Dressing the Part: A Strategic Skill for Individuals and Organizations

When providing training and information to new and existing employees, ideally, we’ll focus on providing them the requisite tools for optimal performance in their jobs. But how much emphasis is there set on how the employee appearing polished, proficient, and professional?

In her article focussing specifically on organizations and dress codes, Sylvia Ann Hewlett describes how following UBS’s publication about how the Swiss Bank envisaged it’s employee’s appearance, there has been some mocking but also a lot of reflection on just how important someone’s appearance is in business. The focus has shifted to assessing the value in organizations establishing a dress code and/or providing guidelines on how the individuals they have hired to represent them should appear. Let us not forget that even Canadian Banks had policies up to 30 years ago preventing their employees from wearing red or female employees from wearing slacks, going as far as indicating the types of establishments that could be frequented outside of business hours.

The article also points out on how women may have a greater challenge then men in setting the right tone in appearance, in that we are asked to conform to a business code and subvert all elements of sexuality, all the while urged to not come across as masculine. I’d add that this is perhaps also quite cultural, highly influenced by the level of conservatism of a region. Then again, should I be dressing differently for a meeting in Abu Dhabi then a meeting in Montreal?


Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

Which Content Curation Tool is Right for You?

Managing all the content that comes at us can get overwhelming. We can set up systems to tag, categorize, filter, sort, organize and essentially manage content at various levels. And once we’ve sifted through all the content that is sent to us, and we’ve decided what it is that we want to share, how do we select the system we want to use to curate it?

Pawan Deshpande has compiled a good Pros and Cons list of select content curating tools. Though the list does not cover the myriad options available, it does a good job at describing how certain tools work and why their functionalities may or may not work for you.


Initially published on Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today

The Components of True Collaboration

Dan Pontefract has a wonderfully clear and thought out model on The Collaboration Cycle. In fact, to summarize it wouldn’t really do it justice. But I will highlight that he bases it on 3 components as illustrated in his diagram below:

  • Adopting the CARE Principle. (Continuous, Authentic, Receptive and Enrich)
  • Appreciating and adapting to Strong and Weak ties
  • Ensuring both the Consumption of and Contribution back to the network of Strong and Weak Ties.


When speaking of collaboration or communities of practice, often we speak of the necessity of engagement. This model gives us some standard guidelines of how to cultivate and maintain such a level of engagement.


The Collaboration Cycle | Training Wreck | Dan Pontefract | 29 January 2011

This post is cross-posted with Brandon Hall’s Workplace Learning Today