Ideas and Insights


Intangibles matter when designing organizations

When experts talk of the term organization design, they are referring to the operating model and processes, systems, capabilities and structures that underpin and organization and help it to deliver value to its customers and stakeholders, efficiently and effectively. Organization design is both an art and science! Read more…

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Bold Herakles: An heroic organizational archetype

The Greek myths are full of heroes, men and women who lived a long time ago and dealt with the gods directly – often, it appears, on equal terms. The most popular of the hero stories were the stories of Herakles the hero who was not only a man but a god.

There are many tales of Herakles. Picture, if you will, a man of great energy and drive, plenty of good will towards people and a tendency to take the most direct path to any goal. He is good-humoured, generous and courageous. On the other hand, compared to other heroes like Odysseus, Perseus and Jason, he is not very clever, nor particularly charming. His lack of subtlety is symbolised in his choice of the club as his preferred weapon. He has a violent temper and an enormous appetite. He is macho man. Read more…

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Successful change: driven by clear outcomes

Over the last twelve months the theme that has permeated most of our Ideas and Insight articles is change – approaches and pitfalls to successful change.

In the recently reviewed book, “Inclusive Leadership: the definitive guide to developing and executing an impactful diversity and inclusion strategy” again the message is clear – if initiatives such as developing and delivering a diversity and inclusion strategy are not placed within a change management frame – with clear and well thought out outcomes driving the change then the results will be sub-optimal at best, and complete failure at worst.

But, good change depends on clear outcomes.

In this short video Jill provides some timely tips and reminders about the nature and need for well-crafted outcomes.

Click here more information on well-formed outcomes from a previous post.

Jill Tideman

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Leading complex organizations

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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…

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A celebration of Dick Knowles’ eight decades

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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…

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

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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.

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Transition: the blindspot of change

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Change is the only constant. And it happens at every level of our existence – from our own bodies right through to the whole planet.

 

When it is initiated by others in companies, departments, hospitals, mine sites and the like, it is labeled organizational change, and a plethora of literature exists on this subject. The vast majority of change programs initiated in large organizations fail – for many well documented and known reasons.

 

But too often the results are disappointing because change management is not sufficient in itself; it needs to be supplemented by transition management. Transition is the blind spot of so much well intentioned organizational change.

 

William Bridges points out that can be triggered by others (as a response to an organizational change), by events (death of a spouse, break up of a relationship)  or by oneself through a choice (new country, new relationship, new role). It can happen in as apparently simple a situation as a unit or section reshuffle of people into new roles or returning from an extended stay in another country. It can start when the change starts or may even begin before the change starts, in anticipation so speak.

 

In the case of transition triggered by organizational change, the leader’s role is to help individual managers and staff members move through to new beginnings.   Read or download our  paper that describes this blindspot in change management and what to do about it

 

For an introduction, view this short video by Tim

Tim Dalmau and Jill Tideman

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

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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: http://www.stevezuieback.com/trainings/advanced-training-workshops/developing-your-leadership-theory-of-practice/#sthash.5QxEvbUf.dpuf

 

 

Presenters

 

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: http://www.stevezuieback.com/trainings/advanced-training-workshops/developing-your-leadership-theory-of-practice/#sthash.DnX90L0J.dpuf
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Checklist Manifesto: getting it right!

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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…

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If we dare! The possibilities of sustainable leadership

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Sustainable leadership occurs whenever any one does anything that satisfies the five criteria initially outlined in our October paper, A Stake in the Ground.

Action or leadership that is sustainable

  1. Acts from a whole-of-system view point
  2. Takes into account issues, dynamics and consequences in the wider “world” of which their system is but a part
  3. Preserves or enhances options or choices for the system
  4. Makes choices and acts in a manner that does not limit, but even enhances, the choices that future players might be able to make
  5. Ensures that what is undertaken has within it the capability to endure and adapt through time.
    Read more…
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