The Exclusion Zone

exclusionPhoto by Markus Spiske on Unsplash


Human beings are fundamentally social animals. Social exclusion tells  our emotional brain that    social relationships are threatened or damaged. Exclusion tells us there is a crisis; we experience a visceral emoptional reaction that stays with us for a long time.


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Leading Culture with Intent

What if the post- pandemic organisation needs something very different from our leadership?

The ability to learn is the most important quality a leader can have. The last year has taught us this. We have faced challenges we could never have imagined and many of our beliefs about work have changed for ever. Our teams have faced into sudden and dramatic changes that disrupted the rhythms and patterns of their lives. We have found depths of resilience, creativity, empathy and kindness that we never knew were possible.

On the plus side, we have largely welcomed not having to commute for hours every day, dinner with the children and the productivity of uninterrupted desk time. On the other hand, the pluses come at a cost; screen-fatigue, work-home life boundaries challenged, tensions around space and Wi-Fi, lack of social interaction with colleagues.

Most of the organisations I work with are looking forward to a future with less office space, more remote-working, and extensive use of technology tools for communication and training. They are designing the future of work around what the last year has taught them; but is that going to be enough?

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Emotional Leadership – Supporting Each Other Through Lockdown

SCARFAs leaders during a crisis, it has never been more important to connect emotionally with our people and co-workers. If we cannot help them to understand their own reactions and needs, we cannot help them to navigate through. Although we might not be able to fix everything, we can help ourselves and others to make things a little better.

From my work with leaders over the years, many find making emotional connection difficult. They have drawn a mental (and emotional) line for themselves demarcating what is “appropriate” at work. In this work, I have noticed that understanding the science of emotion can help to sign-post us to something that feels appropriate and supportive.

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Designing and Running a Virtual Workshop

skype callBack in the 90s, I was working in a global change team, implementing a huge system change across all three regions of the corporation. During the programme, we had a travel ban. Faced with the need to collaborate across 23 countries to develop, commission and train the users of the system, we turned to technology.
I won’t lie, it was more difficult and our ideas didn’t always work, but we did deliver on time.
Here is what I learnt about designing and running virtual workshops;

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Your Team is Now Home-working - Virtual Team Leadership

empty office 2Over-night you have become a leader of a virtual team! How do you do that? Well first of all;
• Don’t panic and admit to the team that you are all learning together – take the pressure off.
• Get your own home-working plan together (See my blog on working from home here).
• Learn from others who have done it before.
• Get support – set up a small group of colleagues on the same learning curve with a space to connect and share (social media or video conference).

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Making Home-working Work

Home workingThere is a big difference between working from home on the odd day, and working from home on a semi-permanent basis. Having had a home office for over 15 years, I remember it took me some time to figure out how to make it work well. Here are some of the things I learnt about the physical space, routine, social and motivation aspects of working from home. I hope these might help you find your home-working way more smoothly;

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