Second HR conference involves live customer feedback


Following last year's conference, Couravel has designed and facilitated the Thales HR conference again. HR Directors took centre stage in facilitation, and engaged customers for live discussions around expectations and service levels. On the second day they created business development plans in real time working with cross business model teams.

Gestalt Experiment at Ashridge Management College


Steve Chapman and colleagues conducted a Gestalt learning experience attended by Mike Pounsford and around 15 other Organisation Development specialists at Ashridge Management College. The course combined improvisation and innovation. At one point Mike got hold of Steve's guitar and sang to the other participants. No doubt lawsuits will follow.

Future Search


Mike Pounsford attended a three-day immersion in Future Search in which around 30 participants tested and learned about the approach. It was facilitated by one of the founders of the approach - Sandra Janoff - and Julie Beedon. Mike has written a separate blog post on this.

Indian teams engaged through Hyderabad workshops


Mike Pounsford has been working in London, Vienna and Hyderabad to help the leadership of a major online gaming party to develop its vision for the future of the business. The approach has been "top down" and "bottom up." Over 50 employees have been invited to talk about what living the vision would mean for their work, performance and commitment.

Technology of Participation


Mike Pounsford has completed training in the Focused Conversation methodology developed by the Institute of Cultural Affairs. The approach is based on structuring discussions around a framework to help groups develop future plans.

Introduction to Mindfulness


I've drafted a short introduction to Mindfulness as it is an important discipline that many people find helpful. I've been trying to improve my practice for about 4 years and found it very helpful. I am also stuck by how many leaders and managers who attend our workshops endorse the value of the Mindfulness content.

Virtual inner child can cure self-criticism


I found this piece in The Times today really interesting. It describes how psychologists at UCL have found that people respond well to the sounds of their own voices comforting child avatars! When the voices are played back to themselves it can positively affect their mental wellbeing. The jury is out but the report says that they are now exploring whether this can help depression.

Large group conversations


The “field” of large group intervention methods needs to be understood and used more by communications and engagement teams. The approaches are designed to bring about change in whole systems by working with a microcosm of the whole system in the room, and the meeting structures typically run from 1 – 3 days with upwards of 60-80 participants or more. Approaches include Future Search, Search Conference, Real Time Strategic Change and others.

Doing the right thing: cultural change and SCARF


I have been working with a client on a culture change process. We are using an appreciative inquiry approach in which the conversations all focus on what is going on when the business is performing well. By analyzing the content some conditions emerged that characterize what is going on when Quality is high. These things are:

ABRSM commissions strategy work


Following the work with the examiner population at ABRSM, the leading music publisher has commissioned Mike Pounsford to facilitate a strategic discussion for the executive team. The work will run over July - September 2014.


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