Ideas and Insights


When safety is lost

In this paper Paul O’Neill and Tim Dalmau explore the tricky area of psychological safety and the power of learned patterns of response and the power of filters. This paper is the first of two. Another paper will follow on how we can get rid of these limitations and how those in power can get their outcomes without triggering fear responses.

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The perils and pearls of searching

To find an ideal candidates for a senior role in an organization or for a Board position, companies often turn to search firms. In this paper Tim Dalmau and his colleague, John Peebles, gather their collective experience to identify the required conditions where using a search firm will improve significantly the chances of finding a pearl – a successful candidate who delivers the results and fits the style of the organization.

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How am I being experienced as a leader?

If you ask five different people if they think they are likely to be good leader, then you will get five different answers.  But those different answers will tend to settle out into two different groups; those who assume there are those who innately know how to lead and those who believe good leaders can be trained. It is the old nurture versus nature question in another guise and it inevitably misses a core point.

Such a question often arises at that stage in a leader’s career when they are presented with an increasing number of situations (read subordinates and team behaviors) where they don’t seem to be able to either change the individual’s behavior or remove some pattern of unhelpful group dynamics.

Such contemplations inevitably are framed on the assumption that there are some who innately know how to lead and there are others who have grown to become effective leaders. Such people worry if they are not in the first group, then what are the chances of them joining the second group someday and dealing successfully with troublesome individuals and groups.

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Vale, Steve Zuieback

Steve Zuieback our dearest friend, highly valued colleague, and member of Dalmau Consulting, died in Ukiah, California, on August 11, 2021, 4 days before his 70th birthday.

To say he will be much missed is a huge understatement.  Right up until he died, he was giving of himself, and his wisdom to us as colleagues, and to countless others – family, friends and colleagues around the world. That was Steve!  A humble, caring, compassionate listener, wise counselor, mentor, group facilitator, teacher and leader who lived his values every breath he took.

Steve began working with Tim in 1996. He was introduced to us through our colleague, Michael Grinder, and there was an instant connection – it was his skills, his mindset, but most of all it was who he was as a person that attracted us. He worked with us and our clients in the USA, South Africa, Australia and Indonesia. On occasion, we worked with some of his American clients as part of his business, Synectics.  Our clients were indeed the beneficiaries of his prowess in group facilitation and dialogue where his knowledge and experience was second to none. As part of our team, he listened, supported and shared his experience and wisdom with each of us and as a team member.  He authored 2 books, one with Tim, and has left a wealth of free training resources in the form of documents, blogs, videos and e-publications.

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Podcasts for uncertain times #4

If you are like us, we find podcasts to be an easy way to access new information or gain different perspectives. For one thing, they are great for making effective use of time when you are travelling, or you need a break from sitting in front of your computer.

So again we have made a small selection from the plethora of podcasts that are available, that we hope they appeal to a range of needs and interests.

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Balancing it all

It is not easy being a CEO or Board member in today’s tumultuous times, balancing so many factors simultaneously. This paper lays out a strategic pathway through what are multi-level highly dynamic forces at work. He draws on learnings from a number of fields including Rio Tinto’s self-induced misfortunes earlier this year.

He describes what has to be done by CEOs and Boards to not end up in a similar predicament

Click here to download the paper, Balancing It All.

Tim Dalmau

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Mind games: speaking to large groups

This week I’ve been working with a great group of people and a recurring theme has come up, something I come across often: fear and anxiety speaking in front of a large group of people.

Many people were confident speaking in front of a group early in their careers or as young adults, yet as their careers have progressed, despite their increasing capabilities in their roles, they find now themselves becoming increasingly anxious at the thought of having to deliver a presentation or speak to a large group.

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Learning to Lead

What makes for good leadership development?

Jill address this question, after having seen a recently released Australian documentary, The Leadership. The documentary focused on 76 women in science, technology, engineering, maths and medicine (STEMM) who embarked on a leadership development program which included a voyage to Antarctica. Download her paper to read her reflections on this film and what to her are the critical elements of any worthwhile approach to developing leaders.

Click here to download the paper, Learning to Lead.

Jill Tideman

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Podcasts for uncertain times #3

If you are like us, we find podcasts to be an easy way to access new information or gain different perspectives. For one thing, they are great for making effective use of time when you are travelling, or you need a break from sitting in front of your computer.

So we have made a small and diverse selection from the plethora of podcasts that are available, that we hope they appeal to a range of needs and interests.

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Gods in organization cultures

In conjunction with Bernie Neville intriguing piece entitled Gods in a Time of Corona we gather together here the previous pieces we have published over the last few years.

They describe how each Greco-Roman god-image is made manifest in an organization’s culture and operations. In fact they describe different ways in which the collective unconscious forces at work in organizations become visible.

For more complete descriptions check out Olympus Inc. – Intervening for Cultural Change in Organizations by Bernie Neville and Tim Dalmau. 

Aphrodite : An organization which focuses on beauty and pleasure in which having fun is valued.

Apollo : A rationally structured organization which seeks clarity, understanding and meaning in all its activities.

Ares : An organization in which people (expressed through activity.

Artemis: An organization which focuses on achieving harmony with nature, and an environment in which affirmation and protection of feminine values is valued.

Athena : An organization characterized by cooperation, the sharing of power and the manifestation of balanced and practical wisdom.

Demeter : An organization which looks after and nourishes its members.

Dionysos : An organization which values growth, emotional excitement, spiritual experience and rewards creativity and spontaneity.

Eros : An organization which focuses on intimacy and community, in which people can express their need to love and be loved.

Hades : An organization characterized by extreme indifference and apathy.

Hephaistos : An organization devoted to the values of work, skill and crafting.

Hera : An organization in which the members give organizational loyalty precedence over their individual needs.

Herakles : An organization which sees itself involved in a heroic struggle.

Hermes : An organization focused on communication, process, transition, and which abhors all regulation.

Hestia : An organization characterized by quiet, focused, centered and receptive activity.

Prometheus : An organization with a mission to save humanity though the application of technology.

Zeus : An organization based on centralized power.

Tim Dalmau

October 2020

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