Resources

Inhale Oxygen and breathe… An interview with coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda

After two days digitally marooned in the beautiful Berkshire countryside, surrounded by 90 leaders keen to discuss the challenges faced by those who want to change the world for the better through business, coach and social entrepreneur Lily Lapenna-Huda reflects on Oxygen and on her own leadership.

“Transforming the worst school in Britain” An Interview with Wavelength SpeakersHub’s Drew Povey

In 2003 the school’s inspector, Ofsted, branded Harrop Fold School in Salford “the worst school in the country” putting it into special measures, the lowest rating a school could have.

Behaviour was so bad that two local bus companies refused to transport pupils attending the school and a quarter of school-leavers went on to be classed as NEET (not in education, employment or training). Worse still, the school had inherited a financial deficit which was the largest of any school in the country.

“My headteacher told me I was an existentialist!” An interview with Jude Kelly

”At fourteen years old I was creatively destructive,” says SpeakersHub speaker Jude Kelly “I got in with a bad crowd and things were spiralling out of control in my life until my head teacher told me to go and set up a drama group in the school.”

“He told me that he thought I was an existentialist and I needed a creative outlet to channel my search for purpose in life.”

Adrian’s Silicon Valley Insights

“The world’s first voice activated hotel room, the consumerization of everything and the advent of the brain machine interface” These were just a few of the trends/themes emerging from the fascinating discussions I held last week as I planned next year’s Wavelength USA programme with key thought leaders in the heart of Silicon Valley.”

To be human after all

“Organisations are non-entities, people are organisations”.
Dr Aravind Srinivasan, Aravind Eye Care System

However much we like to imagine we’re in control of Connect, we know what happens in the room (garden, tent, field, amphitheatre) and what plays out in each of our minds as we walk away cannot be planned.

Everything you always wanted to know about storytelling and leadership but were too afraid to ask

“I didn’t make things worse.”

This is how Sir Martin Narey described his time as Director General of the Prison Service of England and Wales during one of our Leadership Masterclasses. Not what one ordinarily hears from a leader but then Sir Martin is no ordinary leader. He’s an inspiring individual and an accomplished storyteller, and the core narrative he uses to describe this chapter of his leadership story – the last-choice-for-the-job, unheroic, lonely leader failing to make the difference he so passionately aspires to – is compelling but it’s also a fiction. A fiction in the way that all stories purporting to be about reality are fiction. Because creating coherence from the raw mess of lived life involves choosing what to include, what to exclude and what framing will best martial the chaos.

We share what Wavelength observed & learnt on Best in Class 2017

Stepping into other organisations is a powerful way to sharpen focus on your own culture, organisational effectiveness and leadership. Not because the organisations visited on Best In Class are perfect but because they help illuminate what’s strong, precious and worth building on in your own organisation alongside those flaws, deficits and areas of underperformance that must be addressed. Moreover, the visits provide invaluable inspiration and ideas for how to tackle them.

So what of this year’s cohort of BIC organisations?

On Your Marks, Get Set… Go Raise the Bar

As I pulled in to Sheepdrove this week, I was instantly reminded of my time as a Connect member in 2014. The sense of excitement, anxiety and the re-emergence of that pesky imposter syndrome were instantly with me. It also recalled the friendships and connections that I had made at my On Your Marks and indeed the personal transition I have been through since; from Connect member to being part of the Wavelength team.

Change: Where to start?

After two discussion-filled days on Leading Change at Sheepdrove we reflect on where leaders choose to begin in the face of big, difficult or complex change and what these start points tell us about the longer journey

“Get the start right, the right point of entry, that’s how you get a conversation going, that’s how you walk toward people.”
Rob Burnet, CEO & Founder, Well Told Story

Some interesting stimulus ahead of Wavelength USA 2016!

Wavelength USA is one of our two annual study tours. Wavelength USA gives our participants unique opportunities to get inside some of America’s most pioneering and successful businesses and into the heart of the digital revolution in Silicon Valley.

Being Best in Class, not just OK in Class

“If OK is the outcome of what you’re doing, scrap what you’re doing.”
V
oxpop, Rackspace.

Imagine that 24 senior leaders, your peers, were coming to where you work to understand what you do and how you do it. What would you tell them? How would you bring the essence of your organisation to life? What would you share (and not share!) to ensure they left feeling inspired to improve?

