Let's talk Transformation...

Suzie Lewis

"Let's talk Transformation" is a podcast for busy yet curious people who want to stay connected. Bite sized chunks of thoughts and ideas on transformation and change to inspire and inform you - be it about digital, culture, innovation, change or leadership... ! Connect with us to listen to dynamic and curious conversations about transformation.

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#64 Leading with Dignity with Donna Hicks
vor 3 Tagen
#64 Leading with Dignity with Donna Hicks
"nobody can "demand respect", because respect has to be earned, but everyone can demand to be treated with dignity.. " Great conversation with Donna as we explore the concept of dignity and how to put it into words and actions. Donna underlines the power of giving a label to profoundly emotional human reactions that are impossible to articulate in difficult/conflict situations. Using the right language legitimises suffering, opens doors for understanding and starts discussions. Leaders must understand that Dignity is our highest common denominator. We need to acknowledge that we are worthy no matter what, and we that need the emotional infrastructure to ensure that we can survive negative experiences, atone for mistakes and recover from violation and violating others' dignity.  Humanity/dignity is a level playing field yet sadly shame and fear form the basis of much organisational culture, and there is not necessarily a place for emotions, vulnerability or compassion. Here dignity skills are required for building a safe environment and leaders need to understand how this can help to create a more inclusive workplace, and create a whole new paradigm of empowerment.  Donna shares her insights, research and experience from working with Dignity and the dignity model with leaders across the globe.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are :  This approach is applicable to and resonates in all arenas; dignity is the highest common denominator of humans, who all want to be treated as something of value - indeed, the ‘D’ in DE&I could just as well stand for dignity as we should all treat each other with dignity. Dignity, and the assaulting thereof, gives a label to profoundly emotional human reactions that are impossible to articulate in difficult/conflict situations - using the right language legitimises suffering, opens doors and starts discussions. Mandela consciousness – nobody can be stripped of their dignity, we are the guardians of our own dignity and it unifies us. The biggest dignity violators are those who have been violated the most. We must understand that we are worthy no matter what; we need the emotional infrastructure to ensure that we survive negative experiences, atone for mistakes and recover from violation and violating others. There is a fundamental difference between dignity and respect: we cannot ‘demand’ respect (it should be earned), but we can ‘demand’ to be treated as a human being (we can learn it). As dignity-conscious people, we require the 3 c’s: connection to our own dignity, connection to others’ dignity, connection to something greater than ourselves that gives life meaning. Leaders must frame these connections for employees for an organisation to have dignity too, but there is often a disconnect between these three connections in organisations - everyone should be able to connect regardless of their position in the organisation. There are ten elements of dignity: accepting identity, fairness, independence, recognition, acknowledgement, understanding, safety, accountability, inclusion, benefit of the doubt. -       80% of people said safety was the most violated element in the workplace – they don’t speak up when something bad happens, they ‘suck up’ dignity violations and can’t be their authentic selves. There are dignity skills required for a safe environment: being able to speak up and give / receive feedback skilfully – humans have a biological aversion to feedback and we must take the shame out of it by using disarming language and practicing delivery. We all have blind spots and feedback is a learning opportunity that should be seen as positive, not negative, to help leaders in a workplace move from self-reflection to self-correction. Humanity/dignity is a level playing field yet sadly shame and fear form the basis of much organisational culture – problems often stem from bad policy, therefore the...
#64 Leading with Dignity with Donna Hicks
vor 3 Tagen
#64 Leading with Dignity with Donna Hicks
"nobody can "demand respect", because respect has to be earned, but everyone can demand to be treated with dignity.. " Great conversation with Donna as we explore the concept of dignity and how to put it into words and actions. Donna underlines the power of giving a label to profoundly emotional human reactions that are impossible to articulate in difficult/conflict situations. Using the right language legitimises suffering, opens doors for understanding and starts discussions. Leaders must understand that Dignity is our highest common denominator. We need to acknowledge that we are worthy no matter what, and we that need the emotional infrastructure to ensure that we can survive negative experiences, atone for mistakes and recover from violation and violating others' dignity.  Humanity/dignity is a level playing field yet sadly shame and fear form the basis of much organisational culture, and there is not necessarily a place for emotions, vulnerability or compassion. Here dignity skills are required for building a safe environment and leaders need to understand how this can help to create a more inclusive workplace, and create a whole new paradigm of empowerment.  Donna shares her insights, research and experience from working with Dignity and the dignity model with leaders across the globe.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are :  This approach is applicable to and resonates in all arenas; dignity is the highest common denominator of humans, who all want to be treated as something of value - indeed, the ‘D’ in DE&I could just as well stand for dignity as we should all treat each other with dignity. Dignity, and the assaulting thereof, gives a label to profoundly emotional human reactions that are impossible to articulate in difficult/conflict situations - using the right language legitimises suffering, opens doors and starts discussions. Mandela consciousness – nobody can be stripped of their dignity, we are the guardians of our own dignity and it unifies us. The biggest dignity violators are those who have been violated the most. We must understand that we are worthy no matter what; we need the emotional infrastructure to ensure that we survive negative experiences, atone for mistakes and recover from violation and violating others. There is a fundamental difference between dignity and respect: we cannot ‘demand’ respect (it should be earned), but we can ‘demand’ to be treated as a human being (we can learn it). As dignity-conscious people, we require the 3 c’s: connection to our own dignity, connection to others’ dignity, connection to something greater than ourselves that gives life meaning. Leaders must frame these connections for employees for an organisation to have dignity too, but there is often a disconnect between these three connections in organisations - everyone should be able to connect regardless of their position in the organisation. There are ten elements of dignity: accepting identity, fairness, independence, recognition, acknowledgement, understanding, safety, accountability, inclusion, benefit of the doubt. -       80% of people said safety was the most violated element in the workplace – they don’t speak up when something bad happens, they ‘suck up’ dignity violations and can’t be their authentic selves. There are dignity skills required for a safe environment: being able to speak up and give / receive feedback skilfully – humans have a biological aversion to feedback and we must take the shame out of it by using disarming language and practicing delivery. We all have blind spots and feedback is a learning opportunity that should be seen as positive, not negative, to help leaders in a workplace move from self-reflection to self-correction. Humanity/dignity is a level playing field yet sadly shame and fear form the basis of much organisational culture – problems often stem from bad policy, therefore the...
