thinking

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

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

Finding Leverage Points for Learning: Titi Tade discovers the value of allowing her medical social work students to digress

Finding Leverage Points for Learning: Titi Tade discovers the value of allowing her medical social work students to digress

Pure water? “Pure water” in Nigeria refers to a sealed polythene sachet containing 500mls of water at a minimum cost of ₦5 ($0.03 or £0.02) per sachet. It is available on every street corner across the country in both urban and rural settings. The “pure water” phenomenon started in Nigeria sometime in the 1990’s as … Continued

Breathe in, breathe out: how to regain your resilience by Chris Grieve, Executive Director, Edge Certified Foundation

Breathe in, breathe out: how to regain your resilience by Chris Grieve, Executive Director, Edge Certified Foundation

As coaches, facilitators and leaders we are enablers of others’ genius – it is our job to help others access and manifest their potential, their inner genius. In my experience in all three roles, I have discovered that providing people with the tools to do their best thinking, their best work, bring their best selves … Continued

What have self licking lollipops got to do with sustainability leadership?

What have self licking lollipops got to do with sustainability leadership?

Remind me about the 5 Ps? I’m reading a book by a former British Army Officer, Frank Ledwige, about the British Army in Iraq and Afghanistan. Ledwige is highly critical of the army’s culture and approach. He blames the generals and the politicians for failing to plan for what would happen after the invasion of Iraq. … Continued

‘Don’t ask me to lead’ by Del Redvers, Head of Sustainability at BMT Group

‘Don’t ask me to lead’ by Del Redvers, Head of Sustainability at BMT Group

I’m sitting on an A380 Super Jumbo. The seatback screen says that we are at 35,000 feet, travelling at 576 miles per hour with almost 6,000 miles still to go. I should be trying to get some sleep. Instead I am idly watching the cabin crew bustle around, clearing away half-eaten meals. For me, this … Continued

The Deep Dive: how writing helped me to find out what I do

The Deep Dive: how writing helped me to find out what I do

It took me more than six months to write the copy for my website KellowLearning.com. I don’t regret the time I spent because the act of writing about leadership and learning helped me to discover what I think. Writing about what I do, day after day, was a ‘deep dive’ into who I am, and what I do. And the benefit of the ‘deep dive’ is that I was able to make a far better website than I could ever have imagined.

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.

Becoming a coach: me and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

Becoming a coach: me and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme

I’ve got a permanent sugar rush of thoughts and feelings about coaching and training. I’m like Monsieur Jourdain in Moliere’s ‘Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme’, who discovered that, all his life, he had been speaking prose without knowing it.