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 […]

Team building across the miles

The phrase team building has a warm, inclusive feel about it. It conjures up images of victorious World Cup winners or athletes celebrating a record haul of gold medals at the Olympics. The archetypal pictures of hijinks in the locker room and sports stars carrying each other on their shoulders spring to mind. Consciously or […]

Are leadership and management really apples and oranges? – Part Three

When talking about leadership and management, the respondents in O’Leary’s interviews (see my previous two blogs for details) frequently mentioned the positive influences a good leader’s character and behaviours can have on his or her followers. While they also mentioned behaviours when discussing managers, the emphasis was different: good managers bring out results. The interviewees […]

Are leadership and management really apples and oranges? – Part Two

Last time, I concluded with a couple of questions posed by leadership expert John O’Leary: “Are leadership and management fundamentally different roles in practice? Or do they simply require us to focus on different things?” O’Leary, drawing on 34 years of experience in multinational organisations, has begun to question whether there really are substantive differences […]

Are leadership and management really apples and oranges? – Part One

There are clear distinctions between Leadership and Management, aren’t there? We often hear statements like “managers do things right, but leaders do the right thing.” As a Gestalt practitioner, I’m interested in complicating the distinctions between categories like this, especially when they have become deadened by overused assumptions. In Gestalt psychology, the distinctions between what […]

Building trust in leaders

It’s a demonstrable fact, now repeated in study after study, that organisations that focus on building trust in leaders perform better across a raft of indicators, from employee engagement, to knowledge-sharing, to innovation, and even to the bottom line itself: profitability. Trust can no longer be neglected. It’s a core component of an organisation’s success: any Organisation […]

Building trust in organisations

Engagement strategies remain important for improving profitability; but engagement without building trust is an empty shell. High profile public scandals over the last few years – phone hacking by journalists, reckless actions by banks and misbehaviour by individual politicians and media stars – have combined to dent public perceptions of trustworthiness in these institutions and […]

Management, uncertainty and complexity (Part Two)

In the past, some command-and-control managers viewed human organisations as machines. Those ‘machines’ would function with predictable outcomes when operated correctly. Nowadays, managers that embrace complexity theory adopt a radically different model: human organisations, including businesses, are regarded as being more like living organisms. They interact with their environments constantly adapting to changing circumstances. Complex […]