A Way of Understanding Human Nature

At work and in life itself, clear communication comes from understanding people’s differences, how they view the world, how they think or process information, what they see as important and even the words they use.

This can often be a challenge though because people are very complex individuals. So what if there was a ‘code’ to human behaviour that made it easier to unlock the mysteries within people’s thinking?

What if you could speak to your customers, clients, team members even your partner and children in their ‘language’? What if you were able to build trust more quickly with your customers because they know you ‘get’ them and all because you knew how to crack the code of human behaviour and thinking.

We all know that people will do business with those whom they know, like and trust and who can answer their underlying question of ‘What’s in it for me?’

Graves technology  gave us such a code with 8 levels of thinking that form the basis of this code.

  • Do you know anybody who is:
    Reserved and safety-conscious?
    Impulsive and adventurous?
    Rebellious and creative?
    Dedicated to results at any cost?
    Infinitely Caring?
    Fearless and go-getting?

What mind-set or code is behind these  different types of people?

Well known companies ranging from Conoco Philips to Harley Davidson have used Graves technology  to better understand their people, enhance communication and increase the effectiveness of their marketing.

Benefits:
Common benefits from learning Graves technology include:
More Effective Communication
More Effective Communication
Increased Productivity
Profound insights into group dynamics.

I will be run courses in the autumn  if you would like to attend please let me know .

Free Webinar- Are we solving problems or just the symptoms?

The term “Wicked problem” is a phrase used to describe an issue that ‘s hard to resolve because of incomplete, conflicting, and changing requirements that are often difficult to identify. Moreover, because of complex interdependencies, the effort to solve one aspect of a wicked problem may reveal or create other problems.

Climate change, health, environmental, degradation, poverty, sustainability, equality.  These are a handful of typical wicked problems that haunt the world. Not only are they gigantic, tormenting, multifaceted and complex problems. They are problems to each and every one of us,  problems which we as human beings encounter each day, problems we have created. They are the unintended consequences of previous decisions and action we as a society have taken. Why did we create them? Are we still creating them?  So can’t we solve them?

Free Webinar- Are we solving problems or just the symptoms?

 

Worldviews – MIND THE GAP

We all have one. It’s something we rarely discuss or even consider. Yet, it does not matter where we live, how educated we are, or whether we are rich or poor. Each one of us acts and lives in the way we do because of our worldview.

The Oxford Dictionary defines a worldview as, ”a particular philosophy of life or conception of the world.” In simple terms, it’s like putting on a pair of glasses that filter our world.

On the surface, our worldview appears as a collection of beliefs that are important and dear to us. For example, our religious and political beliefs, or the values that influence our choices.

On a deeper level, the schema act as an operating system inside our brains. The schema are the mental structures that organise our worldview. This framework supplies a comprehensive view of what a person considers to be reality, or to be right or wrong. Consciously or unconsciously we fit everything we believe into this mental operating system.

A worldview is a person’s road map. When we are faced with challenges, or questions, our worldview filters potential answers using the operating system inside our mind.

Paradoxically, when our mindset begins to change we start to move into a new worldview which transcends and includes all of our previous worldviews. When this happens, we may feel internal dissonance, because our mind is trying to figure out how to reconcile contradictory values and beliefs.

Within an organisation, there is often a broad span of worldviews. And there is often a gap between the thinking behind the systems and structures of the organisation, and the worldviews of the employees and customers. The resulting misalignment of culture can lead to employee disengagement, low client loyalty, and consequently poor financial returns.

It is possible to identify the mind-culture gap for individuals, team and organisation, and discover effective ways to close the gap. Join us for a FREE webinar where we will discuss the mind-culture gap and what can be done about it.

Our worldview will guide how we deal with problems and if we can establish the root cause or just the symptoms.

MIND THE GAP: I’m sick of dealing with symptoms!

Culture and systems gap in public sector.

After the success of MIND THE GAP at the Scotish Governments Firestarter Festival we have collated the insights gained from eight plus participants into the MIND THE GAP REPORT. Participants identify several gaps in the public sector, include culture and systems gaps.

