, not because of poor conceptualisation, but simply because the many obstacles that prevent great plans from reaching effective implementation are underestimated.

This exceptional interactive one day event will focus on the critical parts of making your journey to Digital strategy implementation a success.

The number of participants is limited and only accessible to CEOs and senior executives. For more information and deadlines go to 

We are confident you will be impressed by this pioneering initiative and hope to welcome you there together with your senior staff.

Pierre Hendrickx, director – Global
Dirk Vermant, director – CxO

CxO Magazine joins the 43e Art Nocturne Knocke

Art Nocturne Knocke krijgt dit jaar een geheel nieuwe zes dagen durende dynamische formule, van zaterdag 11 t/m woensdag 15 augustus met voorname kunsthandelaren die meewerken aan creaties en presentaties van internationaal niveau, waar kwaliteit en originaliteit primeren.

Niet alleen de kunstwereld en de kunstmarkt zien er ondertussen helemaal anders uit, maar ook de interieurs van de verzamelaars en de kunstliefhebbers.

Iedereen, jong en minder jong, zoekt nu naar een mix van zowel oude kunst, design, moderne en hedendaagse kunst van verschillende stijlen, perioden en continenten, gepresenteerd op een eclectische setting, kwalitatief en verfrissend hedendaags.

​Niet enkel het geselecteerde aanbod en de nieuwe dynamische aanpak zullen inspireren, maar ook de exclusieve locatie Knokke de mondainste badplaats van de Belgische kust, een netwerkparadijs voor al diegenen die houden van kunst en savoir-vivre.

Art Nocturne Knocke betekent kunst beleven en exclusief genieten in een zomerse sfeer aan zee!

Bron: Art Nocturne Knocke

Meer info

GDPR : Zo ga je aan de slag met de nieuwe privacyregels

Op 25 mei 2018 is het zover. Dan treedt de GDPR – General Data Protection Regulation – in werking. Met die nieuwe regelgeving wil Europa de privacy van zijn burgers beter beschermen. Al wie dan nog gegevens over personen verzamelt en gebruikt, zal daarvoor een gegronde reden nodig hebben. Maar wat betekent dit nu voor jouw organisatie?

Welke gevolgen heeft de nieuwe privacywet?
Wat je precies moet ondernemen om je bedrijf op de nieuwe regels af stemmen, hangt af van de privacyrisico’s die je activiteit(en) met zich meebrengen. De klantenkaarten van de broodjeszaak, de personeelsdossiers van een KMO en de patiëntendossiers van een ziekenhuis: het zijn allemaal verwerkingen van persoonsgegevens, het ene weliswaar veel delicater dan het andere.

Zo is de privacy impact van de klantenkaart beperkter dan dat van het personeelsdossier – waarin bijvoorbeeld loongegevens en evaluaties zijn opgenomen. Ook de risico’s verbonden aan het verwerken van medische gegevens zijn groot en zullen dus meer actie vragen.

Hoe starten met de GPPR?

Lees meer

Bron: Kwinta

Teach Your Team to Give More Effective Feedback

Whether working with a colleague or direct report, everyone on your team needs to know how to provide constructive feedback. But delivering criticism can be uncomfortable, intimidating, and hard to share in a way that the recipient can understand, accept, and act on.

The Teams at Work: Giving Difficult Feedback toolkit includes everything you need to run a team training session on this topic: a facilitator’s guide, HBR articles handpicked by our editors, and practical tools to help your team apply the learnings in their work. Together you’ll:

  • Learn the vocabulary and process to deliver feedback confidently
  • Practice delivering tough feedback with team exercises

Use the hands-on tools to apply your new skills

Learn more…

Pick Conferences Based on Who You Want to Meet

New conferences are announced almost every day, but realistically you can only attend one or two per year. To decide which ones warrant your time, think about what kinds of people you want to make connections with. Consider your 50 closest professional relationships. If almost all of them are at your company or in your industry, you may want to explore conferences that bring together diverse groups, such as TED or your local TEDx gathering. Conversely, if your ties inside your industry are weak, consider attending events sponsored by your regional or national professional association. It’s important that you don’t only consider the gatherings that your peers frequent. View your conference attendance as a chance to connect with the people whom you wish to have as your peers in the future.

Bron: The Management Tip of the Day, Harvard Business Review