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Here's where you can find out what's going on in Wavelength's eco-system and the interesting conversations we think are important right now

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

Glorious photos from Leading Change at Sheepdrove

In June we were back at Sheepdrove for our final Connect event of 2016. The weather may not have smiled on us, but our fascinating conversations about organisational and behaviour change made up for that.

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?

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.

Stunning photos of our time back at Sheepdrove

In September 2015 we returned to Sheepdrove with the Connect members to spend two days immersed back in the countryside. With speakers from as far afield as Nairobi, Denmark and India we asked: how does change happen? Our speakers shared stories of changing behaviour, creating new business models, and inventing new products and services.

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?

Amazing illustrations from On Your Marks

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!

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!

What types of organisations will benefit or lose out in a digitally disrupted world? A discussion with Colleen McCreary, Lisa Gansky and George Anders

Sometimes our speakers have differing views on a subject but in this case all three are unanimous. All industries will be affected in this digitally disrupted world and in order to survive everyone must be willing to embrace change.

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.