Archive for August, 2015

Opportunities for facilitation training with Bob Dick



Bob Dick  is offering a great opportunity for people who wish to take their facilitation skills to the next level, building on his foundational program. Dates are August 27 and 28 in Brisbane, Australia. Read More…


Demeter: the mothering organization


The organization with a strong Demeter culture takes mothering seriously. Central to its image of itself is its task of providing a safe and supportive environment for its members. It must look after them, as a mother does. It undertakes responsibility for the care of its members and sees this as essential to its nature. The executive exercises the power of the carer and nourisher, rather than the power of the bully or manager. Mother Demeter says, ‘Trust me. I know what is best for you.’ For their part the members or employees are content to be looked after; they even take it for granted, seeing it as the organization’s duty. Efficiency and productivity are not usually central concerns of the Demeter organization. The Demeter organization will continue to look after its children even when they are not financially viable! Read More…


Grit: #1 predictor of performance


What is grit and why is it important?

In the last few years there has been a buzz, particularly in education circles, but increasingly in the leadership and management space about that personal quality or character trait that is sometimes called grit. It is emerging as being critical to performance and research has shown that it more important than sheer talent or intelligence (in all its guises) in terms of predicting for success. Read More…


Leading complex organizations



A business reporter for the BBC recently posted a story that caught my eye. It was titled, Why businesses may need to start hiring biologists. (Click here to to watch the video). It attracted my attention because my initial training was as a biologist, and I had always thought that my background gave me many advantages and ways of understanding organizations, teams and people that I have come to work with. On the other hand I have not encountered many biologists in the business world except in organizations focused on the environment or perhaps healthcare. Read More…


The Key to Aligned Action


Over the past 20 years we have used a model to explain why so much good communication that occurs in corporations with groups of people and other large institutions is ultimately wasted effort.  This is particularly the case when leaders seek to communicate information to a group of employees in the expectation that it will lead to some form of aligned action.
In the past few months it has become clear how much this particular framework resonates with clients. Over the years we have received a number of requests to publish it.
This paper is a response to those requests. Click here to read or download a copy.


A celebration of Dick Knowles’ eight decades


Dick Knowles

We have had the privilege of working with Dick Knowles for just under twenty years. Tim Dalmau first met Dick at Sundance at a conference on self-organizing systems theory .

He recalls the first encounter: “I listened to this guy outline how he had brought about a fundamental and deep change in the worst performing Du Pont plant in the world to the point where it became the best, and stayed so. I thought if this is real, then he has something I should know about. I went up to him and asked him if he had used the company’s safety consultants to engender this dramatic and sustained shift and I remember his reply vividly: ‘Hell no, I wouldn’t let those guys near my plant’. This immediately validated his credibility in my mind.”

Read More…