#63 Letting transformation unfold with Steve March
19-09-2022
#63 Letting transformation unfold with Steve March
"we always try to do everything, but we must let go, and look at how we occupy the present moment" Steve and I delve into his model of different depths of practice and the idea of unfoldment to learn to navigate complexity more effectively. Taking a more holistic and integrated ecology of coaching practice to open up channels of wisdom and looking at the different ways human beings have learnt to grow, individually and collectively.  As we move into a more connected and digital world we see ourselves as humans in "technological terms", to be ‘upgraded’ or ‘fixed’ through self improvement. This however is often at the cost of our humanity. How can we shift from this to a different and more human centred paradigm. What if we didn't need to be 'fixed' but rather to 'let go' and let ourselves 'unfold' ? Improvement is often driven by assessment, evoking resistance and anxiety, and triggering emotions and defences as we are asked to fit in rather than belong; self-unfoldment helps us navigate complexity. Steve shares his experience, methodology and insights from working with clients and organisations across the globe.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are : A holistic coaching method to face unprecedented challenges, particularly post-Covid – an integrated ecology of coaching practice, next-generation coaching, and a variety of methodologies and philosophies to make it more accessible. Powerful coaching is like a great work of art - it reveals the profound wonder of being human, very important in a digital world – the Aletheia method is based on unfoldment and a curiosity to learn more. Attunement - of which there are two types, technical and poetic - is the key to shifting between self-improvement and self-unfoldment. Self-improvement prevails in our global culture: we want to feel competent but often start from a feeling of deficiency. Self-unfoldment is based on the premise that nothing is missing, we just need to find it. The philosopher Martin Heidegger saw how the view of technology was overtaking the view of being human - we see ourselves as humans in technological terms, to be ‘upgraded’ or ‘fixed’, but at the cost of our humanity. He suggested attuning to the world more poetically: what do we feel, in our body, in our life? This allows deeper self-discovery but is a huge shift, particularly in organisations as everything is based on performance. Improvement is often driven by assessment, evoking resistance and anxiety, and triggering emotions and defences as we are asked to fit in rather than belong; self-unfoldment helps us navigate complexity. We all operate at different depths. If we can find a way of moving fluidly between different depths, we can change the conversation and see powerful results. There are four depths: 1. Depth of parts: everything is seen as separate, outwardly and inwardly; a partial view. The Aletheia method is about parts work: make the parts feel seen and understood, loved and valued as they are. This naturally leads to the next level of …. 2. Depth of process: experiencing the fluid flow of felt experience; a more embodied depth; feeling relatedness. Relational intelligence is necessary for high performing leaders to be present with people (a felt sense of what’s happening between people). 3. Depth of presence: a sense of wholeness; I am equal to what is happening in life; I can meet this moment as it is; I can navigate through it; I have the human virtues required, e.g. love, perseverance, compassion, inner strength, humility, patience. 4. Depth of non-duality: non-separation; a sense of shared humanity in a spiritually profound way; if we relax our defences, we land more in relationship with each other - we often live on the surface of life. How does depth change inclusion? Group unfoldment is intricately linked to group leadership – we must create the conditions to allow natural unfoldment. We don’t always need to go deep as the surface
#62 Agile HR and the hybrid workplace with Natal Dank
05-09-2022
#62 Agile HR and the hybrid workplace with Natal Dank
"There is no point in embracing agile unless you know what problem you’re trying to solve” We now live in a complex world and we’ve got to be able to operate in a different way to stay competitive, and every context is different but everyone is facing similar challenges.  Natal and I delve into Agile HR and how it is evolving in the more hybrid workplace. Agility is inextricably linked to digital and transformation strategy and we need to modernise and enrich the employee experience, add value, demonstrate impact, and take a multiskilled approach to solving complex problems.  Organisations need to unpick legacy (IT and human legacy) and build a more agile mindset and ways of working to be more constructively disruptive. Agile doesn’t need to be called “agile” but it does need to be anchored in understanding of the overall business purpose and create the environment and leadership for the system and the culture to adapt accordingly.  Natal shares her insights and experience from working with businesses big and small across the globe on defining the best approach to stay competitive and constantly meet customer’s evolving needs.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Agile HR for the 21st century must ensure that a company is great place to work and enable business agility through people practices – understanding where business is at and dealing with complexity and constant change. -       Agility is inextricably linked to strategy in terms of transformation and digitisation and HR must lead by example – modernise and enrich the employee experience, add value, demonstrate impact, and take a multiskilled approach to solving complex problems. -       The Agile manifesto cites people before process – HR must follow best practice, transpose talent frameworks and understand the context: examples can be borrowed but each company must have its own system/approach that can adapt and evolve. -       Agile tools don’t work without an agile mindset/culture (cf. Simon Powers’ 3 beliefs: complexity, people, proactive) but this can be a chicken-or-egg scenario, e.g. if a company’s purpose requires agility with regard to reskilling the workforce or changing the supply chain. -       Everyone faces the same problems, such as disrupted markets and a drive towards business agility, but agility must be individualised: change management, project management and consulting (one size fits all, top-down) must be replaced by continuous evolution. -       Disruption is the reality, but measurement is still necessary although targets will change and may be wrong. Agile HR should use a tracking/understanding dashboard and data-driven decisions to see both the bigger picture and the crossover between HR and other functions. -       Job descriptions no longer define one particular skillset or role, and agile organisational design must bring people together in a multiskilled way to solve problems as they arise by scaling up and down within the network, understanding different capabilities and gaps. -       A T-shaped approach provides the general capability to navigate different business scenarios with specialisms where required; T-shaped teams can undertake multiple projects with a combined collection of specialised skills to provide more stability. -       Company-wide, there must be a good understanding of how to use skills, offer holistic career development and improve the employee experience. There should be no proprietary rights to team members; people should be helped to find their place in the new ecosystem. -       Recruitment should be based on...
#61 Dynamic work strategy & the future of work with Samantha Fisher
22-08-2022
#61 Dynamic work strategy & the future of work with Samantha Fisher
"it's not just about presence, it's about culture and intentionally looking at the full spectrum of the employee journey " Sam and I delve into the world of dynamic work and the different strategies available to organisations to create an equitable, inclusive and adaptable work policy as we come out of the pandemic and into a different world of work. What models do we nee d? How do we cater for everyone ? Dynamic work strategies must be anchored in trust and used to further empower employees and leaders to make the best decisions and create new rituals for optimised performance. Listening to and acting upon employee feedback is key, as the workplace, organisational culture and digital technology evolve. Sam shares her thoughts and experience from pioneering this topic both in OKTA and across other global businesses. