Is this an OD(D) way of working?

IMG_5320

Over lunch recently, I was rather enthusiastically explaining some work I led on. My lunch partner suggested this was “a Proper piece of OD work”. Which gave me pause…. I was once again struck by the fact that I don’t think I wholly know what that means….

Here is the CIPD Factsheet Definition:

we define organisation development (OD) as ‘planned and systematic approach to enabling sustained organisation performance through the involvement of its people’. Behind this definition lies a depth of research and practice, but also confusion.

No wonder I’m left with questions. This way of working – not having all the answers, working to invigorate and catalyse change through people and systems… it feels very odd. Very nebulous…..yet very important.

So here’s what I think working as an OD consultant (with a L&D flavour) is about Continue reading

Notes from a Conference…

tumblr_mvu422Rv4s1sew4zbo1_1280

What is there left to write about the CIPD’s 13th Annual Conference in Manchester last week?  The CIPD Social Team did a first-rate job of ensuring a plethora of bloggers & Twitter aficionados were present at sessions. This means that instant reactions to Speakers and content were picked up through real-time tweets & blogging; followed by slower, more reflective pieces released as the days passed.

Much of the work has been brilliantly gathered and curated by Doug Shaw (@dougshaw1)here: http://cipd.tumblr.com

It has been covered, and excellently, by the Bloggers, Tweeters and Press who attended. This means that, more than any conference I have been to in recent times, there is a archive of material to be looked over by attendees and non-attendees alike. I rather enjoy the openness of this.

And yet the experience was such that I find I want to write about it.

As ever with me, I spent the day in a slight bubble – watching and thinking carefully about what was around me; being as aware as I can be of what I saw and sensed. So here are some of my thoughts and experiences:

Opening & Closing:

IMG_5388

The Keynote opening speech left me with mixed feelings. I was lifted by the ambition of Creating the Best Workplace on Earth. Yes. That is something I want to hear about. It’s something I want to be involved in. I’m warm to this already.

With Rob Goffee & Gareth Jones speaking, I felt in safe hands. They know their stuff. They’ve done the work, both intellectually and actually. I connected to what I heard. At the point at which we were invited to Be Yourself. More. With Skill. I was Tweeting “yes. Bloody Hell Yes.”

IMG_5391

But I also had a sense of disquiet. One of – well you are kind of telling me Things I Know. Things that Make Sense. Is this not what we already know good leadership to be?

I was tweeting questions – Yes, but HOW do we do this? It sounds easy. Yet is difficult.  I was grappling with what I suspect many of us grapple with when faced with a glorious vision – the sinking knowledge that beyond that which looks glorious are a bunch of other sensory encounters to get through– how it feels, smells, tastes and sounds to be in the mix of making it so.  And these can be equally sweet or sour, I would offer. Therein lies resilience.

And then I remembered being in the audience at the CIPD Conference in Harrogate 15 years ago and being swept away by big ideas (some just like this) and how grateful I was that someone had articulated these for me. And how it inspired me as a new Practitioner. So I found myself grateful for the invitation to Create the Best Workplace on Earth.and I want to keep up that invitation. To myself. To others around me. Even if I have to repeat it a thousand times and to folk like me who are more immune to being invited to Create Better Workplaces because we hear it and work with it on a day to day… We don’t get all breathless and excited about our potential to affect change any more….. That invitation, that noise and that repetition is important.

So here’s my reflections about my own part in Creating the Best Workplaces on Earth:

    • I must not shrug off the Things I Know as being Done Before, insignificant or “just things”.  I serve no one well from that space.
    • I must not dismiss the invitation to Create the Best Workplace on Earth as being a pipe dream, altruistic, foolish or unachieveable.
    • I equally must not assume that the Creation of such a place will not take hard work – Quite simply, it will.
    • I must show up and help make it happen. Every day. With humour and grace.
    • I must bring what I know and what I think. I must be prepared to fight, to influence, to argue my point.
    • Anything less does not affect change. It allows apathy, cynicism and status quo.

