Blog

Rudbeckia - med

Why line managers need change expertise

Posted by on 1:02 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Why line managers need change expertise

by Sharon Varney and Sue Ells   Line managers are the most critical people in any change effort. Yes, we repeat, THE MOST CRITICAL. Success or failure often depends on the energy and engagement of line mangers. But they’re often just left to get on with it, with a sink or swim attitude. We want to change that. Change is too important to be left to chance. Change that doesn’t land can incur all the economic and emotional costs, without delivering any of the benefits. It can even make things worse. We believe that it’s time to get much...

read more

From hero leaders to engaging leadership

Posted by on 5:43 pm in Blog | 0 comments

  A tough job that needs both women and men If you’re the kind of person who wakes up in the morning feeling like a heroic leader, ready to jump into their super(wo)man suit and save the world, then this article probably isn’t for you. But it should be. Because the working world is becoming more volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous (VUCA), and no hero can do it alone any more. Organisations are facing unknown monsters and are embarking on great quests with unknowable ends. With so much going on, the job of leadership is simply too...

read more

Adaptive and responsive action. What’s the difference?

Posted by on 12:53 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Normally at this time of year, I’d be reaching for the winter woollies – cardigans, jumpers, coats and scarves. But not this year. Not yet, anyway. When I went out earlier this week, I instinctively put another layer on and grabbed a scarf to keep out the expected Autumn chill. Yet within 5 minutes, the scarf was off, followed a few minutes later by the cardigan. Unusually there was wall to wall sunshine and, by UK standards, it was like summer! By removing the layers I didn’t need, I was able to adapt to the weather conditions. (Having...

read more

Beware the mad dash for change!

Posted by on 2:14 pm in Blog | 0 comments

  The morning after the Scottish referendum on independence and there seems to be a mad dash for constitutional change in the UK. That change has been called for is not in question. Some want greater self-determination. Some want a new system for social justice. Some want to grab greater personal and political power. Some want healing and unity. That change is underway is not in question. The seeds of change have already been sown in the multitude of public and private debates and deliberations around Scottish independence. Yes or No...

read more

The balloon under the stairs – Pt 2

Posted by on 11:45 am in Blog | 0 comments

To my surprise, I’ve realised that the red party balloon under the stairs is now two years old. A bit more actually – it’s 751 days old today. That seems very old for a party balloon. It was blown up for a party during the London 2012 Olympics, and it’s still inflated. This is an unexpected and unintended consequence of a series of small, inconsequential decisions. And that’s often how we get what we get in organisations in terms of patterns of behaviour that we might label as ‘culture’. But once we...

read more

Small data, the new BIG thing!

Posted by on 8:53 am in Blog | 0 comments

  An edited version of this article was originally published in theHRDIRECTOR in June 2014 The buzz is about Big Data, but does that mean ‘Small Data’ is brushed under the carpet? Big Data is a fashionable phrase describing the vast amounts of digital information now available – from stratospheric growth in online traffic and reductions in storage costs – and the clever analytics used to find patterns in that data. But, with Big Data grabbing so many headlines, what is ‘small data’ and why is it so important? Far from being...

read more

What does the future hold?

Posted by on 1:45 pm in Blog | 0 comments

This is an important question for governments, businesses, organisations and individuals. Because when we make decisions today, we are often making bets on an unknown future e.g. about retirement or energy needs and provision. Some are sceptical, rightly so, about the limitations of prediction in a complex and uncertain world. [See new blog posts from Ralph Stacey and Chris Rogers]. Yet we often need to act amid uncertainty: be that in planning large infrastructure projects; developing health and social care policies; or making choices about...

read more

When systems go mad

Posted by on 2:59 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Although this blog post was borne out of frustration with a major telecoms ‘supplier’ who has consistently failed to supply – don’t get me started – there are important insights about the unintended consequences which can arise from complexity.     So here’s the scenario: We recently contacted a major telecoms company. Can we have broadband please, we asked. ‘You can’t have broadband without a phone line’, we were told. So we said, well OK, we’ll have a phone line and broadband then. And we arranged a start date. This is a very simple...

read more

Weak signals in change

Posted by on 6:52 pm in Blog | 0 comments

A recent article in McKinsey Quarterly highlighted the strength of ‘weak signals’. If you haven’t read it, the authors explain how snippets of information, often hidden in social-media streams, offer companies a valuable tool for staying ahead. Their focus is external scanning for potential opportunities by capitalising on weak signals hidden within a torrent of digital information. They argue that weak signals can be strategically important, and therefore worthy of top management time and attention. However, weak signals within organisations...

read more

Coffee, communities and innovation

Posted by on 12:01 pm in Blog | 0 comments

Not all that long ago, there were 3 places you could go for coffee in my town: a popular independent coffee shop, with somewhat variable service, near the town centre supermarket a chain coffee shop, normally full to gills with mums and toddlers and a café bar (over 21s only) with wifi. In the past year or so, there’s been an explosion of new coffee shops. Alongside the familiar coffee chains and supermarket coffee shops that have moved in, there are a whole host of new independents. We’ve got coffee/delis, coffee ‘and something to go with...

read more