Teams Category

Just Governance

Measurement, Meetings, Organisations, Teams No Comments

My colleague David Dowe and I were chatting recently.  We got onto thinking about what it takes for an enterprise to be ‘governed’ well and to avoid governing systems going wrong (or at least not work well enough).


There is a wide variety of ways organisations are established and led from owner run SMEs to the largest offices of State. ‘Governance’ is more likely to be explicitly discussed and not just assumed where there are formal structures such as Company Boards with non-executives, Charities with Trustees or campaign Steering Committees.


For many years now, there has been a bit of a fashion for ‘Good Governance’.  What does that mean – and how can it be assured?


In answering this question, we have drawn on our experience of working in all sorts of environments over the last couple of years: from technology accelerators to school systems; professional associations to conservation charities; improvement projects to academic institutions.


So, this is our governance ‘top ten’:

1)   The FRE framework for organisational success brings three fundamental roles for governing groups to mind.  The first part of FRE is thinking of Focus: is the purpose of the organisation shared? Is the strategy clear – is it understood? Has the governing group set out its intentions (and limitations) for the wider staff to work toward and within? Second in the FRE framework is taking Responsibility: do governing boards avoid overstepping the mark and resist micro-managing the executive? The third part of FRE is the Example of senior leaders, including board members or trustees, in setting the cultural tone for an enterprise.  This is a crucial, and often neglected, role of those involved in the governance of an organisation.  The remainder of this checklist probes further into this territory of direction, scope and culture.


2)   Governing groups are often expected to be many things: a sounding board giving advice; maybe providing a sort of litmus test before an idea is rolled out; and frequently a decision-making body too.  It is a heady mix trying to be a critical friend to the executives and part of checks and balances in securing the best decisions and way forward.  It is necessary to be clear on the scope of the governing roles – and to be sure that the governing group has the skills, and more important, the attention and awareness to do the job.  Is the group clear what its primary purposes are? Does it spend time giving an overall direction with an overall strategy?  Does it recruit and support a good CEO and then give them a clear sense of their autonomy and limitations, including how their performance will be reviewed?   How far is the governing group involved in assuring itself that overall goals are being achieved, the finances are secure and the best possible organisational culture is established?


3)   There are many cautionary tales of governing groups failing to take an interest, or get an accurate impression of, organisation culture (for example).  Many boards govern through dashboards and metrics – but organisation leaders can game the measures and Boards find them hard to discern.


4)   The mechanics of governing group meetings can be inefficient with an astonishing amount of managerial time spent preparing for board meetings, reporting, following up issues.  There can be a degree of gaming and a seeming disconnect from the actual business sometimes.


5)   Finding ways to keep in touch with both team delivery and organisation performance without overstepping the line into micro-management is a key balance and challenge for governing groups.  Boards tend to deal in papers and presentations.  It is very hard to really understand what staff are feeling and know whether the CEO is doing a great job or not. Their information often comes from others inside and outside of the organisation which introduces a time lag.  Finding ways for the Board to get early warnings of unrest, confusion and non-attainment are important. Useful indicators can be the experience of interacting with staff who are only occasionally and unexpectedly encountered further into the organisation, spending time out and about and being alert to ‘weak signals’ (e.g. through complaints).


6)   In doing its difficult work, is the governing group willing to have Critical conversations not just around issues of strategy and organisation process but also culture?  For true consensus to emerge important issues need to be named and given sufficient air time on frequently packed agendas.  In shaping the agenda and discussion it is important to recall previous discussions and reports – not just taking ‘matters arising’.  Finding ways to remember previous promises made by the executive and have time to explore and question that productively and collaboratively.


