Prepare for Excellence

This one day, highly interactive workshop will be held on Friday, March 27 in Dublin (Dun Laoghaire). Attendees will explore leadership, strategy, communication, risk and innovation to develop an understanding of what organisations need in order to embark on their journey to excellence. The workshop includes a discussion on how excellence assessment helps organisations on the journey and a challenging simulation.

When Where Price
27 March, 10:00-17:00 Dun Laoghaire, Dublin Members €317, Non-Members: €381
Register Now

A Christmas Challenge

Last year, we were happy to report about a Christmas Crises Averted, continuing what is now a tradition mixing fun and learning about excellence at this time of year. In 2017, we published a tale of a journey to excellence in Dickens’ Christmas Carol having previously looked at The Excellence behind Rudolph, in 2016, and a Case Study on Santa in 2015.

This year, we examine a few innovations which helped spread the joy of Christmas and outline a Christmas Challenge that is worth accepting.



Michael Sutton, one of the Institute’s Fellows, and his co-author Kevin Allen (former advertising executive turned educator) have recently published a book on game-based learning… Emotify, The Human Element in Game-Based Learning, Serious Games and Experiential Education.

In the book, the authors propose an actionable work plan, based on tried and tested research, for those who wish to harness the power of game-based learning. It covers a spectrum of topics ranging from basic concepts to pragmatic approaches for marketing in order to help readers succeed in their game-based learning endeavours.

You can purchase Emotify on Amazon (note: the Institute is not an Amazon affiliate and will not earn any fee on any purchase):

Emotify - The Power of the Human Element in Game-Based Learning

Announcing the IBLGC 2019 Finalists

Congratulations to all games that have made the finals of the 2019 International Business Learning Games Competition. The standard of this year’s entries (as measured by the average score for all entries in the year) was the highest to date. This made the first round of judging exciting and there were a large number of entries which kept the judges busy. In the end, 15 entries have made it to the finals including – for the first time – games from Asia and South America.

Condolences are offered to those entrants ranging from universities to small companies whose games did not make the finals – each of you will receive a judges’ report which we hope provides you with some ideas on how your games could be improved. We thank you for your participation and hope to see you at the International Conference On Business Learning Games.


HRM Benchmarking – A Double Edged Sword

There is much talk in recent years among HR professionals about the value of Human Resource Management (HRM) benchmarking, where HR departments compare policies and practices with those of other organizations, aiming to learn from best practice and improve. Estimates show that over 1,000 human capital indices are in use for reference, including absence figures, employee engagement surveys, data on grievances and disciplinary incidents, staff turnover and feedback from exit interviews. The abundance of measures, however, does not guarantee that benchmarking will always produce positive outcomes, nor that it will help the organization to learn and improve…

To continue reading, click the image to download the pdf.

Download the PDF

HRM Benchmarking A Double Edged Sword

2017 International Business Learning Games Competition – Open for Entries

To encourage innovation and as part of our commitment to best practice, the Institute runs the annual International Business Learning Games Competition. Entries for 2017 are now being accepted (closing date 31 May) and the finals will be held in Lisbon on October 2.

Best practice in learning has long since moved from lecture style approaches with a “sage on a stage” who talks at people to active participation approaches such as problem based, cooperative, and social learning. Learning games are powerful tools that can be very effective – they shift the focus from “being taught” to “learning”, facilitating learning for everyone from children to seasoned executives.

The increased use of learning games, will help organizations attract, develop, and retain talent, assisting them to achieve their strategic goals. In the public and non-profit sector this will also translate into positive social impact.

The objective of the competition is to attract entrants from different industries and sectors from around the world, recognize their achievements, acknowledge the best games in the field, and inspire others to develop new innovative learning games for business.

If you have a learning game of any type that helps people learn about business or a discipline that directly applies to business, management or work check out the Competition website .


Entry Submission Deadline 31 May 2017
2017 IBLGC Finals, Games Showcase & Awards 2 October 2017

Design to Eliminate Bias

Last Friday I saw an article on the website of a reputable British news agency asking if female leaders are disadvantaged by media bias. It pointed out that women such as Hillary Clinton (US presidential candidate) and Theresa May (UK Prime Minister) have their choice of clothing discussed in the media while their male counterparts seldom if ever do. Ironically, the article appeared in close proximity to one with the headline “Bikini-clad Swedish policewoman stops thief” and a photo of the officer doing so.

It would seem that even when discussing the media’s attention to female leaders’ attire, the media continues to focus on what women wear when they make headlines. This bias appears to be just as prevalent in the East as in the West – Japanese politician Koike Yuriko (who was elected Mayor of Tokyo last Sunday) is another example of a woman who has been criticized what she wears – in her case apparently “too much makeup”.

The article referenced work by researchers at Northwestern’s Kellogg Business School in Illinois which found that companies see a decline in their share price if they receive a lot of media attention having appointed a female Chief Executive. However, if a company gets a lot of attention having appointed a male Chief Executive, the share price gets a boost.

The current issue of the Harvard Business Review has an article about designing a “Bias-Free Organization”. It focuses on biases that influence diversity. These are biases that managers can act to reduce by – to go back to my previous blog – designing processes to eliminate them.


The article – which focuses mainly on gender bias – points out that corporate “diversity training” has been found to be ineffective in changing attitudes (no surprise really as bias tends to be in the domain of the subconscious and very difficult to overcome). It cites an experiment run by researchers at Yale into anti-bias training effectiveness that found the training had “almost no impact” and then promotes the use of process design to help overcome bias.

Before you decide that your organization doesn’t have bias, I should warn you of a bias known as “the bias blind spot” where we have a tendency to believe we are less biased than others, so you should do some checking to be sure.

A number of years ago, during an Excellence Assessment of a company in India, a BEX colleague and I were discussing diversity with the company’s top management. They were proud to highlight that they had a diverse workforce as they employed Muslims as well as Hindus in key roles and also had a female manager. In their minds they had diversity. My colleague, who is Indian, acknowledged this but also commented that there was no way for a person in a wheelchair to access company’s headquarters so that they were not quite as embracing of diversity as they might believe. It is all too easy to miss ways in which one can be biased, so it is worthwhile having somebody do a sanity check for you.

The pursuit of excellence requires the minimization of bias – it results in better decisions and better teams. The HBR article contains some good ideas on how to eliminate gender bias in your some of your processes, so I would recommend giving it a glance.