How leaders can build trust across the whole organisation

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

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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.  Read more

Leading Systemic Dialogue: From Silos to the Whole System

“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.Group of people in an office looking out over cityscape

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.  Read more