future

Sweet charity: developing charity leaders up, down and sideways

Sweet charity: developing charity leaders up, down and sideways

How can charity leaders develop the capabilities they’ll need in the 2020s? Charity leaders deal with complexity. Charity leaders in the 2020s will find themselves working at the edge of what they know. Many, perhaps, already are. There are no silver leadership bullets, not even donated ones. Which is why charity leaders must be good … Continued

Plain English introduction to U Theory: how to create innovative solutions collectively

Plain English introduction to U Theory: how to create innovative solutions collectively

U Theory in plain English U theory is a process that is profound, powerful and practical. But it seems to me that U Theory believers use so much jargon that they are in danger of turning it into a cult. One day I decided to try to explain U Theory in plain English. The is the result. U … Continued

Living in the now: In praise of a very fine yoga teacher

Living in the now: In praise of a very fine yoga teacher

In praise of a fine yoga teacher who taught her last class at the YMCA today Frances Jordan is a very fine yoga teacher indeed. Frances encourages people in her classes to be fully present, and happy with the way they are. That’s a challenge for most Londoners… None of her classes is ever the … Continued

Nothing Happens in August

Nothing Happens in August

An August blog about family and friends Caroline’s Columbian boyfriend has asked her to marry him. Kirsty broke up with her English boyfriend because he is too controlling. Fiona is close to breaking up with her Scottish boyfriend because he is too controlling. Mary has broken up again with her Irish boyfriend. I don’t know why. David is raising money … Continued

Why Maslow doesn’t satisfy real change-makers

Why Maslow doesn’t satisfy real change-makers

Why Maslow doesn’t satisfy real change-makers Years ago, well, towards the end of last century, I ran a training programme for a bunch of environmentalists. They were nearly all young leaders and visionaries who wanted to change the world. And change the world they did, every day, with exceedingly good humour. Beer, biscuits and extra large … Continued

Four ingredients of a successful training programme

Four ingredients of a successful training programme

Many trainers use acting skills to get their message across Growing up in Scotland, I was fascinated by the eponymous heroine of Muriel Spark’s novel ‘The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie’ which is set in an Edinburgh girls’ school. Miss Brodie gets her pupils’ attention by telling stories to bring history to life and – this … Continued

2013 Transitions

2013 Transitions

January Taking myself to market This is a blog about how I made the transition from employed to self-employed. According to Dan Pink, to sell is human. So I took myself to market and I sold! I try to sell myself quietly, and I also notice how other people sell themselves to me. One day, after a … Continued

A business person, a politician and a consumer go to a gastropub: what do they order, and who pays?

A business person, a politician and a consumer go to a gastropub: what do they order, and who pays?

Can we trust business to build a sustainable future? Last night I went to hear a panel discussion about the role of business in helping to build a more sustainable future. Judging by the number of people who left before the end of the session, what the panel had to say just wasn’t that interesting. … Continued

What real leaders really do

What real leaders really do

Once upon a time, when I thought I wanted to work in HR, I read a much reprinted article by John P Kotter, called “What leaders really do” (Havard Business Review, May-June 1990). In plain English Kotter described a step by step approach to helping people deliver the organisation’s vision e.g. involving people in decision-making, being a good role model, providing coaching and feedback, and praising people when they were successful. At the time Kotter made complete sense to me, and I was grateful to him for making leadership seem so simple.