So OK, Goffee & Jones. You got me. Now what?

IMG_5389

It wasn’t until the closing speech that the “How do we do this?” itch was scratched for me. Andy Lancaster (@andyLancasterUK) from Hanover Housing had a title less lofty than the Best Workplace on Earth. But by talking about Increasing the Impact of Internal Management Development Programmes, he demonstrated how Hanover Housing might come close to being just that.

Their internal development programmes are built with clear purpose and aims, but co-authored with managers and staff. Collaboration is rife. Accreditation of courses gives vital qualifications to staff both in their current roles and in their future worklife. Partnerships with Consultants, who have been carefully chosen for a value and value-for-money fit, offer external support and fresh eyes to the programmes. It is an approach built with care and consideration all round and Andy talked about with the sort of dedication, good sense and clarity that I’m alluding to above.

It was a quietly inspiring way to close the day, for me. It opened with big ideas and DREAMS. It closed with real delivery and making a tangible difference.

You can find a Storify version of the Goffee & Jones’ speech here:

You can find a Storify version of Andy Lancaster’s session here:

Blogs on the Keynote can be found here:

The Exhibition.

IMG_5320

I went to the Manchester Exhibition 4 years ago. As an External Consultant there on my own, it was a lonely and slightly miserable experience. The people on stands were scanning badges to see what my status was (Not Buying seemed to be the response) and I vaguely remember going to a CIPD upgrade clinic where I started my application for Fellowship before losing the will to live ( I still haven’t upgraded, if anyone from the CIPD wants to help me, or listen to my views of the process, please let me know.) I went to a side discussion about Performance Management in the exhibition hall which left me ready chew my hands off because it was SO dull and pedestrian; yet I was surrounded by people I assumed were fairly fresh to HR taking reams of notes…the passivity of it all left me cold and worried about my Profession.

So I roamed the Exhibition hall this time round with a critical eye. What I saw this  year was some really innovative and inviting stands (Yes. People Management putting folk on the cover was a touch of genius. My Ego thanks you).IMG_5314

I saw massages and reki, cupcakes and lovehearts, bookshops and digital solutions. I saw side sessions that looked less like a repeat of my experience (the talk on Pensions wasn’t my cup of tea, but it was overflowing and the audience looked gripped).

IMG_5317

I saw Perry Timms (@perryTimms) in full flow and met a new-to-HR person later in the day, who confided in me that she had never really understood motivation, but after the guy with the Spiky Hair talked, she did.

I saw a profession alive and buzzing. . I saw people greet each other from way back and folk meet for the first time. I heard organisations looking to embrace technology to assist change. I saw old ways of doing, parked right beside new thinking. I heard people talk about that with curiousity. I felt part of something really rather dynamic with potential.  Later, I read blogs that were critically evaluative

IMG_0015

of what had happened. I read things that were fair, considered, that asked questions about diversity, about status quo, about pushing forward.

My experience was one of  people talking. Of change-in-motion.

I still saw some people who were wandering alone and looking vaguely like they weren’t included. I bumped into an ex colleague of mine who felt a little un-networked into the process. I wonder if, in the future, there can be more chat spaces specifically for those lone travellers ( as I once was) to say hello to each other without feeling awful about it?

 

 

Go Social

A Bevvy of BloggersI was genuinely honoured to be asked to take part as a blogger. I have been a member of the CIPD since 1998 ( dear God, how did I get so old?).  When I was an “in-house” Change Manager a Professional Body proved useful and supportive. These days, my  own local Branch in Edinburgh is strong, with a specialist People and Organisational Development Group running which is tailored to L&D and OD matters. But I have firmly been in the “what does the CIPD do for me?” camp for the last few years, especially since my Consultant status means I have little representation in the magazines or research. I have been adrift and was considering rescinding my Membership.