Our MIND THE GAP programme at Edinburgh College will enable those who attending to begin to understand & starting learning how to bridge the gap in their organisation, reduce employee disengagement, aligning culture and systems & identify the type of leadership required to manage complex problems. The work presented herein has an impeccable lineage and is fully documented at the foot of the MIND THE GAP report.

Happy Valentine’s Day.

Our gift to you:

20% discount off MIND THR GAP Programme

Statecraft by Christopher Cooke

This past week, Sheila and I, along with our Scottish colleague, Fiona Savage, have been involved with the 2017 Fire Starter Festival in Scotland, “a week-long festival of collaborative learning events, illuminating creative, disruptive and innovative ways in which we can all transform ourselves, our organisations and the wider system.”

Our contribution called, MIND THE GAP, attracted 10% of all attendees. Through highly interactive exercises we explored the gap in the mindset, “Between the way we organise ourselves at work… and what we’re really capable of!” We used robust human stage development theory as the insight generator for identifying the gaps.

A copy of our report of the findings of how these individuals viewed the ‘mind-culture gap’ in Scotland is available here.

Looking out of the window on the first workshop I could see the rear of St. Andrews House, which in 1939 became the administrative hub for the Scottish Office to support a pathway of increasing autonomy and optimism of the Scottish people. I knew, from an earlier visit in 2007, that the frontage includes 6 pillars each topped with sculptures to signify the foundational importance of Agriculture, Fisheries, Health, Education, Architecture and Statecraft.

The word Statecraft, emblazoned on the 6th pillar, meaning the skill of governing a country, caught my imagination as an enduring, unfolding, ever-adapting craft, with a high degree of creativity and volition.

As the group worked on, my imagination sparked a question given the ‘wicked’ context of 2017, with over 7 billion earthlings, “what might be the basis of Holistic Statecraft for Scotland or any nation, to handle social, economic, and ecological factors?”

The stance we offered was that Holistic Thinking is required to handle the ‘wicked problems’, such as climate change, species loss, and increasing healthcare costs, to name a few. We included many references to holistically-informed practices especially Holistic Management, based upon the work of Allan Savory, as one of the most robust and established applications of holistically-informed thinking.

As breaks allowed, I explored the history of holistic thinking in Scotland. I quickly discovered that Field Marshall Jan Smuts, the founder of the Science of Holism, was elected by Students at St. Andrews University to be their Rector between 1931-1934. In his Rectoral Address on the 17th October 1934, Smuts highlighted, ‘Happiness is Freedom and Freedom is Courage’ as the fundamental equation of all politics and all human government and went on to mention that, in the context of the challenges of that era, “Creative Freedom is the watchword of the new order, to the realization of which we should bend our energies.” That Jan Smuts was later instrumental in the creation of the Commonwealth of Nations in 1949, was no surprise.

As we delved deeper we used the pioneering work of Clare W. Graves and his holistic perspective of human emergence to bring to light the foundational themes of the worldviews that have influenced our human species over the past 120,000 years. The themes are: physiological, assurance, survival, security, independence and affiliation and nest hierarchically together to provide a firm platform for a species that holistically values the joy of existence and the importance of the continuation of all-life. Surely the ‘felt’ achievement of these themes is a hallmark of Holistic Statecraft.

I also smiled when I pondered that Allan Savory who, in the latest edition of his seminal work, Holistic Management: A Commonsense Revolution to Restore Our Environment, recognises the pivotal role that Jan Smuts’ seminal book, Holism and Evolution, had in the creation of Holistic Management. It seems that holistically-oriented science is also a hallmark of Holistic Statecraft.

As the MIND THE GAP workshops passed one by one, the data showed clearly the awareness by those in the room of the scale and nature of the shift. That the present and desired worldviews for the public sector can be seen is a reflection of a deep change that has already happened. The latent capacity of holistic thinking is awakened in some and ready to be utilised. An awareness of this seems to be a hallmark of Holistic Statecraft too.

