Monthly Archives: January 2012

Get in the zone with Flow

One of the leading positive psychology proponents and founding thinker of Flow, Mihaly Csikszentmihalyi is one of the greatest living psychologists of our age. This short video introduces us to the man and his idea. Wikipedia tells us that “according to Csíkszentmihályi, flow is completely focused motivation. It is a single-minded immersion and represents perhaps the ultimate in harnessing the emotions in the service of performing and learning. In flow, the emotions are not just contained and channelled, but positive, energised, and aligned with the task at hand. To be caught in the ennui of depression or the agitation… Read more
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Good-finding not problem solving for the coming week

It’s tempting with the problem/weakness paradigm being so pervasive, for us to frequently fall into the ease of concentrating on these twin imposters of learning and progress. Resist! I ask you to start this coming week by finding something in your life, in your organisation, in your team, that is working well. Find something that portrays your service as capable, caring, progressive and coping with the challenges and risks of our current economic situation, however small it is. In fact, try and find the smallest positive action that has the greatest impact. Identify the action, outcome, impact, kind word and… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, Good-finding, not problem-solving, starting movements | Leave a comment

Government suffers sixth defeat…and the Social Fund disappears

Overwhelming backing for Tory peer’s amendment wrecking charging proposals for Child Support Agency The Government’s troubled Welfare Reform Bill, which has been severely mauled in the Lords, received a sixth set-back this evening over charges for people using the Child Support Agency. The scale of the revolt on this issue dwarfed any other reversal the coalition has suffered in this Parliament. To read the full story, follow the link to the Guardian’s excellent Society blog, where up-to-the-minute analysis can be found. By the way, did you know also that the Social Fund it to be abolished as well, with… Read more
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Change is hard…except when it’s not!

The Positive Psychology website has an interesting and potentially practically helpful piece about ways to achieve personal change by identifying the resistors to change, in ourselves and in groups, and melting them away. The model quoted draws implicitly on positive psychology constructs, which in my view gives it an added benefit. The article quotes Kegan and Lahey’s four-column model of analysis and action to reduce and overcome resistance to change (from their book Immunity to Change: How to Overcome It and Unlock the Potential in Yourself and Your Organization). The four elements are: 1 Commitment, i.e. unable to follow through… Read more
Posted in assumptions, change, commitments, Positive Psychology, resistance | Leave a comment

Courage and authenticity in times of change

Peter Drucker once remarked that “my greatest strength as a consultant is to be ignorant and ask a few questions.” It was a self-deprecating quip. But it also contained a grain of truth. He also said, ““I can only ask questions. The answers have to be yours.” So it is now, whether as a facilitator, consultant, or adviser, it’s the power of the questions we ask that can illuminate complex change and transformation efforts. Once we think about questions, we also need to consider what sort of questions, e.g. are they deficit-based, i.e. what’s the problem here, or are they… Read more
Posted in Appreciative questions, authenticity, change, courage, leadership, Peter Druckerer | 1 Comment

Integrating Health and Social Care – The Kings Fund and Nuffield Trust report

The Kings Fund and Nuffield Trust have just published their report, “A report to the Department of Health and the NHS Future Forum – Integrated care for patients and populations: Improving outcomes by working together” The introductory piece on the Kings Fund website says “integrated care for patients is essential to meet the needs of the ageing population, transform the way that care is provided for people with long-term conditions and enable people with complex needs to live healthy, fulfilling, independent lives. In a June 2011 summary report, the NHS Future Forum stated: ‘we need to move beyond arguing… Read more
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Refreshed, re-invigorated and renewed

Happy New Year. Refreshed, re-invigorated and renewed (a little bit of Neil Kinnock-like alliteration there), I am ready for the fray. Up for the challenges of 2012: keen to create fresh opportunities from adversity in our fractured public sector market; enthused by a new piece of work for The Open Channel with a district Council keen to develop its leadership potential and capacity; and available to work with clients old and new who feel the need for some appreciative visions and strengths-focused support. I had a fine piece of news about the power of strengths work only a day or… Read more
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