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Dynamic work is a broad remit seeking to maintain choice and flexibility for employees while maximising opportunities for engagement. Hybrid/remote working offers a big opportunity for companies to consider what goes into building a workforce. -       It encompasses the full spectrum of the employee lifecycle and journey and focuses also on community, equity, benefits, engagement, D&I, and belonging. The culture must foster a holistic environment where ‘place’ is purposeful and intentional in a post-pandemic world. -       Employees have reacted well thus far to the opportunity to better manage their work-life balance; the framework for this is anchored in trust – for employees to get work done and the company to provide extra support when necessary. -       Companies need to track premises utilisation and on-site presence: people may choose to come together in an office or meet locally where there is no office. This new ecosystem also brings a competitive advantage over companies who enforce on-site work. -       Adaptive culture is enabled by forward-leaning digital technology, e.g. an employee app to give cross-team visibility, a variety of zoom products, digital whiteboards, cloud-based on-demand printing, space sensors for (re)design purposes, virtual neighbourhoods, etc. -       Personal choice sees leaders offering transparency around their own decisions to go into the office or not; Okta have a new L&D unit to address leading differently for distributed teams looking at inclusion when working remotely, and new/more resources for managers. -       People are empowered by a dynamic work environment that still offers career development opportunities, and feel engaged and incentivised whether they are working remotely or on-site, for very different personal reasons. -       A belonging strategy is important with distributed teams and relies mostly on technical operations, such as home working/3rd party environment mirroring the office environment with the same equipment and amenities. -       Change management tools: individual meetings with executives and direct reports to discuss the tactics of dynamic work, discussions with HR, individual roadshows at business unit level, management being open to questions, a social intranet platform for dynamic work. -       To drive the philosophy and practices of dynamic working requires a targeted push-and-pull approach: employee engagement survey data reveals where the gaps are, and management must interact constantly with employees to obtain their feedback. -       Leaders must also constantly listen and pay attention to what is happening externally for employees and understand that new hires need/want
#60 Digital transformation : Perform and Transform with Marc Fontaine
08-08-2022
#60 Digital transformation : Perform and Transform with Marc Fontaine
"Building data driven industries is about transforming relationships : it's strategy in a digital world. " Digital transformation is a buzzword but is taken for granted, and therefore it can mean everything, or nothing. Marc and I have a great discussion about the art of turning traditional companies into data driven companies .. particularly focusing on unlocking the potential of data, and driving digital at scale. What are the challenges, opportunities and things to look out for when taking organisations on this journey ? How do we prepare for scale at the same time as we go from idea to Proof of concept ? Digital transformation is about technology, business outcomes, market experience and change management - a tapestry of unknown and known quantities that needs to be unpicked to be put back together differently. Marc shares his wealth of experience and insights on what digital can enable in organisations and how people & their organisations can leverage this. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : Digital transformation turns traditional companies into data-driven companies and, beyond that, creates data-driven industries – ‘transformation in a digital world’. Data is truly fundamental but there is room for improvement:  1.    Access the data that is available in a company: if only the company knew what the company knows - people underestimate the potential on their doorstep. 2.    Data follows processes across silos: process mining tools follow the data flow/end-to-end chain - data is a true indicator of business performance. Data is a powerful lever for change; being able to use data to track and explain soft actions (diversity, loyalty, empowerment) – the softer the problem, the more important the data. It is also relevant at individual operator level, not just at systemic level, as informed people require less intervention. All companies face the same challenges: being data-driven requires, courage, effort, risks, and far-reaching change, which can result in new business/business models.  Digital transformation is the responsibility of the collective executive committee, not just the CIO; companies must increase their spending to kickstart a digital programme but there are no real incentives to do so – it requires governance.  It is difficult to transform and perform at the same time, but the executive level can manage these two agendas by having one team to optimise performance and another team to build something new. It is very complex to innovate at the core and traditional companies see innovation as an outpost/satellite: a team that is freed from the constraints of the mother ship yet is working for the benefit of it.  The foundations for scaling up must be laid before or at least alongside MVP/PoC - this requires modern, agile, iterative IT that is compatible with old systems, and the choice of tools is important to ensure technical solutions that permit scaling.  Digital transformation is about technology, business outcomes and change management: the difficulty with ramping up change management is the human element, training, etc. HR and the digital team cannot do it alone - there are digital entrepreneurs within companies.  Leaders must demonstrate awareness, take it seriously, recognise the gaps, offer support, get involved, be trained (by their teams), role model interest and lead as a supporter - data is about customers, products, employees and performance, not only systems and piping.  There must be incentives to upskill and operationalise in the digital world: often the project is not clearly defined and the conditions for success not in place - there is more maturity around the subject, and good tools, but it is still not adopted to the appropriate degree.  Leveraging data represents a competitive advantage and a virtuous circle: data makes companies more adaptive and...
#59 Sustainable and inclusive transformation with Lamé Verre
25-07-2022
#59 Sustainable and inclusive transformation with Lamé Verre
"Sustainable inclusion is not successful overnight and requires patience and intentional development of the right conditions in the workplace" Lamé and I explore how to leverage inclusion to create sustainable transformation in the way organisations approach the topic of Diversity, Equity and Inclusion. Developing women and pioneering D&I along the entire industry value chain requires inclusive environments and unconscious bias training that goes as far as conscious inclusion, i.e. taking action in how we address the lack of inclusion in organisations. The traditional bottom line of shareholders’ value has now been joined by an organisation’s attitude towards people and community and creating more inclusive working environments is key to future growth and sustainable transformation of workplaces, organisational culture and of ways of working.  Lamé shares her experience, thoughts and recommendations from working on this topic with businesses and communities across the globe.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are : ·      To develop women and pioneer D&I along the entire industry value chain requires inclusive environments and unconscious bias training that goes as far as conscious inclusion, i.e. taking action in how we address the lack of inclusion in organisations. ·      Organisations must fundamentally change their approach; it may be uncomfortable and painful, but the decision must come from the top to inspire a new culture – the environment will cleanse itself as those who don’t like it will leave. ·      They must move from reflection/intention to action, police the system for inherent bias and introduce equitable performance management - leadership with kindness and empathy creates an inclusive workforce by walking in peoples’ shoes: ‘if you build it, they will come.’ ·      There is a link between gender parity and sustainability: females represent 50% of the population and the right people must have input into decisions for the future otherwise we are only solving half the problem for half the population. ·      Recruitment must be mindful and intentional with transparent opportunities for all, and leaders must influence their spaces by giving everyone a voice, inviting people into the conversation and role modelling a new way of working. ·      The traditional bottom line of shareholders’ value has now been joined by an organisation’s attitude towards people and community – the S in ESG (environmental, social and governance) is becoming more amplified to take account of geopolitical challenges. ·      UN sustainable development goal #8 calls on societies and economies to create programmes to provide access rather than hiring for qualification: we must open the door wider to give access to more people and signpost opportunities. ·      Non-profit organisations rely on partnership and collaboration to unlock access to a wider pool of people, empower women, support leaders to lead women, create inclusive teams and amplify the messaging of not leaving women behind; we must create a network effect and leverage that to accelerate the pace of change. ·      Once we have created democratised access, how do we measure inclusion and inclusive growth? In terms of a happier workforce, lower staff attrition, better customer service and ultimately more business; positive feedback is good for branding and brings about transformation. ·      Leaders must design the culture of the future, be credible and build trust. We must all seek to call out bad behaviour but we need psychological safety to do so; we must nip things in the bud to prevent a toxic work environment....
