Resources

This category is for the general grouping of posts based on the theme of the content

“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.”

“My aim is that no-one else will die from the stigma of mental illness.” An interview with Geoff McDonald

“Stigma killed my friend” says Geoff McDonald movingly “why wasn’t he able to talk?”

Geoff is a former Global Head of HR at Unilever. He now heads up the mental health charity, Minds@Work, devoting his time and energy to changing the narrative around how we discuss mental health in the workplace.

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.”

Terri Kelly of W.L. Gore on leading change in an “innovation democracy”

W.L. Gore & Associates, a $3 billion global business of 10,000 associates best known for its GORE-TEX® fabrics, is widely regarded as one of the world’s most innovative and fascinating companies. In the face of sector disruption, Terri Kelly, President and CEO, is driving change through an organisation that is already renowned as a Great Place to Work.

Guardian CEO David Pemsel on navigating the disruption affecting his organisation and sector

Media is the industry most disrupted by the digital and software revolution. The 200 year old Guardian has undergone a wholesale change to the foundational components of its business: from its operating model to its infrastructure; what it sells, to whom and how it goes to market. In this video, David talks honestly about the challenges facing his business and sector and how he and the senior team at the Guardian are doing to navigate their new world.

On leadership success and significance

We recently completed Connect, our (eighth) annual six-month leadership experience for 90 people including senior leaders from engineering, media, financial services, housing, energy and retail. These are leaders on their way up, average age early to mid forties, bright, ambitious, keen to learn.

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.

Stunning two days of sunshine and learning at Sheepdrove!

Here’s a glimpse into the wonderful couple of days we had down on the farm at Sheepdrove for our last event of Connect 2017, Reconnect. It sure was HOT HOT HOT but what a beautiful setting! Some great photos of our fantastic Connect 2017 members along with our fabulous speakers.

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.

Graham Hodgkin’s ‘parting shot’ to the charity sector

Graham has spent four years as Chief Executive of London’s Air Ambulance, the charity that delivers life-saving trauma care to the capital. Previously he was a Managing Director at Deutsche Bank and the UK Country Head for Global Transaction Banking. He also created and implemented DB’s ground-breaking Social Impact Fund. Graham is also a non-executive director for Resonance Ltd, a leading provider of aligned capital to social enterprises. As he was preparing to leave London’s Air Ambulance, Third Sector magazine asked him to compose a ‘Parting Shot’ for the charity sector…

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.

Illustrations of the talks from Connect 2016 On Your Marks event

Our wonderful illustrators, Matt and Danny, produced these illustrations live at On Your Marks as our speakers were speaking. A wonderful record of the stories and insights each speaker shared with us. Click on each to view a larger image and enjoy!

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.

Ever have days when you can’t be arsed? Hear what Greg Dyke, Jude Kelly and Martin Narey have to say….

At On Your Marks in 2013, one of our members was brave enough to ask what we all want to know… it’s easy to stand up and talk about leadership but surely there are days when even our first class speakers lack a little motivation of their own?

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!

Panel discussion on how can employees can affect change within their company

After reading previous posts you may well be thinking, “That’s all well and good but what exactly do I need to do to bring about culture change in my organisation?”. This amusing panel discussion should give you some ideas.

Mark Allan from RSA and Grahame Price from St Paul’s Way Trust School talk about instigating culture change from the top down

In this video on culture change we hear from two leaders working in two very different areas. They explain to us what culture change means to them, share with us some of the mistakes they have made in trying to bring it about and then give us advice from their personal experiences.

Colleen McCreery, former Chief People Officer at Zynga talks about dealing with a Young Workforce

Young people have very little leadership or life experience but they are the experts in what ZYNGA, a technology company, are trying to do.  Colleen McCreary, Chief People Officer, ZYNGA says the key to success with a young workforce is to trust them to make the right decisions in their areas of expertise.