Category Archives: Complexity

Adaptable Leadership in the Public Sector: Courage to take the Strengths-based Approach for Key Outcomes

Introduction The early 2000s was a febrile period for public services in the UK when government expected improved outcomes for increased funding levels and regulatory inspection and audits were expanding in scale and reach. Direct or implicit intervention was an ever present risk if failure was suspected. Resilient and adaptable leaders were expected to craft effective responses to the challenges. Some interventions took the form of relatively ‘light-touch’ oversight of specific services. In other cases the interventions were more dramatic and included: Leadership teams excised from the organisation Interim leaders installed Governmental appointees sent to guide and oversee improvement Councillors… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, assumptions, change, Complexity, courage, Culture change, Good-finding, Interims, leadership, Leadership styles, learning, Listening, Local Government, Make a difference, Organisational development, People, Positive core, Public Service, reputation, Strengths, Supporting leaders, Transformation | Leave a comment

The Secrets of Great Groups

I’m re-reading a tremendous book I picked up a while ago ‘- Leader to Leader’, from the Drucker Foundation. It’s a compendium of short, highly readable articles by great leaders and organisational thinkers and researchers. One particular article has my attention at the moment. Warren Bennis in his article, ‘The Secrets of Great Groups’ suggests there are enduring lessons to be learnt not only from studying personal leadership, but from studying group leadership. He suggests that the “few great accomplishments are ever the work of a single individual”. Mythology refuses to catch-up with reality, according to Bennis, so the myths… Read more
Posted in Action Learning, AI, change, co-create, Complexity, courage, Culture change, cuts, Executive coaching, Future Search, ideas, leadership, Leadership styles, learning, Peter Drucker, Public sector cuts, strategy, Summit, Talents, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Transform the Culture as well as the Structures and Systems

David Clark, Chief Executive of SOLACE, (Society of Local Authority Chief Executives) wrote this weekend about a recent survey of Chief Executives throwing up some interesting views on the subject of transformation. “Many (most?) councils feel they must “transform” themselves, if they are to survive the harsh conditions of austerity. Many embarked on large “transformational” programmes, some even appointed new staff to lead the transformation and a few now report that their transformation has now been concluded successfully. But these transformations are in no sense homogenous. They have often started in very different places. Some have included customer led service… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, Behaviours, change, Complexity, Culture change, customer service, cuts, engagement, leadership | Leave a comment

It’s the questions that count – particularly if they are appreciative

Reading across some blogs today, one in particular caught our attention: http://solutionfocusedchange.blogspot.nl/2012/03/can-questions-lead-to-change-experiment.html?m=1 This article looks at how questions might influence outcomes. Most questions have implicit unstated pre-suppositions. The researchers wanted to test the assumption that questions differing in their pre-suppositions can affect the person answering them. Aside from the intrinsic interest and value of the research quoted, it also chimes with what we know from Appreciative Inquiry (AI) anduestions. AI tells us that what we inquire into is fateful. So, if we inquire into implied or explicit failure, problems and errors, i.e. deficits, then we will indeed find ample evidence… Read more
Posted in AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative Inquiry, Appreciative questions, assumptions, Complexity, Culture change, learning, Make a difference, solution-focused | Leave a comment

Leading Change and the Metaphor of the Rings

As we navigate complex change, as a result of the government’s public services transformation programme, i.e. cuts, or other models or imperatives to change, we can often benefit from stories and metaphors to help us understand change in different ways. One such metaphor is the Metaphor of the Rings, which we found in David Noer’s excellent book, Breaking Free. Here it is… The Metaphor of the Rings It begins with the vision of a series of gymnastic rings, hanging by ropes. A person jumps from a platform and grabs a ring with the right hand and then – while maintaining… Read more
Posted in change, Complexity, Metaphor, Transformation | Leave a comment