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Start with Who, not What or How

Start with Who, not What or How

Bill O’Brien, former CEO of Hanover Insurance, observed of his efforts to lead transformational change in his organisation, that “the success of an intervention depends on the inner condition of the intervener.” To make clear what this means, O’Brien is making the...

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Change is a conversation

Change is a conversation

“In the past 10 years, we've created a lot of change that benefits our employees. Why then are they still complaining about the same things as 20 years ago? Our staff engagement surveys and focus groups produce valuable information, but we haven’t gotten to the bottom...

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Change v. Transition: It Matters

Change v. Transition: It Matters

Change is about an external, situational event: something old stops, something new begins. Transition is about the psychological reorientation which takes place inside of us as we adapt to the change. The distinction between the two matters because this is where the rhetoric of change and psychological safety and DEI and leadership meets reality.

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Boredom breeds genius!

Boredom breeds genius!

Counter to what you make think, the constant respond-ability of your team members is detrimental to productivity. To solve the many challenges of today’s workplaces, we need more creativity.
That’s why it’s so important to create uninterrupted times to focus, or to just drift, at the workplace.

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Being with Polarities

Being with Polarities

Brian Emerson & Kelly Lewis have written a short book about a complex topic, polarities: paradoxical situations in which two seemingly opposite yet interdependent states need to coexist over time in order for success to occur. Why? Either/or thinking creates binary worlds and narrows our options to “this or that”.

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Making Sense of Cynefin

Making Sense of Cynefin

If you are looking for a deep dive into complexity theory, then this book is not for you. If you want a fuller understanding of its impact in the world, it is well worth the read. Different practitioners share how they have made use of and experienced the framework, and David Snowden, if truth be told.

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Leading from the System

Leading from the System

Collective intelligence trumps the combined intelligence of individuals. This has implications for leadership. Leaders need to shift from 1:1 solution finding to leading from the system. Let us show you a great resource for learning by doing how this can work for you and how you can uplevel your team’s problem solving capacity.

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Dealing with Complexity Starts with You

Dealing with Complexity Starts with You

There is a wicked question all leaders must eventually confront: How can we best address the needs of the organisation while addressing the needs of the individual? Jennifer Garvey Berger and Carolyn Coughlin’s “Unleash Your Complexity Genius” points a way forward to both better engage with and apprehend the world around you and inside you.

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Originals! How to be one, how to appreciate one

Originals! How to be one, how to appreciate one

How do you go about when you’re looking to break the mold? When you are searching for new ideas as your team faces new challenges? Adam Grant makes the case for turning to the disruptors on your team and busts a bunch of myths that inform our thinking around the non-conformists who…

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Power: A User’s Guide

Power: A User’s Guide

What to expect from the resource. Power: A User’s Guide (PAUG), authored by Julie Diamond, delivers exactly what it promises on the tin: a guide to how to connect to, and draw on, your positional and personal power. It is much more “How to Win Friends and Influence...

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Five Dysfunctions of a Team Re-imagined

Five Dysfunctions of a Team Re-imagined

Patrick Lencioni’s 5 Dysfunctions of a Team (2002) is a classic framework to better understand why a team may not be delivering hoped for results. It is a means of diagnosing what might be wrong, and it offers remedial steps which allow a team to move forward more...

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Reboot your team

Reboot your team

Time to reboot your team? Team coaching creates a container for a team to learn to solve challenges within their own organisation’s context.

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Where are we and how did we get here?

Where are we and how did we get here?

It’s that time of the year again. No Mo May is over and the grass can be cut. The bees are flourishing. And the year is almost halfway over! Man alive, where is the time going? Indeed, where is the year going? June is the perfect time to step back as a team and share...

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Innovation and Psychological Safety

Innovation and Psychological Safety

In many companies innovation and agility are more than core values. They are the life blood of the business in a competitive environment. Yet while many people who work in these companies espouse those values, they suffer in toxic teams. They fear making mistakes...

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Why Use Co-Leaders?

Why Use Co-Leaders?

The first co-leaders I worked with, my Mom, was known to say “Two heads are better than one.” She would say this when we would be working on a particularly thorny arithmetic problem, looking for an article of clothing or book that I had invariably misplaced, or trying...

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Co-Leading and the E Street Band

Co-Leading and the E Street Band

“Well, we busted out of class, had to get away from those fools…” And so it began in Dublin: three hours of pulsing songs from Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. The next day, while nursing sore feet over a coffee, there was one image of the evening that I...

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Hitting a wall

Hitting a wall

In an unpredictable and complex environment, leaders and organisations often find themselves hitting a wall: an apparently insurmountable obstacle.

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No Mow May

No Mow May

Our commitment to not mowing our lawn until the end of May has thrown us into a curious leadership conflict: we want to provide dandelions for wild bees whilst also trying to fit into our neighbourhood.  We’ve found that our inner process and our actions in this...

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Complexity and getting out of feeling stuck

Complexity and getting out of feeling stuck

One of my favourite ways to work with clients who are navigating complex contexts is through “balance” coaching. Co-active balance coaching is about finding and standing in perspectives which serve the client – perspectives which create possibilities, rather than...

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Certainty is a feeling

Certainty is a feeling

Certainty is a feeling. So rather than seeking more certainty, leaders had better choose consciously what certainties will serve their own well-being, their vision, and those they lead. When I first heard this, I couldn’t believe it. I felt certain about many things,...

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Complexity Needs Leaders from Behind

Complexity Needs Leaders from Behind

The conversation got up this week in Choose Leadership HQ about complexity and leadership. Dave Snowden defines complex systems as ones with some constraints, but where everything is connected, except we don’t know what the connections are. We can assess probability...

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Teams and Mutual Accountability

Teams and Mutual Accountability

How do you distinguish between a team and group? And is that distinction even meaningful? Yes, and it matters, because “team based working” is so prevalent AND not every group labelled a team is actually a team.  According to Katzenbach and Smith, a team is a...

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Are you weary of change?

Are you weary of change?

The very leaders who need to drive change in their organisations are getting weary of imposing yet another change initiative on their organisation. But as a leader, you have no choice.

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