About Brian Downes

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So far Brian Downes has created 10 blog entries.

The Performance Enablement Dichotomy

2022-11-11T15:34:45+00:00November 11th, 2022|Categories: Uncategorized|

I believe that it is true to say that most people want to perform well at their job. At least they start out that way. I believe that it is also true to say that most of us in leadership positions want the people in our teams to perform well too. We want them to enjoy the work, the environment, the challenges and the successes. However, the data available on employee engagement

Big Goals…….Why Bother?

2021-12-15T09:50:03+00:00December 15th, 2021|Categories: Clarity, Performance|

I have had an indifferent relationship with goals over the past decade. There were periods where I was regimental with the setting, writing and implementing of goals. I have also had periods where I left things unfold and responded accordingly. Over the past few years I have taken a slightly different approach. I still write out a small list of business, personal and health goals at the start of each year. The

The Bad Apple Problem

2021-11-04T10:52:36+00:00November 3rd, 2021|Categories: Culture, Leadership, TEAM|

You are likely to be familiar with the term "one bad apple spoils the barrel". The meaning here is that the rot in the bad apple will spread to all the other apples in the barrel, thus destroying the barrel of apples. What happens when we apply this logic to people in a team? What is the "rot in the apple" behaviour that is not in keeping with the team environment? It

Triple H for Killer Communication

2021-09-24T11:18:15+00:00September 24th, 2021|Categories: Clarity, Communication, Culture|

The past 18 months has been a real-life case study in communication. As keen linguists we looked on watchfully. What has unfolded in the main has been quite under whelming and lead to so much confusion and challenge. Communication is also at the route of the majority of issues we encounter in the world of work. It can vary from a lack of clarity, to conflicting information, or our personal pet peeve,

Star Players & Great Teams

2021-08-31T13:48:58+00:00August 31st, 2021|Categories: Leadership, TEAM|

It's no secret that there is a battle to attract the best people. Organisations invest heavily in talent attraction programs, culture PR, extras and more to hire the star players. But is this the best tactic for developing a high performing team? The answer is, that it depends. We are complex beings as individuals, and when we start to put groups of complex beings together in the form of teams, well, it

Where We Will Work

2021-07-23T09:28:43+00:00July 23rd, 2021|Categories: Clarity, Leadership|

There is an old Irish tale about an American tourist who gets lost driving around rural Kerry. He stops at some point in the middle of nowhere asks a local farmer for directions. When the tourist asked what is the best way to get to their location, the farmer replied with a grin, “Yerra I wouldn’t shtart from here anyway” Similar to the bewildered tourist, many in the world of business would

True T.E.A.M. Building With Impact

2021-06-18T16:33:41+00:00June 18th, 2021|Categories: Leadership, Performance, TEAM|

The key to a high performing business is not about an individual person. Businesses that perform well are built on a foundation of high functioning teams. This won’t be a surprise to many. The understanding of the role of the team in successful organisations has spawned an entire industry of “Team Building”. Traditional team building has tended to revolve around team activities and off-site days. These are designed with the intention of

The Commercial Value of Happiness

2021-03-11T15:33:47+00:00March 11th, 2021|Categories: Culture, Engagement, Leadership|

Have you ever heard the term “Happy Cows Produce More Milk”? In the dairy farming world its commonly known that the happier the cows, the greater the yield. The same is true of people. When people are happy we are more productive, it’s common sense really. Yet, business doesn’t act upon this basic premise. It’s not all about paying more money either. There are simple things, that literally cost nothing in their


2021-03-11T15:34:58+00:00March 11th, 2021|Categories: Performance, Strategy, Uncategorized|

Every day of the week people sit over coffee and get genuinely excited about the prospects of this amazing new business idea they have just harvested in their mind. Starting up a business is bloody tough and it is the allure of doing really excellent work and contributing in some way to your industry, that continues to draw people in every day of the week. Well that and the possibility of making

Leaders – Get Out of the Way

2021-03-11T15:23:31+00:00March 11th, 2021|Categories: Engagement, Leadership, Performance|

Sometimes, as leaders, we need to look in the mirror. Look closely. We may be the problem. Sometimes, we open the door but stand in the opening. Sometimes, we are wrong. What we do and how we make people feel, is more important than the words we use. There is always pressure to improve performance. We try to do this by putting more rules in place, policies, bureaucracy, red tape, and on

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