How to build belonging at work (and why it matters)

According to the Deloitte Human Capital Trends 2020 report, belonging at work and well-being are the two most important human capital issues right now. Efforts to create a sense of belonging have traditionally focussed on respect and inclusion in many organisations. The theme here has been that if we can support people to feel comfortable and accepted for […]

Cooperative Inquiry Groups

In any area of management, you will hear phrases like being “on team” and “singing from the same hymn sheet” practically every day. The concept is simple and logical enough – managers and their reports are, or at least should be, working toward common goals and with the same interests. This is essentially what cooperative […]

The paradoxical theory of change

There is an old joke about a tourist trying to get to New York, Dublin or the city of choice for whatever national stereotype. He stops in a village out in the sticks to ask a local for directions. After long consideration, the local replies “If I was you, I wouldn’t start from here.” This […]

Gestalt Theory and Self-Regulation

A few months ago, I discussed the basis of Gestalt theory and its practical applications in the workplace. A fundamental principle that underlies Gestalt is the holistic nature of humans, every part having an influence on and being influenced by another part. This means that each person needs to be viewed as a whole, and […]

Leading Change

Regular visitors to these pages will know that I have discussed a number of approaches to leading change over the past few months. These have predominantly looked at some of the psychological methods by which we can help people adapt and accept changing times, breaking down barriers and overcoming resistance. Now, with the New Year, […]

An introduction to phenomenology in the workplace

Phenomenology is a concept from one of the many theories and academic texts on the subject of business management, and most of these see the discipline as a subset of social science. By this, I mean they look at sociological theories, assumptions and principles and then apply them to the business setting, presenting the conclusions […]

Conflict management and change process

Over recent weeks, I have discussed several techniques for leading a team through the process of change. For example, we have looked at areas such as Gestalt psychology and Appreciative Inquiry, which help you foster trust, acceptance and participation in the change process and so reduce the need for conflict management. While all of these […]

Creating a Personal Development Plan

None of us enters the corporate world without aims and aspirations. But, as John Lennon said, life is what happens to you while you’re busy making other plans. We go from day to day with certain priorities, and before we know it days turn into weeks, months turn into years and our personal development plan […]

Developing Skills and Knowledge with Action Learning

In the 1980s, pioneering management consultant Reg Revans published his two most famous books, The Origins and Growth of Action Learning in 1982 and ABC of Action Learning in 1983. These publications made him one of the most well-known and sought-after figures in business coaching and management consultancy in the late 1980s and early 1990s, […]

Using Appreciative Inquiry to change for the better

Last week, I introduced the concept of Appreciative Inquiry, and explained that it is a technique of change management which focuses on identifying the positive rather than the negative aspects of change. Today, we will look at the practicalities of implementing AI and how organisations can use it to change for the better. Asking the […]

Doing more of what’s right with Appreciative Inquiry

I have discussed a number of different approaches to change management over the past few weeks. Today, I want to talk about an approach that to a certain extent turns traditional change management on its head. Appreciative Inquiry (AI) is nothing complicated. In fact, it is as much a mindset as a management strategy. The […]

Navigating a Team through Changing Times

Over recent weeks, I have spent some time talking about gestalt psychology and its role in change management. One of the key lessons from the discussion was that humans have an instinctive and psychological aversion to anything that is perceived as “not right” or out of kilter. When changing times impact daily routine, some teams can […]