As I look back on these 10 days in Scotland, I realise that we had indeed been bending our energies towards some understanding of ‘Holistic Statecraft’ as the means for the ‘Creative Freedom’ that Jan Smuts spoke of in 1936. Perhaps his words in 1934 paved the way?

The ‘mind-culture gap’ is commonplace. I invite you to join us for a three-part programme, “MIND THE GAP: Discover the root cause of disengagement and how to close the gap,” where you will learn to identify the mind-culture gap for individuals, team and organisation, in Edinburgh, starting in March.

Christopher Cooke

 

Fire Starter Celebration! Parliamentary Reception

Last night at the Fire Starter Celebration! Parliamentary Reception I said a few words about our Mind the Gap event

At the opening of the Fire Start Festival on Monday 23 January, those presenting to the participants collectively mentioned 28 times that in order to achieve what is the need in Scotland we require to THINK DIFFERENTLY!  This is what we explored

We had a 70% attendees equalling 81 participates

From across Scotland and a couple who came for the event from the Netherland after seeing a post on Facebook.

What attracted people?

  • Think and learn and reflect
  • Think in new ways
  • To unstick the culture
  • What triggers consciousness
  • The second enlightenment

We used tools developed from Prof Clare Graves work and Integral Psychology.

The Gap was identified by participated between what they experienced in the public sector and where the public sector needs to lead from.

The Data

Show that the order driven culture in public sector can feel like a ball and chain around the ankles of those that what a people driven culture of equality.

Participants mapped their own organising and discovered culture norms and business systems are lagging behind customer, suppliers and policy

All participants were asked to send a Valentine from the future to their grandchildren

Some themes from the valentines were:

Dear Grandchildren,

In 2067 what I love about Scotland is…..

Fairer society: diversity of the country, an outward looking Scotland across Europe and the World.

In 2017 I attended Mind the Gap and what I took away from the day was…
Change is inevitable; Explored mind-sets; Understanding of human thinking: The capacity for change is everywhere; We as humans are amassing: Challenge Convention thinking; We continue to evolve.

To help create the A Scotland we know today I did my bit by….
Help break down the barriers Challenge Constructively bad system: Speak my mind and not be afraid to challenge authority: Being open-minded and was not scared to change despite barriers imposed on me: Support culture change in Government.

We will be realising the full report in a few days.nspiring insight for the workshop

Christopher Sheila and I have been inspired by the Fire Started Festival, and we would like to thank the  Government for organisers the week and all the participant who attended Mind the Gap.

To  find out how to close the gap, please contact me we  are running several workshops over the next six months

Fire Start Festival and Mind the Gap

Mind the Gap

At the opening of the Fire Start Festival on Monday 23 January, those presenting to the participants collectively mentioned 28 times that in order to achieve what is the need in Scotland we require to THINK DIFFERENTLY!

We are looking forward to sharing the information we gathered at Mind The Gap that highlighted the gap in the culture and thinking and the change needed.

Eighty participants attended and used a worldview exercise. Worldview enables us to identify the particular philosophy of life or conception of the world and how we think about the world from a Scottish stance.

Participants were asked: Which worldview most closely reflects their experience of the Scottish public sector? and the using the same tool were asked, “Where do Scottish public sector leaders need to lead from to be successful?”

This identified the worldview gap that exists today in the Scotish public sector thinking, How Public sector thinks today and how it needs to think and lead to create the Scotland we desire for our future.

Human Thinking Theory

On Monday at the launch of the Firestarter Festival, the presenters mentioned collectively over 28 times we need to change how we think
How much time do you give to understanding how you think and how your organisations thinks?
If you don’t know how you think and how your organisations thinks how can you begin to change how you think?
Yesterday we hosted the first of 3 Mind the Gap workshops as part of the Firestarter Festival, participants explored:
Human Thinking Theory.
What it is… Principles …..Dominant Themes of Human Thinking?
What are principles of Human emergence?
What are the themes of each stage of Development?
Great feedback from the day from participants. Curiosity sparked, an assessment was completed  by participant of how they think and how the public sector needs to think in order to create the future Scotland desires for itself

5 Reasons Why to Attend the 5 Deep Teal for Scotlanf Workshop on Self-Organising Teams

Reason 1 – Learn to identify the cultural gap.