7)   Given these challenges, there are often choices about how to arrange (or, frequently, rearrange) governing systems.  In our experience, there tends to be an over focus on the structural options at the expense of the behavioural.  For example, a committee structure is more likely to be reviewed than the sort of decision making and scrutiny discussions to achieve a real improvement.  There is a sort of ‘Inverse Attention Law’: where the changes that are most needed are less likely to be considered. Using a biological metaphor, sometimes the ‘Anatomy’ (that is, the structure of a board or its sub groups) needs changing, but more often it is the ‘Physiology’ of how the existing parts work together that is crucial.  Getting the governing groups ways of working right is often more necessary than the overall wiring.


8)   The role of the Chair is crucial. There are many high-powered Boards where strong personalities are quite deliberately given a platform to speak as separate voices.  It is possible for the management team to take away different opinions on direction or performance. It is easy for chairs to either let all the voices speak (wishing to be seen as inclusive) or become too dictatorial.   Pulling together a wider ranging debate into a clear corporate line can be difficult to achieve.  This summing up is sometimes avoided to allow personal agendas to be pursued through the ‘smoke and mirrors’ after a meeting.  Chairs are often chosen for their sector knowledge.  However, the key role is to manage a good discussion and lead the development of a strong team (where you can disagree well en route to agreeing a collective line that all are publicly committed to, and where the group holds each other to using the best possible behaviours).


9)   It is possible to invest too much power in the board, council or steering committee.  Sometimes board members are very high powered and sit on lots of governing groups, possibly collecting too many appointments and not having sufficient time to give to their role.  So it can be useful to find other ways to improve the advisory architecture so that checks and balances are in place.  Setting up working groups and advisory groups can be used to show organisations are engaging more widely – but they can run into the many dozen, leading to a lack of consensus or good ideas get lost.


10)   Given all this, what is a useful way forward?  Well quite simply, take time to review how you are doing.  Be prepared to question the “Inverse Attention Law”: the structure might need rejigging and processes rewiring.  However, it is likely that securing the best behaviours will be a key task: achieving the physiology rather than the anatomy.  Do you meet well?  Do you have good conversations?  It might seem a bit prosaic, but reviewing how your meetings go can be a good place to start, using something like this assessment – which can be presented in a variety of ways including as a wheel, and can be tracked over time.  It is a simple first step: governing made easy.


So “Just Governance”?  It is not necessarily simple and straightforward.  And yet it needs to be thought through and fair.  It can then provide amazing value added oversight with a light touch.  Helping the right things to happen, and helping avoid things going wrong.



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Making the hard stuff easy?

Improvement, Personal productivity, Teams No Comments

You have probably come across the business adage, “the soft stuff is the hard stuff”. Like a number of famous quotes, is not quite clear to me who first coined the term – there is quite a lot on it online. But was it Covery? Enrico? Anyhow…

When thinking about organisations I like the distinction between structure, process and behaviour.

In one meeting last week I was challenged: “so, are you an organisational behaviourist?” Normally, I prefer to use Edgar Schein’s language and see myself as a ‘helper’ – and not even an OD specialist or Change Manager, which LinkedIn endorsements tend to say I am. So, I wasn’t sure I wanted the Organisation Behaviourist tag. But I guess I am the OB title. I see behaviour as key for it provides the physiology of organisational life – ways of working that can make any ‘anatomy’ work, or not. If I ask people to think of a leader they admire or a team that is performing well, and then write what it is about them down that impresses them, it is clear that the vast majority of the positive attributes are attitudes not technical skills, behaviour not knowledge.

There are some notable approaches to orchestrating behaviour shifts through ‘nudges’. Also, there is lots of training offered to change behaviour – from ‘difficult conversations’ to ‘line management’ to ‘team working’.

For me, the most significant improvements in organisation come from a disciplined focus on behavioural improvements around R and E in FRE – that is ‘responsibility’ and ‘example’. But I know from my work that the ongoing curiosity and empathy that is needed for this sort of sustained shift isn’t easy to generate and maintain.

A recent HBR study shows that even the most thoughtful training approaches bring about minimum behavioural changes long term, in the absence of a shift in the example of senior leaders. This makes sense – at least it confirms the finding from my decade-old research about getting values into practice, see this.

