Why is it so difficult to achieve change? You can get everyone aligned to achieving the goal and yet still deal with significant resistance. According to authors Robert Kegan and Lisa Lahey the main reason is that most of us have a built in immunity to change. “Doctors can tell heart patients that they will literally die if they do not change their ways, and still only about one in seven will be able to make the changes. These are not people who want to die. They want to live out their lives, fulfill their dreams, watch their grandchildren grow up—and, still, they cannot make the changes they need to in order to survive.” Robert Kegan from “Immunity to Change” Organisations don’t change – People do Boaz & Fox (McKinsey, 2014) write about how organisations move quickly from setting performance objectives to establishing a program of change initiatives. TheseContinue Reading

Smart People Get Fired

Synopsis of article from Forbes by Tony Ewing Published 14th June 2020 Tony explores personal experience of people he knows who were recently fired, he reflected that these people are some of his smartest friends and they were working for businesses that had plenty of funding (in fact many also had government bailouts). So why were they targeted? In this article he explores five possible reasons using behavioural science. “Barring a complete corporate collapse, smart and competent people should never get fired.“ Some bosses mass fire out of fearwhen the going gets tough it is very easy to get caught up in a negative bias that anchors them to the worst outcome. In this scenario preparing for the worst actually creates tunnel vision and paralysis. Some bosses become slave to the CFO’s budget and many CFO’s hold the mindset that cutting heads is the most effective way to cut costs.Continue Reading

Master Change

Synopsis of an article in Psychology Today by Bruce Feller, Published 23rd April 2020 Bruce Feller is author of six consecutive New York Times best sellers, his latest book is Life in Transitions: Master Change at Any Age. The article published in Psychology Today is an abbreviation from the book. Bruce identified three takeways about life. “First, the linear life is dead. The once-routine idea that our lives pass through a uniform set of stages, phases, or “passages,” with predictable crises on birthdays that end in zero, is hopelessly outdated. The notion that we’ll have only one job, one relationship, one sexuality, one spirituality is dead. Second, today we live nonlinear lives. My data show that each of us will experience three dozen disruptors in our lives—one every 12 to 18 months. Most of these we get through with relative ease, but one in 10—or three to five in our adult life—become majorContinue Reading

Tough Leadership

Synopsis of an article from McKinsey By Homayoun Hatami, Pal Erik Sjatil, and Kevin Sneader Published 28th May 2020 CEOs (and all leaders) need to take care of themselvesWith so much to focus on right now, focusing on yourself might not be top of mind, but if you are tired you lose your ability to be effective, you stop processing information as well and your moods may suffer. The authors suggest tips on ways to avoid burnout and tap into new sources of energy. – Call a friend or colleague you like for an early afternoon chat– Take a walk outside, exercise is a tested way to restore energy– Stop Friday afternoon meetings– Consider getting an early night on Thursday to go into the weekend fresh Break out of your isolationGetting unfiltered information and contradictory viewpoints requires finding sources of objective, trustworthy and quality information. Making contact directly with individuals and teams toContinue Reading


Article from SmartBrief by Dana Theus, Published 9th June 2020 Dana explores the Change Leadership lessons that are coming from COVID19 and the Black Lives Matter protests. Its clear that there are no simple answers but she suggests two leadership truths to help guide through the crisis. Stories, Facts and BeliefsFacts do not lead to beliefs and facts could not guide us even if we knew them. Our unconscious bias will always be the ‘invisible hand’ that sets how we think, assess and respond. “The truth is that when we become aware of how our beliefs and biases contribute to how we see facts, we gain control over the stories and beliefs that guide us and those we tell to others to guide them. Whether in a company, nonprofit or a public institution, great leaders do not confuse facts, beliefs and stories; they understand and accept their role in creatingContinue Reading

Synopsis of an article from HBR, by Robert H. Schaffer, Published 26th October 2017 This article provides an important context for management, that in effect to seperate out change from day to day management is actually removing the central aspect of the role. Rather than making change a specialty role, it is central to the accountability of the leader. He suggests there are ways to empower leaders and staff with tools to focus on continuous change and continuous improvement. Schaffer states “The job of management always involves defining what changes need to be made and seeing that those changes take place. Even when the overall aim is stability, often there are still change goals: to reduce variability, cut costs, reduce the time required, or reduce turnover, for example. Once every job in a company is defined in terms of the changes to be made (both large and small), constant improvementContinue Reading

Article from Gallup by Jim Harter, published 1st May 2020 This article focuses on three key areas In three weeks, the percentage of US remote workers jumped from 31% to 62% Returning employees will be influenced by many factors Your remote work policies and decisions will affect employee engagement A key Gallup Research finding has been that more than half those surveyed would prefer to continue working remotely as much as possible once restrictions are lifted. There is a complex relationship between ‘remote work’ and ’employee engagement’. Employers with remote work options have the highest employee engagement. “This does not mean that high or low engagement is guaranteed in any situation. The right approach to performance development is key to optimising the employee experience, performance and wellbeing, in all situations.” Reading

Article from HBR by Mark Mortensen & Constance Noonan Hadley, Published May 22, 2020 Before CoVID-19 there was no playbook on how to transition a team to 100% virtual (in a matter of days), no one has ever done anything like this before. Yet this year its been done by companies all over the world and some found their Business Continuity Planning (BCP) had some gaps, some teams and individuals have found the transition easy and successful other found it extremely hard. This article points out that Teamwork has Gotten Harder – having a sense of the connectedness across teams is crucial. “Teams that have unclear missions, inconsistent social norms, low common identity, unclear roles and unstable membership – are recipe for team disasters.” The result a lack of productivity, low levels of engagement and frustration. Mark & Constance offer some guidance. Start with Triage – identify the critical teamContinue Reading

Scott Eblin of the Eblin Group talks about what it means going into the next phase, how we live and work in in the new CoVID-19 world. Its a phase of transition as we get used to what is next to come the new normal. He talks about three ways help lead your organisation to transition into phase 2 and be prepared for the new normal. Firstly change agenda’s from “To Do” to “What If?” – its about giving your team the mental space to re-imagine the why, what and how of work in your company. Next “Cast a Broader Net” – no one has all the answers right now, reimagining what the future looks like is going to require that you consult widely with partners, customers and other experts inside and outside your company. Finally he refers to “Gather Data and Run Small Tests” this is a world ofContinue Reading

Increasing organisational resilience in the face of CoVID-19. A perspectives piece from Deloitte providing insights for organisations to explore new ways of working. The Deloitte team describe a series of actions that organisations can take to enable resilience and maintain virtual business operations. Firstly respond to the virus. This requires two approaches, a Human Centred Response and a Organisational Preparedness response.Human Centred is to engage with stakeholders creating tailored solutions that meet specific needs of each impacted group. Promote virtual work, use tools that support collaboration productivity and culture continuity. Own the narrative through strong and consistent communication. Increase support for help desks, that help those with different levels of digital fluency. Drive customer communications, create or enhance customer support channels to manage and overcome potential temporary disruptions. Organisational Preparedness (or Crisis Management) should Institute a Central Response Team, Monitor Regulatory and Health Updates, Assess Market and Financial Impacts andContinue Reading