Purpose, Flow and Letting Go

At our recent Connect event, former Director of Performance at UK Sport, Peter Keen CBE, ran an in-depth workshop with a small number of members exploring Putting Purpose to Work, Creating Leadership Excellence. The session received outstanding feedback from the lucky few who got to be part of it and we asked Graham Hodgkin, CEO, London’s Air Ambulance for his reflections on this session for those of us who missed out.

To Nudge or Not to Nudge?

Behavioural Economics is about “changing behaviour without changing minds”. It is about nudging individuals, groups or institutions toward desired actions without going down the well-worn knowledge = awareness = change route. For leaders it is useful not just to identify ways to shift behaviour but also to understand why, often despite best efforts, behaviours sometimes refuse to budge.

Some stimulating reading and videos ahead of Wavelength USA Tour 2015!

Wavelength USA is one of our two annual study tours. Wavelength USA gives our participants unique opportunities to get inside some of America’s most pioneering and successful businesses and into the heart of the digital revolution in Silicon Valley.

Connect 2015 member Suresh Mistry of Alquity on how to make Fearlessness live

It’s easy not to fail. Just keep your head down, take the easy path and hey presto, you will probably get along just fine. So, why doesn’t that sound appealing? At Connect, one of the most powerful messages we received was about being aware of the ripples from our actions. Taking this analogy a little further, to create a ripple you must first have the courage to throw the stone. Letting go of the stone means that you have to be prepared to fail. My experience is that the fear of failure is the greatest barrier to success in any aspect of life.

On Your Marks?

Three days with 120 people on an organic farm in Berkshire.

Three packed days hearing from: British, American and Danish serial entrepreneurs; an eye surgeon from India; a Baroness who earned her title through service to sport; UK MD of a global furniture retailer whose most popular product is named Billy; evangelists from an airline that’s been profitable for a straight 43 years and from a luxury hotel chain with “Ladies and Gentlemen” not employees; the Co-Founder of the first funky business magazine, Fast Company, and former talent champion of the number one business oriented social networking site LinkedIn; and from the sustainability and partnership lead in a company innovating to reduce cows’ flatulence (among other planet-positive things).

George Evers shares his highlights of Wavelength Connect 2014

I arrived at Sheepdrove, the first venue of my Connect year, with the final leg of the journey being a beautiful drive through a misty countryside. Reassuringly, the signal on my Blackberry disappeared just as we arrived. Always a bitter sweet moment.

What is Resilience and how can we improve it? A summary of Wavelength’s Reconnect 3 event from Diana Man

Reconnect 3, the final event for the Wavelength Connect 2014 Members. And what an event it was! The theme of the day was Resilience. As the Members get ready to fly the Connect Nest and head out into the big wide world putting everything they have learned into practise, they will certainly need it!

Steve Horton, Transformation & Business Services Director, International Development Markets, Bupa tells us what he learnt from Wavelength USA

I’ve just completed a 5-day study tour of the US meeting some amazing people and companies in Texas, San Francisco and Silicon Valley. The tour had participants from across the world from companies such as TD Bank, RBS, Dyson, Standard Chartered, Save The Children, SafeLight, Fremantle Media (the company behind ‘Got Talent’, ‘X Factor’ and so on), KPMG, Eli Lilly, and, of course, Bupa! These are my thoughts on what I heard, learnt, and will be trying out back at Bupa.

Nick Stace, CEO, RCVS asks: how much do we care?

The 19th Century author and humourist Mark Twain once said that “the two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.” Little did he know then that his simple but painfully exposing challenge would force some of Britain’s top leaders to contemplate the meaning of their lives, the importance of their work and the human values that drive them.

What are some of the principles underpinning behaviour change?

What is ‘behaviour change’? Where do you start if you want to “move millions”? How do organisations equip themselves to effect lasting social change? This video begins the conversation with three perspectives on three fundamental questions from Joshua Gryniewicz, Cure Violence, Henry Ashworth, The Portman Group and Rob Burnet, Well Told Story.

What is Wavelength Connect Best In Class?

Wavelength Connect is a leadership programme that aims to inspire, connect and develop leaders. During the year-long programme Wavelength Connect members attend a range of events giving them access to high calibre companies and leaders in some of the world’s most …

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Wavelength100: We Should Be Angry

As many of us shake off the torpor of the Thanksgiving holiday, the appalling turn of events during that post-stuffing mad dash for stuff known as “Black Friday” will prove more difficult to digest. Black Friday, of course, is a …