So these ‘soft’ shifts are hard. That is clear.

On a recent trip to Australia I saw a new way of promoting a long lasting shift in the culture of organisations in action. I saw it at work in settings as diverse as a bank, a commonwealth department and in a food manufacturing plant. The ‘Blue Bus’ approach started out in steel manufacturing and mining. It is spreading. It is a sticky idea. There is a pull. It seems to be passing the Chili Test. It makes the distinction between ‘hardware’ and ‘software. Between the ‘spaces’ leaders regularly ‘play’ like strategy, tools and systems and the area that is really needed for individual, team and organisational performance: mind-set, values and behaviour.

If you are in Asia or the Pacific (or even Australia!) and want to find out more, do let me know – I can make an e-intro. As there is deliberately almost nothing about it online. And, looking ahead, the guys (in a gender neutral sense) will be over in Europe in 2017.

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Are you FREe?

Checklists, Front foot, Improvement, Organisations, Reflect, Teams, Think, Values No Comments

Earlier this week I attended a concert at Kings College Chapel. As I sat there in the dark stillness a storm raged outside that rattled the ancient doors as a nearby college clock chimed the hour. I recalled how exactly 27 years before I had first been in that place.

I remembered I had been a little shocked to find myself in higher education – as a working class lad who struggled a fair bit at school. Yet in my mid 20s I had applied to study at tertiary level. When interviewed, some of the alternative angles I shared from my experience as a front line NHS worker, plus the insights from my union activism seemed to appeal to those who selected students.

Over the years I have found sitting in that building to be a powerful place for reflection during times of significant personal change.

So, I was thinking – but on this occasion about my work. My studies all those years ago were the start of my deeper interest in how organisations perform (or don’t). Over the last few months I have been crystallising what I now know about institutions – from larger networks to smaller teams, from commercial enterprises to noble purpose initiatives – based on my experience of working across sectors and continents. What makes an organisation worthy of commitment? What are the features that make them likely to succeed? And fail?

After a quarter of a century, I think there are just three things that are crucial. I summarise these with the word FREe (actually FRE, as you will see below).

Firstly, FOCUS. Is the purpose of the organisation shared? Is the strategy clear – is it understood? Has the governing group set out its intentions (and limitations) for the wider staff to work toward and within? Do individuals know how their particular role contributes – and do they realise where their personal motivations fit, and where they do not?

RESPONSIBILITY: are staff expected to use their initiative to sort out issues? Do they have freedom to act? Do governing boards avoid overstepping the mark and resist micro-managing the executive – and do line-leaders avoid constraining their staff with overly detailed instructions or the expectation of involvement in all decisions? How clearly are all staff held to account for how they have used their autonomy?

Crucially, EXAMPLE highlights the role of senior leaders in setting the cultural tone for an enterprise plus the part played of line managers in re-iterating this – and the importance of peers in reinforcing the ‘right’ behaviours. Most of us are not saints or sinners, rather we absorb the ways others work. This extends from basic ‘pro-social’ interactions to do with decency and civility through to the modelling of focus and responsibility and other important attributes like curiosity. ‘Example’ also concerns how the implied attitudes at the core of a business’s purpose are demonstrated by staff in their dealings with each other as much as with customers: be that caring in the case of health services, learning for an education provider or speed for a high street fashion brand, for example.

I am discovering how this simple framework is powerful in a range of settings.

It helps individuals: it is useful in ways from coaching leaders through to prompting those being interviewed for new jobs to ask useful (and interesting) questions.

With teams it is a checklist to test that the platform for achieving positive results is in place.

For organisations it highlights three important factors to work to get right in all places – to ensure well-served customers, content staff and a fulfilled mission.

Are you ready for FREe business?

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What DEE-cisions?

