Category Archives: learning

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

Performance Improvement – Ten Lessons for great sporting and organisational performance

I’d originally intended this blog piece to be about some very recent conversations I’d had with Chief Executives and Chairs of charities about their organisations and how they approach thinking about and implementing strategic planning and performance improvement. It hasn’t quite turned out that way. I think you’ll see why shortly, ‘though I will return to those conversations in another blog soon. A particular prompt to these conversations about performance improvement has been not only the organisational perspectives I’m perennially interested in, but a far more personal and individual one. In fact, it’s about my thoughts around my continuing and… Read more
Posted in Action Learning, authenticity, change, commitments, courage, learning, Strengths, Tour De France, 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

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

The NHS, leadership development and the public service orientation

Two recent articles in the Guardian’s Healthcare Professional Network have brought NHS leadership styles and leadership generally to the fore, specifically in relation to the Mid-Staffs Hospital Inquiry and more widely to the raft of process changes underway in the NHS. Part of the debate now involves the leadership style that seems to have been the predominant style desired in both recruits to a senior level in the NHS and, by inference, being turned out by the NHS Leadership Academy. Either way, the critique seems to be that the so-called ‘pace-setting’ style of leadership, whilst appropriate for a wide range… Read more
Posted in leadership, Leadership styles, learning, NHS, Public Service, Public Service Orientation, Public Services, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Game Theory and its application in our organisations

At The Open Channel we are open to new technologies and ways of communicating and learning. The Gametrainers web site is a good practical resource for trainers and facilitators and also a catalyst for creative thinking for all learning and development practitioners. Most people are more creative when they are having fun, and all organisations need creative thinking to support positive change. Team meetings for example can be (but aren’t always) boring, repetitive and stifling. There are though some practical and productive ways to generate deeper engagement and new ideas. How about: Hold the front page Ideas tennis Resource Auction… Read more
Posted in engagement, Game theory, ideas, learning, productivity | Leave a comment