Category Archives: Uncategorized

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

Change and ensuring great culture doesn’t go in the cuts

As we enter a period of substantial, long-term and  discontinuous change for organisations in all sectors, the reality that we will lose massive experience and talent is unavoidable. The headlines tend to concentrate on the loss of jobs, people and resources – rightly so. There is though another risk of loss that is less obvious yet potentially more damaging to the long term health of an organisation. That is the loss of ‘culture’, i.e. “the way we do things around here”, the often ephemeral yet vital social ‘glue’ that binds many organisations together, sets them apart from the herd. This… Read more
Posted in AI, appreciative, Appreciative Change, Appreciative planning, Behaviours, Culture change, leadership, Positive core, Public sector cuts, Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Experiment! Don’t wait to be an expert to try some thing new

  In a recent blog post at Random Acts of Leadership, Susan Mazza introduced the notion that too often we wait until we are ‘experts’ in something before we have the confidence to act. Whereas in her recent experience the way forward is often to give ourselves permission to experiment; to follow two rules: STOP trying to figure it all out and START experimenting! Experience is truly the best teacher This reminded me of how I became involved with and then started to use Appreciative Inquiry (AI). I first heard of AI at a business breakfast event in 2001… Read more
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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

Great Links for strengths and talents

Here are some great links that you might have missed: Strengthscope have a great profile tool for individuals and teams.We use it extensively with our executive coaching and leadership team clients. It is a highly effective and accurate profiler that provides a high quality report and promotes a new dialogue with our clients around their strengths in a work-setting. The language of strengths is new to some, e.g. in one recent piece of coaching with senior managers in a large back-office services company, we noticed it’s promotion of and reliance on lean and sigma-based tools with its own clients… Read more
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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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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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A pre-Christmas thought or two…

It’s getting closer to Christmas. Thank goodness. I feel a tad worn out by this year’s continual assault on the senses from the forces of economic darkness, e.g. the responsibility-evading bankers all of whom remained steadfastly silent, their political acolytes, the ratings agencies, corporates evading, oops sorry, avoiding taxes, the relentless attack on the public sector as if anyone in it pays no tax or creates nothing good (ever heard of ‘social goods’ anyone in the Cabinet?), corrupt MP’s and press and so on. It’s been an unremitting year if you believe in socia, ethical justice, or any kind of… Read more
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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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