Do, Improvement, Meetings, Organisations, Reflect, Teams No Comments

Imagine the scene. A producer pitching the idea for a film: in Africa, people are living insecure and impoverished lives; thousands of people decide to start an exodus to Europe; they walk and walk and walk, and they talk to the media covering their movement – “we are poor because you are rich”; those in the North are fearful of the mass migration from the South.

The surprise about this film? Well, firstly it is has already been made. By the BBC. A long time ago. In the 1980s a pitch something like the one imagined above actually happened. ‘The March’ was made with leading figures in front and behind the lens. It was broadcast over 25 years ago.

Even so, the surprise is not that it was so prophetic – the story remains prescient.

Rather, it is striking that the film is almost totally forgotten. It has never been repeated. You can’t buy it online – even through the BBC bookshop. It has just about disappeared, other than a couple of YouTube clips, for example.


This film was an insight – into insecure lives and the challenge of economic development.  Today, in our work (and lives) we are offered insights all the time. Sometimes our colleagues or bosses or contacts expect us to act.

We have four options in any situation:

First, we can IGNORE the information and time to decide.

Or, we might DO something. Possibly instinctively.

These are the two main responses. Both can be due to cognitive biases. The complexity or anxiery might just be too much for our busy life – so we ignore it. Or we are a bit discombobulated and just want to do something – so we rush to action.  Either way, we may (over) rely on our intuition.

Or possibly we want to take our time. Our third option is EXPERIMENTATION. We might want to give something a go. We might wish to try something out.

The fourth and final possible choice is EXPLORATION – wanting to find out more, or reflect.

When viewers saw ‘The March’, my hunch is most ignored the implications. Maybe it seemed too fanciful. Or worrying. Some probably signed up to the campaigns for third world debt relief that were popular at the time. Others maybe chose to give supporting a particular charity a go. Some others might have decided to read more about the issues and think about how best to respond.

In our organisations we can manage our DEE-cisions by:

1) being totally clear of the criteria for ignoring a topic or possible choice. Maybe it is the responsibility of another group. However, ignoring should be used sparingly.  Often issues that are important are not on the radar. Methods like ‘scenario planning’ help shift some issues from being tuned out to ones that have further effort put into them – i.e. making the shift from ignoring to exploration or maybe even experimentation.

2) Deciding and acting is important for progress. Even here, ‘do and review’ is both poetry and philosophy. When will you take time to see if your ‘no-brainer’ decision had indeed worked?

3) Setting up some trials is at the heart of experimentation. What ‘improvement cycles’ or ‘prototypes’ can you try? The 90 day cycle is really valuable – what will you take stock of in a Quarter? Or 30 days? Or even after a week? This tweet remains a very popular tool for managing this spirit of trial (and error) and taking stock.  Experimentation builds momentum.

4) I do believe in the ‘art of procrastination’ in decision making – and this is where exploration can really come in.  The ‘art’ thing is the difference between ‘ignoring’ and ‘exploring’ – the difference between unecessary or unproductive delays and choosing deep, insightful thought. Keeping an eye on a topic or deciding to come back to an issue before making a decision can very helpful – or it can be avoidance. A symptom of a troubled group is continually revisiting and changing prior judgments – very sloppy governance indeed. But if it is well managed (sparingly, with strict deadlines and some effort) then exploration is helpful time to ponder and consider – and helps limber up our thinking for a future experiment or action.

So why not try triaging your next set of decisions in the group you work with. What can you ignore? But most importantly, what would DEE have you decide? What should you DO? What could you EXPERIMENT with? What might you EXPLORE a bit more?

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NPO, TLA and s=fx

Noble Purpose, Teams No Comments



Two TLA  so far in this series. And this is only the second post.

So here is another, sort-of, three letter acronym – and I think the most important.

s = fx

Actually this is a bit of a formula.

It should probably be: s= f(x)

That is, satisfaction is a function of expectation.

I believe that when looked at in a variety of ways (be it a theory, framework or assessment), noble purpose organisations perform much like any other institution or outfit. Neither better or worse. Leadership, team and individual performance is on a spectrum from the stellar to the spectacularly disappointing. Much like other places. From heart-warming and hopeful to a real headache and source of ‘heart sink’ feelings.

