03 Nov 2016

Leadership
The events surrounding the demise of the charity Kids Company towards the end of last year and subsequent reviews have given me a lot of food for thought. The broader issue for me emerging from this is the blind spots that leaders repeatedly seem to have – in this case an unsustainable operating model and lack of financial reserves. The last few years is littered with other examples...

12 Oct 2015

Multi-coloured hands
In 1970 Arnold Beisser MD published a short article called the Paradoxical Theory of Change. Based on and explaining the Gestalt therapy method of Fritz Perls, he summarises: ‘… that change occurs when one becomes what he is, not when he tries to become what he is not. Change does not take place through a coercive attempt by the individual or by another person to change him, but it...

22 Sep 2015

Organisational development
My previous blog on ‘unfinished business’ highlighted the importance of complete or ‘whole’ experiences to people, a principle that extends to our motivations and emotions. We are bothered by things that are incomplete or unfinished and they may stay with us until resolved and potentially interfere with our working relationships. So what further lessons might we draw from this pheno...

01 Sep 2015

Labyrinth
Returning to work, were there some unfinished tasks that surfaced in your mind from time to time whilst on holiday, at least in the first and last few days? In an experiment about memory recall reported in 1927, the psychologist Kurt Lewin gave subjects a sequence of simple tasks to complete. In some cases they were allowed to finish their work and in others they were interrupted...

05 May 2015

Labyrinth
One way organisations try to improve collaboration is to restructure, for example moving from a functional, hierarchical to a matrix structure. Structures do need to be contingent and in today’s world there is a need for more cross-functional as well as inter-organisation working. But does structural change lead to the changes in working relationships needed to achieve the required ...