And so it is that through Social Media connections, through a growing network of people who share their days through Twitter and their thoughts through Linkedin, Google+, Storify, Facebook etc, I feel I am finding a community of Practice. A place I can discuss what is real for me and my clients. I have met people I hope will be in my life for a very very long time. I have been provoked. I have laughed. I have been moved beyond measure, but mostly, I have been lit up by a sense of being part of something happening – a national conversation in a Profession I believe could be better, stronger, more.

I am an advocate for Social Media. I am now an Advocate for the CIPD and how it is harnessing the people in the membership.

IMG_0027I kind of feel proud now that I was part of the incredible CIPD Hackathon that ran this year – ambitious, audacious and potentially ahead of its time. I don’t know any other professional body, or  public or corporate body that has sought to get the voices and opinions of the people affiliated to it in such a comprehensive way – but I’m sure I’ll hear more stories now I’ve asked….

I say ahead of its time, because something so big ( we’re hacking a Profession) and so new ( Hacking? What is this Hacking thing? Is that not a cough?) is easy to dismiss or doubt ( see comments and experiences on Goffee & Jones). I think it is only later that you can see the effects and start to get to the learning – at the time, you push and advertise and ask and experiment and just keep going.

As a Case study, it is fascinating. Many organisations could learn from it – good and bad – and at its heart, it was driven by social media and committed individuals. I’m cheering here. I’ve glimpsed the future. Actually, I took part in it too.

So I feel this could be three blogs. I’m roaming wide and long and I’m going to end here.

I must apologise to the excellent Rob Jones (@robjones_tring) of Crossrail , whose session on Leading Organisations through Change with his CEO Andrew Wolstenholme lifted my spirits and got me thinking.  I have not done you justice here. Please see the summary of the session here:

And to Peter Cheese (@cheese_peter) for not mentioning properly how he is in moving the Profession forward. I have SO enjoyed our conversations. Even when I’m thumping tables about “What does the CIPD do for me?”

And to whomever took the very first photo at the beginning of this blog – I “borrowed” it from Doug’s curated tumblr site and will give thanks properly, if you let me know who you are.

My end points are these:

IMG_5318

Please look at the work curated by Doug Shaw. There was a richness of content and involvement that, even if you are not a card-carrying fan of the CIPD, every organisation should be seeking

Think of your own part in Creating the Best Workplaces on Earth. If, like me, you are outside a bigger organisation, focus on making your own consultancy pretty bloody fabulous and work to really really push your clients to do the same.

Pay attention to Exhibitions and places people hang out together- what we do together often speaks way louder than what we say.

Go social – all the way. Find a way to harness your own capacity to use the rich voices and materials that are out there on line. In your business and for your people. If you are afraid – buddy up with someone. I have never met such a open, decent, maraudingly friendly bunch of folk as I have through the HR/L&D/OD people on Twitter.  They are dying to get you involved and genuinely excited about the potential of this Social Stuff. Try it. Honest.

In addition to those mentioned above here are more Bloggers and Social Media Press members involved:  @HRTinker (Tinker) @HRGem (Gemma Reucroft) @OdOptimist (Megan Peppin) @dds180 (David D’Souza) @Damiana_Hr (Damiana Casile) @KingfisherCoach (Ian Pettigrew) @SukhPabial (Sukh Pabial) @MervynDinnen (Mervyn Dinnen) @GrahamSalisbury (Graham Salisbury) @Workessence (Neil Usher) @NeilMorrison ( Neil Morrision) @Flora Marriott (Flora Marriott)  @RapidBI (Mike Morrison) @martinCouzins (Martin Couzins) Apologies if I’ve forgotten anyone….

Read their blogs & follow them. Please.

As a PS: Buy this book (I put this in as not only can I now claim to have had a hand in a #1bestselling Kindle book, I am genuinely proud to be part of The Book of Blogs project and  to know the inimitable David D’Souza AND the money goes to Charity)

Image 1

Dear Client….

rule-1

I’ve been thinking about how I’d like to work with you, if you’re up for it.