#58 Designing workplaces for Wellbeing with Andy Holmes
11-07-2022
#58 Designing workplaces for Wellbeing with Andy Holmes
"Wellbeing must be applied throughout the entire organisation and have equal weight across functions" A great discussion with Andy about understanding the strategic approach and integrating wellbeing into the strategic objectives and measurement of an organisation. The more digital load increases, the more visible and important the qualities that keep us human. We need patience and deliberate design, as well as personal agency as this is not a 'quick win', but yet leaders need to bust myths and role model behaviour that creates these conditions - for humans to thrive in the post pandemic workplace. Andy generously shares his stories, insight and experience fro his career to date and from working with leaders and organisation across the world. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       ‘C4human’ takes a strategic approach to human capacity and building and sustaining performance and is a single value chain underpinned by science, in which all factors are inextricably linked. -       It seeks to give wellbeing a seat at the top table along with other commercial metrics - if our wellbeing is under resourced, we lose the qualities of decision-making and self-awareness, both of which can impact business. -       Talented people still fail due to a lack of wellbeing and resource capacity to behave reasonably, make consistent decisions and act without bias. Wellbeing is an enabler rather than an obvious money-spinner, so it is hard for leaders to factor in. -       Messy human problems take time to resolve and commercial KPIs linked to wellbeing are long-term, low-penetration programmes with a low ROI – they should be seen as a sustainability metric, not an acute performance metric. -       Wellbeing must be applied throughout the entire organisation and have equal weight across functions. It is about individual agency and should not be mandated or disadvantaged by the wrong culture. ‘Millisecond lessons’ show the place of wellbeing within an organisation. -       The more digital load increases, the more visible and important the quality of the human; if wellbeing is compromised, our bias increases and we revert to type, stymying inclusive and synergetic behaviour. -       Mental health is a chronic issue, yet most information is targeted at those already struggling with acute symptoms. Mental energy would be a better label and have a less negative narrative, picking up problems before they become acute: prevention – optimisation - rather than cure. -       Good mental health affects the culture within an organisation and wellbeing should be integrated into daily operational and working practices with positive and authentic intent - humans sense, feel and experience everyday interactions. -       Sport involves dealing with intimidation, unfamiliarity and the psychology of experiencing changing situations. In the corporate world, negativity leads to recalcitrance, less inclusion and spikes of opinion, which will not yield innovation, open collaboration or performance. -       Sports psychology works because all team members understand it – does the same apply to the corporate world of comfort and threat? People are hyper-vigilant post-pandemic, and a lack of results often leads to impatience. -       The underlying biology informs what see in the workplace; we must increase understanding and education about wellbeing and the effects it can have and build comfort to allow senior leaders to see small but consistent progression in this space. -       Patience is required as there is no
#57 Inclusion as a lever for regenerative ecosystems with Graham Boyd
27-06-2022
#57 Inclusion as a lever for regenerative ecosystems with Graham Boyd
"inclusion is about recognising everything that is inadequately connected with everything else and increasing the connectivity" A very insightful conversation with Graham on what inclusion is and how it can encourage ecosystem thinking. We discuss the structures and interactions in a process of constant flux as opposed to a more rigid model, and the fact that as the world changes, inclusion changes; culture will always be ‘catching up’ so we must build adaptable organisations and focus on the sweet spot of viability. We often try to shoehorn new methodologies into old systems, whereas what we really need are new, structured dialogue patterns to allow people to hear and understand their own stories and act on their self-identity accordingly. This is not about problems to fix, but rather mysteries to explore.. how can we constantly and curiously nudge the system ? Graham shares his insights, research and experience from working with businesses and leaders across the globe, from large corporates to start ups The main insights you will get from this epsiode are : Stratum 1: personality - each individual is a complex ecosystem. Inclusion is already an issue here as we each reject some part of who we are, and we grow and change over time. We must learn how to be inclusive with ourselves and allow ourselves to evolve. Stratum 2: interpersonal - the next layer of complexity that includes all of stratum 1 plus new interactions/emerging connections. Every team member has a different reality, filter and view. Stratum 2 is also about culture - the consequence of all the different meaning-making stories of individuals, including ‘complementary pairs’ (seemingly mutually exclusive, but actually different sides of same coin). Stratum 3: abstract - systems and the interactions of roles, accountability and tasks. Our work structure and personality are deeply intertwined - we should aim for sociocracy and agency to define our identity. Stratum 4: ecosystem - all systems and interactions between stakeholders and the capitals they represent. Invested stakeholders with a share of wealth and power is not democratic - natural capital, built capital and personal capital give no voting rights, leading to a lack of inclusivity. Stratum 5: local economic ecosystem Stratum 6: global economic ecosystem -       Inclusion at team level means exploring the mysteries of both the individual and collective interpretation of stories. People in the wrong role give rise to a dysfunctional system and results in an inverted pyramid where leaders feel a need to prove their worth whilst followers doubt themselves. -       For a community to exist, there must be a line between membership and non-membership, i.e. some exclusion is needed for an organisation to function. The role of culture is to establish this boundary and determine the requisite degree of inclusion for an organisation to be both functional and values-aligned. -       As the world changes, inclusion changes; culture will always be ‘catching up’ so we must build adaptable organisations and focus on the sweet spot of viability. We often try to shoehorn new methodologies into old systems, whereas what we really need are new, structured dialogue patterns to allow people to change their self-identity. -       Holocracy is when strata 1, 2 and 3 are aligned and highly inclusive. If stratum 4 is misaligned however, there is a lack of inclusion where power really sits and the business is destined for failure. We must build companies inclusively across all 4 strata. -       Inclusion in the natural world does not try to suppress itself to fit into a new system but offers the promise of rebuilding and retaining everything of value. It is about creating organic regenerative models: when ‘old bits’ die away, whole ‘new...
#56 Changing the conversation on bullying in the workplace with Linda Crockett
13-06-2022
#56 Changing the conversation on bullying in the workplace with Linda Crockett
An insightful and rich conversation with Linda about understanding and speaking out about psychological harassment and bullying in the workplace.  How can we change the conversation in organisations ?  How can we move away from normalising this to creating awareness and action ?  We must self-monitor, and have self-insight, be aware and respectful of our environment and peoples’ sensitivities, and learn what the triggers are for both ourselves and others.  This deepened understanding of ourselves coupled with further access to understanding the topic itself can create allies as opposed to bystanders.  Linda shares her stories, experience and insights from working with bullies and victims of bullying in organisations and communities across the globe.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Anyone can be bullied, and it is often only once they become physically and mentally ill that they see it for what it is and ask for help – it is unfortunately very normalised in our society and the metaverse adds yet a further dimension. -       Bullying - usually aimed at race, background, gender, religion – can be one-time or repeated whereas harassment is never one-time, but is more insidious, passive aggressive and often behind closed doors. -       They involve a variety of negative behaviours, words or non-verbal actions over three months or more aimed at a group or individual with conscious or unconscious intent that cause harm, i.e. humiliation, embarrassment, diminished self-esteem.  -       People must understand what is and is not banter/appropriate; we must self-monitor, self-understand, have self-insight, be aware and respectful of our environment and peoples’ sensitivities, and learn what the triggers are for both ourselves and others.  -       There are different types of bully - psychopath, narcissist, sociopath - who come across attractively until they are called out, but most people are not hard-wired to be bullies and can change their ways.  -       Authoritarian leaders who abuse their power, are mean, rude, sarcastic and not accountable for their behaviour set the wrong tone - bullying comes from the top and contaminates the environment. -       There can be female bullies in a female-dominant environment and male bullies in a male-dominant environment but also cross-contamination e.g. a female trying to behave like a male, and sexual harassment can be perpetrated by and towards both genders. -       Everyone should be given trauma-informed training to build awareness and prevent further injury – using (crisis) intervention and special resources - with leaders acting as role models. The issue is often not taken seriously due to fear, insecurity, disinterest, arrogance and ignorance, but avoiding it can impact reputation. -       It is not just an HR issue and should be standardised and professionalised (via an official association) – we need strong legislation against bullying to hold leaders to account; policies and procedures for zero tolerance and consequences for bad behaviour.  -       Witnesses are critical if harassment/bullying is behind closed doors, but they are often reticent to speak up because they have seen the process fail before, and the damage it causes. They need a support system to feel safe and should document everything for credibility in an investigation.  -       A large proportion of burnout is due to psychological bullying and is often seen in hard-working, ethical, skilled and well-liked people; workaholics,...
