The Times and your People, they are a'Changing

Generation Y (born between 1978 and 1994) have a unique set of characteristics that challenge many managers. As a baby boomer, Managing Director and a Gen Y Executive Assistant working together every day, we are very aware of the differences of our behaviours and world views. Gen Y employees are becoming a significant proportion of the workforce and they bring a distinct culture into a workplace that can be used for positive advantage or cause considerable difficulty.

Gen Y employees tend to be enthusiastic, engaged and ambitious and can make practical, innovative contributions to their employers. While their confidence sometimes outweighs their skills they are often fast learners, pragmatic and enterprising. Peter Sheahan, in his book, “Generation Y: Thriving and Surviving with Generation Y at Work”, describes gen Ys as “stimulus junkies” who need fast-paced, varied, exciting work, have multi-tasking abilities and a tendency to get bored easily. 

Gen Yers also have a reputation for being demanding, impatient, materialistic and at times, manipulative. They tend to disregard seniority, experience and authority and have little inhibition when it comes to questioning existing tradition and protocol. They want their leaders to earn respect rather than expect it. Throw in a dash of self-centeredness, the need for constant feedback and instantaneous communication and take away good old fashioned organisational commitment and you can have a very difficult to manage employee on your hands.

Gen yers want a flexible work week, an opportunity to do work that makes a difference, excellent market –competitive pay, room for growth, learning and career progression, travel and intrinsic value  and are not afraid to ask for it. As Sheahan says when gen Yers don’t get what they want “they talk with their feet” and hence retention of a Gen Y employee is a major challenge for a manager.

Despite their materialistic nature and focus on competitive remuneration, generation Y are less likely than their predecessors to see work as a means to an end and often search for deeper meaning and opportunity to be creative at work.  Success in attracting and retaining Gen Yers occurs if you design varied roles, set high motivating goals, facilitate their engagement and allow gen y employees to influence the decisions that affect them. Gen Yers, like most people, want to meet their basic human needs – they just demand it a bit more loudly!

Talented generation Y employees can add value to your organisation since they bring a refreshing perspective and confidence that anything can be accomplished. Many have more formal education than their bosses and as a result of job-hopping, have a wide range of experience in the short number of years they have worked.

A lot of Gen Y individuals grew up in divorced households, had both parents working; their childhood years were defined by rapid change, globalisation and technological innovation including high exposure to social media.  Growing up in a complex, and demanding world, they have skill in sorting through vast amounts of information.  
Because they have grown up with change they are often more adaptable to social, technical and competitive changes that their older colleagues and managers. Sheahan argues that when it comes to change; baby boomers resist it, generation X accept it and generation Y seek it. This ability to embrace change can help business weather bad storms.

Often referred to as “Generation Why?”, younger employees want to know the reasons behind what they are being asked to do. If this attitude is properly managed, it can help align strategic plans with everyday activities, one of those feats that many managers fail to achieve. 

With the retirement of baby boomers, and the increased number of generation Y employees moving into middle and upper management positions, the skills and mind set they bring with them will be significant. The difference between companies that will survive or thrive lies in the way today’s leaders engage and manage this undeniably tricky and ingenious group of humans in the future.
Ron Cacioppe & Ange Titlestad

Integral Development get's a new look for the Perth office

Integral Development has recently grown thanks to the incredible efforts of all involved during the last year.  We have some new faces joining us and we'll be introducing you to them all in the coming weeks, but the big news today is the great new look our office has been given!

Gone are the rounded cubicle style desks we had and in their place is this amazing sleek central desk.  We can now seat up to 10 people which effectively doubled our workspace without increasing our footprint.

The low central partition enables us to work closely together and collaborate more easily, and the feedback so far has been very positive.

Keeping everything up above the desk actually increased the amount of workspace for each person, and with dual monitors there's more room to work than ever.

Now we just need to see how long we can keep them clutter free!

Does Your Company Strategy Need Stretching?

How are top companies adapting their strategic planning processes to address today's competitive reality? This was the questions that lead to this report by Boston Consulting Group (BCS). The study involved in-depth interviews with executives from leading companies, secondary research, and tapping into the experience of many of BCS's partners.

Business leaders are struggling between whether or not they should put the primary focus on strategic speed or foresight. Speed offers compelling advantages in today's changing world. However, a focus solely on speed implies more reacting and less innovation. Foresight enables you to become more innovative and to differentiate yourself. While developing foresight is more challenging today, the rewards are potentially much greater.

The important question today is, "How do you adjust your strategic planning process to develop more foresight and to improve your speed?"


"Those who believe that strategy is the exclusive preserve of a corporate brain trust are increasingly in the minority." Too often strategy development is too data collection focused and not enough thinking and dialogue. Generally in organizations there is a distinction between the "thinkers" and the "doers." This distinction proves to unproductive for everyone.

The "most effective strategies are the result of co-creation at multiple levels." Everyone's best thinking is needed. Helping everyone to develop strong strategic thinking skills is vital.