I want to be an effective, flexible,  trusted resource who adds value to your business and makes you look good.

I want to help you really understand the internal environment you are working in – and offer fresh eyes, new thinking and innovations that will take hold and be purposeful.

I want you to allow me to push you a little or maybe even a lot. You will tell me you know what works; let me understand and question that. I will tell you I know what works ; go ahead and challenge and question my thinking.  Then, let’s co-create what else.

I want to use some diagnostic and analysis to help you see your organisation in different ways – and for these to form the basis of good decisions, aligned planning and informed activity.

If the pace of change is too slow in your organisation, I want to help light up fires and get the energy moving. If you are battering forth with change with such rapidity that you are losing focus, drive or damaging your people, I want to support space for reflection. If you’ve got the balance about right – I want to be able to say “you’re already doing it, I can’t see where I’d add value”.

I don’t want to collude with you as a client – it serves neither of us well.

I don’t want to have to pretend to have all the answers – I have previously stated that I do not carry the Holy Grail on my person; please can we operate on the basis that this will always be the case?

I’m equally not trying to gather paid-days and wasting your time. It’s not how I operate – but sometimes, I’ll need to spend time on the matters you raise. It gets uncomfortable if you view me simply as an expense. If you can’t see how or what I would add, then that is a valid question.  For both of us.

I’d like you to have access to my network – I’m surrounded by smart, innovative freelancers, consultants and creatives who know things and try things and make it their business to stay at the cutting edge of what’s new and what works. I’ll introduce you. They are fabulous.

I’d like to not-jump through too many hoops. A procurement process that asks for a vastly high turnover is prohibitive for my business– I’m wee and wily – that’s part of my business model, to be agile, alert, cost effective and able to work quickly.

And finally, I want to not have to work with you for a while because the work we did together means I have rendered myself jobless.. .. but I trust the work we did together was good enough that we will do something new in the future.

How enticing.

For those who choose to run Up life’s Down Escalator

Copenhagen_Metro_escalators

I’ve slightly got back in the blog-reading swing this week. This morning, I read Being You is Hard by Neil Morrison. At the risk of detracting utterly from his point, the blog gave me pause particularly at the point of “some people have to walk up the down escalator” and then again with “never be afraid of being yourself”.

I’m someone who is drawn to walk up life’s down escalators.. actually, I prefer to run, to be honest – it means I get somewhere. This leaves me exhilarated, but in need of a breather usually. Yet as an escalator-runner, I recognise a paradox in myself. I know I’m pretty much going to stand out and despite my propensity to take the more awkward path, I’m also someone who is oft afraid of being herself and being truly seen. So I sometimes find myself a little torn.

Because folk are going to look at the person going against the flow, against the sensible path… and probably point a bit and say stuff (I know this, because I would too). So going on the basis that I can’t wear an invisibility cloak AND run up life’s down escalators (health and safety); I figure I end up faced with a choice: Be exhilarated, exhausted and seen, or be less awkward, less visible, less knackered and maybe just a little less alive.

You don’t get to stand out without consequence. That’s not how it works. You want to run up a down escalator? You have to commit to that action or you won’t get anywhere – and even if you commit, there is a high chance of falling over, of getting too tired & having to ride the flow back down to the bottom.

But if you make it all the way– Oh. My. Imagine that.

So you have to choose to go against the flow AND keep making that choice – and if you are a leader, in an organisation and you are pushing for change, for transformation, for a restructure or a re-navigation of “The Way Things Are Round Here”? You are going to be seen. You are going to be tested.

People will whisper. They will point. They will say you won’t make it, can’t make it. You might face sneering. Or outrage. It might tap into old wounds, insecurities and doubts. You may question yourself deeply.

But not everyone will question you– and that’s the point. Some people will look at your antics and want to join in. Some will ask you how you got up the down escalator and work out new and easier ways to do it. Some will gamify the process & have fun with the journey. Some will cheer.