#55 The different dimensions of a future fit culture with Geoff Marlow
30-05-2022
#55 The different dimensions of a future fit culture with Geoff Marlow
"Digital technology is great, but digital profiles also need to include human science to enable sustainable innovation." A great discussion with Geoff where we explore a myriad of different subjects from self discovery, to digital profiles, rubiks cubes and the myths of modern agile for sustainable innovation. We discuss how to constantly question the orthodoxy, and hold different perspectives simultaneously to create a space for enquiry, listening and dialogue. This curiosity in turn encourages sense-making, decision taking and action but not necessarily in the layers of the organisation where we would expect to see it - understanding our role in the system is key. Geoff shares his stories, insights and experience of working with leaders and businesses across the globe The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Organisations must create cultures of innovation by making sustainable change and becoming proactively agile - COVID has in part forced a culture of innovation, agility and adaptiveness. -       (Digital) technology is very good and works well, but how do we get people to do the same?! Human science should be included in digital profiles: in the words of Ian McGilchrist, innovation requires science, reason, intuition and imagination. -       The key to success is to commercialise good ideas, see beyond things and question the orthodoxy; it is a big ask for people to constantly question their assumptions so it must be made tangible for organisations and leaders. -       No one ever sees the whole of any situation. In an organisation, someone with influence declares that their perspective is the only one to follow, but (this) power does not mean wisdom - ego pushes other people, and their views, away. -       Only eco-leadership can facilitate real co-creation but moving away from pyramids and into networks is intangible unless we really understand our roles within systems - English doesn’t have many words to describe subtle aspects of consciousness because we focus too much on the external world. -       Psychological safety is essential and to understand an organisation’s culture, we must ask the people who work there what they would advise to thrive. Behaviours based on fixed perspectives will stifle and strangle adaptiveness. -       The 2D/3D mindset system is based on looking at a culture of innovation like a Rubik’s cube – some see orange, some see green, some see yellow, etc. – and in the absence of colours, you look at different shapes instead, e.g. circle vs square vs triangle… -       The 2D/3D shape metaphor provides an easy way to understand a difficult psychological concept - different people provide different pieces of the puzzle when they work together, and it is not necessarily right vs wrong; humility is knowing that you don’t know everything. -       Climbing the greasy pole of an organisation boils down to brutal debate (meaning ‘to beat down’) and discussion (from percussion, meaning ‘to smash to pieces’) rather than dialogue, a spirit of enquiry and listening. -       Curiosity helps create a balance between advocacy and enquiry to produce meaning, and it is enquiry that is normally the missing piece of the jigsaw in organisations. We must encourage people to be curious. -       This begins with a sponsoring executive and a few naturally curious internal people - key instigators to bring alive a mindset and create a ripple effect; in-housing human capacity to influence is preferable to hiring help that hinders, which never leads to sustainable change....
#54 Humane Productivity with Rahaf Harfoush
16-05-2022
#54 Humane Productivity with Rahaf Harfoush
Rahaf and I discuss hustle culture and why it is so harmful. We focus on the underlying belief systems of the "people" working in this culture because this isn't a new phenomenon - we were burning out before the pandemic, but COVID brought a rush to digitise and increased this 'scope creep' of "doing more with less", and presenteeism became digital (overload). We also discuss the big disconnect between what leaders want and what employees want, and how we can reprogram ourselves and reclaim intentional recovery as part of high performance. Neuroscience proves that our brains are not wired for permanent high cognitive/knowledge work and have a limited amount of time in ‘flow’.  We now have powerful data to highlight opportunities for change and companies must look at their culture and ways of working, and how they use technology to enable a more human experience.   Rahaf shares her insights, experience and research from working with leaders and businesses around the globe. The main insights you'll get from this episode are :  Hustle culture: a set of beliefs/behaviours developed to prioritise being busy, glorifying and celebrating the process/effort of working hard rather than the end goal or result.  Invisible - historical – forces stem from non-stop productivity due to the industrial revolution and its modern incarnation of the ‘American dream’ ideology. We do not look at effectiveness/efficiency; our systems seek solutions, but system users must ask fundamental questions; our expectations are flawed, and we try to ‘fix’ the system.  The pandemic brought a rush to digitise and presenteeism became digital (overload); it amplified everything and highlighted different company cultures - companies that didn’t trust their employees used tech to control their staff instead of giving them flexibility. There is a resistance to moving away from hustle culture; we operate around assumptions of what success is and our internal operating systems are based on what we have been told.  Our individual programming varies but we don’t stop to examine the narratives and can therefore inadvertently harm ourselves - we must make intentional choices and understand our own stories and beliefs surrounding success. To set ourselves up for success we must recharge and reset; we are addicted to our devices and live in a culture where everything is urgent and we must be constantly responsive.  Teams should agree digital norms to provide safety and security; clarity reduces the need to be constantly connected and we put in place collective boundaries and commitment. Hybrid working models require these norms to ensure happy teams; communication is essential to understand peoples’ preferences to improve morale and performance and use tech to make the right decisions for people and create a more inclusive workplace. We must reprogram ourselves and reclaim intentional recovery as part of high performance; companies must look at policies and the use of technology.  Neuroscience proves that our brains are not wired for permanent high cognitive/knowledge work and have a limited amount of time in ‘flow’. The high-performance cycle consists of ramp up, flow, ramp down, intentional recovery. -       The four stages of the cycle are the same for everybody but the times in each stage vary so that working days should ideally be structured differently for different individuals. National cultures determine work stories and these in turn affect our brains; executive functions diminish if we rely on fight or flight and compromised human functional capacities lead to burnout. The polarity of the pandemic was that we needed to connect but couldn’t - now we need time to regulate our nervous systems and listen to the signals our bodies are sending us to avoid long-term damage such as inflammation, heart attacks and anxiety. Productivity is not the point;...
#53 Transformation through acknowledgement with Kylee Stone
02-05-2022
#53 Transformation through acknowledgement with Kylee Stone
"A lack of acknowledgement leads to people feeling under-appreciated and gives rise to hidden resentment, internalising suffering and has a huge impact at a human level” Kylee and I dive into the power of storytelling, and more compassionate authentic leadership. Storytelling brings about transformation and offers the biggest breakthroughs, allowing people to discover their potential and develop organically, regardless of job title. So much goes unseen and unrecognised in today's workplace, and suffering is internalised and continues - silently. The power of acknowledging the different patterns and reactions can lead to different, and more transformative leadership for both individuals and collectively. Kylee shares her stories, insights and experience form working with leaders and business owners around the world. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       It is time to disrupt the status quo of traditional leadership - a hierarchical system offers many roles at the bottom but few at the top, where there is little space to act and lead. -       Storytelling brings about transformation and offers the biggest breakthroughs, allowing people to discover their potential and develop organically, regardless of job title. -       It should not be about a set direction or ultimate goal, but rather the journey itself, to pursue passions, vision, values and purpose in order to be more productive and authentic. -       Coaching others helps us on our own journey of where to position ourselves and recognising what our priorities are. Others demonstrating what to do makes us ask ourselves what we want, e.g. the opportunity to make a real difference.   -       Clarity on values requires us to look back on our own lives and ask what we fight for or against - the indicators of our core values - but focus tends to be on company as opposed to personal values. -       We often feel a disconnect between our work self and home self; many of us stay in a place of fear for our entire career, climbing a vertical ladder - the turning point is to acknowledge that fear. -       We must use acknowledgement as a lever, the first step to dismantling a lack of freedom – to acknowledge and be truthful to ourselves about what is really going on, i.e. are we showing up but not being authentic? -       We must make changes inside to bring about changes outside - the challenge for leaders is how to make the difference: they are blamed when things go badly yet miss out on acknowledgement and praise when things go well as it is directed at their team. -       It is not a leader’s job to make others happy or give answers; they can be good at talking and advising, but not so good at listening (to help employees make discoveries for themselves). -       A coach is a good reference point for leaders by providing feedback as opposed to answers; stepping back, allowing others to come forward and making them feel safe. -       A lack of acknowledgement leads to people feeling underappreciated and gives rise to hidden resentment, internalising suffering and having a huge impact at a human level. -       Acknowledgement is an ongoing practice that requires a change in habits; power comes from our own acknowledgement of what is happening in our lives and what we want to be acknowledged for.      -       There is no difference between men and women on this point despite the common assumption that women need acknowledgement more (in the workplace) – all humans...