I have run many assessments with groups from Noble Purpose Organisations. The pattern of results is similar to those from other sectors and places: for example, in one assessment based on Lencioni’s work there is often an avoidance of conflict and accountability. I have found familiar findings with the idenk wheel assessment I have been using since 2006: the scores with this regularly show meetings are far from productive, whilst poor performance and behaviours are not tackled.

So if NPOs are similar to other types of workplace, what is the problem?

This is where the ‘x’ comes in. s=f(x). Satisfaction is a function of expectation. If we go to a see a film or eat in a restaurant others have raved about, our threshold for disappointment gets lower – we are more easily frustrated and more easily dismayed.

When people enrol with a NPO they expect something better, much better. In joining a charity or part of the public services youngsters fresh into the workforce, or mid-career staff looking for a change, or volunteers looking to be helpful, all expect one thing: that is the organisation is deserving of their commitment; ways of working are worthy of the purpose; there is agreement about what needs to be done and how it should be achieved.

When these features are not there to any greater degree (and possibly co-exist in equal measure with politics, jobsworth-ishness, personal ambition etc), then hearts get broken. Ideals are shattered. Stress increases. Cynicisms spreads. Burnout brews.

The NPO Paradox (see the previous blog) is encountered.

So, what can we do about it?

I argue a first step is to acknowledge this problem: that we are expecting so much of our peers and places of work. Only then is it possible to do something about it. And that something might lead to expectations being surpassed, in quite dazzling ways.

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The Exchange (from an exchange of ideas)

Meetings, Teams No Comments

Just after the millennium I was planning a conference with a group of colleagues. In those days I called it ‘producing’ an event if I wanted to sound ‘hip’. Now I might say curating an experience! (Both are probably a bit naff, but let’s leave that for another time).

Anyhow, I expected about 150 people. But we started differently and that created a whole chain of events that led to a conference format unlike any of the others I had become well known for delivering during the 1990s.

What was the first step? The letter (email actually) that went out to invite participants to apply to come was unlike a typical one. Firstly it asked people to come only if they were really enthusiastic and ready to share their interest and create further excitement with others. Places were not limited to a few per organisation, which was normal, with the expectation of director level attendance. So secondly, in those days before social media, those who received the letter were asked to pass it on to others who might be interested, whatever their role. Thirdly, as the ‘price’ of entry those registering were asked to note their offers and requests on a registration form: they had to clearly state what they wanted to get (learn) and give (as ideas to share in the coffee queue or a table top discussion or a poster presentation).

The result? Over 650 applied. Fortunately we had to stop there as we had just bust the capacity for the venue, as usually configured. We didn’t even send one chasing up invite – again the norm for that sector at that time.

So, we then shifted gear to discovering a way to make it work, and came up with a format I still call Exchange. We focused on answering a question: “What if we could redesign the traditional conference: taking out the boring bits and the need for everyone to sit together at the same time?”

The Exchange method involves
a) A blend of more familiar conference formats: Open Space, trade fair and academic conference
b) Ensuring things are creatively captured – with artists, video – so those not there (and no one can attend everything), can get a sense of the whole, the proceedings.
c) Making use of music and media to create the right mood –including humour.
d) Promoting responsibility for finding your way – making good choices about what to go to, and how long to stay…so the meeting is self-organising within a clear framework and set of written briefings.
e) Simplifying catering – going continuous, brown bag…
f) Using overflow spaces if necessary – a barn and a marquee in this instance (sometimes linked by video)
g) And largely designing out plenary sessions (a couple of optional ‘magazine style’ fringe sessions in the round where most came, gathered round, sat on the floor)

I am happy to share the photos and video from this event – still quite moving getting on for 15 years later.

