Trust, not authority, is the only glue that will hold organizations together in a diverse, global, technology-empowered world
Paul Polman, CEO Unilever
Originally published on LinkedIn on 26 July 2017
Building trust not only between individuals but also systemically – between teams and across a whole organization – is vital for enhanced business performance and employee wellbeing. I offer three practical solutions for increasing trust through better quality dialogue, more constructive challenge and healthy interactions between teams at different levels.
Trust is a hot topic in business. Since the 2008 financial crash and a seemingly never-ending stream of scandals such as bribery in big pharm companies and the Volkswagen emissions debacle, there has been a proliferation of ‘trust’ events to explore how to restore a better relationship between companies and customers. In a recent article in the FT (18 July ’17), Michael Skapinker argues that shifting the focus from talking about trust to building trustworthy organizations through changed behaviour is the right next step. I wholeheartedly agree.
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“Leadership is about being better able to listen to the whole than anyone else can”
Otto Scharmer (2009) Theory U: Learning from the Future as It Emerges
Co-authored with Edward L. Rowland
Originally published on LinkedIn on 13 July 2016
During these times of upheaval, the need to move forward in alignment with others has never been greater. The leadership challenges of today are too complex for any one person to solve alone. In our rapidly changing, increasingly uncertain and globally networked world, leadership needs to be less about individual heroics and more about listening to – and mobilising – collective potential.
Developing the skillset of what we call ‘systemic dialogue’ is critically important for leaders and their teams, whether they want to create a new vision, implement a new strategy or shift their performance. We define systemic dialogue as:
The artform and skillset of holding powerful meeting spaces to navigate critical business challenges and find solutions that strengthen the system as a whole.
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““It’s at the juncture where organizational purpose and individual calling start to resonate with and reinforce each other that truly extraordinary things happen.”
(Frederic Laloux, Reinventing Organizations)
Co-authored with Edward L. Rowland
Originally published on LinkedIn on 4 February 2016
This post explores how we can tap more fully into personal purpose and organizational purpose, so that they align with and resource each other. When we bring these powerful and compelling impulses together, we create inspiring organizations where people love to work and attract customers who are energized by what’s on offer. Purpose-led leadership is the new frontier in where progressive organisations are going.
During these times of turbulent change, many of us want to discover our true work in this troubled world of ours. Having the courage to follow this deeper impulse is the key that unlocks the door to our deeper fulfillment and creativity – renewed engagement with our work and career and a stronger sense of satisfaction with our lives.
Research shows – very simply – that people who follow a calling in their work have better life outcomes than those who don’t. A recent study underwrites the psychological and physical benefits of following our passion even more clearly. Writing in the most recent edition of the Research Digest of the British Psychological Society, Alex Fradera concludes, “Ignoring a calling hurts you.”
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By Sarah Rozenthuler & Edward L. Rowland
Originally published on LinkedIn, Oct 14, 2015
“Leadership is discovering the company’s destiny and having the courage to follow it… Companies that endure have a noble purpose” Joe Jaworski
Co-creating purposeful organisations is a new frontier in organisational development. This post taps into the growing body of evidence about the financial, social and psychological benefits of creating “cultures of purpose.” It explores how leaders can attune their organisation to a rapidly shifting global marketplace and catalyse purposeful action by developing four core capacities of “systemic leadership.”
This post explores how we can create the conditions for generative dialogue so that together we achieve more than we could alone. A “container” for a conversation provides a “holding” atmosphere in which the things that matter most can be discussed. As a fan of the British writer Virginia Woolf, I recently went to the National […]
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It’s been a great pleasure the last few days to be in the throngs enjoying the Edinburgh Festival. Established in 1947, the Festival was created to “to provide a platform for the flowering of the human spirit” through the transformative power of the arts. At a time when it’s all-too-easy to focus on the destructive […]
To live is to be related. Nothing and no one can live in isolation. We are all interdependent, and increasingly so, on this planet of nearly seven billion of us. If, as the population forecasts predict, we double in number to 15 billion by 2100, the need to talk and get along with each other […]
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Conversation is centre-stage in most people’s lives. We might even see the whole of life—and work—as one conversation followed by another and then another. Talking together is what many of us spend a large portion of our time doing, whether it’s in the boardroom, across the kitchen table, on the factory floor or at the […]
Tone is a crucial point of leverage in interactions between people. The quality of the tone determines whether people’s energy is amplified or diminished by the conversation and this, in turn, impacts their levels of performance, commitment and satisfaction. Research shows that the quality of the “field” operates as a key differentiator between high, medium […]
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This is an excerpt from Life-Enriching Relationships, Sarah Rozenthuler’s forthcoming book Relationships are central to our work and to our lives. Without our connection to other people, we would have a sad, lonely and isolated existence. It is the warmth of the web we weave that keeps us buoyant and alive. Not only do we […]
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Published in the Network Review of the Scientific and Medical Network, Spring 2013 There was ice in the air as the participants and I filed into the meeting room. Gone was the warmth of the informal conversations over coffee the team had just been having. People avoided looking at each other and their shoulders stiffened […]
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Article published in Watkins Mind Body Spirit – Issue 37 (Spring 2014) What makes life worth living? What makes you get out of bed with a spring in your step? What do you really want? “Feed your addiction”, says the ad for a shopping mall in London as if shopping were the answer to all life’s […]
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I wonder if the following research surprises you. In 2008 Performance Coaching International surveyed 750 managers in public, private and voluntary sectors about how they addressed poor performance in their staff. They found that 70 percent of the managers said that they were either unable or unwilling to have the “courageous conversation” needed to address […]
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I’m delighted to welcome you to my blog. I’m excited to be starting a conversation with you about… conversation. I believe that talking together is central in our lives. If we improve how we converse, we enrich our lives. Walking down Oxford Street in central London last week, I saw an ad in the window […]
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