Entries by Mike Pounsford


Leading the Listening Organisation

Leading the Listening Organisation was published in early 2024. It is the result of 5 years’ research and years of experience working within client organisations. We believe that listening is at the heart of effective communication and change. When clients want to communicate purpose or strategy, or lead changes in ways of working, effective implementation […]

Free downloads of four Listening Reports available here

Over the last four years I’ve written four reports on how organisations listen to their people with my colleagues Howard Krais and Dr. Kevin Ruck. They are all available to download for free here: Who’s Listening? – Small scale EMENA Research Project, December 2019 Who’s Listening? – Good Listening Practice, June 2020 Who’s Listening? – […]

The challenge of listening to employees

No one argues that listening to employees is a bad idea. Yet the evidence is that listening remains one of the most difficult areas of communication to get right within organisations: 1. Virtually every major negative corporate event (safety incidents, reputational crises etc) cites a lack of effective listening to employee voices as a contributory […]

Why listening matters – 9 reasons to listen to employees

Leading the Listening Organisation, which I co-authored with Kevin Ruck and Howard Krais, will be published in early 2024 1.  During our research for the book, we found lots of evidence that listening matters but that many organisations only pay lip service to it.   In discussion groups and write in responses numerous communication and […]

Creating a Listening Organisation – ODN session and Report Links

I’ll be talking at the ODN Europe conference on Friday September 23 about Creating a Listening Organisation.  We’ll be exploring: Why organisations that listen well to their people are critical for success in emerging hybrid organisations How difficult it is to achieve effective listening at an organisational level Key factors and strategies that can improve […]

“Line of sight” needs conversations, not cascade communication

People need clarity and certainty about their organisation’s strategy to share goals and build common purpose.  But an understanding of strategic themes (e.g., digitisation, customer experience) will not bring strategy to life and provide “line of sight” – that key connection that explains “what it means for me”.   Real understanding, and indeed the effective […]

Getting people to speak up is about listening up

Photo by Jason Goodman on Unsplash It is much harder to listen effectively than most of us realise, and we tend to think we listen well when perhaps we don’t.  Effective listening is so important not only for personal relationships (who wants a friend who never listens) but also for building trust in healthy organisations.   For example, […]

Effective planning starts with listening

Have you ever experienced this: the team has gone away for a couple of days for a deep dive into their vision and plans for the future?   They return full of enthusiasm and ready to brief their teams on the way forward.   Only to find they are met with a host of reasons why […]

Pictures are more attractive

The more people understand purpose, vision and strategy, and appreciate how they support these, the more likely it is that the organisation will deliver effectively.   This makes intuitive sense and is borne out by consistent correlations between employee engagement and performance.  Understanding of purpose and strategy, and my contribution, is a recurring theme in employee […]

Visualise your strategy to help people remember it

Leading organisations requires aligning people behind purpose and common goals.  This essential task also meets employees increasing desire to know the purpose of the organisations they work for1, and customers are increasingly likely to expect employers to demonstrate social responsibility including consideration of the knowledge and welfare of their people.  To meet these needs, leaders […]