narrative

Everything’s going to be all right: the power of leadership narratives

Everything’s going to be all right: the power of leadership narratives

  How to construct leadership narratives is likely to be a talking point on the new NCVO programme Charity Leadership in the 2020s that I am co-creating with Rebecca Nestor. Here’s what I’m noticing and thinking as the programme takes shape. If you have been into a gift shop in the last year or so you will probably have … Continued

Six Training Hats

Six Training Hats

People who work with groups wear different hats. I’ve learned a lot from the gym instructors at the London Central YMCA who don’t actually wear hats, yet. “Don’t give up now, push yourself, see if you can work just a little bit faster” The YMCA instructors motivate and manage groups of people – mainly office … Continued

Building Capacity Systematically: 12 Steps towards designing and delivering training collectively

Building Capacity Systematically: 12 Steps towards designing and delivering training collectively

It’s one thing to be a trainer. It’s quite another to explain how you do it to other people. Here is what I have learned from trying to pass on training skills and knowledge to other people. Key message: Be systematic 1 Be systematic in your approach to training needs analysis, design, delivery, evaluation, and follow-up. … Continued

Serendipity: or how going with the flow can lead to happy discoveries

Serendipity: or how going with the flow can lead to happy discoveries

“What is serendipity?”, said the handsome young Dutchman. It was the waitress who decided I should sit at his table. I would not have dared to speak to ask him, myself. He was really too good looking. “Serendipity,” I hazarded, “is a coming together of random events that produces unexpected and happy results. “Our meeting,” … Continued

Hippy, corrupt, predator, bureaucratic: Why stereotypes are a barrier to collaboration

Hippy, corrupt, predator, bureaucratic: Why stereotypes are a barrier to collaboration

I want to talk about stereotypes”, said a mature white male. After decades of working with political correctness, the topic had a certain ‘je ne sais quoi’. The context was a conversation about collaboration between business, government and non-governmental organisations (NGOs) and donors. In terms of age, gender and nationality, we were a mixed group, … 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.

The Pixar Pitch and Other Sales Tips from Dan Pink

The Pixar Pitch and Other Sales Tips from Dan Pink

If you need to brush up your selling and influencing skills, Dan Pink’s new book ‘To Sell is Human’ has some practical suggestions. Though I would not recommend all of them to all of my friends. Because selling is very personal, and you have to be yourself to engage people. As I found out. But I’ll tell you about that later.