Making Organisational Values Work

Many years ago, I was leading a session during a company leadership conference on the organisation’s values. One leader opted out part of the way through the exercise. She told me:
“It is arrogant and naive for the company to tell me what my values should be. I have my own values that are truly important to me, and I choose to work for a company where the culture allows me to lead according to my own values.”
I have never forgotten the conversation that followed with that leader; she taught me some important lessons about how values work in organisations.

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Why am I procrastinating?

procrastinationI’ve had an action at the top of my to-do list for four days and haven’t started it yet. It’s not urgent, but has a deadline and it is important to me. The negative consequences of not doing it, or not doing it well are significant. So why on earth have I spent the morning shredding my confidential waste?

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Growing Psychological Safety in Your Team. Why you should bother and how to go about it…..

A definition of psychological safety

Psychological Safety is the belief that we can speak our mind without negative consequences. We can offer our ideas, ask questiotight ropens, raise concerns,
communicate mistakes and speak truth to power, without being sanctioned, punished or humiliated.

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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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