Prior to the workshop, participants take our online survey, known as 5 Deep Vital Signs. In the workshop, participants identify the cultural gap between the current model of working and their desired model of working. They discover the importance of “minding the gap” when leading change.

Reason 2 – Discover what is required for successful change.

Change usually focuses above the water line, on the values and behaviours, the systems and structures, and has at least a 70% failure rate. For successful transformation to the new model we need to look deeper and understand how mindsets and the way of thinking drives behaviour.

Implementing the new model requires much more than adopting new practices. Real change happens when individuals and the collective are aligned around what is important. By creating healthy life conditions for change, employees can be inspired to change.

Reason 3 – We make the application of change theory easy.

In this one-day, highly participatory workshop, we take the group through a series of exercises 700x 400that enable them to identify the predominant way of thinking and culture that lurk below the water line, as well as the thinking needed to implement new ways of working. We make it easy to relate the theory of change to their project, and to make a plan of action.

Reason 4 – Our participants valued it!

I found the session inspiring, energising and extremely engaging. Fiona and Sheila created a safe and innovative space and took us through an amazing and creative journey of discovery: a deep dive into values, behaviours, mindset, organisations, collaboration, structures and worldviews.

The session was packed with examples, exercises, group conversation, insights and inspiring stories. Driven by curiosity at first, I left the session full of hope and optimism for the future of the world and my organisation. Thank you so much to Fiona and Sheila for a really valuable session, one of the best I ever attended!

— Giulia Lucchini, City of Edinburgh Council

Friday’s course led by Fiona Savage and Sheila Cooke was exceptional and gave real substance around the “how” for organisations to work towards achieving flatter structures, increase effectiveness and improve productivity all through self-organising teams. Each of the participants shared their enthusiasm for getting back into their workplaces to start work on making this a reality.

As well as the great tools that were made available to us, it was also inspiring to hear from Sheila about the work of other experts in this field. It has to be said that Christopher and Sheila Cooke are themselves experts developing a very workable system linked to the work of Frederic Laloux, Ken Wilber, Don Beck and Professor Clare Graves. This has to be the way forwards for so many organisations who are currently struggling with change and complexity.

— Ian Robertson, City of Edinburgh Council

What was really encouraging to see, was that despite coming from different organisations, all the participants believe there is a better, more ethical way of running organisations. A way that nurtures and gets the most from the individuals within the organisation while at the same time being aware and taking responsibility for the impact the organisation has on the external environment. The nature of how we work is changing and this workshop gives great insight into how we can embrace this change.

— Valerie Jackman, Edinburgh College

Reason 5 – Efficient and effective change that is aligned with where organisation are next naturally going to evolve to.

When organisations engage us in the change process, our first step is to conduct an organisational scan. Through this approach, we are able to support the organisation to adopt the self- organising model in a way that is compatible with where the organisation is next naturally going. For example, we are able to identify potential early adopters, where the way of thinking is already in alignment with the new way of working. Such departments are safe environments in which to pilot change. We are also able to identify where barriers are likely to arise and can advise on the best way to handle them. Such information enables the organisation to develop a road map for efficiently and effectively transitioning from the current model to the desired model of working. We are also able to weave-in the key practices at an optimal time in the road map, to increase the likelihood of adoption.

We will be running another course in Edinburgh in September please contact me if your interested in attending

Free-Up Time, Improve Organisational Outcomes, and Reduce Costs with Self-Organising Teams


Flat organisations with limited central control that ‘self-organise’ are considerably more effective. This fresh approach creates considerable opportunities in health and social care

  • Flexibility and responsiveness around the patient/client.
  • Greater scope for staff to use their professional skills.
  • Happier, more fulfilled staff.
  • Cost-effective through not having to carry big overheads.What does it mean for a organisation to move decisively in this direction?