#52 The power of data in organisations with Sam Crawshay Jones
18-04-2022
#52 The power of data in organisations with Sam Crawshay Jones
"Just having data in your systems is not enough -its about how you intentionally make use of it." Sam & I have a great conversation about understanding data and navigating complexity in today's organisations. We look at the non-negotiables for leaders in a data driven world as well as the different skills that this requires. We also delve into what that means for organisational culture as we strive to build a more inclusive and collaborative workplace. Sam shares his thoughts and experience from working with organisations big and small on data and equipping organisations for more data driven ways of working. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : The role of data in organisations today is to provide visibility to facilitate informed/evidence-based decisions, i.e. data-driven decisions, by delivering the right data to the right person in the right context at the right time.  This encompasses the entire organisation - HR, product development, operations, strategy – and provides new insights to bring about change at a strategic/operational level, which is now financially possible thanks to cheaper data storage and technology deskilling. Decision-making of old based on gut feelings, spreadsheets and personal experience was manual, inefficient and subject to human error. Now it can be delegated in trust-based organisations to allow those closest to the products, for example, to make decisions.  Complexity is the change required in an organisation to relinquish control over the decision-making process. The three non-negotiables for this are: Data savvy leaders with a true understanding of what a data-driven decision is and is not. Many decisions tend to be ‘pseudo’ data-driven, i.e. made before evidence is found to back them up. A strong data foundation in the form of visualisation, algorithms, AI, machine learning, which in turn require good downstream data quality, collection, governance and engineering – good data is always better than good algorithms. A strong data culture beyond the data (science) team with curiosity at its core: investigating events, collecting information, integrating it, building a virtuous cycle, empowering employees to take action based on what they see. The biggest challenge for leaders is around the core technical skills of data and digital. The single profile of data scientist/engineer has been replaced with many different ones as a result of progression and specialisation. Deploying tech skills is a moving target as they develop and change all the time. Traditional classroom training is too slow, too late, too expensive and not scalable whereas online training is responsive, scalable and agile, but has lower retention and pass rates.  A data-driven environment is by nature very inclusive but using data to become more inclusive can be problematic as data is biased by nature and algorithms are not robust enough to make ‘new’ decisions (because they are based on a pre-existing dataset).  Data is a shadow of events that have happened, or a culture that existed, but should not be used for targets; metrics are the output of a culture and data points should be used for insight/audit purposes only, not input. Leaders must get to grips with AI and algorithms, move past the hype cycle and understand the true value of data by getting involved in their organisation’s data projects and learning from current examples.
#51 Transforming Systems with Joan Lurie
04-04-2022
#51 Transforming Systems with Joan Lurie
“we need to bring a new set of assumptions to our field of work”  Joan and I delve into the world of organisational ecology and reframing the hybrid workplace . Whilst some of the systemic assumptions have been around for some time, we haven’t really used them in organisations.  How can we work in complexity and notice and influence the patterns and relationships within a system ? We discuss looking at systems through a new lens, being more humanistic, and embedding a sense of how do we improve the system and relational aspects of the system - listening more intently to what is happening at every level.  The reductionist paradigm of 'fixing' systems or people leads to a world of opportunities for reinventing & rewiring the human systems of an organisation.  Joan shares her research, experience and insights from using her methodology to work with businesses and leaders across the globe. to reinvent and reframe organisational systems The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Organisational ecology: how organisations come together in a market sense, looking at internal and external engagement to view the whole. There are 2 dominant paradigms: ·      Technical: improving or ’fixing’ organisations based on process improvement, restructuring, well-known models, etc. and ·      Psychological: focussing on the people in organisations, on their strengths and weaknesses, personalities, changing/creating awareness. -       The ‘fixing’ paradigm is reductionist – we must understand how organisations function and cultures develop, and use new language to frame it and disrupt the field using organisational psychology and a humanistic approach to system/relational aspects. -       The new role of organisational ecologists in a shift towards ‘collective’ will close the intention/action gap between collective and individual and reframe the role of leaders and HR to focus on seeing systemic patterns and diagnose shortcomings. -       A change in a system/organisation/behaviour requires a change to a person’s role in the system - we must encourage different roles and think of organisations as networks of roles and role relations that have become embedded in patterns that we need to make sense of. -       Organisational ecology deals with the relations in and between ecosystems. We need to focus more on the system with a ‘me and the system’, not a ‘me in the system’ approach. -       Many organisations favour this new (reframed) approach of observing the system: systems thinking, systems dynamics/psychodynamics and human systems. Systems develop ‘muscle memory’ that must be countered by meeting the system where it is. -       The Orgonomix analogy of ‘trying on a new pair of glasses’ to see things differently and experiment is an adaptive toolkit, an invitation to practice and start small. -       Leaders are used to being sold solutions (best practice) by consultants and relations between consultants and leaders must be repatterned: how can consultants know how the system works? The aim should be to jointly discover the systemic constraints. -       Leaders have always been expected to ‘fix’ things based on ‘don’t bring me the problem, bring me the solution’, but good leaders should empower people and opt for the better mantra of ‘don’t bring me problems, bring me ideas’. -       This new type of system leadership requires a different skill set: managing the system, creating space for the system to become visible, teaching how to see and diagnose systems (generate hypotheses),...
#50 Transforming potential with Luke Tyburski
21-03-2022
#50 Transforming potential with Luke Tyburski
“When reaching your limits, its only there where you’ll catch a glimpse of your true potential” Luke shares his story and experience of overcoming obstacles, and chasing extremes. We discuss resilience and performance management, and how to translate his learnings into actionable and simple tools for management . We particularly look at self talk and how we can use it to improve our performance - consciously choosing the conversations you're having with yourself.  For organisations to create space for a ‘reset’ they must look at their performance from a humanistic standpoint and leaders must normalise the conversation around mental health. Lots of corporate cultures will be questioned post-pandemic, and people must have the chance to grow, and embrace change in this changing workplace dynamic.  Luke shares with us his insights, and learnings that he has operationalised into everyday tools, looking at how we can build resilience and have genuinely vulnerable and courageous conversations with ourselves.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Being driven, curious and hard-working from a young age led to a career in professional sport travelling the world, but this took its toll on his mental and physical health, and he embarked on a new career as an adventurer, writer, documentary-maker and speaker. -       He was often asked how he pushes himself physically and mentally and how he views the world. To share his knowledge, he translated it into tools that can be used across the board to help people overcome obstacles and adapt to setbacks. -       Self-talk can help improve performance yet lots of people don’t admit to or realise they are doing it; it is good to talk out loud and consciously choose the conversation you have with yourself rather than let thoughts dictate the conversation you’re having. -       It is still perceived as weakness to ‘talk to yourself’ or talk at all, yet vulnerability is a superpower that no one can take from you. If we are positive with the truth and answer questions honestly, we eventually become more comfortable sharing our vulnerability. -       It is simple and effective but requires training and daily practice. As we become better at speaking (up), this skill can be applied anywhere in life. -       Sportspeople grow in their career because they are always practising different techniques. In an organisational setting, ‘corporate athletes‘ too must train their minds for physical performance and learn to pivot quickly. -       This requires companies to invest time and money in a cultural evolution to allow people to grow and develop resilience - many corporate performance management systems are outdated and based on wanting results too quickly. -       Mindset is about how we view, think and act on a daily basis. In organisations there is often lots of box-ticking but not much out-of-the-box doing; whilst they like the idea of change, they are resistant to it in practice because it is hard. -       In terms of performance mindset, we are all high performers, it just depends if we act on it. Everything is relative and an improvement is a high performance for the individual. We must consciously acknowledge the scenarios we face and apply tools to them.  -       Post-pandemic, many are waiting for things to ‘return’ to pre-pandemic normal, but we have come too far to go back completely: we must let the dust settle and reassess; look forward and define what is important to us, take the opportunity to reset. -       For organisations to create space for a...
