Category Archives: Talents

Is it time for a Change of Gear?

Are you contemplating a new direction? If you’re ready to think about change you may be ready for GearChange. Drawing on their own experience of switching between employed and self-employed roles and re-launching ourselvs in new directions, Janet Dean and I have developed a programme of support for people who are embarking on major life and career change. What is GearChange? GearChange offers support to individuals embarking on career and life change through a menu of tailored products, including: One to one Coaching, either face to face, telephone or Skype. Mentoring, practical advice, access to knowledge and networks. Action Learning… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Change, change, Executive coaching, Strengths, Talents, Well Being | Leave a comment

It’s people who make organisations work well…and they do so by using their strengths

Strengths-based organisational development People make organisations work well. Not the procedures, processes, structures or governance mechanisms. These elements can all assist, as well as frustrate, the effective working of an organisation, but they rarely if ever play the pivotal role that people do in delivering what an organisation is about. Our coaching and thought-support work with clients invariably tells us that the deficit or weakness-centred approach to individual and organisational development is strong and worryingly prevalent. It is easy to get stuck in our old ways of thinking. It is also easy to get stuck in our relationships and act… Read more
Posted in Appreciative Inquiry, change, Deficit, Executive coaching, not problem-solving, Organisational development, Positive core, productivity, Strengths, Talents | Leave a comment

Members and Officers Working Together Through Strengths

I’ve been working with some exceptional people during the past week. Senior officers in local authorities and fire and rescue services who as one writer has it, are “ordinary people doing extraordinary things.” What’s extraordinary is that amongst all of the inevitable complexity and complications of organisational life in public service (sometimes more complex than needs be, admittedly), they are finding ways to deliver public good in an environment of almost perpetual uncertainty, resource reduction and organisational dilemma. This perpetual uncertainty manifests itself in a number of ways. In relation to officers working with locally elected politicians, it often surfaces… Read more
Posted in change, Councillors/elected members, Public sector cuts, Public Service, Public Services, Seeing Systems, Strengths, Supporting leaders, Talents | 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

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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European Appreciative Inquiry Network

Last week, I spent almost four days in Manchester participating in the AI Network. This self-organising network of appreciative and strengths-focused advisers, facilitators and practitioners of all descriptions, has met 12 times across Europe over the last five years. The event is structured around Open Space and World Cafe technology, which provides highly engaging ways for groups to connect, combine and co-create.  Across a series of short yet intensive sessions we covered a wide range of themes and subjects, including imagining a new Europe through the use of AI, case studies of successful change across all sectors using appreciative and… Read more
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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