Ideas and Insights

Sustainable Change: a whole of systems view

Towards the end of 2018, Tim Dalmau and Jill Tideman had a paper published, “The Practice and Art of Complex Change”. The paper draws together work over the last 15 years and is fairly long and extensive. We have prepared a short excerpt from this so that our ideas on leading change are more accessible to more people.

Click here to download your copy

Jill Tideman


Review: One Mission: How leaders build a team of teams

One Mission: How Leaders Build a Team of Teams, by Chris Fussell and C.W. Goodyear published in 2017, follows on from the highly successful book, Team of Teams, that Chris co-authored with General Stanley McChrystal and others in 2015. General McChrystal, was commander of Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC) whose last assignment was commanding all U.S. and international forces in Afghanistan. He is currently a senior fellow at Yale’s Jackson Institute for Global Affairs and co-founder of the McChrystal Group, a leadership consulting firm where Chris Fussell and C.W Goodyear are his colleagues.

Generally, I would not be attracted to a management book written by military men, whose ideas are rooted in their military experience. I know this says more about me and my biases, but my assumption was that the military experience is very different from the corporate and organizational world – and I was sceptical of the relevance to that world. I eventually picked it up to read on the recommendation of my colleague, Tim Dalmau, whose judgement in this area I respect. Read more…


Order in Chaos


Click here to read more about strategies for chaotic, turbulent and disruptive times.



Thinking the Unthinkable



In a short video below Tim tells you about a recent report he has just read that he recommends to all leaders in this digital age.

Authors of this interim report, Nik Gowing and Chris Langdon are conducting a research project for the Churchill 2015 21st Century Statesmanship Global Leaders Program.  It is focused on how leaders in the 21st century are dealing with “systemic and unparalleled change”.  According to Tim it is a “must read”.






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…


Survive or thrive: Strategies for chaotic, turbulent and disruptive times


Download a thought-provoking paper. Jill Tideman has written about  the nature of the impact of chaos, turbulence and disruption in the business environment. She suggests five really practical ways that leaders and organizations can position themselves adapt to, and be resilient in the face of this.


Leadership Master Class: A special conversation with Tim Dalmau & Steve Zuieback



Join Tim Dalmau and Steve Zuieback in a special Leadership Master Class in either San Diego, California on October 16 and 17, 2014.


This is a rare opportunity for top leaders in organizations who are  committed to implementing changes to create more profound and immediate results in their organizations and are interested in exploring their leadership theory of practice.


The most powerful leaders have an explicit “theory of practice” that they consciously operate from as they make decisions, how they engage in challenging situations and how they build and coach other people. A theory of practice is a set of assumptions, hypotheses and principles that have been developed through their experience about what works and doesn’t work.


This Leadership Master Class will take participants through a series of experiences, dialogues and coaching conversations that will result in a completed theory of practice for each person. Participants will receive a packet of information prior to the course to better prepare and focus them for the experience.


The Leadership Master Class is for leaders and executives in any setting, be it education, health care, manufacturing, or professional services. No matter where or how you lead people this class will be for you and will deliver to you direct benefits, insights and skills. The role of leaders in the positive transformation of whole systems will be a core aspect of these events.

You can expect to

  • Understand the Leadership Conversations Framework
  • Understand core leadership models that inform your Theory of Practice.
  • Identify beliefs and values that inform effective leadership practices.
  • Develop your own leadership Theory of Practice.
  • Connect with a network of effective leaders.

Tim and Steve will

  • Draw on various leadership models successful across multiple industry sectors.
  • Work with the real issues faced by the participants
  • Include small and large group work
  • Be limited to a small number of participants to maximize learning and focus on real issues.

Training Venue

This training will be held at:
Marina Village, San Diego, California. You will receive more information about accommodations and restaurants in the area after you have completed the registration process.

– See more at:





Tim Dalmau


Steve Zuieback


Venue: This Master Class will be held at Marina Village, San Diego, California. You will receive more information about accommodation and restaurants after completing the registration process.



Click here to Register for San Diego Master Class!




This is a special opportunity for top leaders in organizations who are interested in exploring their leadership theory of practice and who are committed to implementing changes to create more profound and immediate results in their organizations.  – See more at:

Checklist Manifesto: getting it right!



All of us are working in a world of ever-increasing complexity and information overload. Technology and know-how is evolving to help us better manage this complexity, but we continue to be plagued by avoidable failures.


Atul Gawande, a surgeon, in his book of 2009, The Checklist Manifesto, describes a remarkably low-tech approach – the checklist – to manage the complexity of decision-making – consistently, correctly and safely. He developed this approach in the high stakes world of surgery. His very readable book tells the story of how he explored how the construction industry and airline pilots  use checklists to make better decisions particularly when under time pressure. At the behest of the World Health Organization he refined and tailored the approaches he had uncovered, tested and improved them until finally he came up with a version for surgical teams. Read more…


Nelson Mandela



Nelson Mandela

Today South Africa and the world wakes up differently. Today, we honor one of the greatest leaders of our time; we honor the life and contribution of Nelson Rolihlahla Mandela.

I once had the privilege to meet alone with Madiba and talk with him, and like many (if not all) who met him it was a profoundly memorable experience, made so by his gentleness, wisdom, humility and his presence.

There will be an outpouring of grief, remembrance and celebration for him around the world, but as someone who has worked with many leaders and taught, supported and encouraged many to become leaders I feel compelled to acknowledge the man who has given us one of the greatest examples of leadership in the last century.

What he offers us is an example of how to dance with complexity. The social, economic and political forces in South Africa leading to the end of apartheid and the years of Mandela’s presidency were enormously complex and out there on the edge of chaos. But it was Mandela’s absolutely uncompromising values, his timing of key decisions, driven by the principles of reconciliation and power sharing and an unswerving vision on a future of racial harmony that in my mind made him an outstanding leader.

Much has been written about him and much will no doubt continue to be written. Analysis of his qualities and approaches to leadership and bringing about change will continue. I remember him saying that he was not special or outstanding.

Someone delivered a eulogy this morning for my dear friend and inspiration Helen Bryant. She described Helen as passionate, accepting, committed, non-judgmental, visionary, a person who transcended age, social background and race. She could have been describing Nelson Mandela; there is a small part of him in everyone who shows courage and leadership when combined with forgiveness.

For me his words, “It always seems impossible until it’s done” epitomizes the nature of the man and his leadership. And although today I feel sad, I also feel like celebrating his life and that of my friend Helen.

Nelson Mandela will continue to provide inspiration for me as a person and in my work and I truly hope he does for you as well.

Tim Dalmau

CEO: Dalmau Consulting


Embracing sustainability



David Hood, in a short paper, attempts to  draw attention to the underlying imperative facing senior executives and Board members of today’s corporations – the imperative of embracing sustainability.

Click here to read or download his thought-provoking paper.


Buy Tim & Steve’s Book

''A truly useful and practical book'' Rich Shapiro, EY

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