Career Conversations – A guest post by Allana Holmes

Allana reflects on our conversations over coffee I had come to a point where I had been in the same role for eight years and I loved it. However, I felt I needed something more from my career but I wasn’t entirely sure what that meant. I just knew I was ready for a change.[…]

Time for a new metaphor for organisation life?

I recently wrote a post calling for a rethink of systems thinking. I argued that “thinking of organisations as ‘human systems’ leads to the assumption that people are ‘devices’ in a machine. They become thought of as similar to the computers and other non-sentient resources [and that therefore] human beings continue to be ‘human resources’[…]

Looking for more than formulaic coaching? Try a “useful conversation”

Sometimes the only place to be is right here and now Coaching should be about much more than just setting goals to be achieved in the future. Important as this can be, it just doesn’t cut it for many professionals I work with. They are looking for something more meaningful, more immediate and more generally[…]

What is Personal Development? – Revisited

Personal Development is hugely popular and an important focus for many people. However, I rarely see anyone stop to think about what it actually is. Nor do I hear people ask what its potential benefits might be beyond the vagueness of “to achieve my potential” or more pragmatic outcomes such as “to get that promotion”.[…]

Real-world Consiglieri – Leading from the shadows

I was recently gifted a book titled Consiglieri: Leading from the shadows¹. It was a present from my Mother-In-Law who was told about the book by her friend, who is herself the Mother-In-Law of the author, Richard Hytner. By this circuitous, in-law-laden route I am pleased to say I have in my possession a refreshingly[…]

Time to rethink ‘systems thinking’

This post explores the limitations of systems thinking when referring to groups of people or whole organisations. It argues that differentiation is needed between the complicated and the complex and that, in the absence of this, the universal application of a system metaphor is propping up outmoded and unhealthy approaches to management within organisations. The[…]

An Appreciative Inquiry

I’ve recently been working with teams reviewing their progress against goals, celebrating achievements and exploring areas for development. Most interventions of this kind would involve the team reflecting on their successes and failures. The team would highlight strengths, problem solve for underlying causes of weakness and action plan for change. This is certainly an approach[…]