Successful companies are moving away from strategy simply constituting monologue Powerpoint presentations provided once a year in an "all-hands" meetings. The Powerpoint presentations focus more on sharing facts and metrics and occur before the dialogue begins.

Top firms are moving to more frequent, forum based, collegial dialogues focused on strategy. The dialogues are not held to simply "foster buy-in." They are held to come up with the best strategies that can succeed, and so that the execution time is reduced. Firms are fostering smart dialogue by "going deeper are few topics." The key is to ask key strategic questions that focus on those key drivers that help the organization to develop a competitive advantage.

Companies are also moving towards "most frequent discussions of strategy focused on nurturing strategists, pinpointing unexpected changes, and working through critical strategic uncertainties." Some companies hold regular strategy discussions throughout the year.

To help develop strategic thinking skills and to enhance the quality of dialogue, firms are creating more mentoring opportunities, tapping into a broader experience base," providing access to timely market data, and giving people at all levels the opportunity to develop strategy.

Learn More at the Strategic Thinking and Planning Workshop

About the Workshop

Strategic thinking and planning is essential to focus and drive your organisation’s activities. Strategic planning processes help you examine the business you are in and focus you on the key challenges you have to achieve in the future. Practical strategic and business plans aren’t easy to put together. This highly interactive workshop will help you analyse your business environment, uncover key things you have to get right to survive, succeed and grow, define your vision, set key objectives including strategic measures and actions.

The workshop examines the key strategic business areas that a successful plan must consider, including core values, purpose, and mission statements. In addition, you will gain insights into competitive strategies, value chains and life cycles, and come away from the program with a greater facility to understand how their organisations really work.

Who Should Attend?

Managers and executives seeking to improve their strategic thinking skills and ability.

Benefits of Attending

  • Gain tools to develop your overall planning framework with a clear, simple and effective process
  • Gain the skills to facilitate your strategic planning and /or business planning workshop
  • Gain the skills to facilitate input from your board of directors, stakeholders, staff and customers
  • Gain examples and templates for your strategic plan and business plan


John Mitchell is a senior consultant and executive coach with Integral Development and an expert in leadership and strategy. John holds a Masters in Leadership and Management and is currently a senior lecturer at Notre Dame University Business School. He has held a number of senior positions including CEO, Rottnest Island Authority and GM, Central Great Southern Health Authority.

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19 Reasons Why You Need Emotional Intelligence

The following 19 points build a case for how emotional intelligence contributes to the bottom line in any work organization. Based on data from a variety of sources, it can be a valuable tool for HR practitioners and managers who need to make the case in their own organizations.

1. The US Air Force used the EQ-I to select recruiters (the Air Force’s front-line HR personnel) and found that the most successful recruiters scored significantly higher in the emotional intelligence competencies of Assertiveness, Empathy, Happiness, and Emotional Self Awareness. The Air Force also found that by using emotional intelligence to select recruiters, they increased their ability to predict successful recruiters by nearly three-fold. The immediate gain was a saving of $3 million annually. These gains resulted in the Government Accounting Office submitting a report to Congress, which led to a request that the Secretary of Defense order all branches of the armed forces to adopt this procedure in recruitment and selection. (The GAO report is titled, “Military Recruiting: The Department of Defense Could Improve Its Recruiter Selection and Incentive Systems,” and it was submitted to Congress January 30, 1998. Richard Handley and Reuven Bar-On provided this information.)

2. Experienced partners in a multinational consulting firm were assessed on the EI competencies plus three others. Partners who scored above the median on 9 or more of the 20 competencies delivered $1.2 million more profit from their accounts than did other partners – a 139 percent incremental gain.

3. An analysis of more than 300 top-level executives from fifteen global companies showed that six emotional competencies distinguished stars from the average:

  • Influence, 
  • Team Leadership, 
  • Organizational Awareness, 
  • self-confidence, 
  • Achievement Drive, 
  • and Leadership 

4. In jobs of medium complexity (sales clerks, mechanics), a top performer is 12 times more productive than those at the bottom and 85 percent more productive than an average performer. In the most complex jobs (insurance salespeople, account managers), a top performer is 127 percent more productive than an average performer (Hunter, Schmidt, & Judiesch, 1990). Competency research in over 200 companies and organizations worldwide suggests that about one-third of this difference is due to technical skill and cognitive ability while two-thirds is due to emotional competence.

5. At L’Oreal, sales agents selected on the basis of certain emotional competencies significantly outsold salespeople selected using the company’s old selection procedure. On an annual basis, salespeople selected on the basis of emotional competence sold $91,370 more than other salespeople did, for a net revenue increase of $2,558,360. Salespeople selected on the basis of emotional competence also had 63% less turnover during the first year than those selected in the typical way.

6. In a national insurance company, insurance sales agents who were weak in emotional competencies such as self-confidence, initiative, and empathy sold policies with an average premium of $54,000. Those who were very strong in at least 5 of 8 key emotional competencies sold policies worth $114,000.

