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 […]

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 […]

Are you a Digital Winner?

Are you a Digital Winner? This was the question posed by economists at Oxford Economics in its Leaders 2020 survey, which polled over 4,000 executives from around the world. Their aim was to study the impact of strong leadership on success in the 21st century digital economy, and the findings might come as a surprise. […]

Difficult conversations: the good news (Part One)

As far as difficult conversations go, workplace-related ones appear to be in a league of their own. Research by the Chartered Management Institute (CMI), for example, revealed that British workers find it harder to ask a manager for a pay rise than to dump a partner. The CMI’s study of 2,000 UK workers found that […]

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 […]

Organisational development, unconscious bias and diversity, Part Three

Back in the 1970s, less than 10 per cent of musicians in US orchestras were women. This had nothing to do with a feminine talent deficit it was more about unconscious bias and diversity. Major orchestra directors believed they were making rational decisions based on performance skills at audition. However, when curtains were introduced, visually […]

Organisational development and the role of diversity, Part Two

Last time, I began delineating the need for and role of diversity diversity in the process of organisational development. Given that none of us can be entirely free of presupposition, the task of cultivating a bias-free organisation may seem like an impossible one. However, without resorting to fairy tale idealism, I think there are some […]

Organisational development and diversity, Part One

Linking organisational development and diversity may seem incongruous, sort of linking goat’s milk and lettuce. However, it’s a highly salient relationship. Organisational development aims to enable organisations to navigate the changes necessary for survival and growth in changing times. While obvious change will inevitably sponsor resistance and fear amongst the workforce, certain organisational characteristics can […]