How to get your team and organisation pulling in the same direction

Aligning your team and organisation Have you ever stopped to consider what ‘money’ really is? Is it pieces of shaped metal, ink on paper or, increasingly, a series of ones and zeros stored on wafers of silicon? Actually, money is better defined by what we understand it to mean to us. That makes more sense, but if that’s true then the single word money means lots of different things:- To a business leader, it may mean the ultimate arbiter of organisational success. To a beleaguered politician, it may mean a scarce resource to be fought for at budgeting time. To someone living in poverty, it may mean a lifeline to a better life (or just survival) To a religious fundamentalist, it may mean the source of all evil. Whatever the context, the substance of money has little importance. The significance of money (and particularly, the way it causes us to act) is defined by the meaning that we each attribute to it. It’s called Social Construction… Err what’s that? Berger
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Categories: Priority Conversations.

Do you need help to deal with irrational people?

Sigmund Freud on leading in irrational workplaces Does your organisation feel like a perfectly rational place where people calmly make logical choices – or a confusing and frustrating one where anxious people seem to behave in irrational and destructive ways? If it’s the latter, you’ll be interested in the organisational insights that have flowed from the work of Sigmund Freud. It’s not all about ‘How’s yer father’ ! Freud, whilst not the first psychologist, (Wilhelm Wundt is usually credited with this) wasn’t even the first to discuss the unconscious. His impact was to be the first to scientifically study the unconscious mind – and then to begin to identify ways to work with the behaviour that came from it. Many of his theories are now subject to considerable debate and he never applied his thinking to organisational life. He earns his place in our ‘Great thinkers about leadership’ list because of his huge influence on so many of the thinkers, theories and practices in what has become the science of
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Categories: Learning Conversations.

Why is change so unpredictable?

We all know that change is  central to successful leadership and it’s now part of every training and development programme. Why then, are we so inexpert at it? Why does some change seem to happen almost spontaneously –  and other efforts seem to fail no matter how hard we try? Everything is connected One of the most important social scientists of the last 50 years was Gregory Bateson. A brilliant, multi disciplinary scholar and practitioner, he brought together ideas from many areas to help him understand the relationships he observed in societies and communities. At the heart of his work were his observations about the circular effect of behaviour in the relationships between people. He coined the term ‘vicious circle’ and he was one of the first to study and explain how the way we behave can be amplified (sometimes exponentially) or dampened by the behaviour of someone we are interacting with. He extended these ideas from pairs to groups of people and then to the interaction of people within the
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Categories: Changing Your Team.

Is your team supporting you?

When is a team not a team? Members of leadership teams consistently tell us that their biggest area of ineffectiveness lies in their inability to have open, constructive debate. Rather than challenging one another and  working together on organisational goals, they retreat into promoting and defending their own area of responsibility.  Even in teams that work well, only 60% of respondents feel that they can constructively challenge one another without fear of a destructive reaction. In underperforming teams this falls to just 33%. When you dig under the surface of this depressing picture, what invariably lies behind these symptoms is a lack of trust between team members. They simply don’t have enough confidence in their colleagues to open up difficult discussions – or to ask for support. Everyone in the team knows which subjects are likely to provoke defensiveness or destructive arguments – so these simply get avoided. Unfortunately, these are frequently the very issues that the team really need to get to grips with in order to break out
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Categories: Relationship Conversations and Why Leadership Teams Matter.