Subsequent innovations over the other Exchange events I helped with over the next 5+ years led to
1) Electronic systems to register, share ideas and pick and mix your own agenda.
2) Café sessions as an option – world, knowledge.
3) TED style punchy presentations (in the days before TED!).
4) Innovation with voting methods.
5) Motivational inputs with speakers, actors, music.
6) Introductory and ‘Masterclass’ level training – plus learning sets, co-consultancy
7) Visits and ‘raids’ to near by places.
8) Use of the emerging technologies and social media to link in colleagues and site remotely.

Whilst these days the technology for this sort of process is getting easier (especially with Twitter etc), all of these improvements arose from engagement with a classic design team. There are other things that more recent ‘exchange’ conversation with design groups are raising: how to add in a simulation or some of the ideas from this resource.

So the key for success?
a) Inviting passion, questions and contribution in those coming.
b) A Design Team to imagine what might be and to challenge assumptions – iterating and developing the ideas as they go
c) A bespoke approach – cherry picking the best and most useful of other tools and methods.

Fundamentally, the overall lesson in the success of this story is the innovation that invented a new format. And at the heart of this innovation was being deeply curious about
1) How could we say yes to all – we did build it and they did come! So, we spent time imagining ways to host all (including an option that involved a trek outside for some – a walk and talk with a task that connected to the overall theme).
2) How to make it a memorable (yet recognisable) meeting by copying and reusing elements from other formats – it was fresh and familiar at the same time. Tried and trusted methods were combined in new ways.

So, the open and respectful exchange of ideas in the design process led to The Exchange.


On the importance of Cycles

Improvement, Teams No Comments

As you might know, I am quite a fan of cycling – to the station, through town, to meetings…observing and thinking as I go.

However, this blog is NOT about bicycles.

Nor is it about the fad cycle, another sort that interest me (from management theories to technology to music to fashion).

It is a bit about the learning cycle, and the associated ideas…from Deming to Kolb.

It IS about the cycles that should be at the heart of organisational life. NOT the annual cycle, the three year cycle or even the long term economic cycle, despite the exhortations to think out of the short term performance box.

Rather it is the sort of cycle that helps individuals, teams and organisations get (and keep) on the front foot, and so move from:
– Struggling to good: recovering
– From good to great: improving
– From great to brilliant: inspiring

In my work helping people get onto the ‘front foot’ there is a pattern and rhythm that is worth paying attention to, whether it is in Corporate Boards, project teams and individual leaders. This cycle is the ‘gum’ needed to help when there is a big (t)ask – a big challenge, a significant goal, the need to get going. It helps groups of people deal with change – in team membership, team leadership, team context or team role.

It is seen in the month cycle used in individual coaching – it creates the reflection space for leaders to pause, review, think and plan…and so avoid the traps – in a framework I have Stolen With Pride for many years!

It is seen in the 4-8 week cycle in action learning sets.

It underpins the quarterly cycle used in the meeting architecture of productive teams.

It is at the heart of what helps a individual or group recover, improve or inspire.

It is in the pattern of the ‘90 day reviews’ that are very popular with some of my clients – as a way of focusing the work they are doing. In fact, I have just come off a call leading one with colleagues distributed across a continent. The after action review is a powerful part of this. The ‘quarter turn of the key’ helps crank insight into action. It keeps the Question:Breakthrough:Follow-through cycle going

I use it in my ‘team gymnasium’. [Gym? The ‘technology’ and exercises I use in the team gymnasium is a blend integrated into 6-9 months of activities for individual team members (monthly) and the team together (quarterly).] The combination of assessment, pre-reading, talks, sessions and action planning helps to stimulate and maintain momentum. It encourages growth and helath.

The framework of mine I get asked for most often, and the tweet of mine that has been retweeted or favourited the most, is the same one. It is about this cycle. That model is a matrix that combines ‘abc’ and ‘5-30-90’. It is a key part of the Team Gymnasium. It can be used in a rolling manner in line leadership and executive coaching.

