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Focusing on purpose

How to focus on purpose   I am always being asked how we can ensure the Big Conversation process leads to sustainable change rather than being a one-off process. So we have just completed a review that explored – with the benefit of hindsight – what helps leaders sustain conversations about core purpose and strategy […]

Using Big Pictures to engage people in strategy

The use of Big Pictures as a strategic engagement tool was pioneered in the mid 1990s by the retail group Sears. The “learning maps” they developed with Root Learning became an important part of the service profit chain story that was covered in a seminal Harvard Business Review article. Since then Big Pictures have become […]

Simple tools for better conversations

Better conversations In a world of increasing complexity and chaotic change, simple things can offer highly effective tools for managing change. My guess is that many people reading this constantly need to put structure around their plans – whether it is designing a presentation, workshop, conversation, interview or meeting – often at short notice. ORID […]

Bringing business strategy to life: dos and don'ts

Jamie Dimon, CEO of JPMorgan Chase, once said “I’d rather have a first-rate execution and second-rate strategy any time than a brilliant idea and mediocre management.” Business literature is full of the perils of effective execution. Here are some “Dos and don’ts” derived from an Executive sub-group that spent last year planning then implementing a […]

Developing a strategic narrative: 10 tips

A strategic narrative is central to employee engagement according to David MacLeod and Nita Clarke, and the Engage for Success movement they shaped. It provides a clear vision to help create common purpose, and a clear direction aids decision-making and prioritizing. The narrative should also explain why you have your vision – a theme emphasised […]

Finding out why we do what we do

John J. Scherer, talking at the European Organisation Development Network conference in the UK earlier this month offered what I thought was a profound insight. He said, for those considering their development and future – “You do not need to change yourself, you need to come home to yourself. That changes everything.” Or putting it […]

Creating the future

I’m interested in large group meetings that help accelerate change and Future Search is an approach in which people from different organisations and communities come together on a difficult issue, or an area of potential growth and change, and develop a way forward together. Marvin Weisbord developed the approach with Sandra Janoff and it’s been […]

Brain friendly facilitation

I’ve been doing some research* into the practical value of learning about how our brains work for leaders. We’ve involved different levels from Executive Directors of a global engineering business through to senior regional managers in one of the UK’s High Street Banks. One of the consistent themes in the feedback is the value of […]

Measurable learning from Neuroscience

Hilary Scarlett and Mike Pounsford have provided evidence that learning about Neuroscience can generate change. They spoke this May at the Organisation Development Network conference and Melcrum has just published their work. See the download of their presentation at Roffey Park and the link for the article. The difference Neuroscience can make.pdf