The very best will walk down the up escalator beside you and yell you on and put their hands on your back to push you forward every step of the way

But at the core? At the heart of whatever reaction you have evoked and provoked? I reckon you end up with a few things:

You made your choice to be yourself.

You broke ground for others to follow.

You know exactly who has your back.

So for those who choose to run Up life’s Down escalator, I say this:

Pick your battles, then run at them hard; understand that invisibility isn’t an option, given the choice you made; love and thank the folk who put their hands on your back.

And smile to yourself – because you did it.

 

Image of the Copenhagen Metro – by Bill Lancaster

Punk HR? Can I listen to Miles, please?

I have a confession to make. I’m not wholly certain what Punk HR actually is. If you  are reading this and not on Twitter or not connected to the current reflection of HR/ L&D/ OD through the CIPD Hackathon campaign, you too might be bemused.

Now to me, beyond the tartan and safety pins ( I’m Scottish. I can handle both), there is something deeper in the punk philosophy, which I quite like;  something anti-establishment, a questioning of authority, a rejection of the mainstream…that stuff… So fine…. I get it as a metaphor – Rage Against the Machine (more my era);  Question what is, in order to create space for what could be – I’m all up for that as a template for looking at how our organisations could be reconstructed, questioned, reconfigured radically.

I am.  Honest I am.

It’s just – well, Punk doesn’t do it for me. It seems aggressive, shouty, show-y. Lots of yelling and in-your-face provocation. So it leaves me…rather turned off, to be honest; a bit cynical and a bit disappointed sometimes.

You see,  I respect provocation, the notion of radically moving things forward, of saying the unsayable, of pushing boundaries, of trying new stuff….. but punk? To me? A cacophony. A noise. I can’t connect with it….

I’m old school. I was raised on classical music, jazz, blues and some terrible folk music that almost put me off for life (thanks Dad) and though I’m not an aficionado by any stretch of the imagination, the Edinburgh Jazz & Blues fest is kicking off here in the City and I’m off the back of dancing to some low down earthy blues courtesy of Seasick Steve at a festival last week…so let’s see if this can be done without ridicule.

As part of the MSc studies, we were invited to read a paper by Frank J Barrett where he draws parallels between improvisation in Jazz and organisational learning.

In the paper, Barrett points out that what seems like formless “improvisation” (the Jazz part that is often jumped upon and pilloried as being “not proper”) is actually highly skilled musicianship.

The musicians (HR practioners?) actually have to learn rules, theory, rhythm, pace of the music before they can start to improvise. Once learned? Rules and theories can be adapted, shifted, turned into something new.

Barrett outlines 7 characteristics you need for true Jazz Improv:

  1. Provocative Competence : interrupting Habit Patterns
  2. Embracing Errors as a Source of Learning
  3. Minimal Structures That Allow Maximum Flexibility
  4. Distributed Tasks
  5. Reliance on Retrospective-sensemaking
  6. Hanging out – Membership in Communities of Practice
  7. Alternating between soloing and supporting.

Barrett then goes on to explore how using these characteristics can really support organisational learning and change. Including my own favourites: Create Organisational climates that value errors as a source for learning and Cultivate Serious Play: too much control inhibits flow.

For me?  This Jazz metaphor works ( in as much as any ever do) as a means of understanding how individuals AND groups must work to interplay with each other and produce something tuneful, meaningful.

And not just that – but if I’m cooking up a storm or about to go into a potentially dissent-heavy meeting, I’d rather have Miles playing than the Sex Pistols… or I MIGHT JUST GET A BIT ARSEY

My version of change? Understand the rules, so you can bend them. Improv.  Trial and error stuff – and be honest that that is what you are doing. Encourage minimal structures, maximum flexibility. Work by learning and playing together.  Hang out with ideas and people. Recognise the skills of the soloists and the whole.

Shall we?

Thanks entirely to the learning offered through Ashridge Masters in Organisational Change ( AMOC) and specifically through faculty member Caryn Vanstone who works with improv and jazz as a lens to generate change in organisations

The Marvellousness & the Minutiae – What do you bring?