So what are the key elements of this ‘cycle’ I have alluded to? It is marked by:
1) Its pro-activity: the choice to keep moving (and meeting) to maintain and build momentum – no matter how hard.
2) The underpinning curiosity about improvement, impact, individual views (not quite the 4i model – nearly).
3) The way it becomes the forum for reflection and reflective practice (btw, I argue this is most essential in Noble Purpose Organisations, due to the perplexing patterns many encounter – more on that to come in an imminent blog, or email for my longer ‘Think Piece’).
4) The way it encourages individuals and teams.

Fundamentally, we are talking of cycles of experimentation…a feature that is at the root of human progress, from science to art; seen in history and in the world today.

So I specialise in ‘cycling’:

• The 1 month improvement approach in mentoring and coaching
• The 1-2 month learning set
• The 90 day reviews in change, improvement projects
• The ongoing Team Gymnasium – used in management development programmes too
• The annual business planning or strategy process
• The ad-hoc post project review.

Whatever you do (whether you are a line manager or an executive leader), are you a ‘cycle coach’ too?


Learning from success #2…the importance of the crowd

Teams No Comments

One thing a couple of people have picked up following this blog is the role of the supporters in understanding Andy Murray’s victory (which by the way we think is a great example of the Front Foot working and organising – literally).
Technically all elite sportspeople are very close – so mastering the mental battle is a huge differentiator…that mental edge is often the BIG thing.
The importance of crowd support probably can’t be under-estimated in helping players achieve these small scale advantages. Teams win more often at home – the London Olympics were a testament to that. The Lions had 35k supporters in Sydney last Saturday – almost 50% of the attendance. And 90%+ backed Murray on centre court last Sunday.
This must be a big boost – and even if it is just a little one, it can make all the difference.
So, who do you support? Who do you follow? Who do you encourage?


Learning from success…from skill and style to strength and stamina…through the team

Front foot, Teams No Comments

Well, what can we learn from Andy Murray’s win at Wimbledon – and the renewal of his reputation over the last few years?

1) He had a natural talent and temperament – but that wasn’t enough.

2) He kept trying – determination and a desire to win shone though (though he seemed diffident early on once he withdrew a bit, after early brushes with a carnivorous media)

3) He didn’t let the early tragedy and trauma in his life hold him back – maybe it was a driver? Or maybe well dealt with?

4) He surrounds himself with good people – from family and long standing friends to a team of specialist to increase his fitness, focus and popularity.

5) He has taken his natural skill and added personal training to create supreme physical fitness, to boost that talent with strength and stamina.

6) He has added PR advice – to secure the right interviews, documentaries, appearances, photo shoots.

7) He chose a new coach who knows all too well the journey and who through this empathy and reputation has helped rein in his negative emotions.

8) He can play the inner game as well as the physical one – and he has learnt to do that, it wasn’t there innately, as it isn’t for most of us.

9) He has shown you can turn around your public persona and popularity – he is now a national treasure (and actually was a year ago, after sharing his emotions and thoughts on failure in the speeches on centre court). Like Camilla and David Beckham before him, he shows you can change how others see you.

10) The relationships between the on court competitors is cordial, warm and respectful , after years on the circuit together – a nice illustration of the ideal balance between collaboration and competition in many industries.

Which do you think is the most important? I am not sure…like success in many sports lots of little changes can amount to a breakthrough – actually by being just slightly better than your opponent is enough (a shot here, a second there). But, if I had to choose one, it would be 4 – the team – as they has helped with most of the others (especially 5-9).

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Learning in team, in time

Checklists, Teams No Comments

Over the last few weeks I have been working with a few teams to help them establish on-going ways to review their work together – blending the spirit of the after action review, with action learning, with group supervision…

I am happy to share more.

This checklist is from work in 2006 and still useful for the overview of the possible range of ‘Knowledge Management’ techniques, (read this book ) for more on some of these .

This checklist can help a group get to the east and south of this model – the real ‘prize’ as per this blog from last year.


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