#49 Connecting the dots with Dr Christian Busch
07-03-2022
#49 Connecting the dots with Dr Christian Busch
“Through proactive decision-making, we can turn unplanned moments into positive outcomes and cultivate serendipity” Is innovation the result of genius, and intentional design or rather the result of randomness, luck and being in the right place at the right time ?   Is inclusion and connecting people a random and unpredictable activity ?  We have all experienced first-hand during the pandemic that life is full of chance encounters and serendipity and Christian and I have a fun and insightful conversation on #connectingthedots differently. We talk about what this process could mean for innovation and business success, as well as for the human systems of an organisation.  Framing uncertainty and unpredictability as an advantage is clearly at opposites with what we have learnt in existing binary and linear learning & leadership models, yet this hold the key to enabling the process of serendipity, reframing our attention, our intention and our courage and equipping leaders for the future.  Christian shares his research, experience, insights and evocative stories of connecting the dots in life, business and society.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are :  - We have all experienced first-hand during the pandemic that life is full of chance encounters and serendipity. The most inspiring and purpose-driven people cultivate this serendipity and intuitively see opportunity in the unexpected. -  It is turning this paradigm on its head that is so effective: we have to see and seize chance occurrences - they imbue meaning into unexpected events and often produce very positive outcomes. -  Being lucky should be seen as an art and skill - the art of connection – and the mindset of feeling lucky may well make us lucky. But is there a science-based framework for this process? When innovators and inventors create, they spot and connect dots, and we can all learn how to create more dots. -  So is this a skill or a mindset? Small behavioural shifts accelerate things, for example, the hook strategy to build relevant talking points into conversations to give others the inspiration or opportunity to find coincidences. -  Leaders particularly often feel the need to prove that they are in control but the best way to build confidence is to give an approximate strategy and invite ideas of how to implement it – this legitimises the unexpected, and there is no threat to the authority of ideas. But the culture has to be strong enough to enable people to speak up and invest. -  Old-school leadership with a rigid strategy does not allow for the unexpected and then change is seen as failure because the revision of a timeline makes a leader look weak. Informed leadership sets an ultimate goal with an approximate timeline that is adjusted to new information - learning builds trust for a leader and makes them look stronger. -  Constraints for a serendipity mindset in a fast-paced delivery environment include self-limiting beliefs, bias and a fear of rejection and judgement; keeping a serendipity journal to document potential opportunities is a useful tool here as we consistently underestimate how likely the unexpected is, yet if we expect it, we will see it. -  The collective memory of an organisation is critical: it has an idea of what is right or wrong but is often too entrenched or blinkered. Organisations should not brand themselves too narrowly but branch out - a flow of knowledge opens up new opportunities. -       Multiple smaller ecosystems are better than non-reactive behemoths; microenterprises within a bigger company become investable entities and turn the company into more of a market, with employees able to fully invest in it and take responsibility. -  We must exercise our serendipity muscles by seeing dots and cultivating a deliberately developmental...
#48 Humans at Work with Anna Tavis
21-02-2022
#48 Humans at Work with Anna Tavis
"in order for us to understand the future we can't lose the connection to the past" Anna and I discuss evolution of humans and the workplace, the rise of the 'no collar' economy and how the pandemic has redefined our relationship to work. We look at the cycle of permanent reinvention around human systems, industrial systems and technology, and the factors driving the dramatic changes in the workplace : digitisation of work, distributed workplaces, organisational redesign and the changing workforce.  The ethical point about technology serving the collective good of humanity means that empathy is critical in the workplace. How do we manage the ever evolving barriers of ethics and empathy ? Relationships used to be so well-defined, but post-pandemic we are set to be in a long-lasting state of flux. How do we make sure that we can remain human at work as technology evolves and enact empathy at scale? Anna shares her research, insights and learnings from her new book and continued work on this topic with leaders and businesses around the globe. The main insights you'll get from this episode are: The pandemic has redefined our relationship to work, and no relationship has changed more than that between employer and employees.   To understand the future of work, we must look to the past, and artisanal communities - how they worked at home, created, involved entire families, had a holistic experience of work – all this is now extremely relevant.  We now have a ‘no-collar’ economy with work coming to the workers and one in which people are required to do jobs regardless of ‘collar’ - technology (together with the pandemic) has rendered collars superfluous. Technology is becoming increasingly integrated in and absorbed by humanity (e.g. invisible technology in smart sports clothes) and in the workplace, too, it will no longer be ‘the other’, but an integral part of how we work.  Permanent reinvention speeds everything up and presents a challenge for humans: what does all this mean for the experience aspect (e.g. UX, DX, etc.)? The metaverse and VR make everything about the experience. Our enhanced understanding of how to ‘hijack’ human wiring makes us very aware of the ethics surrounding our choices regarding technology.  The ethical point about technology serving the collective good of humanity means that empathy is critical. This was clearly visible in organisations during the pandemic (e.g. mass firings on Zoom); how companies treated their employees became pivotal and, moreover, a public display of empathy at scale. How do we deploy empathy in organisations? There were historically many detractors of empathy; it was considered negative and anti-capitalist as something that might take focus away from the bottom line, for example. Empathy will be the primary driver of economy because it is the gateway to inclusion, i.e. understanding the position of others. AI and VR allow us to better teach empathy by offering first-hand experiences of walking in the shoes of others, thereby making it tangible. We must transcend analytics and make work more experiential and emotional - the current frontier of technology. Robots will seek to involve humans when the level of uncertainty requires it, but how quickly will we know that we are interacting with a robot, not a person? This length of time is increasing as machines personalise responses through machine learning and natural language processing. But the emotional component of interacting with a human will be at a premium - empathy, creativity and creation will keep us relevant. How will we personalise machines? Should we create robots that look like humans? We will then start to relate to them as companions. If machines respond emotionally, what rights will they have? Will we develop protections towards these new members of our community? Is this part of inclusion? How do we scale empathy and human experience at work? The platform...