This one-day course offers health and social care organisations the opportunity to explore in balanced, reflective way what self-organising offers to tackle the challenges of the health and care agenda.

Using some of the principles of self-organising, the course sets out what self-organising means in practice and explores the key questions everyone has to consider in deciding to take up the approach:

  • What examples are there of successful self-managing organisations and what are the magic ingredients they share?
  • What are the building blocks of a flexible organisational structure that supports self-organising?
  • How can clarity around roles and accountabilities be created?
  • What happens to accountability, governance, performance management and safety for organisations operating under the principles of self-organisation?
  • How can ending up with a chaotic free-for-all be avoided?
  • How can responsible, binding decisions be taken under self-organising?
  • How can the format of meetings be designed to move towards early action that has real buy-in?

To meet your host click here

Prior to the workshop, each participant will be asked to complete a cultural survey which will help us in the design of the workshop, and some of the data will be used in the workshop

Venue: Sighthill Campus, Edinburgh College. Click here for map

Date: June 3th 2016  Time 9.30 am to 4. 30pm.

Cost £120 inclusive of VAT

Conscious business are high performers

The Conscious Business movement (also known as conscious capitalism) is growing rapidly, reaching beyond social responsibility to focus on increased awareness of a whole system view of the organisaion.

One of the most talked-about Conscious Businesses is Whole Foods, a top U.S. supermarket group founded in Texas in 1978 as a single store, now a Fortune 300 company enjoying revenues of $12.9 billion.  For 15 consecutive years. Continue reading

No one goes to work to feel disengaged so why is this happening?

Why, when work should be an environment that brings us together to be productive, is there such a disconnection? There are at least two reasons why this disconnect is occurring. Firstly, the structure and the systems we operate in are no longer appropriate. The second one has to do with the mind-set that prevails across all levels of organisations. There is a need to transform the way we work. The workforce is changing. The way we work is changing. The way we do business is changing. To be successful in five years’ time organisations must begin to learn how to do things differently now. The employment environment is undergoing a dramatic upheaval  with far-reaching consequences that impact at an organisational, economic and personal level. Continue reading

Our daily working lives are deeply rooted in the past.

We are working in exciting times in which change is the norm. At the same time, the assumptions and practices that shape our daily working lives are deeply rooted in the past. Our current ways of working have been around and have served us well in the past, however over the last decade these ways have been shown not to perform well in the an increasingly complex world. We often say we are putting more focus on people but does the research bear this out?

Continue reading

How I can help you

Transforming the effectiveness of organisations through practical routes to participation

I can help you to design internal meetings, workshops, conferences and meetings with the public by using proven methods that generate positive creative discussions on issues that really matter both to clients and to the organisation. Continue reading

U.Lab – A new approach to change

Central Edinburgh U lab Hub, Networking, reflect on learning in groups, participate in small coaching circles and having fun!

I Join the global movement in January 2015  and und unter took the  MIT MOOC,  know as Theory U – Transforming Business, Society, and Self and hosted a small hub where we could learn together and deepen our awareness of our learning during the  MOOC.

One of the key insights of Theory U is that:  the quality of the results in any kind of  intervention is a function of the awareness that people in the system are operating from. Even though our world is interconnected in ways unimaginable even a decade ago, in many cases our awareness–whether as individuals, organizations or nations–is still limited and local.

I have now secured premises in Edinburgh City Chambers  during the forthcoming MOOC that begins in September. Holding weekly meetings on Mondays will allow participants time to view the webinars and complete the other activities from the previous Thursday over the weekend

Continue reading

Helping young people engage better

Young Carers Say “Talk to me, not at me.”

Everyone has life goals, but perhaps they are most pertinent as we move into adulthood, people want their independence, their own house, they want to go to college or university, to find a job, have a little money in their pocket and enjoy life. But for some Young Adult Carers these goals can seem unattainable. Continue reading