7. In a large beverage firm, using standard methods to hire division presidents, 50% left within two years, mostly because of poor performance. When they started selecting based on emotional competencies such as initiative, self-confidence, and leadership, only 6% left in two years. Furthermore, the executives selected based on emotional competence were far more likely to perform in the top third based on salary bonuses for performance of the divisions they led: 87% were in the top third. In addition, division leaders with these competencies outperformed their targets by 15 to 20 percent. Those who lacked them under-performed by almost 20%.

8. Research by the Center for Creative Leadership has found that the primary causes of derailment in executives involve deficits in emotional competence. The three primary ones are difficulty in handling change, not being able to work well in a team, and poor interpersonal relations.

9. After supervisors in a manufacturing plant received training in emotional competencies such as how to listen better and help employees resolve problems on their own, lost-time accidents were reduced by 50 percent, formal grievances were reduced from an average of 15 per year to 3 per year, and the plant exceeded productivity goals by $250,000 (Pesuric & Byham, 1996). In another manufacturing plant where supervisors received similar training, production increased 17 percent. There was no such increase in production for a group of matched supervisors who were not trained.

10. One of the foundations of emotional competence -- accurate self-assessment -- was associated with superior performance among several hundred managers from 12 different organizations.

11. Another emotional competence, the ability to handle stress, was linked to success as a store manager in a retail chain. The most successful store managers were those best able to handle stress. Success was based on net profits, sales per square foot, sales per employee, and per dollar inventory investment.

12. Optimism is another emotional competence that leads to increased productivity. New salesmen at Met Life who scored high on a test of “learned optimism” sold 37 percent more life insurance in their first two years than pessimists.

13. A study of 130 executives found that how well people handled their own emotions determined how much people around them preferred to deal with them.

14. For sales reps at a computer company, those hired based on their emotional competence were 90% more likely to finish their training than those hired on other criteria.

15. At a national furniture retailer, sales people hired based on emotional competence had half the dropout rate during their first year.

16. For 515 senior executives analyzed by the search firm Egon Zehnder International, those who were primarily strong in emotional intelligence were more likely to succeed than those who were strongest in either relevant previous experience or IQ. In other words, emotional intelligence was a better predictor of success than either relevant previous experience or high IQ. More specifically, the executive was high in emotional intelligence in 74 percent of the successes and only in 24 percent of the failures. The study included executives in Latin America, Germany, and Japan, and the results were almost identical in all three cultures.

17. The following description of a “star” performer reveals how several emotional competencies (noted in italics) were critical in his success: Michael Iem worked at Tandem Computers. Shortly after joining the company as ajunior staff analyst, he became aware of the market trend away from mainframe computers to networks that linked workstations and personal computers (Service Orientation). Iem realized that unless Tandem responded to the trend, its products would become obsolete (Initiative and Innovation). He had to convince Tandem’s managers that their old emphasis on mainframes was no longer appropriate (Influence) and then develop a system using new technology (Leadership, Change Catalyst). He spent four years showing off his new system to customers and company sales personnel before the new network applications were fully accepted.

18. Financial advisors at American Express whose managers completed the Emotional Competence training program were compared to an equal number whose managers had not. During the year following training, the advisors of trained managers grew their businesses by 18.1% compared to 16.2% for those whose managers were untrained.

19. The most successful debt collectors in a large collection agency had an average goal attainment of 163 percent over a three-month period. They were compared with a group of collectors who achieved an average of only 80 percent over the same time period. The most successful collectors scored significantly higher in the emotional intelligence competencies of self-actualization, independence, and optimism.

Taken from:

The Business Case for Emotional Intelligence
Prepared for the Consortium for Research on Emotional Intelligence in Organizations
( )

Cary Cherniss, Ph.D.
Rutgers University

Learn More About Personal Effectiveness and Emotional Intelligence at Work

The key focus of this workshop is to learn how to manage your energy and not your time so you can increase your effectiveness at work. ‘Self talk’, whether it is positive, negative or rational, consumes your emotional energy, so becoming more aware is critical to increasing your effectiveness in the workplace. ‘Being in the moment’ and developing skills to achieve this on a daily basis are addressed in this workshop along with managing your emotions and the impact of them on how you make decisions and react in difficult conversations. This workshop will also give you the skills and confidence to have difficult conversations whilst keeping your emotions in check.

Who Should Attend?

Those who have difficulty managing self talk and controlling emotions in challenging situations.

Benefits of Attending

  • Become more emotionally aware
  • Learn about ego attachments and the impact on the decisions you make
  • Learn key skills to respond appropriately instead of reactively
  • Manage your self talk
  • Manage your energy

Your Presenter

Lynda Folan is a senior consultant with Integral Development and an expert in the field of leadership and organisational development. She holds a BA, MOrgPsych and is completing her Doctorate in Organisational Psychology (Leadership). Lynda has taught at the University of Portsmouth and held a number of senior positions including: vice president of human resources for The Number, general manager of human resources for Arcadian International Hotel Group, and vice president of human resources for Hard Rock Cafe International.

Click Here to Register to Attend