Entries by Mike Pounsford

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 […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Olympics' secret and Orbit's Big Conversation

Last month I was invited by the National Housing Federation to talk at their marketing conference. It was a great day with a turn out of 300 exploring future trends in housing and, in part, how to help explain the role of Housing Associations in the communities in which they operate and, of course, the […]

Big Conversation

A Big Conversation is designed to help bring strategy to life by involving everybody in discussions about what the strategy means for me. The success of the process depends upon the quality of the conversations people have. Visuals are used to prompt these but it is the conversation that matters. This puts a big emphasis […]

The sandwich

I have a pet hate – it is referring to middle managers as the “permafrost”, the communication blockers and other similar terms.My reaction is that the derogatory language fails to recognize the challenges of being in the middle and that it is a simplistic generalization. However, leaders often feel that enthusiasm, innovation and “can do” […]

Conversations at the Organisation Development Conference

I have just come back from the inaugural ODN Europe conference at which about 150 Organisation Development professionals from around Europe met at Prospero House in London for two days of learning and networking. A huge “well done” to Kate Cowie and her colleagues for pulling this off. It was a great two days. I […]

Control vs. leadership

Have you noticed how many people are talking about the importance of conversation in organisations today? It came up again at an IABC event last week. Kevin Murray, who wrote ‘The Language of Leaders’, talked about the need for leaders to inspire not through speeches and “podium moments” but through intimate conversations. I think that […]

Webs of human conversations

“An organisation’s results are determined through webs of human commitments, born in webs of human conversations.” – Fernando Flores I love this quote because it says to me that the kinds of organisations we create and the way they perform are based on the conversations we have at work. During these conversations we debate issues, […]