Resources

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?

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

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.

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).

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.