#47 Move fast, Break shit, Burn out with Tracey Lovejoy and Shannon Lucas
07-02-2022
#47 Move fast, Break shit, Burn out with Tracey Lovejoy and Shannon Lucas
"catalysts must be intentional, clear & bold and accept that they can't help everyone all the time.." Tracey, Shannon and I delve into the world of innovators and change-makers who can't help but take in information, create a vision, connect the dots and make change for the better - even if no-one has asked them to ! How do we create systemic change and thriving as a catalyst ? How do we create visibility and understanding of what catalysts need to fulfil their quest to innovate, get stuff done and take others with them.. ? How do we equip catalysts with operational tools and approaches to translate their visions into operations and find other catalysts to create momentum ? We discuss the challenges facing catalysts as they strive to effect sustainable change :managing their speed and energy, recognising and naming their emotions, creating curiosity and the erosion of catalyst leadership trust. Tracey and Shannon share their journey, thoughts, research and experience from being catalysts and from working with catalysts around the globe. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : Book inspired by a lack of information about and representation of the people behind innovation: fire-starters, troublemakers, disruptors and catalysts - who very often feel broken and alone.  It aims to define and formalise the catalyst role, particularly post-covid. Catalysts are defined by their attributes of constantly synthesising information, recognising opportunities to improve the world around them, and forming visions, moving into action and having a design thinking mindset for iteration. They thrive in community with other catalysts and organisations must connect with and train their catalysts by providing psychological safety for them to speak up, inviting conversation and making them feel valued. Catalysts see things very clearly but may not have brought others along with them. It is difficult for them to slow down before ‘breadcrumbing’ the way for others to understand and acknowledge what they do or have achieved. Catalysts should keep spreadsheets of the data they have collected, the conversations they have had, etc.; practice mindful self-compassion and claim their power to bring compassion to and empathise with others. Cognitive is explicit but emotional is not. Catalysts must recognise that the change they want to bring about requires them to have a full tank and be self-regulated in order to do the hard work. Success means having this full tank, then making smart choices, like taking a break. Catalysts must be intentional, clear and accept that they can’t help everyone all the time. They must help themselves and prioritise for themselves to produce a ripple effect to achieve more and/or differently, rather than draining their own energy. 3 (intuitive) superpowers of catalysts (that are often invisible to people): 1.    The ability to take in information – they must take a step back and reformulate to allow others to catch up; to understand the disconnect 2.    The ability to go outside the structure, build relationships, demonstrate empathy – people are needed to shift mindsets, ideas and behaviours 3.    The ability to get shit done and make possibilities a reality – they are not visionaries, who only see the picture, they operationalise the vision The catalyst’s toolbox: prioritisation list: leaders must have clear objectives for the team and themselves; a ‘not-right-now’ list; and a list for self-care and rejuvenation to model for others regular reflection: act as orchestra conductor to guide others from vision to execution; an orchestration calendar with thoughtful and realistic input network map: create influence by seeking out those with power, those who make decisions, those sitting on the fence; build a human system that is intentionally designed Overcommunication: to allow others to keep up; repeat...
#46 Leadership, intelligence and the future of work with Dr Richard Claydon
24-01-2022
#46 Leadership, intelligence and the future of work with Dr Richard Claydon
“We need to recognise that it is about how we work not where we work” Richard and I discuss leadership discourses, from digital taylorism to eco leadership, and what’s next for the leadership paradigm in organisations. We explore the effect of the pandemic on the employee experience - the “inbetween-ness” that provides the human glue in a workplace and how we can create or re-create moments that matter in a hybrid world. Richard takes us through his intelligence model that offers different ways to understand how intelligence manifests in an organisation and how we can use this understanding to navigate & lead organisational systems differently. We also touch on dialogic learning and intentionally redesigning workplaces for both individual, collective and connective work, and how this can create possibilities for a different type of ‘high potential’ leader to be seen and recognised.  Richard shares his insights, research and thought leadership on redesigning the workspace from working with leaders and companies across the globe.  The main insights you'll get from this episode are : Simon Western’s eco-leadership discourse splits ego and eco, pitting control against enablement; ego would reinstate Taylorism; eco would embrace systemic challenges in the market and the world - digital Taylorism is technologically feasible but does not allow for adaptive behaviour. People are losing trust in leadership across the board, from government to managers; we need a democratic system and are now trying to simplify leadership and go back to old models for use in a digital age. According to Dave Snowden’s cynefin model, if the leader is the expert and everyone else is less qualified, then the leader must direct rather than coach. If there are many experts, or no experts, or in a crisis, action must be taken by the leader.  A (collective) intelligence model offers 5 different ways to understand how intelligence manifests in an organisation: 1.    Foundational intelligence – fragmented; focused on resilience, wellbeing and survival with no capacity to contribute to anything else. Based on salutogenesis and coherence. 2.    Dramatic intelligence –almost all intellectual capacity is applied to progress, fit in, etc. Based on code switching and mask wearing. 3.    Individual intelligence – a classic predictor of promotion, life performance, ability to maximise potential. Purely cognitive. 4.    Collective intelligence – different perspectives, emotional/socio-intelligence, more creative, more productive, more future-orientated. Based on group emotional alignment. 5.    Extended intelligence – the pinnacle, extended networks bring insights that are otherwise unavailable, often resulting in breakthroughs. Interdisciplinary and ahead of the game.  It is possible but difficult for organisations to create a culture for leaders to reach extended intelligence. How do we bridge the strategy execution and operations gap? How do people become leaders? Need to have worked in the trenches before leading.  Strategy is hard (requires a high IQ), operations are easy (can be done by anyone) and the human dimension is soft (but finding it is hard; current leaders are facing unfamiliar models). How do we create the digital space for change? Big players will suffer as smaller ones react.  Digital monitoring during the pandemic has brutalised people by stripping away key human aspects, e.g. coffees, chats, etc. Hybridity must embrace such ‘inbetween-ness’ and create moments that matter. EQLab came about as a result of Covid. It took off immediately by experimenting with online organisational training based on connecting people using a live cohort and a cognitive gym model to build connections across the world and offer deeper connectivity to seek out the expert who can help you.
#45 Building trust-based schools with Babette Lockefeer
10-01-2022
#45 Building trust-based schools with Babette Lockefeer
"These are authentic human beings and I don't need to teach them.. they already want to grow and learn.." Babette and I have an insightful discussion about building trust based schools and how this can serve the more interconnected world where we need more human-centred and regenerative practices from primary school to the boardroom. We discuss sociocratic decision making models and the parallel with what we are seeing in organisations and organisational culture. How can we design a model that is fit for all, but not a 'one size fits all' ? How can we step away from measuring solely the cognitive layer of intelligence and include development based learning ? We discuss accountability, definitions of success, societal systems and conscious inclusion as building blocks for a more equitable and developmental school system, and what this would change in the leadership we are currently seeing in organisations. Babette shares her vision for building trust based schools, pulling on her personal conviction and on her work with organisations and leaders across the globe. The main insights you'll get from this episode are : -       Setting up a trust-based school was inspired by frustration rather than inspiration, seeking an alternative to the usual restrictive system of moulding children, teaching them to follow authority and learn or be taught the same as everyone else. -       Children (humans) are creative, self-motivated and authentic and simply need the space to be that without being forced to or controlled (however subtly). The result is convergent rather than divergent thinking - tackled with adults in the corporate world - and is not beneficial to them or future society. -       ‘We need unequal education for equal opportunities.’ The current one-size-fits-nobody-approach creates inequality in the education system and misses potential by basing it solely on cognitive intelligence, which is not a realistic view of the world. -       We assume that education legislation in today's world is based on thorough – albeit old – scientific research, but it is actually based on historical coincidences and built around bureaucratic efficiency rather than child development. -       Thanks to digital, thought is pivoting towards more human aspects, such as cultivating emotional intelligence. The development from a child into an adult is interrupted by schooling that often does not suit them, leaving many feeling unsuited to or uncomfortable in their workplaces. -       Educating based on individual needs is underpinned by 3 things: 1: Development-based learning: a holistic approach that allows children to follow their own trajectories; teachers observe and ensure that the child has the right input for the next zone of development; the teacher as coach holds a space for learning and provides broader instruction when required. Children therefore stall, but don’t fail, on their own personal journeys. 2: Sociocratic decision-making: the child is involved in their own development and understands more about the process of learning, which increases motivation. Shared decision-making at all levels ensures that power is with the expertise, i.e. teachers, and demonstrates the difference between consensus (majority voices are heard) and consent (minority/silent voices are heard). Such collective decisions, however, take longer to reach and are harder to manage in terms of output. 3: Flexible opening times: to maximise learning time, families decide when their children attend school; many aspects of a child’s life are integrated into the school day, e.g. cooking their own lunches, and other ‘extra-curricular’ options, including quiet time. To learn, we need to take a break and this system gives permission to do nothing