20130419-083222.jpg

There seemed to be lot of interest and comments on this week’s blog post, which is always satisfying.

And there were some great examples of how people are contributing – what they are bringing to organisations or organisational conversations…..

and yet I find I want to re-press the point, ask again to see what comes back from readers of the fuchsia blue blog:

What is your contribution to being agile or adaptable in your work? What do you bring to your work conversations that is different or useful or necessary?

Are you innovative? Do your bring order? A good grip on data & measurements? Are you provocative? Political? Can you raise a smile in the midst of heavy conversations? Do you handle conflict well? Can you sit with difference? Is it good public speaking? Or the ability to have small, trust-filled conversations? DO you have a fantastic eye for commercial potential? can you tap into the “feel” of a conversation well? Do you bring compassion? Practicality? A particular interest?

I’m looking for the marvellousness and the minutiae. What do you bring?

I’m asking because I’m genuinely interested . I suspect your stories will be lifting. I suspect there are wonderful positive stories from people about what differences and contributions people are bringing to their work space.

I’m particularly mindful there were no comments from women, this week, other than via DM or conversation and I REALLY want to bring those voices forward, because I don’t feel I have and have a suspicion there is a rich narrative there.

and in case anyone is feeling self-conscious about stating their contribution, I offer Come To The Edge as an enticement

Come to the edge.

We can’t. We’re afraid.

Come to the edge.

We can’t. We will fall!

Come to the edge.

And they came.

And he pushed them. And they flew.

Guillaume Apollinaire

So. Friday/ Weekend invitation to bring your contribution stories here. I would, simply, love to hear from you.

What’s your Contribution?

IMG_1162

“We live in a “vuca”world….it stands for volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous and it is being used as a short hand for what I think of as our new normal. In such a world, there has to be a huge premium for organisations that can understand and respond rapidly to changes or new trends by being agile and adaptable….” Peter Cheese, CEO of CIPD, Welcome note in People Management magazine, April 2013

I read this editorial and was lifted and a little cynical all at the same time. Lifted at the acknowledgement of complexity and ambiguity in organisations, because I experience working in complex, adaptive client environments where politics, budget, tradition, culture, pace, apathy, enthusiasm etc all influence how well or badly something is delivered (if at all). Lifted also because the words agile and adaptable are appealing, somehow – they speak to me of a working environment which is functioning, healthy, where there is a swiftness and smoothness of movement and decisions, where folk can innovate where needed and this is seen as a good thing.

And I’m cynical for all the same reasons. As a consultant, I have the privilege of working with a number of different organisations and cultures simultaneously, so comparing and contrasting what is out there is kind of inevitable. On the whole? I’d say agility is altruistic and that my cynicism is founded in feeling the enormity of the task: How do we make whole organisations agile and adaptable?

In truth, I struggle to get my head round the “whole organisation” question. It feels huge. I’m not sure I can do much with a whole organisation ( Is there such as thing as an organisation? Hmm… another blog post, perhaps) – but I can work with people who will influence and shape their world. I can work to have conversations that can pack a punch across a business….perhaps that is the best anyone can do?

I’m thinking that, as we work in complex adaptive spaces, surely we need complex, adaptive responses? Yes, we need learning technologies and innovations that allow our businesses to be cutting edge and informed… but who will run and ensure that the technologies and innovations work? It’s people. Brilliant, bored, excited, stubborn, pissed off, playful, serious, awkward, destructive, creative amazing people.

What’s my contribution?

My response to a world that is volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous is that we must help people live, talk and work in that world well. But this made me think. What do I bring? What am I offering to the Organisational, UK plc, HR/OD/L&D conversation? If the call is being put out for those who will support agility and adaptability, what is my contribution to that?

