Monthly Archives: July 2011

The SOAR model for strategic planning

A quick thank you to our readers. We know you are out there – the stats from tell us that. It’s good to know our readership is international. It would be great if some comments were made to really develop the strands and themes we pursue. Nevertheless, knowing we are not shouting down a deep pit to hear only our own voices come back is gratifying. Ok, on to business. Thursday was an important day. I facilitated an event for a group of trustees who are the board of a large charity focused on a specific public service. The… Read more
Posted in Future Search, SOAR, Strategic Planning | Leave a comment

Mark Cavendish makes the point about talents and strengths

I’ve facilitated dozens of workshops around the twin themes of appreciative inquiry and strengths-focused change. Particularly in the strengths-based workshops I have concentrated on positing the notion, which is counter-intuitive for many, that time spent on improving weaknesses is never as well spent as time on optimising your talents and turning them into true strengths. Part of the joy of the work with groups is seeing how they deal with and challenge the counter I put to the predominant paradigm of failure and deficit search they are so used to working within, i.e. the model that demands we search out… Read more
Posted in Deficit, Strengths, Talents, Tour De France | Leave a comment

Cuts deepening silos, not breaking down barriers

Guardian Weekly reports that “if it is now looking unlikely that the cuts will “transform” the way public services are delivered, it is certain that spending reductions are doing nothing to change the way Whitehall operates. If anything, spending cuts are reinforcing the autonomy of departments and the strength of the silo walls. That much is clear from the Commons public administration committee’s end of term report on Whitehall departments’ plans, which comes on top of all the other evidence that departments are baronies and central coordination mechanisms are weaker than they were under the governments of Tony Blair and… Read more
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A week is a long time…for politicians, journos and top cops

My last blog was but a short week ago, when I bemoaned the deficit behaviours of those in the media spotlight. A list of miscreants which later included those who report on the news as well as those who make it – unwittingly or otherwise. Andy ‘it’s (not) a fair cop’ Hayman turned out to be a mere entre to the firestorm that rapidly engulfed serving senior police officers who were lunched, dinnered, or strategically advised by serving and former NI staffers. I also wrote some time ago that the fox hunt that was developing around the NI story was… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, Behaviours, Culture change, Public Service | Leave a comment

How can we rescue a week of behavioural deficits?

What do I notice about this week? Well, sadly too much that is about failure – of systems, processes, behaviours, trust and so on. Two of several notable examples were juxtaposed today. First, Southern Cross, who having pledged in mid-May that their ‘get-well’ plan was well thought out and would succeed, even if it meant the loss of several thousand service jobs, simply come back two months later and says it’s closing. I do suspect that the developing and almost bottom-less cesspit that is the News International story has somehow taken attention away from the largest single failure of a… Read more
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What is expected of leaders-to-be?

A recent report from the Institute of Leadership and Management has highlighted the way large organisations carry out their leadership succession planning. The massive pressures on so many organisations to make the best of their talent, to avoid discontinuity from gaps in leadership consistency, expensive (and sometimes less than successful) recruitment and selection processes and the current significant financial strictures particularly on the public sector, mean that succession planning becomes ever more important to organisational sustainability. The ILM conducted in-depth interviews with senior HR professionals in predominantly large corporate organisations and consulting firms. This is what they found about the… Read more
Posted in Succession Planning | 2 Comments

NOT about News Corp.

I’ll probably leave the furore around News Corp alone – mainly because for as long as I can recall I have refused to have anything to do with that corporation or its media products such as Sky, The Times, Sun, NoW and so on. The developing bandwagon of commercial and consumer deserters of the NoW is to my mind faintly absurd, although richly deserved by a corporation that has for a long time through its outlets displayed questionable and venal behaviours, if one cared to look. It is after all only a couple of months since Sky sacked two (although… Read more
Posted in Local Government Stats. | Leave a comment

Early Intervention Bonds – Big Risk. Low Opacity?

Here’s a piece from the Prevention Action website, of May 2010: “Among new mechanisms for funding early intervention that do not depend on Government money, Allen (Graham Allen, MP, Labour) and Duncan Smith suggest an early intervention bond or some similar financial instrument that will allow private and public investors to invest in proven programs. “Funds could be raised on the market and dividends paid as children’s health and development improves (and calls on expensive treatments subside).” They end on a pragmatic but optimistic note. “As politicians we must avoid the temptation of claiming to have found the magic bullet,… Read more
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Executive Coaching

The Positive Psychology website is always a mine of fascinating articles and research write-ups. Take this link, which is to an article featuring a 2008 coaching conference bringing together theorists and practitioners to explore the intellectual and evidenced-based foundation for the emerging field of coaching psychology. The GROW model makes an appearance, as do various short pieces exploring the development of coaching psychology, models of practice and noted authors. Despite being a 2008 article it opens the door into a range of more current articles which those of us keen to explore positive psychology and its organisational benefits find a… Read more
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