Fiona Gifford is Director of The Performance Collective and founder of Human Spaces™ “Human Spaces are organisations designed to be fit to deliver the organisation’s purpose through the realisation of human potential and talent.”

Thank You! How showing appreciation accelerates learning and contribution

“Thank You Driver”

In my home city of Edinburgh, we have the friendliest, most helpful bus drivers I have experienced. This is pretty important in a city that is always full of visitors and tourists. It wasn’t always the case though. So what changed to make our drivers so great?

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Fiona Gifford
I thought I'd share this short video;"Everybody Matters" by Bob Chapman, CEO of Barry-Wehmiller Bob ... Read More
Thursday, 11 July 2019 09:28
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Leadership Development at Alexander Dennis

The Performance Collective has partnered with Alexander Dennis for five years now. We now deliver their management and leadership development programmes, provide one-to-one leadership coaching and development workshops for their Executive team.

The following is an article published in the Alexander Dennis internal communications. It is reproduced with their permission.

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Are You Holding Back?

I took a bus this morning that went the wrong route. I was preoccupied reading an article and when I looked up from it I noticed that the scenery was not what I expected. The driver had taken a wrong turning. People in the street and in their gardens were staring in bemusement to see a bus coming along their street where no bus was meant to be. 

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© The Performance Collective 2018

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The Origins of Courage

Courage - the word itself comes from the old french word for heart; coer.(now coeur). So courage is literally belonging to the heart.

"I know that courage comes from the heart because the head would say 'no'."

Courage is not fearlessness. Quite the contrary. Courage feels the fear and acts anyway; it is strong enough to overcome our most basic neurological response to avoid danger or threat. Courage knows that failure will extract a very high price and yet still takes that risk. Sometimes it is a simple gamble based on the odds of failure versus the value of a higher prize; but that's a little "head" interference.

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Lessons from a Three Legged Stool

Lessons from a Three Legged Stool


I made a three-legged stool. I have never made anything from wood before and had pretty low expectations of the results that I could achieve. However, my stool is sturdy, functional and, if I say so myself, rather beautiful. More importantly, I had the time of my life doing it. I had a complete sense of flow state and timelessness in the process. In one day I split out a log, made tenons and mortices, shaped a seat and sculpted the legs on a shaving horse.

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Our partners James Bowen and Brian MacNeice have published  Powerhouse. This book uncovers the performance secrets of some of the world’s most impressive institutions. Documenting James' and Brian's first-hand study of 12 diverse global exemplars, Powerhouse provides a provocative insight into how top organizations consistently lead their fields.

Looking across these different, seemingly contrasting institutions, Powerhouse goes further - identifying common components of their models for winning, and providing a valuable, practical framework for any organization to achieve enduring high performance.

The book tells the stories of organisations such as The Grameen Bank, The Mayo Clinic, Tata Group and Medecin Sans Frontier. It's a great leadership read whether you sit down and read it cover to cover, or  dive in and out for inspiration.

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