The word ‘conversation’ derives from the Latin con versare – to turn or to dance together. Are you kept on your toes when you feel deeply that the core of your activity is participating in ‘the dance’?
Conversation is the single greatest learning tool in your organization—more important than computers or sophisticated research. As a society, we know the art of small talk, we can talk about the weather or our holidays. But when we face complex or contentions issues, when there are feelings and different opinions, our defence mechanisms surface and this can impede communications. Besieged by data, seduced by knowledge from books and the internet, many people seem to have forgotten the value of the wisdom gained by ordinary conversations. Continue reading
In today’s environment we see more complexity than ever before and it is widely acknowledged as one of the biggest barriers to organisational performance in both the public and private sectors. So why has complexity never been addressed holistically? Continue reading
In order to thrive, a business must be aligned around a meaningful purpose and shared values. With our help, you’ll rediscover the real purpose that sits at the core of your organisation, bringing total clarity to guide every aspect of your organisation. Continue reading
I was one of six authors of Systems Thinking, published by the Management Innovation Exchange. You can find the full publication here
Deming and others showed that when you look at the performance of an organisation, about 85% to 95% is due to the system. That leaves roughly only about 10% that is due wholly or in the total control of the person doing the work. How often have you heard people say in their 1:1 appraisal ‘that goal was out of my total control to deliver’. Continue reading
Once upon a time…
When we hear that phrase, it brings back magical memories of someone reading a story to us during childhood. Suddenly, we have warm thoughts of fantasies, fairy tales, princesses, and pirates. Continue reading
New solutions are needed. Increasing complexity compels us to find new solutions. Participatory Leadership enables collaboritive change is crucial to unlock your organisation’s capacity to solve complex problems and create success in the twenty-first century. ‘Just do your job’ may have been a default response to dissatisfied workers in times gone by, but not now. Continue reading
Citizens’ power and participation are essential to co-design the integration across Health and Social Care Services in Scotland. The forthcoming Community Empowerment Bill lays out that “public service providers should give communities a say in how services are delivered. Examples of public service providers are hospitals, schools, police, and local councils.” Continue reading
An Unconference brings people together to find solutions to an issue or question, or to discuss a particular theme, with emphasis placed on taking action as a result. Continue reading
Chaordic Stepping Stones: Notes Derived from Dee Hock, Visa CEO; embracing chaos and creative order. When individual purpose becomes social (event and process planning). Nine steps of project management: Need, purpose, principles, people—the first four steps; collectively, the invitation; iterative. Continue reading
Recently I collaborated with 6 co-authors to produce Working for the Customer, Not The Man
Bosses aka ‘the man’ frequently blur the line of sight to the customer forcing people to choose between meeting the needs of the boss or the customer. The fact that the boss doles out reward [raises, good evaluation, promotion etc] and punishment [poor assignments, no raise or even firing] based mostly on their ‘subjective’ evaluation sets up a power dynamic that all too often focuses on the boss’ needs rather than the needs of the customer.
The focus on the needs of the manager shifts the energy away from the customer in subtle but powerful way. The job, as defined by the manager, is written with the ‘real’ customer in mind and usually describes tasks and duties that deliver ‘something’ [product or service] to the customer. The employee is told their job is to serve and meet the needs of the customer. However in practice, the employee is frequently tasked with work (or working conditions) that obscure the goal making it difficult to meet customer expectation or even worse conflict with delivering quality product to the customer.
This dynamic is reinforced by the way we define jobs and measure performance where the manager is at the center. Developing customer-focused job description moves the customer to the center, increases role clarity and shifts the power from the boss to the customer.
“The idea of change is most often symbolised by the butterfly which takes a completely different form, ‘trans-forms’ from one part of its life to the next.”
In its earlier form it is usually a slow, ‘dull’ earth-bound consumer.
By going within, into its dark chrysalis, for a period of time,
the butterfly emerges to take flight into beauty and grace.
In Norie Huddle‘s book, Butterfly, she writes: Continue reading
The unconscious is the store-room of the mind, all memories are stored by association and every memory we have is stored there. Some of these memories are hard to retrieve consciously and others are easy. We can get access to these memories using hypnotic regression techniques. Some of these memories may be real events and others may be fantasy or misinterpretation. Continue reading