I’m increasingly taking up a space that revolves around getting people to talk with more confidence and consideration in their day to day work. The Dialogue work I am so passionate about is compelling because it is so simple: in conversation you can advocate a point of view (in favour or against) or you can inquire into what is being presented (asking more, opening up thinking). You might think of it as tell/ask. You might think of it as push/pull. What happens though is there is a dance, a complex, adaptive, ambiguous conversational dance between the advocating & inquiring. We make tiny conversational choices (or great big old bold ones) to advocate or to inquire and these impact and influence those around us.

When you begin to understand your conversational dance moves, you feel more confident, more able to try new moves, more able to dance well with others. It is compellingly simple, elegant, complex and clumsy all at the same time.

Whether it is one-to-one coaching conversations, or group work using dialogue (and I’m about to risk bull sh*t word bingo here), my client work typically revolves around building people’s capacity to be resilient in the face of ambiguity and recognise their own brilliance and staying-power in environments that can feel hostile, volatile or confusing. You get individuals to see their worth, their contribution and the value they bring to the organisational party? You enable people to speak for or against a course of action with some clarity, confidence and conviction? Well then bring on the complexity and ambiguity, my friend, it will not faze.

What I bring is a little old fashioned – my stuff is about communication, talking, relating, being considerate and compassionate in the world. Oh and challenging well. Really well. Being able to put your opposition to an idea across with care and conviction so you are heard. Actually? Perhaps my stuff isn’t old fashioned… perhaps it’s classic.

My contribution to support living in a “vuca” world well and to the request to support leaders and managers to be rapidly responsive and agile, is a constant invitation to the people I work with to be “human” (see above – brilliant, stubborn etc) and to talk well with others. In order to work, my contribution also needs to be supported by those who can add technology in the mix, those who are creative, those who have the capacity to deal with data and finances brilliantly. I am part of the overall system – contributing and relying on others to support or challenge me. In a complex world, I don’t have a panacea or a simple answer( and nor does anyone else, Guru, Thought Leader or “Expert”).

I do, however, have a contribution to make in a “vuca” world.

And I’m interested. What is yours?

 

Further action :

fuchsia blue Exploring Dialogue Sessions are running May 8th & 9th, London

Please comment below or contact me if you want to discuss further.

Further reading :

David Rock’s work on Quiet Leadership (particularly the Dance Toward Insight chapters)

Ronald Heifetz, Martin Linsky’s work on Adaptive Leadership

Margaret Wheatley’s Leadership and the New Science – example of writing here

David Bohm’s Dialogue work ( See article Dialogue: a Proposal here)

 

Are you In… or Out?

Much chat on Twitter resonating from the recently posted People Management’s top 20 power tweeters  & responses including David Goddin’s Troublist blog, which has got me thinking….

Hmm… curious one this…There’s a whole in/ out thing that happens with people-on-lists and Top Tweeters etc. Perception can be that being the In-crowd (included, involved, in vogue) is a good thing vs Out Crowd (outside, outcast, out-of-date) as not-so good.

Me? I celebrate the out, on the whole. You can be outspoken, outstanding, outrageous, outright & cause an outcry.

And yet I know it is more complex. I (and therefore fuchsiablue) have an odd relationship with the in & the out.

As a Practitioner, I seek to be edgy, curious, to stand slightly apart from clients and organisations. My role is, in part, to see things differently, offer new perspectives, agitate, provoke and question…. that’s part of why my clients work with me. When I’m there – walking the edge –  I may not be liked, understood, accepted. I’m Out. I’m good with that. I kind of love it sometimes.

But then as a Person, I seek to be part of community, to belong, to be seen & heard well. I want to support, to encourage, to acknowledge the existing, to honour “what is” without constantly fighting the established. I want to build and nurture, not break and beat up. I’ll be honest, I like the notion of being “in” a crowd of folk I respect and enjoy. I’m a social animal, even with my anti-social tendencies.

I am both Person and Practioner. I seek to be both in and out. I’m contrary and co-operative…I understand there are consequences for both.

I’m interested now….how is it for you?