A core part of our Wavelength Connect programme, Behind the Brand offers Connect members the opportunity to get inside a broad array of organisations with compelling narratives around culture, engagement, innovation, social impact, and leading change. It’s a chance for them to hold a critical mirror to their own organisations to see where they could be doing much better as well as where they could be doing much worse. This year we visited thirteen organisations. Organisations which gave us access, with varying degrees of depth and candour, to the inner working of brands in retail, hospitality, finance, fashion, eco-tourism, social rehabilitation and aviation.
What your leadership style? How to you keep your resilience when the going gets tough? How do you create ‘follow-ship’ in your team? Check out the posts below to find out more.
Silicon Valley's leading companies, VCs, thought leaders and organisations in the midst of business model transformation will be part of Wavelength USA 2018. They will share how to thrive in a digitally disrupted world, lead through disruption and create thriving cultures to create amazing service.
Wavelength ‘Shortcuts to Inspiration’ Volume 3 – Steve Cadigan, Silicon Valley thought leader on embracing change
Welcome to our ‘Shortcuts to Inspiration’ series where we share bite size nuggets of inspiration from Connect.
Welcome to our ‘Shortcuts to Inspiration’ series where we share bite size nuggets of inspiration from Connect.
We have kick-started Wavelength Connect 2018 with a fantastic On Your Marks event held at a very cold Sheepdrove Farm! Take a look at the photos…..
What is the story you tell yourself? What is the story you tell others? Can these stories change, be fluid, as your leadership (and life) experiences change too?
Service Excellence is all about the interactions, not the transactions. An interview with Wavelength’s SpeakersHub Sue Stephenson
“A great organisational culture is a way of thinking, behaving and working that’s rooted in interactions between teams, management and external stakeholders. It’s about embedding the core values into every touch point.”
Over the last eight years, we have invited the leaders from this remarkable organisation to join us on Wavelength USA and to share the Aravind story at Wavelength Connect, so in February 2018 Wavelength Co-Founder Jessica Stack and I decided to visit Aravind in Chennai and Madurai, India, to see it for ourselves.
We asked the participants of Oxygen 2017 – “What’s the biggest challenge facing leaders today?” and “The shit’s hitting the van – what keeps you going?” See what they said in these 2 videos.
From doom and gloom to new possibilities. Reframing the narrative around a changing workplace. An interview with Wavelength’s Speakershub Steve Cadigan
With his extensive experience and connections in Silicon Valley, Steve Cadigan, former VP of Talent at LinkedIn, is witnessing a huge paradigm shift in the workplace, as technology and changing employee demands turn traditional talent management practices on their head.
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.
What a fantastic couple of days at Oxygen where we gathered of leaders from large corporates, social businesses, community-based organisations and charities who are united in a desire to change the world for the better for business!
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.
”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.”
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.
Drew Povey, one of Wavelength’s top rated speakers & Head of Harrop Fold School currently featuring on Channel 4’s “Educating Greater Manchester”!
Check out Drew Povey and his team at Harrop Fold School on Channel 4’s “Educating Greater Manchester” Thursday nights at 9pm.
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.
“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.
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.
“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.
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?
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.
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!
What a week! From exhilarating Tesla rides to relaxed walks to the Sheep Shed and of course a plethora of stimulus from our fantastic speakers. Here it all is captured in pictures.
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.
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.
Why is it in this world that there are always people wanting to see you fail? Successful business woman and accomplished speaker Jude Kelly, Artistic Director, Southbank Centre talks here about two aspects to draw upon to overcome this external negativity.
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?
A short interview with Dave Ridley who spent 27 years at Southwest in an array of senior executive roles and is now an advisor to the CEO. In it he gives us a glimpse of what he talks about in his powerful speeches.
A great discussion from three of Wavelength’s good friends. Taken from On Your Marks 2013, this will get you thinking about what makes a great leader. What do you think – are they born or made?
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).
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.
Roy Disney once said “It’s not hard to make decisions when you know what your values are”.
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!
Conventionally we tend to think it is the job of a leader to make decisions. In this thought provoking clip Alan Webber, Author suggests that actually a leader’s role is to make sense.
Wavelength USA is one of our two annual study tours to the USA. 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.
Charles Adler, Co-founder of Kickstarter.com and former Head of Design Water, is a web-designer. Here he gives us a very personal account of how Kickstarter began and at the same time urges us all to “Find our space in time”.
Geoff McDonald, Former Global VP HR Marketing, Communications, Sustainability and Water at Unilever asks: Does your company matter to people?
Unilever is on a journey, you could even say a leap of faith, to make the world a better place. This talk by Geoff McDonald, Global VP HR – Marketing, Communications, Sustainability & Water at Unilever, makes us believe the world, despite the environmental and social challenges it faces, will be OK.
In this short, motivational clip Steve Cadigan, Silicon Valley based thought leader, advisor and coach will make you sit up and think, “Yes, you’re right. I should be making use of new technologies”.
Watch this clip from one of Wavelength’s most engaging speakers about the importance of bringing out the talent in all your employees
Sir Martin Narey, Government Advisor and former CEO of Barnardos, tells the 2013 Connect delegates to be open-minded and never underestimate the capacity to learn from other organisations, even if they appear to have nothing to do with what they do.
In this short extract from Baroness Sue Campbell CBE, Chair, Youth Sport Trust, she shares with us how someone she had helped returned the favour at her time of need.
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.
No-one said leadership is easy. In this video various leaders from different types of company around the world discuss some of the main challenges facing them in the current business climate. It’s interesting to note how many of these leaders talk about the new challenges they now face in this digital world of the internet and constant communication.